Taking your baby to the beach for the first time can be exciting. You can experience the sand, the waves and the sun together. While the beach may be an enjoyable place for you, it may be a little scary for your baby or todler the first time. There will be unfamiliar sights, sounds and textures. When I took Rosebud to the beach for the first time, I didn’t realize how daunting it could be. We needed to take a lot of stuff, so I want to simplify it for you and make a list of the essentials you will need for baby’s first trip to the beach.
First you need to have something to contain everything. A good beach bag is a must. I use a clear jelly beach bag that is quite large and can hold most of what we need. I couldn’t find the exact one, but here are some similar bags.
Sunscreen is an absolute must if your baby is over six months of age. I chose to use Blue Lizard because it is natural and not too sticky or oily when you put it on. There are a variety of sunscreens to choose from, so it’s worth doing some research. Here is EWG’s list of best scoring sunscreens for kids to get you started.
Don’t forget sunscreen for yourself as well.
If your baby is under six months, it is recommended that you do not use sunscreen. You’ll want to use a seat or stroller with a canopy.
Check out this list of 6 best strollers for rocky or sandy beaches.
If your baby goes in the water with you, you’ll definitely want to keep them safe. Rosebud used one of these. She was around 18 months and was walking when I took her for the first time. I put her life jacket on her and we held hands the whole time we were in the water. I just wanted her to experience the waves and getting her feet wet. We did not go out very far. Although, she kept trying to walk out further where some bigger kids where playing. She had no fear.
If your baby is not walking yet or you feel more comfortable baby wearing, you’ll definitely want to check out this list of the best baby carriers to use in water.
I always have sunglasses with me, so Rosebud brings hers with her most of the time as well, whether she needs them or not, but they are helpful on bright sunny days.
A hat is a must have to keep your baby’s head safe from the sun.
Food and Drink
Hydration is so important. Especially in extremely hot weather. Be sure to bring water bottles for everyone. It’s recommended that baby’s not be given water until they are at least six months of age.
If you are breast-feeding, you won’t need this, but if you are using formula or pumped milk, you’ll want something to keep those bottles cold. I like this bottle holder because it’s big enough for two bottles and comes with an ice pack.
Lunch and or Snacks
Depending on how long you are at the beach, you’ll want something to eat.
You could bring a cooler for drinks, a picnic basket with sandwhiches or a variety of snacks that are easy to eat on the go.
What to Wear
Diapers or Little Swimmers
Be sure not to forget changes of clothes.
The Fun Stuff
Totally optional, but a blanket is a good choice if you don’t want the extra bother of bringing chairs.
Toys for Sand Play
Phone or Camera to Take Picturess
I was not the one taking pictures when we went to the beach. Since I was in the water with her, I never let go of her hand, so taking pictures were out of the question until we were safely ashore. I kept the use of my phone to the bare minimum while we were at the beach. I used it for taking photos of her playing in the sand and checking the time. The whole point is to unplug and enjoy nature and family time anyway. If you want to document though, it helps when there are extra sents of hands.
If you can get a break from supervision duties, bring a book and relax. If you need some book suggestions, check out this list of top beach bag reads for moms by the Confused Housewife. Most of all, enjoy the beach and the wonder of your baby seeing it for the first time. Are there any beach must haves that I missed? Tell me in the comments.