With Memorial Day behind us, Summer has officially started and that means vacations, day trips and lots of family fun! And where do many families head for all of these? The beach!
But with a baby/toddler in tow the beach can be very different than the relaxing oasis we once found it to be.
So, I’ve come up with this quick beach essentials guide for you. Your beach necessities will vary by the age and mobility of your child and, certainly, by the length of your stay. You might not be up to make a large investment for the perfect beach experience if you are only going for a day. But if a beach vacation is in your future, it might be worth your while!
Start with your beach bag, any big bag will do, I like the mesh feature with the water and sand. Besides your normal diaper bag essentials (regular diapers, first aid kit, etc.) make sure you have sunblock, towels, baby powder, snacks and water! And a change of clothes for each child, too!
I’m picky with my sunblock, but Thinkbaby Sunscreen meets all my requirements (not higher than 50, it’s zinc oxide based..and it hasn’t let us down in the Florida sun yet).
Towels…this goes without saying right?
If you don’t know the baby powder trick yet, you’ll love it. Just sprinkle some on as you leave the beach and the sand falls right off.
We always keep some ziploc bags handy, too. You can put your phones, wallets, and anything else you don’t want to get wet/sandy in them.
Drinks and Snacks! Don’t forget to keep those kiddos hydrated!! Fruit is a GREAT option for snacking at the beach to keep them hydrated.
As for what we put on our babies at the beach, or even at the pool, starts with the swim diaper. We used to use the Huggies little swimmers but we have switched over the a reusable swim diaper. We love the i play reusable swim diaper with side snaps, they hold it all and if there’s a mess, it’s easy to clean. Rashguard’s are also an essential for the little ones. The more protection from that sun the better!
Can’t forget the hat for sun protection either! The beach get’s windy and Flap Happy makes a great hat that offers the protection the kids need AND stays on their head!
Oh yes, and Sandals/Watershoes for those little feet…that sand gets H-O-T!
Finally, a cover up might not be essential, but it’s an added bonus when they get out of the water and they’re cold, but they still want to play. Even a sweatshirt will do!
And then we get into the beach set up with kiddos. We can go simple or we can go crazy. Let’s just go crazy for a minute…
You have to start with your basics like toys to play with and blankets to lay down on the sand (Actually, one of my good beach going friends recently recommended using a table cloth, because the sand will come right off and you don’t have to worry about dragging it back to the car/room, etc.).
For some shade, instead of your typical beach umbrella, Coleman Beach Shade is what we’ve used. It’s a pretty quick set up and I admit it’s easier with two people if it’s windy. If you’re going to be at the beach for the day, it’s worth the set up because it provides enough shade that everyone can share and the option of privacy, too. For a quicker set up you can go with the Sport-Brella XL. Both are affordable options and worth the investment if you are a beach going family.
Investing 5-10 dollars in a basic baby pool was probably the best thing we ever did for our beach going days. It occupies the kiddos right there in front of you. You could even splurge and get cute themed ones with a shade! Blow it up, fill it up with a little water…and voila, play time commences.
Don’t forget those beach chairs either!
If you’re absolutely desperate for those little ones to stay put, you can bring your play yard to set up around your things. We’ve only done this a couple of times, when we were setting up shop for a while.
With all of this being said, we’ve shown up to the beach on whim with our swim suits and sunblock and nothing else but a desire to have fun and we did!
So, go have some fun at the beach mama!
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