A lot of moms especially new moms always ask this question, when can you take a baby to the beach? If you’re among such parents that love beach and going to the beach with your kids, then there are certain things you need to know about taking your baby to the beach. This article does justice to this question while sharing helpful safety and precautionary tip to this effect. Let’s get to it!
Babies’ skins are delicate and their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight the bacterial or fungal infections that can be contracted from untreated soil and water on beaches. Their skins are too fragile to have direct contact with sunlight, and if you try, they might end up getting burned.
There are lots of things you must consider before taking your child to the beach. Is your baby old enough to withstand intense heat as a result of exposure to sunlight? Is your baby old enough to stay strong when exposed to the cold air on the beach? Will s/he be healthy after having fun in the water?
The truth is, there’s no harm in wanting your baby to experience nature. Wanting to make your baby happy isn’t a bad desire at all, but what would you gain if the result of the fun is sickness? I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. No parent would.
When Can You Take a Baby to the Beach – All You Need to Know
According to experts, babies under 6 months should not be taken to the beach. But if you must, ensure that they have no contact with the water body and soil. Wrap them up with a cloth to avoid cold and shield them from direct sunlight.
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Is It Safe to Take a Newborn to The Beach?
It isn’t totally safe.
Medical experts stated that infants who are younger than six months must avoid sun exposure to prevent sunburn. The reason is that for the first 6 months of life, your baby’s skin lacks a major skin pigment called melanin – the pigment to protect it from the sun.
Therefore, babies’ skin burns more easily than that of adults or older children’s skin. Newborns can’t regulate their body heat like adults, so when they are left in a hot environment they experience heat stress.
It’s advised that you keep your babies away from harm, but if you insist on taking them, there are precautionary measures you must heed to prevent common dangers, such as sunburn, and drowning.
Safety Precautionary Measures to Taking Your Baby to the Beach
1. You must be ready to breastfeed your baby a lot more than when you’re at home because of the hot weather. If you’re bottle-feeding expressed breast milk (EBM), ensure you go alongside a thermos of hot water and a cup to warm it up before giving it to your baby.
2. Babies sweat only from their neck, hands, feet, and head which make up 30% of their body only. As such, they are at risk of experiencing body overheating because their bodies can’t cool down as quickly as adults.
Ensure you’re always close to your baby, and also know the signs of dehydration which always comes as drowsiness, inability to wet diaper at the normal intervals, red and dry skin, and absence of tears while crying.
3. Wrap your baby up with clothing and ensure that s/he has no contact with direct sunlight and ensure that you go with shade to help the process. Also, lay a beach towel or mat on the floor to prevent the baby’s contact with beach soil.
5. Ensure that you go to the beach before 11AM or around 4PM. These periods are the best time for your newborn.
READ ALSO: Safety Tips And Benefits to Going to the Beach While Pregnant
Can you take 2 month old baby to the beach?
Yes! You can. It’s better than taking a newborn to the beach.
Although, It’s advised that you should let your baby clock 6 months before taking s/he to the beach but since you can’t wait that long, you can take her/him to the beach at 2 months. But you must make sure you don’t take the baby into the water.
You must also shield your baby from direct sunlight as well because it isn’t safe for him/her at that age.
What Age Can I Take My Baby to the Beach
A lot of factors will be considered before getting a good answer to this question. You will have to ask and answer certain questions as well.
What exactly do you want? Do you want your baby to have contact with the water and play with the beach soil? Do you want him/her to have equal fun with the older children?
The answer to these questions will determine the age to take your baby to the beach.
If it’s a yes, then, you should wait till your baby clock 6 months. If your answer to these questions is No, then you are free to take your baby as early as 1 month but you must heed the precautionary measures and warnings, which includes but not limited to the following;
• Young babies are at a higher risk of contracting diseases and infections because their immune systems are not fully mature well enough to fight off some of the bacteria they may encounter in a body of water.
Some of these diseases are caused by bacteria from human or animal feces or those living free on their own inside the water and are a risk in natural bodies of water. The most common symptoms of this are diarrhea, ear pain, skin rashes, coughing, congestion, and eye pain.
• Sun exposure is another factor to consider when getting ready to take your baby to the beach. Babies also aren’t able to regulate their body temperature very well – so when they are left in a hot environment they can experience heat stress. So, watch out for signs of overheating -: dizziness, dry skin, and leg or stomach cramps.
READ ALSO: What to Do When Baby Shows No Sign Of Rolling Over
How to Stay Safe On The Beach With Your Baby
The following safety tips will help you keep your baby healthy and secure at the beach:
1. Make Use of Shade/find shelter
As you plan to go to the beach, bring with you a tent or umbrella, or set your belongings near a shaded area or picnic shelter. If your baby is under six months old, keep him/her out of the sun and in the shade. A baby’s skin is sensitive and should not be exposed to the sun for a long period. Except if you plan to go to private beaches and resorts where they rent cabanas, lounge chairs, and umbrellas.
2. Visit the Beach at certain periods
Going to the beach in the morning hours – say before 10AM or after 2PM, will certainly help you skip day’s most powerful rays.
The midday sun can be too much for your baby. Sun is brightest between 10AM and 4PM and so, you must ensure you go to the beach before 10AM or around 4 PM. Going to the beach at these periods helps to avoid sunlight at its peak. Protect your baby with varieties of baby beach essentials.
3. Use Swim Diapers
Swim diapers are more absorbable than regular diapers. Swim diapers will help to soak the high degree of wetness because of the presence of waterproof layers. Not to worry, these diapers can be washed using the machine. It also contains UPF material. Use a regular diaper at the beach with caution; note that the gel packs in disposables may explode after becoming completely saturated.
4. Wear a Sunhat
Buy a hat with a strap that will help it withstand the wind that will blow when you arrive at the beach. Bigger hats are always the best to go with, because it shields a lot more than the smaller ones. Floppy sunhats keep the sun off the body’s most sensitive skin areas including the eyes, lips, and ears. Those specifically for babies have very soft headbands that allow them to stay in place without causing discomfort around their skill.
5. Feed frequently
In hot weather, infants will need to be fed more frequently. Go with enough water, and be ready to breastfeed the baby as possible. If you want to bottle feed, ensure you warm before feeding your baby.
You have to also take good care of yourself as a breastfeeding mum because any infection you contract will be passed to the baby through breastfeeding. This includes staying extra hydrated, so be sure to have plenty of water or liquid food on hand.
Breastfeeding moms also need to be cautious about what they’re applying to their skin to avoid the baby getting contaminated with chemicals. Choose a breastfeeding-safe sunscreen.
6. Come with Sunscreen
Apply a nice, thick layer before leaving for the beach. Reapply throughout the day. Try a mineral sunscreen – it’s safer for the baby. Babies between the age of 6 to 10 months can use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 30-minutes before sun exposure and reapply lotion every one to two hours. Use a baby-friendly sunscreen.
7. Maintain Hydration
Be vigilant and watch out for signs like heat burn or red skin particularly around the ear area, and the neck because these are the symptoms of overheating. If you see these signs, it shows that your baby might be experiencing overheating. Quickly give him/her water or any fluid available and cool them down by bathing with cold water.
To avoid overheating, keep the baby in the shade of an umbrella or consider bringing a small tent with you to the beach if you want to spend the day there. A portable fan is handy for keeping babies cooled off and helping them nap.
Babies six to eleven months should drink reasonable amounts of water and parents should aim to increase hydration by 50 percent when on the beach. Use cool water to regulate body temperature by spraying it on them from time to time, and it might be seen as fun by your infant.
It’s advised that breastfeeding mothers use a very light swimsuit instead of a beach towel. An easy way to keep babies at the beach cool is by spraying them with water. Always bring clean water from home to avoid having to turn to salt water which is too drying for their skin.
8. Carry Baby Powder
The powder is the best friend of any baby at the beach. Baby powder takes the sand off the skin. Just rub it on the skin and all the sand comes off easy. It’s definitely a time saver. It also decreases diaper rash and makes the baby more comfortable.
9. Get a protective swimwear
Go to the beach prepared. Go with clothing to cover your baby adequately, especially if your baby is below 6 months. If you want to get a piece of swimsuit, go for the ones with zips or buttons at the bottom so that you can take it off easily to breastfeed your baby.
10. Never leave your baby anywhere near the water unattended.
The rule is, either you police your baby’s every move (this means emptying baby’s hands every time they scoop some sand) or accept that baby is going to eat it and move on.
This is where clean water is useful on the beach. When your baby is upset about the sand in his mouth, use a wet cloth to wipe out his mouth and offer him/her some sips of water to help clear the mess. Waterproof shoes will also help especially if sand gets hot.
11. Bring baby toys along
Bring things to keep the baby occupied. Your baby may be a good crawler but will have a hard time in the sand. It will be nice to have some toys and objects to keep him happy and entertained.
12. Buy Baby Sunglasses
If you are worried about your child’s eyes being exposed to too much sun, then use sunglasses with a rubber adjustable strap that is easy to put on and stay in place for hours. This is because babies often hate normal glasses and constantly want to take them off, but with the strap on, it wouldn’t be easy to remove.
13. Wear Baby Beach Shoes
Even if you don’t go on rocks, the sand during the hottest times of the day can be extremely hot, particularly for baby’s feet. This is the more reason you should buy baby beach shoes.
READ ALSO: How to Travel With Breast Milk to the Beach By Car
What do you Need for the Beach with a Baby?
What should I go to the beach with to make my baby have a blast experience?
These are items that will make your beach vacation with a baby less stressful for you and more enjoyable for your child.
Some of the Baby Beach Essentials Include:
- A Beach Umbrella
- Beach Bag
- Baby Beach Tent
- Beach Cover Up for Baby
- Long Sleeve Rash guard
- Baby Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Powder
- Swim Diapers
- Baby Water Shoes
- Beach Toys
- Infant Life Vest
- Hooded Towels
- Sun Hat
- Outdoor Beach Blanket.
These items listed above will give you and your baby the wonderful experience you desire. But you must ensure to heed the precautionary measures to avoid ending up as victims.
Going to the beach as a family and even introducing your newborn to family fun is a good habit. While at it ensure the safety of not just your newly born but also the older children if you have, because they are equally important and can get drowned if enough care isn’t taken.