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We don’t all go to beaches equipped with large umbrellas and sun loungers and we don’t always have the capacity to carry such equipment with us. Hubby and I love a good trip to the beach whilst travelling, but we have come across one significant hurdle: how to shade the baby.
The key is to be flexible when travelling with a baby and beach days are no different. We have trialled and tested several different methods of shading baby Isla on our travels over the past year and a half so I thought it would be useful to share some of our shading revelations (or otherwise) with you.
Go to a well catered resort
Resorts cater for children and they will generally have umbrellas or parasols set up for you. Whilst this suits some people brilliantly, this type of holiday is definitely not for us. So thanks, but your baby-shading facilities are not enough to lure us in…
Take an umbrella
On our trip to Costa Rica last year umbrellas were a beach God-send. We were there during rainy season so that was our primary reason for carrying umbrellas with us, but we were delighted when we realised said umbrellas had a dual purpose. We visited some stunning Costa Rican beaches with miles of unspoilt sand, lined with jungle. The sun was at times, however, relentless. Luckily baby Isla was small enough and slept frequently enough that we could simply position her under an umbrella so that she was sheltered from the sun, yet still able to benefit from the sea breeze.
Buy a tent
I bought a baby tent for our first trip to the beach when Isla was only four months old. We were in Spain and it was too hot for her to sit in direct sunlight for any long period of time. We had a popup tent like this one from Amazon which was super easy to put up, although a bit more tricky to tidy away! It worked well as there was a strong breeze and we could set the baby up inside with all of her toys. However, the next time we tried to use it (in our back garden in England) there was no breeze and it was several degrees hotter inside the tent than it was outside!
Fashion your own tent
At 17 months baby Isla no longer fits under an umbrella so more recently we have resorted to fashioning our own tents. This typically consists of a lightweight travel towel (which is also great for the beach as they seem to repel sand!) and some building apparatus, namely our bags and random sticks. This allows us to create a roof to shield baby from the sun, whilst maintaining an open-air environment to allow Isla to catch the cool sea breeze.