The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and everyone's thoughts are turning toward the beach or pool. It can be a little daunting to think about taking a new baby on an aquatic adventure, especially if your little one is less than 6 months old. We have a few tips to help ease your mind and, hopefully, make your trip a little easier, too.
Tip 1: Become an early bird
The sun can be at its strongest between the hours of 10 and 3. This means the likelihood of sun damage is a little greater to both you and your baby during these hours. Instead, shift your thinking to going to the pool a bit earlier in the day. Most babies we know are up early anyway so you may as well enjoy some outdoor time before it gets too hot. Bonus: the pool or beach will likely not be very crowded earlier in the day!
Tip 2: Skip the sunscreen if baby is younger than 6 months
It is not recommended to put sunscreen on young babies. Instead, dress them in protective clothing, a hat, and baby sunglasses. If you must use sunscreen on a young baby, a small amount of baby-friendly sunscreen can be applied to the face and tops of feet. Check with your pediatrician for guidance. We recommend giving babies of any age a bath as soon as you come inside from outdoor play in order to rinse off any residual sunscreen.
Tip 3: Pack a swim diaper.
Most public pools require that infants wear swim diapers with rubber pants. Go ahead and stock your pool bag with several of these diapers so you're prepared for a longer pool visit.
Tip 4: Be mindful of water temp.
We love nothing more than hopping into a cool pool on a hot summer day. Be aware that what might feel great to your skin might actually be too cool for your baby. Pay attention to your baby's cues; if he or she is unsettled or fussy they may not be warm enough and you'll need to get them out of the pool.
Tip 5: Bring along a small, inflatable pool.
This tip is best for a beach trip. Once you get down to the sand you will want to have somewhere safe to set your baby down while you apply sunscreen to yourself or your other kids. This is also a great place to have baby play while older kids are playing in the surf. Just sit baby in the (empty) inflatable pool along with some toys. This will keep baby entertained and you won't have to worry about baby eating a handful of sand! Be sure to set up the pool under the shade of a tent or umbrella.
Having a baby doesn't mean being stuck indoors all summer. We hope these tips make you feel more confident for pool or beach outings with baby