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Beachgoers with babies, I have a question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm just curious what your set-up is when you go to the beach. This will be our first summer where our dd (10 mos. old) will be crawling/walking/playing at the beach. We spend most weekends there during the summer. I'm wondering if my set-up is being too overprotective. This is what I plan to do:

We have two of those major SPF umbrellas and we set up an area for her to play. I also plan to put down those foam squares that hook together. Not that I'm sand-phobic, and I definitely want her to play in the sand. In fact, just she and I go down to the beach on many weekdays with just towels and an umbrella (and tons of sunscreen of course) and she gets covered with sand and loves it. I'm already a totally paranoid freak about the sun and usually have her fully clothed in long sleeves at the beach. : I sit right with her and play, but if I look away even for a split second she inevitably ends up with a shell or a small piece of driftwood in her mouth. I'm worried she's going to choke. As attentive as I am, I still worry about this (especially if dh is watching her by himself!). Is it too sterile to set up a foam-floored play area surrounded by a gate? It seems so unnatural but on the other hand so safe.

Anyway, just curious what you do with your babies at the beach when you're going to be spending most of the day there. Do I need to lighten up?
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, and how do you handle naps?
post #3 of 10
I dont go as often as I'd like. But ... We have a play pen that has all sort of attachments. It has a bassinet, changing table, and net tent [for bugs?] and regular tent [for sun/rain?] plus a bunch of add on pockets and sun shades etc. The last two summers [infant and barely walking toddler] we used that. It was fantastic! I also am freaky about sun protection [white white white] so we use 50 spf Baby Bull Frog sun screen [the whole family] along with umbrella, hats, sun glasses, and cotton tshirt like coverups.

At the end of last year [and this year all the time] we went with friend's whose daughter wasnt as ok with the play pen as our son was. So we brought a big plastic tarp and laid that underneath one of those 6 sides play corrals with one of those square four legged stand alone rain tarps for sun shade. Very comfy setup. They played in that for hours.

As for naps, dont know what to tell you. Our son has always just laid down where ever he is and gone to sleep. [At the mall, if he is tired, he will lay down in the middle of a store and go to sleep. I kid you not. Weird? Yes, but oh so convienient that I love it.] When on the beach I usually just hold him or lay him snuggled in towels next to me. I like being able to take a break and just read my mags or sleep next to him personally. Good Luck though if your daughter isnt as easy going as my son.

PS. One tip [at that age] on the sand... bring a hand rake and rake out a big enough square so that it is clean except for sand. Then, dont worry - sand goes in, and sand goes out - no harm done.
post #4 of 10
We used to live near the beach when ds about that age. We bought him an outfit called the Seababy 100--it looks something like a wetsuit, but not as tight, about 3/4 length sleeves and legs, and it zips and has a snap crotch. It's not cotton--some type of synthetic, which we usually avoid, but really keeps him covered up, allows for swimming (dries fast), and you only have to apply sunscreen to the face (plus a hat), forearms, and calves and feet. I think it was around $40--my mom bought it for us. We bought it large, and it's lasted two seasons. Have fun!
post #5 of 10
We have a big floorless tent style sun shelter. That along with a big hat, a long sleve t-shirt, loose pants and a lot of sunblock is all we do. the rake sounds like a good idea! I found that my son at 8 months got one good taste of sand and then another and then it lost its thrill!

Now at 18 months he puts rocks and shells in his bucket instead of his mouth. I'd be much more into carrying a rake than a play yard and ground cover. A blanket is a joke now- within 3 minutes of laying it out, it is covered in sand.
post #6 of 10

What a lot of work

ds was 9- 12 months last summer and all we did was a floppy hat and sunscreen, a towel and the sling. Sometimes I brought the backpack if dh was along. We never stayed too long, usually an hour or so. we're so fair that I just don't want to be out that long. Also, ds is a turtle! He kept trying to return to the sea like a recently hatched leatherback! All the other Mommies hang out under their umbrellas, etc. This mommy was with her kid digging and watching what was being explored and mouthed.

This summer is harder because he doesn't want his toys, he wants their toys and he's bigger!

Remember to have fun this was a very precious time for us, and still is.
post #7 of 10
Well, as you know, we live near the beach. We make it a late afternoon / evening thing. Fewer rays, can run around naked, at dusk it's hungry hungry time to go home.


post #8 of 10

I'm the3 only one who sits under the shelter!

DS naps there...the rest of the time he plays and plays and plays. I am grateful that he still likes to stay close to me, and I can stay in the shade. We like to build castles under the shelter too!
post #9 of 10
For me the perfect thing about the beach and a new toddler is that you can just let them run free. If they fall down they don't hurt themselves and at least the beach we go to is pretty clean. Actually he was loving running so much I don't think he noticed any enticing rocks. When they first learn to walk you spend so much time and energy keeping them out of trouble. I found the beach one of the only places I could relax a little. Come on summer!
post #10 of 10
We are regulars at the beach and have accumulated alot of "stuff". The basics for us are: Sunblock "Beach Babies 25" works great, Tent - I got a small pooh bear tent at a sporting good store for 20 bucks, it works great as a sunshade, wind shade, nursing and nap spot. Cooler for goodies/water, blanket for me and for trying to cut down on sand intake during snacks and a laundry basket with toys/buckets/spoons/trucks.

I can carry most of this myself if dd walks - shes' 2. She loves the beach and digging in the sand. She has a healthy respect for the water- DH tried to take her in and once he was up to his waist, she started to panic so out she came and hasn't wanted to go in since. We'll give it another go soon.

I put a swim diaper on her and lots of sunblock. I also encourage a hat and she wears it most of the time. Once we have been there a while, I put her in a shirt or this lycra body suit that covers her up and blocks the sun.

We are going camping this weekend at San Simeon, can't wait to hit the beach!!!

Have fun!

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