We all know that trips to the beach before and after children are worlds apart. Unlike before when you just grab your towel and probably a bottle of wine and roll up in your rental scooter, things just got a little complicated.
And while newborns require constant care and contact even at the beach, don’t worry, it is entirely possible to enjoy your vacation with your little human. You just have to know what you are getting into and plan.
Babies under the age of six months should not use sunscreen or be exposed to the sun at all according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and if you absolutely must use it, just use a minimal amount on exposed areas like their nose and avoid giving your newborn full exposure to the sun as much as it is an important source of vitamin D by visiting the beach before 11 am and after around 3 pm when the suns sharp rays are not at their strongest. Sunshine is only helpful to your baby’s skin in safe doses.
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Can my newborn go to the beach?
Yes. If you are wondering what age is suitable to take that new bundle of joy to the beach, the simplest answer is there is no age limit. The beach is the perfect destination for newborns and other babies as there’s just so much to enjoy but while you might imagine a full day of fun and stretch at the beach, the reality might be just a quick half an hour.
The benefits of sunshine to your newborn’s skin and exposure to the natural world, not forgetting the magical effects of the sea air and the soothing sounds of the waves at nap-time means that the seaside will have a positive impact on that new family addition from an early age.
Just be flexible about the length of your stay and go with your baby’s mood.
Tips and safety for taking newborn to the beach
With a little preparation, it is possible to enjoy a little beach getaway with your newborn. After all, deep love of summer beach trips can start early so if you are heading to the shore with your newborn, here are the smart mama tips and beach gear you need for a wonderful outing.
Carry your newborn safely to the beach in a baby carrier
The safest option to get to your beach spot safely is by carrying your newborn in a carrier. Most beaches in Malindi, Kenya where we vacation have a lot of steps so having Lilly strapped on me in her Ergo baby carrier is reassuring because it also has a shade for her head that protects her from the sun.
Wear a big hat
Wearing a big hat to the beach when carrying your newborn not only protects you but also provides much-needed protection to your baby. A small hat for your newborn would be a great option if you can find one that will fit and stay as the more sun protection for her the better.
Avoid SPF over 50
Unlike the rapidly absorbed chemical absorbed sunscreens, mineral-based sunscreens provide a physical barrier that works by reflecting the UV rays and is minimally absorbed through your newborn’s skin because they contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and limit its use to only the hands and face and avoid the eyes.
Pack a tent
For diaper changes, a place for your newborn to nap, and for mama to nurse you’ll need a beach tent.
The Neso Tent folds into a small bag and is super easy to set up making it my favorite. Just bring an extra towel to put under the tent and that way her diaper bag will be in shade too
Bring an umbrella
Probably the most important thing you’ll need for a trip to the beach with your newborn is an umbrella.
Your little one should be in the shade at all times so having an umbrella is convenient as you can adjust it as the sun moves. Some beach umbrellas come with a bag making them easy to carry.
Bring a wipeable diaper bag
A faux leather bag is a great option for the beach because you can simply wipe off the sand before you get home and they are easy to carry.
Dress your newborn in lightweight clothing
Make sure your little one is wearing breathable light clothing so that she doesn’t overheat whether it be protective UPF Clothing or just some beach swim shorts.
Pack a lightweight swaddle blanket
Swaddle blankets can protect your newborn’s sensitive skin from the sun as well as act as an excellent nursing cover when tied around the neck. Bring along a super lightweight and breathable one so that your newborn doesn’t overheat.
Bring a small fan
Bring a towel for your newborn
For those beach naps and diaper changes, an extra towel is great as you can use it to dust off the sand off your newborn at the end of the day. I also love this See ya Sand powder.
You can also add in a few damp washcloths in a plastic bag while packing. They will come in handy while cleaning up the messes and cool your baby down when needed.
Bring a pacifier clip
It is very easy for your newborn’s pacifier to drop on the sand and not very easy to get all the sand off so bringing pacifier clips to the beach is great so that you don’t have this problem.
Sprinkle baking soda into the post-beach bath
Sometimes newborns and babies, in general, get a little too much sun at the beach despite our best efforts with sunscreen and UPF treated bathing suits.
To soothe their skin, add a few sprinkles of baking soda to their bath at night. Also adding a clean towel dampened with cool tap water provides relief according to the mayo clinic.
Sunscreen selection for newborns
Again it is highly recommended that you don’t use sunscreen for children under six months period. If sunscreen must be used, consider the following helpful tips.
Choose mineral-based sunscreen
Get your baby sunscreen with at least 15 sun protective factors but not greater than 50.
Those sunscreens with greater than SPF 50 give a false impression of sun protection as the increased SPF is only marginally more effective but may lead potential consumers to believe that less frequent application is necessary.
Go for broad-spectrum coverage.
Pick a broad-spectrum baby sunscreen that protects from the burning power of UVB and possibly cancer-causing potential of both UVA and UVB radiation.
If your newborn will not be going into the water, you don’t need water-resistant sunscreen. But as they start to grow and run around the beach splashing water, look for a sunscreen that contains oils like shea butter or sunflower oil to provide them with some natural water resistance as well as sunscreens containing beeswax.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I keep my newborn safe at the beach?
Choose a clean spot not too close to the water edge to set up your tent so that you don’t have to move often and disturb your newborn every time the tide comes in and also provide some soft light towels for the baby to lay on. Line the sun tent with the towels and make sure the temperature doesn’t get too hot inside.
How can my newborn have her nap at the beach?
Convincing a newborn to sleep in a new environment can prove to be a challenge. and without her nap, she’s likely to be grumpy later. The best option to consider is a baby tent which would provide both shade and a napping area for your newborn as it contains a ” floor” as part of it that serves as a good surface for the baby to sleep without her laying on the sand. This is the most compact option.
At what age should I take my baby to the beach?
As we discussed earlier, there’s no time or age limit to take your baby to the beach. However, the older your child gets the longer they can stay at the beach and they will enjoy it.
Don’t let your newborn deter you and your family from heading to the beach. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience for all of you with the trusted tips shared above.
What are your best tricks and tips for how to take your newborn to the beach? Let’s chat in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you.