We couldn’t stay away from the beach. We went again, last weekend, and Aveline loved it even more than the week before.
Having a baby has only made me love the ocean even more. Our wee girl literally yells and squeals in delight when the waves splash up over her fat little knees, and she loves the way the sand feels on her toes and fingers.
I love sharing the ocean with her.
Taking a baby to the beach honestly doesn’t involve tooo much extra effort. What we pack for a day a the beach is not really much more than the usual beach items plus a diaper bag (shown: my favorite Babymel London bag).
Here’s a round-up of what to pack for a day at the beach with a baby:
- Diapers & wipes: Although we use cloth diapers, Aveline wears disposable diapers when we are traveling — we live just over an hour from the beach. When swimming a pool, though, I recommend one of these pool-approved reusable swim diapers.
- Sunhat & swimsuit: We put Aveline in this before we leave the house, to avoid attempting to dress a wriggling sandy baby once we’re at the beach.
- Sunscreen: Choose your sunscreen wisely. Most sunscreens on the market contain harmful hormone-disrupting ingredients. Explore all the information linked in this Sunscreens Exposed report, and then use the Environmental Working Group’s helpful Sunscreen Guide to select a product with low toxicity.
- Small cooler containing picnic lunch, cloth napkins, and water: Obviously it’s super important to keep the baby hydrated…but that goes without saying. We packed Aveline a separate lunch, but she preferred to nosh off ours. And the cloth napkins (or washcloths) have a multitude of uses. I actually never leave home without a washcloth or two.
- Blanket and towels: I like bringing a large blanket (actually, I use an old tablecloth) for us to sit on.
- Toys: Having something for her to play with definitely makes beach life easier. As you can see, we use the definition of “toy” loosely around here….this stainless steel water bottle occupied her for quite a long time. Oh, and when we got back home, I just tossed her toys in a bowl of water with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to disinfect them.
- Ziplock bag or small wet bag: It’s nice to have something to put the wet clothes in for the trip home. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a wet bag, it’s a waterproof fabric bag with either a zipper or a drawstring closure. They are SO handy, especially since they are designed to be washed right alongside the dirty laundry. I have the small “sunset stripe” wet bag shown here.
- A dry outfit for the way home: This one is pretty self-explanatory. ;-)
I really love our beach days with Aveline. Josiah and I feel strongly that there is no reason why Aveline shouldn’t be introduced to the types of things we all can appreciate — as opposed to only participating in overtly child-centric activities now that we are parents.
Granted, there are a few differences in beach life BC and AC (before child, and after child).
We don’t go on endlessly long walks down the shoreline together anymore (although, she took her first step last night, so I would say our walking days are about to resume).
We keep seashells out of her mouth.
We stop her from crawling off in hot pursuit of sea gulls.
We definitely don’t fall asleep in the sun.
But none of this takes away the breathtaking beauty of the endless sea, the saltiness in the swirling air, the way the stormy clouds dip down low beneath the horizon and blend with the oceanic blues and greens.
The best part of all, is being there with my two loves.