Newborn Beach Essentials: Here’s What You Need To Bring for a Successful Trip
It may seem a little overwhelming to take a newborn on a beach trip, but with the right supplies and preparations, it will be a fun and relaxing trip for your entire family.
As a parent, you may need to shift your expectations and it will require a lot more effort than beach trips that you took pre-children, but it is still very possible to have a memorable, enjoyable family trip with a newborn.
I’ll provide you with some tips and some supplies that I’ve found to be extremely helpful on our family beach trips to help you get prepared for your own.
Can you take a newborn to the beach?
Yes, you can take a newborn to the beach! As long as you are prepared, they will enjoy the beach just as much as you will! Because their bodies are not fully developed and they cannot wear sunscreen yet, you will want to make sure that you take proper precautions and that you are prepared before you go.
Some important things to keep in mind are the infant’s body temperature, their amount of exposure to the sun and access to shade, where they can nap and have their diaper changed, and how to keep the sand off of them. If you don’t think that your newborn is ready for the sun and the heat, it is probably the best idea to hold off on your beach trip until you feel like they are more ready.
At what age can a newborn go to the beach?
The age that you take your baby to the beach is totally up to you and what you feel comfortable with, but researchers recommend waiting until they are at least 2 months old, the reason being that they have had time to start developing an immune system.
Keep in mind that a baby cannot wear sunscreen until they are at least 6 months old.
If you do take your infant, you’ll want to make sure that you have a way to keep them cool and shaded. Infants do not yet have melanin, which protects their skin from the sun, and they do not know how to regulate their body temperature. These are important things to consider when planning a beach trip.
What to Consider Before Taking a Newborn Baby to the Beach
There are many important things to consider before taking your newborn to the beach. How will they have access to shade? How will they stay cool? How can you keep the sand off of them? How will you keep them hydrated? Where will they take naps? Where will you change their diaper? Some of these may seem minor, but if you are not prepared, they can turn into major issues.
Sunlight – Direct & Reflective
Sunlight will affect your baby and their skin, regardless of whether or not it is direct or reflected. You may think that you have your child in a shaded spot, but the sunlight could still be reflected off of something else and shining onto them. It’s very important to remember that babies under 6 months old cannot wear sunscreen, so shade is extra important for them. Their skin cannot yet metabolize and excrete the chemicals that are found in sunscreen. The best option to keep your infant safe from the sun would be to avoid the heat of the day. Try going before 11:00 am or after 3:00 pm so the sun is not so hot.
The Heat index: How You’ll Keep Your Newborn From Overheating
Before your beach trip, you’ll want to not only check the temperature but what the heat index will be, as well. This will tell you what it will actually feel like so that you can properly prepare.
There are several things that you can do to keep your child from getting too warm, besides the obvious things like shade and a fan. For one, you’ll want to make sure that they are in cool, breathable clothing. Don’t overdress them in too many layers. You’ll also want to give them a hat to keep the sun off of their face and out of their eyes (plus they’ll look super cute in it).
Make sure that you also pack a baby tent or canopy for extra shade. I’ll link my favorite one below. You will also want to bring a stroller fan. You can clip it on something (like a beach chair) near them so that they will stay cool. If you decide to keep your baby in their carrier, make sure that you line the seat so that they do not get too hot and take them out frequently so that they do not overheat.
How You’ll Provide Shade
I know that I’ve mentioned shade several times, but this is very important for your infant! You’ll want to take a baby tent and maybe even an umbrella to go over it. When purchasing your tent, check to make sure that the one that you get has UV protection in it.
You can also use a pop-up dome napper so you don’t have as many items to carry. I’ll link my favorite one below. You’ll also want to make sure that your child is wearing a sun hat to protect their head and face from the sun.
Where You’ll Lay Your Newborn Down for Diaper Changes and Naps
This may seem silly to think about, but these are things that you definitely need to be prepared for! You won’t want to lay your baby down on the sand or a dirty towel to change them, and you probably won’t want to make the trek back out to the car (especially while carrying a baby with a dirty diaper).
One option is to bring a pack and play with you to the beach for them to nap in. If you do this, be sure that you still have adequate shade for them. You can also get a fold and go travel bassinet. They even make some that have built-in shade covers.
One important tip is to make sure that your baby is in an outfit that offers easy diaper access. If your diaper bag comes with a changing mat, that is probably the easiest way to change your child’s diaper. Even if the beach has bathrooms, there often isn’t anywhere to change diapers, so keep that in mind when you are packing.
How You’ll Keep the Sand Off of an Infant
Just like many grown-ups get frustrated when sand is stuck to them, so do infants, and it can be tricky to wash it off of them. One way to keep the sand off is to put an upside-down fitted sheet on the ground underneath their tent. Put a bag in each corner to hold it upright.
This is a great, simple shield from the sand. You can also bring an inflatable pool and have them lay in there (as long as you also have shade). The high sides of the pool will help keep the sand out. I’ll link my favorite below. One tip that I’ve learned if you do get sand on your baby is to use cornstarch or baby powder to get it off of them. It dries their skin so that the sand will easily fall off.
Essential Beach Gear for Newborns
Baby Beach Tent
This is essential for your baby so that they have the shade that they need. My favorite is this Sunba Youth Baby Tent. It has UPF 50+ protection, a mosquito net, and a sunshade. It’s also a pop-up tent so it’s easy to transport and set up.
This is a good way to keep your baby cool and to keep sand off of them. You can even use this as a napping space for them, as long as it is shaded (and obviously not if there is water inside the pool!). This Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool is easy to set up and comes with an attached canopy. You may want to bring a small air pump, too, as this pool can take a few minutes to inflate.
Diaper Bag & Changing Mat
These are things that you probably always have with you, but you will want to make sure that you double-check to make sure that you have them with you for the beach. This Pillani Baby Diaper Bag Backpack comes with a changing pad and a pop-out changing station. This is extra handy on the beach! It is available in several different colors.
This is a must-have to keep the sun out of your baby’s eyes and off of their face. There are so many cute options out there, but this I Play Sun Hat is by far my favorite and is the #1 best seller on Amazon for a reason. It not only shields their head and face but also the back of their neck and is made out of thin, breathable fabric.
How can you not love seeing a cute little baby in sunglasses? If your child will wear them, they are very good for protecting their eyes from the sun. These precious Baby Sunnies are polarized and have an adjustable strap to help them stay on.
Rash Guard Swimming Suit
It is important that your infant is wearing something that is both cool and protective from the sun. This Cuddle Club Baby One Piece Swimsuit has UPF 50+ all-day protection (and it’s adorable). It comes in 9 variations of colors. It also makes it easy to access their diaper when it is time to change them.
You are probably wondering why on Earth you need to take a laundry basket to the beach. I love taking one of these instead of a beach bag. They hold much more, are easy to transport, and the sand will fall out of the holes! If you do decide to go with a beach bag, go for one that meshes so that you don’t end up with a bag full of sand.
This comes in very handy on the beach. You can clip it near your baby so that they feel the cool air. My favorite is this Mini Portable Fan. It has a flexible tripod so you can attach it to just about anything. This is also something that is handy to keep in the car with you during the summer.
If you think that your newborn will nap on the beach, then you’ll want something that they can be comfortable in. The Munchkin Fold and Go is an option that is super breathable and easy to transport.
Can I Take My Newborn in the Water at the Beach?
Infants, especially those under 6 months, should not go in the water at the beach. Keep in mind that infants’ immune systems are still developing, meaning that they could easily catch an infection from something in the water.
Safety is something else to consider. While you may think that you have a sturdy stance while holding your baby in the water, the ocean is unpredictable.
You also won’t want your baby to get too cold from the water. Because they are so young, they are not yet able to regulate their body temperature, and they lose heat very quickly. Typically unless your baby is older, you’ll want to keep them out of the water at the beach unless you know for sure that the water is clean and you are 100 percent comfortable with any risks associated with being in the ocean.
At What Age Can a Baby Wear Sunscreen?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, babies should not wear sunscreen until they are at least 6 months old. Because their bodies are still developing, their skin can’t keep out the chemicals yet. Use clothing and shade to protect your infant from the sun.
Keeping your newborn cool and out of the sun is essential for your beach trip. Make sure that you have planned ahead, checked the weather, and have everything that you need.