Illustration by Delicatessen
Stake out a spot: The beautifully renovated and bright new buildings at the Annenberg Community Beach House (310-458-4904) in Santa Monica include a café, a pool, changing rooms, showers, and a play area. A stroller-friendly boardwalk reaches all the way to the ocean. In summer, make parking reservations three days in advance.
Plan your hydration strategy: Pop some ice into a BPA- and phthalate-free 1) Thinksport bottle the morning of a beach outing and have cold water for hours.
Get the best protection: Beverly Hills pediatrician Scott Cohen says that 5 to 30 minutes of sun on bare skin twice a week usually provides adequate vitamin D. Otherwise, cover up with a sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays. UV Natural Baby (with zinc oxide) and Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen are tops (for ratings on more than 1,400 products, go to cosmeticsdatabase.com). Check out sun-protective swimwear like 2) Coolibar’s Rash Guard, which features a stand-up collar and a long back hem for extra coverage. 3) Sungrubbies’ Adventure Hat has a four-inch-wide brim and an adjustable chin strap to ensure it stays put. Shield eyes with the 100 percent UV 4) Baby Banz sunglasses, which have a neoprene-Velcro strap. Or take cover in a pop-up tent such as the Kel-Gar UV Sun Stop’r Kwik Cabana III. Hot sand can scald little feet; 5) Teva’s Psyclone 2 sandals offer traction on slippery terrain.
Prep for playtime: 6) Pottery Barn’s organic cotton beach towel can be personalized for a few extra bucks. 7) The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Pail makes us feel even happier when building castles. When it’s time to go in the water, 8) Vilebrequin swim trunks (vilebrequin.com) are just as stylish as Dad’s.