My family and I recently moved to the coast so we could take frequent trips to the beach, not just for fun, but because the salty mist can help improve and maintain the health of our daughter with cystic fibrosis. The only problem is we have a new baby now who is too young for sunscreen or swimming. We worried a bit about keeping our infant comfortable and safe from the sun. Rather than staying at home, we found options that meant we could still have fun in the sun, allow our oldest daughter to get the salt air she needs, keep our baby cool at the beach.

Cooling Towel

This is my favorite new beach toy. It's so simple to use and really works. We discovered the chemical-free Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel and bought it on a whim. It's only about $15. All you have to do is wet it, wring it out, and then snap it. Lay it on your baby's legs, or her entire body (minus her face). It will keep her cool until the towel is dry. Then just wet, wring, and snap again. 

Sun Hut

I've never been one to enjoy sitting in the sun, but our beach umbrella just wasn't cutting it. It was hard to get to it in the sand and then a gust of wind would knock it right over. Instead, we found a sun hut. There are tons of options out there: some are just big enough for the baby, some have room for two or three people, and other styles are even larger. We use a sun hut with bottom so we aren't laying the baby directly on the sand. It keeps her out of direct sunlight, and the mesh windows allow the breeze to blow right through. Plus, it easily stays put with stakes to hold it down.

A Quick Dip

Take your baby out of the hut for a moment or two (but not too long because that sun will burn her delicate skin no matter what her skin tone is) and dip her toes and maybe even her legs in the water. Even just a few seconds of having that cool water on her skin can help her beat the heat.

Loose Clothing

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing babies in loose, light clothing during the summer heat. We put our baby in a comfy and loose bathing suit with an SPF in the fabric, which is perfect for placing the cool towel on her or for giving her the quick dip in the water.

Hat

Don't forget a sun hat with SPF, especially if your baby is a little baldy like mine is. The hat will protect her head, face, and neck from the sun while she is out of the shade.

Don't ever leave your baby unattended at the beach and be sure to check her skin consistently for signs of heat rash. If you can leave the baby at home with someone trustworthy, than do so. But if you do take her to the beach, make sure you are prepared to keep her safe.