My top tips for surviving a beach trip with a baby

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


Baby in a swimsuit on the beach

Jacob in his swimsuit

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.

Beach shelter

Baby napping in the beach shelter

Napping in the beach shelter

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.

Plutonium Sox
The Pramshed


  1. May 31, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    The beach shelter sounds great! The swimsuit and hat are so cute and it is very helpful having that extra sun protection. #FamilyTravelTips

  2. May 31, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    I am in love with that pic of your slumbering baby! #familytraveltips

  3. June 1, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Love the pic of your little one asleep! So cute!! We are heading to France this summer and there may be a beach trip so these are great tips,a just bought a couple of the swimsuits which I love and I know we will use them loads afterwards! #fortheloveofBLOG

  4. June 1, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    Love this and the photo of your little one asleep is so cute!! We are bedding to France in August and there may be s beach trip so some great tips,a just bought some swimsuits, love these!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. June 2, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    I might be heading to the beach for the first time with my little one tomorrow, weather permitting. Thanks for the tips! Luckily I have a hat for her and some suncream. I’ll be sure to take some snacks too. Thanks for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG!

  6. June 3, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    These are great tips for heading to the beach with our young ones. The last time we went to a beach my eldest wasn’t so keen on it but I’m determined that she grows to love it. #familytraveltips

  7. June 3, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Brilliant tips and I LOVE that beach shelter. The fact you managed to get him to nap in there is amazing! Thanks so much for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips.

  8. June 8, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    Our beach shelter was a life saver then the children were babies, they would nap in there while we enjoyed the sun! #coolmumclub

  9. June 8, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    Some great advice – who knew how handy a beach shelter would be until you have kids!!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

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