Ten tips for the Beach with a one year old
As you know we have just got home from a wonderful time in Mallorca, I mentioned that I have visited the same area since I was a baby so it was very special taking Bella back. Especially seeing her on the beach with my parents and Grandma, the same beach that I grew up on with them.
We stay right on the beach so pretty much spent 14 consecutive days on the sand. With this in mind I thought I would share my top 10 tips for beach time with a 1 year old!
1. Sun protection
This is an obvious one but I couldn't write this post without mentioning it. Make sure your little one is covered in high factor waterproof suncream, I really like the Nivea kids factor 50. If they are in the sun / sea then an all-in-one is not a bad idea. Make sure they are always wearing a hat and keep them in the shade between 11am-2pm. Also try and enforce sunglasses - if anyone can get their baby to keep sunnies on PLEASE let me know how.
I find it easier to douse Bella in lotion when I change her nappy first thing, that way her first application has been absorbed before we go out. I have to say I was so relieved to go the two weeks without any redness or burning at all as I would have been totally mortified and upset. I wanted to add that the picture above was taken at about 5pm, I was just about to take her into the sea to rinse a days worth of sand off her and quickly plonked her down to take what I think is a very cute photo.
Bella's sun suit in the picture below is from Jojo Mamam Bebe but has sold out, similar here.
2. Plan your shade
Following on from the above, think about bringing your own shade (umbrella / tent) as personally I would't be on the beach without any shade. What we did on the first day was book sunbeds and an umbrella that were already on the beach for the two weeks we were there. That way we didn't have to worry about getting a brolly up as soon as we arrived and Bella loved sitting on the sunbed with me watching the world go by!
3. Give in to sand
This is something I learnt myself a long time ago. If you are at the beach you are going to get sandy, just embrace it. Why waste time rinsing sand off you feet, body and towel every five minutes for you to get covered in it again. Adding a child to this is only going to magnify the problem. Let them get sandy throughout the day and just wait until you are about to leave before rinsing a million grains of sand off them. One area I did try to keep the sand off was Bella's hands as she rubbed sand into her eyes on the first day and you can imagine how that went down. So I filled one of her little buckets with sea water and would dip her hands in every now and then to get the sand off them.
4. Think about the time of day
If you are a planning to go to a beach near where you're staying it's worth having a reccy around the best time of day to visit. In Mallorca we are on the beach all day so this doesn't really apply BUT the sea is a lot calmer in the morning than in the afternoon. First thing it's like a mill pond so Bella was much happier in the sea at that time of day. Plus it's a lot cooler in the morning so I wasn't as concerned about her being in the shade. You may also prefer to go earlier as it's likely to be quieter. The day of the week can make an impact too, in Mallorca the area we stay in has a lot of local Spanish people (which we love) rather than just tourists so the beach is often very busy on a Sunday. Saturday is quieter but I think that's because it's traditionally 'change over' day.
5. Paddling pool on the beach
Both of Bella's Grandmas suggested this idea and it worked a treat. We bought a tiny little cheap inflatable boat and kept it under the umbrella, Bella would sit in it with her toys and if it was really hot we would put some sea water in it to keep her cool. It also helped keep her in one place so she didn't keep crawling out into the sun.
6. Bring food and drink
When on holiday you want to relax and the last thing you might want to be doing is making pack lunches. BUT with a baby / young children I think it's worth bringing a cool bag with drinks and snacks in so you don't have to pay a fortune at a beach bar or go off hunting for something they will eat. I also find that like me, Bella's appetite can be a bit up and down in the heat. It would be annoying to shell out on something for her that she'd refuse. At least with a cool bag you can pop it away for later.
7. Bring stimulation
When I am on the beach I am happy sitting there reading a book, watching the world go by and hopping in and out of the sea. That agenda doesn't really meet Bella's expectations, so I was glad to have lots of things to occupy her: toys, bucket & and spade, family member etc.
Definitely don't forget the all important naps! Phil and I, along with some of my family members took it in turns to take Bella off in the buggy for a walk on the (quiet) roads nearby to get her off to sleep. We would then carry the buggy (with her asleep) back to where we were sitting and put her in the shade. She napped really well on the beach as it was so nice and breezy. This was my time to sun bathe and read my book which was bliss. Just make sure you keep checking that the shade has not moved, especially if your little one is asleep for a couple of hours.
Bella was not too keen on sipping water on the beach and I was really fretting that she wasn't drinking enough. At home I normally give her water when she wakes followed by breakkie then a big bottle mid morning. What I decided to do in Mallorca was give her a big bottle of milk first thing in the morning. That way I knew she was really hydrated from the get go. I would then of course be encouraging her to take sips of water throughout the day.
10. Don't forget to look after yourself
Don't forget to smother yourself in suncream as well as wearing a hat and sunnies. We get so wrapped up in protecting our children we forget about ourselves! Also make sure you are drinking lots of fluids too!
This holiday I tried the P20 suncream which only requires one application for the whole day, it doesn't smell the nicest but it definitely worked! Available here
I hope you have found this helpful. Don't forgot to check out my travel section for more tips around holidays with babies including: flying with a baby , Holidaying with a 9 month old and my holiday checklist for a 1 year old. Also let me know if you have any tips to add to the list that I might not have thought of!