A day at the beach will make wonderful memories for you and your child. But let’s get real for a second: sand + sun + baby = stress! Before you throw everything but the kitchen sink into the car, read this. From a baby pool to pre-frozen snacks, here are 10 foolproof baby beach hacks and amazing beach baby gear must-haves for surviving a coastal family adventure.
1. Freeze Water Bottles and Snacks
Pop a few unopened water bottles in the freezer the day before. The bottles act as ice packs to keep snacks and drinks cool, and you’ll have chilled water to drink at the beach. Add a stash of damp washcloths in a zip-lock bag, too. Wrap them around your frozen water bottle and use them to keep your baby cool as well as cleaning up mess.
If your baby is eating solid foods, place a few pouches of pureed fruit and yogurt in the freezer the night before your trip. By the time you reach the beach, they’ll have thawed into a cool, slushy snack for your baby to slurp up. The cool liquid will also help soothe any teething little ones with sore gums.
2. Baby Powder Sand Hack
This is a tried-and-tested hack that we love! Baby powder is one of the best ways to remove sand from your little one's fingers, toes, bottom and even hair. Simply sprinkle on and rub back and forth with your hands to dust the sand off. The powder soaks up the moisture that makes the sand stick. Smooth and sand-free skin!
3. Pack Quick-Dry, Microfiber Towels
When it comes to packing for the beach, less is more. Super-plush and absorbent towels may feel great on sensitive skin but they’re bulky and, once used, remain damp and sandy. Microfiber towels are super-quick to dry after playing in the water and they roll up nice and small to pack and store.
4. Load It All Into A Wagon Stroller
A day out at the beach means carrying loads of stuff as well as transporting your baby. Kill two birds with one stone and transport your gear and your little one in a wagon stroller. From wagons that accommodate newborns to ones that can carry up to four children, we’ve got the wagon stroller for you. PishPosh tip: it’s easier to drag your stroller backwards than push it forwards in the sand.
Out for a ride with the super practical Wonderfold Wagon W2
5. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
Sunscreen is a beach essential, even on cloudy days. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under six months old out of direct sun altogether.) We love the Mustela Sun Care SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick, which won’t run into your baby’s eyes like lotion can.
6. Set A Timer For Sunscreen And Drinks
It’s easy to forget to reapply sunscreen, especially when you’re having fun and there’s a cool breeze. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to reapply sunscreen to your child (and yourself). Don’t forget tips of the ears, back of the neck and tops of the feet. It’s also important to stay hydrated in the heat. Set another timer so you don’t forget to give your little one a drink.
7. Use A Pop-up UV Tent For Naps
Bring a pop-up tent or playard like the Veer Basecamp so your baby can sleep in a cool, shaded spot away from the sun and sand. It’s also a great repository for all your kit, which will weigh your tent down if it’s windy. Pack a nursery thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature inside, and never leave your baby unattended in case they overheat.
Cool and shady with the Veer Basecamp
8. Make A Mini Beach
This is one of our favorite baby beach hacks – you can thank us later! If your baby can sit up or you have a crawler on your hands, keep them cool and contained in a mini blow-up paddling pool or a foldable baby bath. Just add water and a few balls or toy sea creatures for minimum effort and maximum fun.
9. Create A Sand-Free Play Zone
Babies and beaches are a lovely combination but here’s the thing: Sand. Gets. Everywhere. And a sandy diaper can cause nasty skin rashes. Why not create a (relatively) sand-free play zone? Simply bring a fitted bed sheet to the beach and place a bag or cooler in each corner to keep the sheet extended and the sides up. Hey presto: an enclosed space for your baby to play in comfort.
The ingenious fitted sheet beach hack
10. Don’t Splurge On Expensive Beach Toys
Really! The beach is a natural playground. With sand, water, seaweed and shells to play with, there’s no need for pricey beach toys. Your baby will love playing with a simple bucket and shovel. A watering can, bath toys or small cars and trucks are also great crowd pleasers.
At the end of the day, pop your sandy beach toys into a mesh laundry bag. The sand will fall out as you walk back to your car. Genius!
Planning your family vacation? We’ve got your back. Read Travel Essentials for Kids: What You Really Need before you hit the road.