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I looked up from my book and, from my latest model towel, I could see how my beach neighbors were sweating like asphalt workers. The woman carried a cart with wheels that could barely fit a third of what she was carrying; Behind her, a couple of children of about 4 years of age continued to fight over who was carrying the bucket and, a few meters later, her partner arrived with a baby stroller, a mini-fridge, an umbrella and a mattress bigger than my double bed. I had not yet become a mother and did not know everything you have to take to the beach when you go with the baby.
With the amazement of someone who had not had children, I thought that was an exaggeration and that that family had decided to spend all their vacations in those few meters of beach without moving.
The truth is, a year later I had my twins, and it was time to take the bikini for a walk. And, as a newbie to motherhood, I thought I would never be as loaded as that family on the beach carrying half a house in tow. So, I grabbed the essentials for me in previous years, that is, a towel, a book and a suntan lotion, and I endorsed my husband the double car to the beach.
In ten minutes he was home again. It was totally impossible to be on the beach without the hundreds of gear that two 9 month old babies needed; They asked for water every five minutes and I only carried a bottle, they ate the sand on the beach, they couldn't stand without an umbrella for more than 2 minutes, they cried because of the heat inside the car and the waves scared them.
After the experience of being with the babies on the beach, I returned home and began to remember all the items that the family carried, and back to the beach we were more loaded than them and, worst of all, is that all those items were totally necessarys.
Here are some of the essential things for any parent who wants to go to the beach with a baby and enjoy it:
1. Diapers, water and wipes
You have to take them to the beach as if there were no tomorrow. Take this as a dogma of faith.
There is no choice if you want to enjoy a minute of peace. There is also a kind of small tents that take away the sun and the wind, but if the wind is not strong, the usual umbrella is better, since inside these cabins it is very hot for babies.
3. Lake Michigan size towel
No more having a towel for yourself, now you will have to share it with your baby and, of course, it will be an essential crawling and play site. So start thinking about leaving the towel to himself and buying yourself a chair that grandparents use (who know all about it).
4. Kilos of sunscreen
This has to be anti-allergy, anti-jellyfish, anti-sand, anti-water and anti-patience protector when spreading it throughout your baby's body.
5. Inflatable plastic pool
You can fill this inflatable pool with sea water. This is optional, but I assure you it is very useful and fun for them and will help them cool down.
6. Anti-tip float
The anti-tip float is the best invention since diapers. Mine fell asleep there within five minutes of putting them in.
7. High spirits
Since this will be the quietest stage, from here on you will need the courage of a bullfighter to face a day at the beach with a child. They are tireless!
Have you already packed your 'suitcase' to go to the beach? Great. I already tell you that, although it seems excessive, surely you will not have anything left of what you are wearing once the whole family is on the beach. But for this summer day to be remembered as one of the best of the holidays, it is also necessary to take into account a series of tips. It is about enjoying (without risks or dangers) all together on the beach. For it:
- Babies under 6 months should not go to the beach
Due to the excessive heat and the delicacy of their skin, it is recommended that children under 6 months do not go to the beach. From this age, it is recommended to go for a walk or go to the beach first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun is not so intense.
- Sun cream yes, but the right one
Again, it is recommended not to apply cream with sunscreen to babies under 6 months (so exposure to the sun is not recommended). From 6 months, it is recommended to use sun creams that have physical or mineral filters, since these guarantee better protection against radiation (although they are more uncomfortable when applied).
- Don't forget your hat at home
A hat and clothing with a protection factor are also essential that you cannot forget to take to the beach.
- Never take your eye off her
When you go with your baby or with a child to the beach, you can't take your eyes off him for a second. This is one of the most repeated recommendations in manuals to avoid accidents, such as the 'Water Safety' guide from the Clark County Health Department (United States). It is detailed that drownings happen quickly and without warning, so we cannot be distracted by a book or any other activity.
- Signs of heat stroke
Dizziness, confusion, vomiting, headache ... These are some of the most common symptoms of heat stroke in children. According to experts, the younger children are, the greater the risk of suffering one of these episodes, if they are not well hydrated and protected from the sun. Therefore, when you go with your baby to the beach, you should be attentive if any of these signs occur.
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