Monday, May 7, 2012

5 Tips for taking Toddlers and Babies to the Beach

We took a short, 2 day trip to the beach last week, and it was heavenly!  I was pretty nervous about the girls being off of their schedule and sleeping in a hotel - They have pretty much never slept anywhere but their cribs, and we've never taken them to a restaurant by ourselves.  It could not have gone any better! We stayed at a hotel on the beach, so we didn't have to worry about loading the car and driving back and forth and we never stayed anywhere very long.  We kept going back and forth from the pool to the beach to the room depending on when the girls needed to eat, nap, be changed, etc.  Heidi slept in the hotel crib, which looked like something from an orphanage, and Anna Kate slept on the sofa sleeper all by herself.  They both loved being in the sand and feeling the breeze.  It was Heid's first time in the pool, and she loved it - she would kick her legs and just shriek with joy! I loved seeing them happy and enjoying themselves.  There are a few things that I believe attributed to our success and I'd like to share a few tips with you that we learned from other seasoned, beach-goers:
1) Babypowder! This just may be the best kept secret.  I was skeptical when someone told me that this would magically take all the sand off of your body, but it worked!  Just sprinkle it on, and the baby powder absorbs all the moisture and the sand just falls off.  We found this especially helpful in the diaper area and in those cute, chubby neck/leg/arm rolls. 
2) Sunblock. Duh. Everyone knows to use sunblock, but I was really worried about my babies burning since I always burn and they have fair skin like me.  We used an SPF 50 sunblock and the key is to put it on BEFORE you go outside (about 30 mins) and to reapply often.  We also used the spray sunscreen which made reapplying much easier.  Thankfully, we all came home sunburn-free.
3) Flip top water bottles.  Because we were back and forth between the hotel, beach, and pool so much, we didn't want to lug a ton of stuff around.  We brought flip-top water bottles so that we wouldn't have to worry about the cap blowing away or getting sand in the lid, and the toddler could drink out of it like a sippy cup - win, win!
5) Back-pack stroller/infant carrier. This was a lifesaver to help carry the baby and keep our hands free.  Plus, it was a place for her to sit so she wasn't tempted to eat the sand while we feed her, etc.

We will definitely be making more beach trips this summer!  Do you have any other good suggestions or tips?  I would love to hear them!

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