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4 Tips for Beach Trips with Your Baby

You're a confirmed beach bum, but your baby screams the moment you put her down on the dunes. What's going on? More important, what can you do about it? Maybe:

The sand's too hot. You may be thick-skinned (literally!), but your baby's tootsies are a lot more sensitive. Keep those water shoes on.

She's not used to the texture. Practice at home: Put some sand in a tray and "play beach" in your own backyard. On the shore, plop her on a big blanket or towel until she acclimates--though this might take a few visits.

She's intimidated by the wide-open space. Stay close, and consider setting up an umbrella or small tent. "Babies generally find semi-enclosed spaces to be more comfortable," says Joan Kuchner, Ph.D., director of child and family studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

It's not the sand at all! She's out of sorts in some other way. That adorable baby bikini with the matching flip-flops might be perfect for a photo, but too scratchy. Or that miniature wet suit might be too hot. Keep clothing simple and comfy--it's playtime, after all!

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