I’m writing this post after a super long beach day (as in, it’s 11 pm and we just got home) and I want to write it while everything’s still fresh in my mind. Today marks the second day we’ve taken our kiddo out to the beach and I think I have it mastered now. There are a lot of things you need for yourself and your little one to have a successful day on the water!
First- yourself. Last time I took my baby out with friends on the beach, my husband couldn’t make it so I was by myself with friends and didn’t really pay too much mind to myself- just focusing on Jocelyn. As a result I got a pretty bad sunburn on my back. So here’s the skinny on what you need for YOU:
Facial sunscreen: I have been absolutely loving Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum 50+ PA+++ Anti-aging sunscreen. Ha! What a friggin’ mouth full! Anyways, it’s super light weight and I have never gotten burnt while wearing it. My friend and I both used it on our faces today, behind our ears, etc, and I’m freckle and sun damage free after an 8 hour day. I’ll call that success!
Protective Lip products: I prefer EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Lemon Drop SPF 15. There are so many reasons why this is my go to. First, it’s ultra cheap and if it gets lost when I’m on the river, I won’t cry over a $3 lip balm. Second, it comes in a huge sphere, so I never lose it. Third, it’s not glossy or colored so my husband can use it and we can just carry around one between the two of us. Fourth, I just love the way it smells and has a light taste. Fifth, it has SPF. Holla! Pretty much the best lip balm ever.
Body Sunscreen: I prefer to use a liquid sunscreen on myself rather than a spray on. Last summer, I used spray on and half of it sprayed off my body and to the wind. I didn’t notice until I was burnt to a crisp. This year, I use several different sunscreens. Some of my favorites are JASON Pure Natural Sun Natural Sport Sunscreen SPF 45 and LAVANILA’s the Healthy Sun Sunscreen for Body.
Body Spray: I pretty much hate the feeling of being all sandy and I need to take a little something to spritz on myself onto the water to not feel so dirty while I’m on the river. Bath and Body Works White Mango Chill is my go to this summer for summer fragrance that is easy, cheap, and delicious. Their summer collection is limited edition so swing by your BBW store and spritz some on! Their Coconut Water Chill is another great fragrance from there that is limited too. Once again- I don’t have to worry about losing it in my beach bag because it’s very inexpensive to replace but the scents are super yummy at the same time!
Water: You need a lot of this if you’ll be outside all day, trust me!
For the baby there are lots of things you’ll need too! It can be overwhelming to take a baby on the river but if you have everything you need, you’ll have a great time. Little ones love the water. I took my kiddo to swimming lessons this spring and that really set the tone for us being able to go out in the boat with her and have fun with friends. There is no fear of the water at all for her, which is wonderful! I highly recommend swimming lessons for little kids, and make sure you attend so you can observe what’s going on. This is coming from someone who was afraid of the water and failed out of swimming lessons as a 10 year old…but that’s another story entirely…
Baby Sunscreen: I’ve had wonderful luck with a few sunscreens that I’ve tried on Jocelyn. I’m very careful to reapply sunscreen on her every 45 minutes when we’re outside even when she’s not in the water! I also apply it to her head and hair because I can see through to her scalp so I know the skin could get burnt. I’m not a doctor and I don’t know how often sunscreen should be reapplied to children, but I’m not taking any chances so that’s how I roll. She has no sun tan or freckles though so whatever I’m doing has been working!
Natural Sunscreen SPF 45 has been great for us all summer. I wouldn’t even need to look further than this sunscreen other than the fact that we’re almost out and I always pack a back up. Neutrogena
Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Stick SPF 70 is also pretty amazing. It’s like a tiny little clear deodorant stick. I actually carry this around in my purse daily because it’s so easy and I don’t even have to get my hands dirty to apply it. It repels sweat and water like nobody’s business and SPF 70 is literally the highest I can imagine for sun protection. Plus, I love the way Jocelyn squeals when I apply this under her arms and by her neck- her two ticklish areas.
Baby Life Jacket: It’s the law…gotta have one that fits and they must be wearing one at all times in the boat.
Sun Hat & Sunglasses: My kid actually hates wearing a hat and sunglasses and rips them off so I prepare for this by keeping her eyes shielded from the sun with a towel or sitting in the shade, and keeping her head safe with extra sunscreen.
Adequate Food & Water Bottle: You never know if you might get stranded or are out longer than you expect to be. It’s a good idea to have more food than you really need with you, just in case. Your belly might be able to hold off for another hour or two, but little baby bellies sure won’t. My little one hardly drinks that much water but she was chugging it today from her bottle to stay hydrated. She munched on lots of snacks too while we were out!
I bought a couple of these
from the Target dollar bin and they’re a lifesaver. They hold some water in the reservoir, and you pump the bottom, then push the nozzle and a spray mist comes out the top. It’s SO convenient to carry and spritz them with to keep them cool if it’s a little warm.
Pampers Little Swimmers: After a (literal) s*tshow with reusable cloth swimming diapers, I have switched to Little Swimmers and they are the bomb. I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s best to bring the kids on the boat in a regular diaper and change them at the very last second before going in the water to a swim diaper.
Diaper Rash Cream:
We don’t use this very often, but when you’re in the water, it’s imperative, since your kid is basically hanging out in a wet diaper for an extended period of time. Some creams we love are LAVANILA
The Healthy Baby Bottom and Desitin
Maximum Strength Original Paste Diaper Rash Ointment. I find that LAVANILA’s cream is great for day to day, and Desitin’s Maximum Strength formula is great for fighting a really terrible rash. It’s got a medicinal scent to it that lets me know it’s soothing a really hardcore rash.
Some miscellaneous items: A cooler with ice to contain your snacks and goods, and a few waterproof bags to shove your stuff in are imperative to have out on the river. Don’t forget garbage bags to hold your dirty diapers and empty bottles in. You don’t want to litter the beauty of nature!
And just because I can’t stop thinking about it, I have to share an article I read the other day about sand ledges and how a woman almost lost her son when he was swallowed by sand at the beach. Truly frightening and now is one of my scariest fears. My other (irrational) fear is that I’ll see a moose swimming through the water. Did you know they swim?! Don’t ask…
I hope some of these tips have helped you! What is YOUR summer beach essential?