Best Pool/Beach Accessories for Baby
Ahhh sun and water. The trademark of a gloriously relaxing summer vacation. When you browse through hotel pictures online you get excited as you picture yourself relaxing with a book, glass of Prosecco in hand, chips and guac on the table next to you (because nothing goes better with Prosecco than chips- trust me on this one). You carefully select your suit and cover up-what angle will your sun hat look best in your Instagram photo? You are ready for vacation and the blissfully relaxing act of soaking up rays by the water.
Funny thing. Pool and beach time is just a *little* different with a child. Call me OCD (maybe I have had one too many sunburns- all my fellow pale people out there can probably relate), but the sheer thought of Baby B being in the sunlight without the proper sun protection gives my lungs/stomach that feeling you get right before a panic attack. What do I do if she gets sunburnt? I can't pump enough milk to give her a breastmilk bath, and can you even put aloe on a baby? If she gets skin cancer as an adult will it be because of her one baby sunburn? The mom guilt struggle is real. THEN, don't even get me started on entertainment. How do I keep baby happy by the pool? If she isn't held, is she just going to be army crawling around the pool deck trying to find things to put in her mouth? Do I hold her with toys the whole time (which will be all of 10 minutes because she is like a little heat radiator and neither of us need to be any warmer than we already are being outside in the summer). Strangely, this does not meet my expectations of a "vacation".
Luckily, we live in an age where kid "gear" is at an all time high. Just watch an episode of Shark Tank- products that make your life easier with a child are cash machines. It's a billion dollar industry, and I'm responsible for just like, half of that. Lucky for you, there is no need to filter through the millions of products before you leave on vacation in order to find the one that will make it actually feel like a vacation. Just use my list of the products that we have used and loved during our pool or beach time, and enjoy your Prosecco and chips in peace!!
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Predictably, the first priority on my list is a sunshade. While in an ideal world all pools would have fabulous shady cabanas and all beach umbrellas would stay securely in the ground and move as the sun moves to provide constant protection, that is just not the case. Enter the MonoBeach Baby Beach Portable Shade. It is a lifesaver and will give you the opportunity to relax by the pool or in the sand, rather than worry about if you need to reapply sunscreen to your little one for the 9th time "just in case." It features a UV Protection of 50+, a mini pool at the bottom that you can use at the beach and the a small, super light carry bag making it incredibly easy to pack. The first time we used this was the first time I have had a delightful day at the pool since Bella was born. (Note- we used this with Fischer Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat but also love Summer Infant Pop N' Sit Portable Booster)
To add to your sun protection collection, I give you the best baby sunscreen ever. I have a general affinity for Noodle and Boo products (if you want to capture that newborn smell forever, invest in their bath line!), but this sunscreen takes the cake. It doesn't contain the chemical "oxybenzone," which apparently can cause allergic reactions in some children. It goes on white so you can see the areas you have covered, but is lightweight and absorbs quickly. Don't forget to do a skin test before applying it all over, and talk to your pediatrician if using it on an infant less than 6 months old!
Babiators perfectly round out the sun protection theme. They are by far the best infant sunglasses out there, with the best service. If you lose or break them within the first year, they will replace them for free. You can get baby croakies for them so they will stay put, but if your little one manages to pull them off, they are durable and shatterproof (They work as a nice teether in that case as well). Plus they are REAL cute.
Why EVERY baby swimsuit doesn't have snaps at the bottom for quick and easy diaper changes is beyond me. The fact that this company makes them adorable as well is just a bonus!
5. Yeti Hopper
While this obviously isn't a kid specific product, it is AMAZING and will make your life infinitely easier, especially in warm places. The cooler keeps ice for days, which means if you are a breastfeeding mom who would prefer to give a bottle at the beach, or a pumping mom on vacation (especially if your mini bar sits just slightly cooler than room temperature), you don't need to worry about losing milk because it was kept at an unsafe temperature. It is also useful for those moms who have high hopes of having a cold beer at the beach, but get sidetracked and don't get to pop it open until you are back in your room. Have no fear- it will still be cold for you to enjoy during nap time!
These sanity savers have made a huge difference in our vacation quality, and I hope they will for yours as well! What are your favorite summer destinations? Do you have any products you can't live without for these trips? Let me know by dropping me a line!