The toddler and the sand

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By Robyn

Going to the beach can be a lot of fun… unless the mother has anxiety. Then you go through a lot of stress. Last long weekend, Baby-girl and I were invited by my sister, Tara, Bestie, and their spouses to go to one of our close friend’s cottage. It sounded like an awesome time. I was nervous though because this would be the first time going on an all day outing without my husband for back up, as he had to work. I had a feeling Baby-girl, who was not familiar with the beach probably was not going to enjoy herself.  However, the group of people I was going with are amazing with Baby-girl, so it did not seem too difficult.

 So to start, as I am a worrier, I am going to give you a few tips and tricks on research I did for going to the beach with a toddler.

 1. Sun Protection: Self explanatory here. Sunscreen like no ones business. Hat, preferably with an SPF on it. And an umbrella, again if possible with an SPF for extra shade – pretty straight forward.

 2. Only change them into little swimmer diapers when you get there: This is SUPER IMPORTANT. They do not absorb very well, and unless you want a mess of pee in your car, change them when you get to the beach and change them before you leave.

 3. Drinks and snacks: Spending a few hours, you want to make sure you/they are hydrated and well fed. Bring easy things that are not too sticky and easy to digest in the heat. Also, I brought 2 sippy cups – if one gets full of sand, you have a back up.

 4. Beach blanket, towels and/or Chair: I would love to have a chair to sit on, but knowing how Babygirl likes to get into everything, I highly doubted I would have a chance to sit down. Still I brought a chair, and a beach blanket for her to sit on for snacks or to change her diaper if needed… and of course towel to dry off with.

 5. Beach toys: For lots of fun in the sand and water.

 6. Cornstarch or Baby Powder: I forgot this, and wish I remembered it. When you have wet sand stuck to you, the magical cornstarch/baby powder absorbs all the excess water and the sand falls right off, leaving you magically sand free. There are somethings out there that say Baby Powder is not good to use, so if you are worried about that, use the cornstarch which does the same thing.

So, besides her regular diaper bag, I BELIEVE these are the items I brought. Meaning bag for towel, change of clothes and blankets, bag for snacks, bag for toys, a chair, an umbrella, and a baby bag.

After calling and texting my sister a boat load of times to make sure I did not forget anything, we left for the beach. We were all sun screened and changed and ready to go. When we get to the beach it is extremely overcast. So we do not bother with bringing the umbrella or the chairs because it looked like it might rain. Then we decided to keep the snacks in the car, because again it might rain and it was less to carry if it started – we would be going back to the cottage for supper anyways, and she just had a really good lunch. I brought her to the sand, and was holding her. I passed her to my Bestie, and she looked interested in her surroundings. I got the beach blanket out, and made sure her sippy cup was sand free. She was then put on the beach blanket with her feet in the sand. She was NOT impressed.

Baby-girl put one hand in the sand and that was it. She cried so hard, with big crocodile tears. I tried to distract her with the beach toys… and that was yet another worthless bag to bring. She wanted NOTHING to do with the beach.

So I held her and walked out into the water. She really loves her bath so I thought she would love this. Nope. She cried and I swear she hung to me like a monkey. If I let go over her, she would still be tightly attached to me. I sat in the water, and put her in it. She climbed up me like a tree, with only the tips of her toes in the water. Eventually she stopped crying, but still wanted nothing to do with the water. When the rain started, we finally got out and got ready to leave – this is where the cornstarch would have come in handy, and back to the cottage we went.

Some would say this was not a very successful trip to the beach. Some would say I over packed because I over worried. Especially, since she seemed to not enjoy herself at all at the beach. I think it was a great trip. I prepared for every situation… I’d rather bring too much than too little. I reintroduced her to the beach from last year. I kept calm and didn’t panic because she was upset. I actually said yes to going to the beach, instead of becoming overwhelmed and not going, taking that experience away from Baby-girl – yes she cried, but next time it will not be as bad, and each time it will be better. And, to top it all off, she had a blast at the cottage. I could not have asked for more for the first beach trip of the year.

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