Summer is on its way and whereas in the past you may not have hesitated to pack the beach bag and drive down to the shore, now you have a baby and beach trips seem suddenly out of the question. Yet it seems a shame not to make the most of the beautiful weather, so many parents ask how old their baby has to be before they can be taken to the beach. Here we look at this question to help you make the right decision for your family.
Sun exposure is the biggest problem that parents face when it comes to taking their baby to the beach. There is a lot of medical advice which suggests that babies under 6 months should be kept entirely out of direct sunlight and sunscreen is often not recommended for those under 6 months too. This raises a lot of issues when going to the seaside as there can be a lot of exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, yet with the right precautions, it is perfectly possible to take even the youngest infants to the beach as long as the right steps are taken to protect your little one.
If you are planning on taking a baby who is aged under 6 months to the beach you will need an effective form of sun protection. An SPF protected sun tent is a great choice, preferably covered by a sun shade to keep the temperatures inside down to a suitable level. This will keep your infant out of direct sunlight but avoid the necessity of applying sunscreen. Choosing suitable clothing for your baby is also important. Long sleeves and pants is the best idea, however you should choose lightweight loose fabrics to avoid baby from overheating.
Although if you take the right approach it is safe to take your baby to the beach even from birth, it may not always be the best choice to take a very small baby to the seaside. With all the worry about sun protection and overheating, you are unlikely to enjoy the experience very much. For a baby who is alert enough to pay attention to everything going on around them but not yet able to play independently, the beach may represent a frustrating experience which would be best avoided.
Obviously every child is different, and for every child that loves the seaside another will hate the experience. There are certainly many sensory, educational and mental benefits to introducing little ones to the beach at a young age and these must be weighed up against the potential negatives. It may be best to wait until your infant is old enough to really appreciate the experience of the sand between their toes and splashing in the salty water, but when it comes down to it, it is perfectly safe to take a very young baby to the seaside and therefore there is no need to worry if you want to enjoy a day on the sands, simply be prepared for all eventualities and you are sure to have a great time.