Most moms dream of being able to have a beach baby. Nothing sounds more relaxing than a day in the sun with your family. Hearing the waves roar, the sun on your face and watching your little one play peacefully in the sand can bring the breath of fresh air you truly need. But the thought of gathering all of the items and taking your baby out of its comfort zone sounds exhausting.
However, when you think about the stress of taking your little one to the beach, you have to reassure yourself of the positive effects it has on your child. Here are a few reasons why you should raise your bundle of joy as a beach baby.
It’s Important For Their Development
Textures play a huge role in the development of your child. From the moment they are in the womb, they can experience touch, and that sense continues to grow and develop throughout their entire life. Exposing your child to sensory play early in life can encourage their growth and brain development. GoodStart states “Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a young child’s senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing, as well as anything which engages movement and balance.”
The beach provides so many wonderful opportunities for sensory play. Picture your beach baby, sitting in the sand and feeling the grains falling through their hand. They are likely to bring it up to their mouth and see what it feels like there, but don’t stress too much about the mess they will make! The ocean is right there and you can simply take your beach baby for a quick rinse and introduce them to a whole new game for sensory play.
Hello, Vitamin D
As a parent, we are always fighting over what vitamins and supplements our child needs. If they’re not getting enough of something in their diet, we’re the first ones to search on Google for a solution. When you raise your child to be a beach baby, you will be able to cross their source of vitamin D off your worry list! Healthy Children says “When your child is exposed to sunlight, it helps his body synthesize vitamin D in the skin. And it doesn’t take much time in the sun to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D.”
Now, this doesn’t mean cutting good sources of vitamin D from their diet. Continue to give your baby the best sources of nutrition, but giving them the extra boost they need (as well as relieving some of your stress) is an excellent reason to make your way to the beach.
View of the Outside World
Let’s face it, we all struggle with finding activities to keep our children entertained and educated. We’re on DailyMom searching articles of educational games and we have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this subject alone. But educating our children is more than just teaching them how to take care of themselves and knowing their ABC’s, it’s also about learning the world around them and where they fit inside of it.
Brenda Cobbs writes “During the first few years of life, infants and toddlers are trying to make sense of their world. One of the ways they do this is by soaking up every noise, every sound, and every experience that they have. They then take this information and come up with ideas about how the world works.”
When you are raising your beach baby, they are soaking in the sounds of the ocean, watching the seagulls swoop down and catch fish, and of course watching how you interact with such a vast amount of stimulation. Giving your child a sense of wonder and a view of the outside world is so important for their development and sense of self.
Read More: Safety Tips and Tricks for your Beach Day
Calming for Mommy and Baby
You may look at this and think “Raising a beach baby is going to be exhausting! Think about all of the items I have to lug down there and the mess they will make.”. Although the first couple of beach trips maybe a little exhausting, once you get into the routine of taking your baby to the beach things will become second nature and you will be able to relax. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle and just soaking in the fresh air with your little one is extremely rewarding and calming. The moments like this are the ones that you will remember as your little beach baby continues to grow up. It’s important to cherish those moments.
Now that we’ve gone over why raising a beach baby is important, let’s talk about the items you can’t leave the house without. Having the right gear and being 100% prepped before your venture out to the beach can make your trip a lot smoother.
We talked about how important vitamin D is for your beach baby, but sunscreen is an absolute must. Babies’ skin is so sensitive to the sun and being exposed to it long term can have damaging effects. Ensure that you do your research before rushing to the store to pick up sunscreen. There are so many harmful sunscreens on the market, not only for your babies’ skin but also damaging to the ocean. After you pick out your sunscreen, keep a bottle at home as well as one in your beach bag so you never leave the house without it.
Read More: Safe Sunscreens for your Family
Your beach baby will absolutely LOVE spending time playing in the sand under a tent. Tents can help block out those unnecessary rays from the sun and provide shade to keep your little nice and cool. Ones that are lightweight and fold into a small bag are ideal to keep your beach haul to a minimum.
Hammocks Are A Must
If the beach you’re going to has trees, make sure to bring along a hammock! Not only will it give you a chance to escape the sand after you’ve rinsed your baby off, but it’s also a great place to take a quick nap with your little one. Beach days can often be just that, a full day. You’ll want to take your baby’s schedule into consideration and bringing along a safe place for some snuggle time is important.
Although your beach baby will have full access to the ocean water to rinse off, having a nice fresh bottle of water will help rinse the salt off their skin right before you’re ready to leave. This can prevent itching and dryness until you’re able to get them home for a bath, especially for those sensitive areas.
This may sound a little obvious, but make sure to bring some special toys along for your beach baby! This will help them explore exactly what they can do with the sand. Making sandcastles and scooping up water and pouring it into a bowl are excellent sensory games that your baby will want to spend hours doing! If you’re not wanting to buy more toys, consider the items you have at home that you wouldn’t mind getting a little dirty. A simple spoon and bowl will wash easily and do not add bulkiness to your travel load.
Snacks, and Lots of Them
After playing in the sun, your beach baby is going to be hungry! Packing a variety of healthy and beach friendly snacks will make sure that you and your babies’ blood sugar doesn’t crash. Hard boiled eggs, cheese and crackers, along with the squeezable applesauces are wonderful and easy snacks to bring along.
When you’re packing for your next beach trip, remember not to fret about the little things. This time with your beach baby is not only going to be wonderful and relaxing, but it will also help their development in so many ways. And don’t forget to pack your camera!
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Photo Credits: Lauren Benson Photography