Now that the school holidays are in full swing and the nationwide lockdown is beginning to ease, there is one activity on many of our minds: a beach trip!
Now is the time to be making the most of the warm sunny weather and the great outdoors, but a new baby brings lots of challenges and things to consider to a family holiday.
We are constantly reminded of the risks of sun exposure and high temperatures, so planning a trip to the beach can be daunting, but as long as you are prepared everything will be fine! Here’s a list of some of the most important things to consider for your baby.
Sun protection – This is important for every member of your family, but especially your new little one! Babies under six months shouldn’t wear sun cream, so they need alternative forms of protection. Long, light tops and trousers are a great choice if it’s not too hot to wear them, and they should always be wearing a sunhat.
Parasols, sunshades and sun tents are also an excellent idea to keep your baby completely out of the sun, especially if you plan to spend a long time on the beach. Remember that the wind by the sea often makes it feel quite cool even when the sun is very bright, so don’t rely on temperature to decide how much protection you need; www.uvlens.com allows you to see the UV level forecast for anywhere in the world.
Wind protection/something warm – As mentioned before, it can sometimes get much colder by the beach than you might expect, especially in parts of the UK. Your baby is very sensitive to temperature, so you should always have a jumper, fleece or blanket on hand if it starts to get chilly. Long-sleeved cotton baby sleepsuits will be OK in some areas - but on some beaches, a baby cardigan or jacket would be a good idea. Take layers and be prepared to adjust their clothing regularly to get the balance right
It’s also a great idea to have a complete spare change of clothes for your baby in case they get wet or dirty, and if you plan on going paddling your baby will definitely need a towel! Aside from sun protection, sun tents do a wonderful job of shielding little ones from the wind, but windbreakers are also a great option.
Water and snacks – Whatever stage of feeding your baby is at, it’s very important to keep them hydrated and well-fed throughout the day. Make sure you have everything you need with you, remembering that access to sterilising equipment may be limited. If you’re breastfeeding you need enough food and water to keep yourself hydrated too - this is really important if you are getting some sun.
Food options at the beach are often limited for young children and very overpriced, so it’s much easier (and healthier!) to bring your own.
When you get home - make sure at bathtime that you look out for sand in all the crevices, especially if your baby is mobile and has been crawling or toddling. Pay particular attention between the toes and the nappy area, and if you have been out in the sun or wind, consider a little bit of moisture cream for the bits of skin that have been exposed.
Beach holidays will not be the same again once you have a baby, but with good preparation, you can have a lot of fun and make precious memories too