As some of you are aware my family just returned from a long awaited visit to Aunt Lulu's house. Aunt Lulu is married to an airman in the USAF and they are currently stationed just 1 1/2 hours away from a beach. I knew we would go to the beach at least once on our visit but I was concerned about Sweet Pea. Obviously she has not yet experienced the joys of sand and sea. And, as a baby younger than six months (at the time), she was too young for sunscreen and any prolonged sun exposure.
Now I know there are expensive "baby beach" items that you can buy. But I don't buy expensive things. And I didn't have time to order anything. I had only known about this vacation for months. I just put off dealing with the fact that my baby wasn't going to get magically older in time. But I digress.
What's a mom to do? Well, here's what I did: I bought a wading pool with a sun shade on clearance at one of my favorite "box stores" (hint: it ISN'T the one that starts with "W"). It was a bit of trouble to inflate at the beach because it was really windy, but all in all it worked great. We put our canvas bag of beach "stuff" in it to weigh it down and we made Sweet Pea a little shady nest on beach towels.
She had a sun hat (with SPF) and the cutest little sunglasses that she found quite amusing (they had a velcro strap so she couldn't remove them but she sure enjoyed trying!) for when she was out of her "nest". She napped there out of the sun, wind, and most sand, and we had a great day at the beach. Plus the pool can be used again, when we go to a beach this October or even next year as - wait for it - a wading pool. Worked for us!