Monday, May 31, 2010

Pool Baby. Beach Baby.

I once took a one-year-old girl to the pool, when I was nannying for the summer. I only lasted one hour, and when I finally got her in her car seat I sat in the car and cried.

My mother would take four children under the age of eight to the pool, all at once, from memorial weekend through labor day. I don't know how she did it! My sister has this ease with children as well. I think my inner control freak gives me so much anxiety I can barely handle the day of "fun" in the sun. Babies run on the concrete and I see a face plant just waiting to happen. They squirm when you apply sunscreen and they end up getting it in their eye. They run for the water but want to be held even though they will drown if you don't! It is a scary experience.

Over the weekend my Mom assured me it is different with your own ducklings then when watching other's children. But if my worries do not subside by the time I have my own brood I told my sister she would be chaperoning pool trips and beach vacations (i.e. babysitting me and my kids).

So this is for all you Mom's out there! Kudos!

Top 5 Tips for taking kids to the beach or to the pool:

1. Apply sunscreen 30 SPF every thirty minutes and do your first round BEFORE you get in the car (Only if 6 months or older - any younger should NOT wear sunscreen)
2. Sun hats for ages 4 and younger. (The younger you have your baby wear a hat the less likely they will be to take it off as they get older)
3. Make it someones job to watch the children at all times. This works great in shifts, but make sure to communicate this clearly to avoid arguments or a losing a child.
4. Avoid dehydration & heat exhaustion by bringing plenty of water for babies, toddlers and kids to drink.
5. Pack healthy snacks. Avoid overly salty and high sugar foods which will just cause kids to crash and can upset tummies. The temptation in the summer time is to snack on junk all day, or buy fries and burgers at the beach club house. Avoid this by packing lunches and snacks in the morning and having them on hand for your crew. Some good examples include baby carrots, bananas, cut up apples, whole grain crackers, peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread, watermelon, grapes, & berries (kids love strawberries, blackberries & blueberries because they are sweet and the perfect finger food).

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