A day at the beach by Sinchies
lauraf > 28 March 2017
A day at the beach by SinchiesAs summer drew to a close this year I reflected on how infrequently I had gone to the beach this year and the reason why that was: My first summer as a mum of two. Early in the season I had confidently headed off to the beach with the two little ones, feeling organised & like I had it all under control. The littlest was due for a sleep so I would put him in the pram in the shade while I swam and ran the energy out of the oldest. Than when he woke we could all sit in the shade and have a picnic before going home before the sun got to hot. Oh the dreams of best laid plans. Shall we leave it at the simple statement that it did not go "swimmingly" and I didn't venture beach wards again without a second pair of adult hands. But with my husband working 6 day weeks it meant a very limited amount of days that we could do this and as I do so love the beach I decided that I needed to work out a strategy where taking two little ones to the beach on my own became possible. Living in Queensland there was still plenty of swimming weather left so I endeavoured to go to the beach more times in the month of March than I did all Summer. I still wouldn't call it an easy outing but I found one main theme which made it easier:
Free those hands up!
BABY SLINGMy baby carrier is not meant for the water so I hadn't considered this before our first outing. However there are designs out there for this exact thing! I love Suppori Slings. Weighing only 80grams and having a mesh structure they are wearable in the water, solving the problem of how to let the older children who still need close supervision go for a swim while you're holding the baby. It also means you and baby can get in, cool off and enjoy the water as well instead of just refereeing from the sidelines. We all love baby wearing these days for the express purpose that it does free you hands up, so why not in the water as well! https://www.thepharmacy.com.au/suppori-baby-sling-grey-medium.html
HATS THAT STAY ONMy first outing was when my little one was less than 3 months old so trying to 'slip slop slap' was hard when I couldn't find a 'slop' that was suitable for children under 3 months, making the need to slap on a hat even more important. But then if the hat doesn't stay on, as ours wasn't that day, once again your hands are spending all their time trying to keep it so it covers their face but doesn't fall down either. Tedious. Rashoodz Rashies with attachable hats are perfect for this dilemma. The hat stays firmly in place and as it has clips that attach to their rashies, it is also good for my older fellow who, while great with wearing hats, if the wind blew it off, it would be mummy chasing it down the beach. No thanks. /assets/imported/product-category/swimming-hats/
PLAY TOY FOR BABYMost babies are pretty happy to be splashing in the water and that will mostly keep them entertained, but as you come out and sit on the towel for a bit, or if you're standing in the shallows where they can't reach the water, than you don't want to be standing there holding a toy for their entertainment. Nibbly Bits necklaces are excellent for this. The beautiful bright colours attract their attention, they can grasp and chew to their hearts content, and best of all, as it's hanging around your neck - no hands! The silicone jewellery is hardy as well and won't deteriorate when in contact with your sunscreen. Plus it doesn't hurt to add a bit of style to your beach look. http://www.nibblybits.net/product-category/necklaces/?sidebar=no-sidebar
TAKE LESSThis seems obvious but it is just so easy to take everything including the kitchen sink when heading on a beach outing with kids. I had to remind myself of the time I was planning on spending there - less than 2 hours! Anything over and my kids are falling apart at the seams so why do I pack like I'm going for a weekend? I found a few tips that significantly help to reduce the amount I took, which, with less to carry, made it easier to wrangle the babies.
- Sunscreen: apply at home or before you leave the car. If I'm only going to be 2 hours than we aren't going to need to reapply so by putting it on before we leave the house it means one less thing to take. Plus it's good practice to put it on about 10 minutes before they go in the water as it gives it as chance for their skin to absorb it and work properly.
- Toys: they really don't need endless amounts of toys at the beach. Again, a seemingly obvious observation, but it's such an easy over packing trap to fall into. A bucket and spade mixed with imagination is more than enough. They'll be swimming, collecting shells, digging holes, building castles & moats, and if they come to a point where they are bored with that, it's probably time to go home anyway.
- Food & Water: This is another thing that is so easy to over pack. I fall into the trap of taking 3 different snacks (I use the Sinchies snack bags for this, they are compact, light weight and reduce waste and “Sandage”) in case they don't like one on that particular day when, if they're really hungry, I know they'll eat it. If you know they generally like it, just take the one option, you can always pack more but just leave them in the car for when you come off the beach.