On our recent holiday to Portugal, we took Jacob on the beach for the first time. I wasn’t sure what he’d think, but I needn’t have worried. He absolutely loved it. The beach is paradise for a crawling baby. He was fascinated by the sand and kept picking up fistfuls of it. He also ate a fairly large amount! I’m hoping that will have done him no harm…
As babies have such delicate skin, keeping him out of the sun on the beach was my main concern. I realised that might be a challenge with a little inquisitive crawler, so before we went I stocked up on a few essentials to protect him from the intense sunshine.
Surviving on the beach with a baby
We bought this amazing swimsuit and hat set from John Lewis. The whale and crab design is really cute and perfect for boys or girls. It provides UV protection, which makes life a lot easier and gives a bit more peace of mind that the majority of skin will be protected. The hat has a neck protector and quite a large brim, so a lot of his face and neck were covered.
The swimsuit was £18 for the 9-12 month size, which I think was a bargain considering how much use we got out of it. Since we got home, I’ve also used it in the paddling pool in the garden. It’s a lot easier than trying to put suncream on his entire body.
I’d also bought a two-piece that was similar, but that wasn’t so successful. The top kept riding up, so his belly and back were exposed. The all-in-one version worked a lot better.
I wrote a stand-alone review of this, but I wanted to highlight it again. The Coleman Sundome Beach Shelter is an easy-to-put-up mini-tent that provides UV protection. It’s £22.98 on Amazon. I actually managed to get Jacob to take a nap in it, which was pretty much a miracle as he never naps anywhere but his cot or the car.
Keeping babies completely out of the sun isn’t always practical, especially once they are one the move. We bought Garnier Baby In The Shade suncream to use on Jacob. I hunted around for a suncream designed for babies, and this was actually the only one I could find. Luckily, I was really impressed. It’s thick, which I assume is the point. No sun rays are getting through this stuff. It has a UV rating of 50+. We kept reapplying it frequently.
The final weapon in my arsenal was lots of snacks. I used them to entice Jacob into the shade. It was one of the only ways to keep him out of the sun for a while.