Recently, my husband and I went home to Coeur d’Alene to visit our family and decided to take our daughter to the lake, for the first time! I’ll be honest, we had NO idea what we were doing. The first day I was definitely the over-packed mom who had WAY too many things. But over our week long vacation, I learned lots of tips for taking your baby to the lake.
Before becoming a mom, going to the lake was a breeze. I grabbed my swimsuit, a towel, maybe some sunscreen and that was about it. I didn’t have to think about what I needed or what activities you might want to do. But now that there’s a baby in the mix, it’s a whole new ballgame. I have to think differently about what to pack and how to prepare for our trip to the lake.
10 Tips for Taking your Baby to the Lake
While there may be other things that are specific to your child or family situation, these are the most common tips to help make your trip to the lake with your baby a breeze.
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1. Sun Protection
This may seem like a given, but it’s just too important to not mention! When you are heading to the lake, you’re going to be outdoors for a long time. You may even be on a boat for a couple of hours. Even if it looks cloudy, bringing things to protect your baby from the sun is incredibly important.
Things to Pack for Sun Protection:
- Rash guard Bathing Suit
- Sun Protective Blanket – 50 SPF
- Baby Tent
If you’re planning on being outside for longer periods of time, especially if you’re in the sun, you’ve got to keep your baby hydrated. Whether they’re drinking water or still only having milk, they will definitely need more forms of hydration than a typical day.
Things you can do to KEEP your baby Hydrated:
- Offer breastfed baby another feeding
- Prepare an extra bottle
- Water in a Sippy Cup
- Give fruits/veggies with high water content – Watermelon + Strawberries
- Use a Silicone Feeder for frozen fruits
3. Let Your Baby Explore
There are so many benefits to exposing your babies to nature at a young age! Introducing them to nature and letting them explore is great for physical development, language development, and more! When we brought my daughter to the lake at just 8 weeks old, I would put her feet in the grass, water, and sand!
Now that my daughter is 10 months old and crawling around, we let her play with the sand, crawl through the grass, and splash in the water. She discovered dandelions this last trip and loved smelling them!
As mamas, it can be easy to be filled with worry. What if they step in an ant bed? What if they put a pinecone in their mouth? But, try to relax. Let the “what ifs” go, and let your baby explore. If you’re right there with them, talking about everything they’re experiencing, they are going to have a great time!
4. Keep their Schedule Consistent.
With all of the fun activities, it may be tempting to miss a nap time or push it off. But, you may want to reconsider! Your baby is going to be exhausted from all that is going on, and your baby is going to need his/her scheduled nap time. If not, you’re going to be dealing with one cranky baby!
Babies thrive off routine and schedules, and when you are in a new environment, they need it even more. Just remember, a well fed and well napped baby is a happy baby! Even though it may seem a little inconvenient to keep an eye on the clock, it will definitely pay off when you’re not having to deal with a giant tantrum!
5. Pack Extra Clothes
When it comes to babies, you’ve got to be prepared for blowouts and spit ups at all times! Even if you’re going to the lake for a day trip, I would highly suggest having at least one extra outfit!
Baby clothes are small, light, and easy to pack. So I say, always stay on the safe side, bring extra clothes and you’ll be SO THANKFUL you did!
6. Get a Floaty
If you are planning to get in the water at any point, it is always best to bring a floaty for your little one. There are so many to choose from, but I would even suggest getting one of those floaties that have built in shade. You can never have too much protection from the sun for a baby!
7. Bring Swim Diapers
Another MUST HAVE if you’re planning on getting into the water with your baby is swim diapers! There is nothing more uncomfortable for a baby than swimming in a regular diaper. They swell up, weigh them down, and could give them a rash!
They have both disposable and reusable swim diapers, depending on what you prefer!
8. Pack Extra Towels
This is another tip for taking your baby to the lake that seems so obvious, but shouldn’t be overlooked! You’ve got to pack some towels! I’d even say that you should pack an extra towel if you can! They’re obviously great for drying off, but they can also be great to sit on in the grass!
9. Bring Toys
No matter the age of your baby, they will need something to look at or play with. While you could make it through the day without it, bringing your baby’s favorite toys will definitely make your trip to the lake easier. They’ll have something that they’re familiar with to keep them entertained and comforted whether you’re hanging out in a lake house or riding in a boat.
My daughter loved playing with a shovel and pail. Although she wasn’t quite sure how to put the sand in the bucket, she had fun banging it like a bongo!
10. Have Plenty of SNACKS
I know I mentioned earlier the importance of hydration, but snacks are pretty important, too! Chances are, your baby will be very busy and will work up quite the appetite! Bring them (and yourself) more snacks than you think! You’ll be happy that you did!
Going to the lake with a baby can seem overwhelming! It may feel like there are so many things that you’ll need to remember, but once you’re there and fully prepared, you are bound to have a wonderful time!