Beach Essentials for Baby, Kids, & You

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

While my sister was here last week, we took a trip to Ocean Beach Park with our babies for the first time and let me tell you, trekking through the sand with two babies that can’t even sit up on their own isn’t all that easy. Wearing them in the sling is extra effort and I was constantly worried about where his face was in regards to the sun.

Overall, it was a great time so I’m here to share some things to make your beach trip much more enjoyable.

Beach Cart: This thing was a lifesaver. We were able to pile everything into it (aside from a couple chairs) and just push it onto the beach. It was a lot better than our initial plan of packing it all into our arms.

Beach Chairs: These fold up into a backpack to make carrying simple.

Shelter: I highly recommend grabbing one of these for your babies. It pops right up, mom or dad can fit to lay in it as well, and you’ve got instant shade and extra sun protection. It’s also lightweight, breathable, and easy to lug. We also bring it to the pool or outside in the yard. This one is great for older kids and adults.

Lip balm: I’m prone to dry lips when out in the sun for too long so I like to keep them hydrated.

Beach Bag: My sister’s diaper bag was large enough to double up as a beach bag as well.

Cooler: Can’t forget the snacks! Also remember to pack a whole bunch of water. Dehydration is serious especially on extremely hot days.

Sunblock: Keep your babies fresh skin protected with a mineral-based sunblock. Apply throughout the day to make it most effective. And adults, don’t forget yourself!

Towels: These are perfect to lay underneath the baby in the shelter or for use with kids and adults.

Sun hat: I never put sunblock on Maddox’s scalp so I insist on him wearing a hat. It keeps the sun out of his face and protects him from burns. And mom, here’s a great one for you.

Shovel & Pail: You can’t go to the beach without trying to make a castle, right? This set is great for the older kids.

Water Resistant Phone Pouch: Between the sand, kids, and water, the beach is a war zone for your phone. The great thing about the pouch is it’s touch sensitive and you still have your headphone jack available. It’s a life saver! Don’t have the funds or the time to buy one? Put your phone in a sandwich bag. It’ll do the same thing!

If you wind up with a sun burn, apply a little aloe. It’ll cool down the burn instantly and promote healing. What else helps make your beach trip more manageable?

Why I Babywear and Reasons You Should, Too.

You’re lying on your activity mat observing the toys hanging above your head. You’ve been there for a few minutes by yourself, curious and content but you’re beginning to fuss. I think you’re starting to realize your alone and you’re not sure where your mother went. So I hear you whimper and I come over to you. You look at me with big blue eyes, searching me, knowing me. You look into my eyes and you whimper – an acknowledgment that you crave to be picked up. So I grab my sling and I tuck you inside close to my warmth. You whimper maybe twice more until you calm, realizing where you are. Now it’s just us with uninterrupted connection.

Babywearing has been practiced for centuries in countless cultures and countries. Often, mothers had to return to their labor not long after birth making babywearing a necessity. In most of history, women are seen carrying their babies on them rather than in a separate counterpart. By incorporating babywearing into your daily life, you can make it a whole lot simpler.

Bonding, Closeness, & Connection

One of my main reasons for babywearing is it promotes a closeness between baby and wearer. By wearing baby, you help create a warm, safe, and secure environment. This is a necessity for babies. Think about it. They were curled up tight in a womb for 9 months. Now they’re out in the world: fresh, new, and frightened. The best place for them to be? In your arms, soaking up your warmth.

Keeping them close to you in a sling allows you to connect, bond, and be close to them. Crucial actions that are dire to their development. Another great thing about babywearing is it’s not exclusive to mother alone but family and friends are able to benefit and bond as well!

Happier Baby

Research shows babies who are worn cry less. The study done by Hunziker and Barr (1986) concludes “the relative lack of carrying in our society may predispose to crying and colic in normal infants.” They also concluded 43% of babies who were carried cried less and 54% in the evenings! I don’t know any mother who would object to that.

Convenience

One of my favorite things about babywearing is both hands are free. Babywearing enables you to do chores, eat a meal, prepare a meal, go shopping, etc while tending to your baby. Not only that but you don’t have to lug a big, bulky stroller around everywhere. Some places don’t allow strollers and without one, you are able to fit into tighter and crowded spaces.

Growth & Development

In a sling or wrap, babies are at eye level. This helps promote an interaction that babies lower down are less likely to receive: talking, eye contact, etc. They have a “parent’s eye view” which helps them become aware of their surroundings (i.e. voices, tone of voice, walking patterns, etc). It helps give them a sense of “being human”. Also, by being carried, baby is able to see more compared to being condensed in a stroller and if they are seeing too much they can look elsewhere. This helps baby make independent choices. And even if mom or wearer is busy, baby is still able to learn.

Physically, it keeps baby off their back to reduce the chance of a flat spot and it promotes  proper hip development (in most carriers).

Aids Sleep

Personally, my baby has yet to find the sleepy dust that babywearing gives off as he is much too curious of everything but I have heard numerous stories and have seen countless pictures with babies asleep in slings and wraps. Also, many people have found their babies sleep longer at night when they are carried during the day.

Alleviates Muscle Pain

Let’s face it, babies are heavy and they get heavier the older they get. Babywearing evenly distributes baby’s weight across the body which helps take weight off your shoulders and back and allows you to hold baby for longer. If you often have sensitive or sore muscles, a carrier is a great addition to your mommy arsenal. 

Carrying your baby is a positive and intimate experience. I hope this inspires you to wear your baby close to you and close to your heart, exactly where they belong.

Calming & Soothing Baby Products I Love

1. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Calming Lotion – I use this on Maddox after every bath and end up curled up with him after, just inhaling his scent. It’s a perfect combination of lavender and vanilla and it leaves him soft without drying him out. Paired with the regular Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash, you’ll be a little jealous of how good they smell.

2. Lavender Essential Oil 1 & 2 – Using essential oils on a new baby can be a little tricky. Some oils are not safe for little ones and you need to make sure they’re properly diluted. Lavender is not only safe, it’s soothing. Perfect for those nights baby is fussy and overtired. I mix 1-2 drops of lavender with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (any carrier oil will do, but coconut smells amazing) and I give him a little foot massage. I also dab just a little onto his third eye. You can also add a drop or two into baby’s bath.

3. Record Player – I’ve always had a record player in the house. It wasn’t getting much use but I’ve moved it right next to the pack n play. The placement is perfect so whenever I set him down or go for a diaper change, I have easy access to switch it on. He loves listening to music and it helps stimulate him when I need to run off and use the bathroom.

4. Summer Infant Soothe and Vibe Portable Soother – My sister showed me this product and for 15 dollars, you can’t go wrong. She uses it on her son’s carseat and when she came to visit, let me use it for Maddox. Not only does it play 5 different sounds (heart beat, white noise, lullaby, etc), it vibrates whatever carrier your baby is in to promote relaxation. It’s a fabulous product especially for babies that hate car seats and you can use it on cribs, bassinets, etc.

5. Aden & Anais Swaddles – Maddox still loves being swaddled. Although he’s been earthside for 6 weeks, he loves feeling secure. He’s moving more now with his arms and legs constantly flailing so swaddling helps control those movements, allowing for him to calm down. The Aden & Anais swaddling blankets are gentle and soft, ideal to aid baby to sleep.