Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Toddler at the Beach

The summer is now in full bloom and the water is finally starting to warm up here in New York. Nicky and I have been hitting the beach several times a week and after somewhat of a rough start, he is really starting to love it! It took some time getting used to the ocean because it is big, it is cold and it is very different from the warm cozy bathtub he is used to splashing in. We took it slow, at first just wetting out feet while playing soccer, then dipping our legs while being held by mommy, then jumping in together and, finally, running in full speed and plopping down into the water! I am so excited that Nicky is enjoying himself and am looking forward to teaching him how to swim soon!

However, a trip to the beach can be challenging when bringing a toddler. The sun, the sand, the water can all be unpredictable and so can your little one. Here are a few tips to make the time by the water pleasant for your whole family:

1. Water. Bring lots of it and remind your kids to drink often. The salt water, the heat and the sun all can contribute to a heat stroke and dehydration, so keep sipping it before, after and during your beach time!

2. Sun. The closer you are to the water the more dangerous the sun is. There are a few things you will need to keep your family safe:
  • Sunscreen: apply liberally and often. If using a spray, make sure to also get a separate lotion for the face and don't neglect to put it on the little noses, cheeks, ears, feet and neck!
  • Just in case, have Aloe Vera at home on standby!

Best Sunscreen lotions according to

  • Tent: a brilliant invention, especially for smaller babies. If you are planning to spend more than an hour on the beach, a tent or an umbrella is a must! (look for one with SPF protection!) I especially like this one, because your kids can play with sand inside it while being protected from the elements.
  • Tip: If you are visiting a beach in NYC and planning to bring a tent, make sure that it is "see through", meaning it has openings or windows on two opposing sides so that police and/or lifeguards can see through it. Otherwise, they will ask you to take it down!
  • Hat. Don't leave your house without it. Choose a hat with a brim that covers your little one's face, ears and neck. They also make ones with SPF protection so you won't have to spray sunscreen on your little one's head!
  • Rash guard. Rather then constantly applying and re-applying sunblock, put a rush guard on your little one with a strong SPF protection. They are made out of thin material that dries fast and will actually keep your child cool while protecting them from the sun. 

3. Swim diapers. These are a must if you are going to a public pool or beach. Rather then getting disposable ones, you can get the reusable kind!

4. Blanket. We have this waterproof blanket that folds into a neat little purse and I absolutely love it! However, I also came across a brilliant way to use a fitted sheet (above) to keep the sand out of your little one's play area on the beach. I only wish I saw this last summer when Nicky was little and was crawling everywhere.

5. Toys. Best advice about toys - get ones that will entertain you. Because chances are you will be building castles and digging holes together with (or instead of) your tot! Don't bring too many pieces and make sure you have a big bucket and a sturdy shovel! Shape makers are also lots of fun. 
We, of course, bring our soccer ball (Nicky doesn't go anywhere without it) and mommy has lots of fun fishing it out of the water ;)

6. Floaties. Floaties are a great idea for the pool, but I would not recommend them for the ocean, where it is best to keep your hands on your child at all times, especially for kids under two. 
Tip: For little babies, they make ones with canopies that are great because sun is especially dangerous while you are in the water.

7. Snacks. Will really come in handy as you are packing things up and heading home. Kids get hungry unpredictably quick, so come prepared! Get things that won't spoil in the heat, like muffins, fruits like watermelon, peaches or plums. Nicky's favorite post-beach snack is a croissant (sometimes he even shares with mommy!)

8. Wagon. You will have a lot of stuff, plus the kids, so consider bringing a beach cart or a wagon that goes through the sand easily. From personal experience, schlepping on hot sand with towels, blanket, tent, swim suits, stroller and his beloved soccer ball under one arm, while carrying the toddler on your hip with the other, isn't that much fun!

Toddler At The Beach

Do you have more helpful tips? Please share them in the comments below or on our Facebook Page

Enjoy your time at the beach this summer!


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