For lots of moms, summertime can be anything but relaxing. From endless sunscreen latherings to constant monitoring of your little toddler’s every last move near water, to your never-ending quest to find comfort for your child and yourself in the hot, salty sun…summer break can be downright exhausting. Yet these tasks are a rite of passage for every mom. To help moms reclaim their sanity while enjoying a safe, sun-filled summer, here are some clever products and ideas to try….
~Baby Pools and Bumbo Chairs. If you’re headed to the beach with an infant or crawler this summer, consider taking along a baby pool or Bumbo chair. A full baby pool on the beach keeps your little one happy, occupied, cool and safe (with you nearby, of course), and the assistance of a Bumbo Chair helps little ones enjoy the sand or small waves over his feet.
~ Corn Starch. You know how frustrating it is to eat on the beach without having sandy or salty hands? Try sprinkling corn starch on your hands before you snack. It dries up the moisture and the sand falls away! This trick also works well on your feet after you leave the beach!
~ Smart Phone Timers. Never forget to reapply sunscreen again! Chances are good you’ll have your phone with you at the beach and pool, so simply set the alarm or timer on your smartphone to help you remember.
~ Frozen Aloe. In case the sunburns do happen, try freezing aloe in ice cube trays before you head out into the sun. Frozen aloe cubes are perfect skin soothers!
~ Baking Soda. Another remedy for sunburns and bug bites! Just mix a little baking soda with water and apply the paste directly to the spots that burn or itch.
~ “Paint” the Pool Deck. To pass the time of pool breaks, consider bringing paint brushes along with your buckets and pails. Have your kids “paint” the pool deck with water from their pails.
~ Paintbrush to Get Rid of Sand. Speaking of painting, throw a large paintbrush into your car when you are headed to the beach. Before you pile chairs, toys, and umbrellas back into the car, use the paintbrush to dust off all the sand. Works like a charm!
~ Natural “Babysitter.”Dig a shallow, wide hole in the sand under an umbrella and let the kids play in it. Babies/toddlers love it in there and parents don’t have to chase them all over.
~ Cool Flip-Flops. Turn your flip-flops over when you get to the beach so that they are not burning up when you put them back on to leave the beach. So simple, yet brilliant!
~ Don’t Forget to Bag Up. You know how your kids will always want to leave the beach with a million shells and trinkets they found, yet you never have a good place to store them all? Stock your beach bag with plastic zip- lock bags, and label them so your kids won’t fight over whose shell is whose!
~ Bring Out the Bright. This may seem like a no-brainer, but dressing your kids in the brightest neons of the season can help you keep a close eye on them as they run around the beach or swim among a sea of people in the pool. Likewise, you might want to do the same for yourself (and/or your beach chair and umbrella), so your child can quickly find you in the crowds.
~ Shaded Baby Floats. Both my kids loved the water from an early age, but when they’re too young to wear sunscreen, it can be a little nerve-wracking to let them swim for too long. Once I discovered a shaded baby float, we were all able to stay in the pool much longer (and my arms didn’t ache from holding my baby the entire time!).
~ Puddle Jumpers. Both my kids used arm floaties and they did just fine; however, Puddle Jumpers add in extra protection for new swimmers and avoid any possibility of them getting caught upside down in the water. Puddle Jumpers are U.S. Coast Guard-approved, and are perfect for building water confidence in kids.
~ SPF Swim Shirts and Rash Guards. These are not new to the market, but for those of you who despise lathering up your kids with sunscreen as much as I do, these are great options. Plus kids love them!
~ An Umbrella Tent. Many beaches on the East Coast now prohibit large tents due to safety reasons. Instead, purchase three beach umbrellas and set them up in a triangle formation to create a large shaded area for your kiddos. This is a great place to put the baby pool we mentioned in the first tip, above.