"Beach baby, Beach baby there on the sand. From July ‘till the end of September. Surfin’ was fun, we’d be out in the sun every day.” Raise your hand if those First Class lyrics sound a little familiar? Well, maybe your beach baby isn’t exactly the same babe that is referenced in the song, but your little one is sure to be spending a lot of time out on the sand while you and your family are on vacation at Ocean Isle Beach. It can be more than a handful to head down to the beach, carrying all the supplies you need for your tot. Then you have to contend with the sun, sand…all while keeping your family safe, happy and having a great time. Here are a few tricks and tips that will make a beach vacation a little easier…for you and your beach baby!
You Need to Have This "Go-To" Gear
1) Beach Cart
This may seem like a luxury...and it is! If you are going to spend a little chunk of money (approx. $100) on one item that will make your beach vacation easier....this is it. A collapsable beach cart
will fold up small enough to fit into the trunk of your car, but will pack a large punch when it comes to hauling your gear! This kind of wagon is also perfect for ball games, camping, fishing and picnics. Just remember, not all carts are created equal...you will need extra-wide tires to traverse the sand!
2) Spray Bottle
For about $1 your can have a practical and fun item that your little one is sure to enjoy. A smaller spray bottle, often found near the travel and trail size items at your local big box store, will be a cool companion on the beach. Fill your spray bottle with water, and mist away. Not only will it help you and your baby beat the heat....it will also be a great toy!
HINT: Buy several spray bottle, turn the spout from mist to spray, and create your own game. Build a bulls-eye out of sand, and see who can hit the target!!
3) Beach Blanket...Refitted
There are many different beach blankets on the market, but how about one that "fits" you and your tot? Many parents are finding that a fitted bed sheet makes the perfect beach blanket
. You simply lay the fitted sheet on the sand, place your cooler/beach bags/etc. at each corner, and pull the elastic corners up and around your cooler/beach bag/etc. Your beach blanket now has sides that will help to keep your baby in...and the sand out!
4) Make Your Own Tide Pool
Bring the beach to your baby by making them their own tide pool. Hopefully, this will help to keep your little one from crawling towards the waves. A small blow-up kiddie pool (single ring...remember...you are going to have to blow that thing up) will work perfect for this. Once you have the pool blown up, quickly fill it with water (don't let it blow away while you are retrieving your water) using beach buckets and the plethora of available salt water. Fill the pool to the appropriate depth for your child. If you would like to try something a little different, dig a shallow "pool" in the sand
, and line it with a thick plastic shower curtain. There should be enough plastic up and over the sides so that you can pile sand around the edges to keep the plastic in palace. Fill with water as mentioned above. VIOLA...now you have your own beach-side pool that will provide hours of entertainment. If the water gets too warm, no problem...just go get more water!
How to Enjoy the Sun Without Your Baby Getting Burnt
Here are a few suggestions that you can bring to the beach, along with the sunscreen.
5) Rash Guard Swimwear
Covering your little one with protective swimwear
is one easy way to avoid too much sun. You will already be purchasing a swimsuit or trunks, so spend your money of the one that will offer the most protection, and still be super cute!
6) Bring Your Own Shade
A good quality beach umbrella
with an umbrella sand anchor
is one way to give your family shade while on the beach. The sand anchor will help to keep your umbrella from blowing away, and purchasing one made of plastic will keep it from rusting. Another option for shade is an instant-up canopy
. The reason you may want to opt for an instant-up canopy instead of one of the more trendy canopy options, it that it is also perfect for camping, birthday parties, and sporting events. If you decide to use a canopy, please do not leave it on the beach over-night. You wouldn't want your investment to fly away or become litter.
7) Clip Away
Many parents will decide to bring a playpen to the beach. If that is you, then you can make your own shade canopy for your baby. Purchase some large claw-style hair clips, and secure a lightweight cloth or beach towel over the play-pen. If you already have a fitted playpen sheet, you can simply slip it over the top to create canopy.
Tips That Will Make You Win the Battle Against Sand
8) Ziplock Bags
A sealable plastic bag can be your best friend at the beach! You can protect everything from a diaper and a change of clothes for baby...to your cell phone and camera! It is also a great idea to keep sunscreen and other leaky items sealed up in a ziplock bag...to avoid potential messes. Sand plus spilled sundress equals one hot mess!!
9) Baby Powder
Have you ever struggled to get the sand off of sticky little hands and feet? Well, a quick dusting of baby powder that is then brushed off with a towel, should do the trick! It seems too simple...but it works!
10) Water Dispenser in the Car
Not all beach accesses have facilities for rinsing off. In a pinch, a water dispenser with a spigot
(in the car) will do a quick and dirty job until you get home. After all...sometimes, you just need to wash your hands!!
Have you been to the beach recently with your tots? What gear did you find most helpful for your Ocean Isle Beach vacation? Please share your ideas with us, in the comments below!