Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to flock to the beach or pool to cool off and get a much-needed reprieve from the heat. But how is a momma supposed to relax completely when she contemplates everything her little one will need to make it through the day at the beach?
After you’ve managed to face the daunting task of loading the kids and all their diaper bag essentials into the car, you next have to tackle the task of gathering the beach essentials and items you need to actually survive a day at the beach with a couple of rambunctious toddlers!
Because NO ONE wants to face the wrath of a toddler under the hot summer sun!
Luckily, I’m sharing my beach packing tips that will help make things a little easier with a baby or toddler in tow.
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What to pack for the beach with babies and toddlers
First, things first. Sun protection! You’ll definitely want to pack a kid-friendly sunscreen brand that is both easy to apply and adequate for baby’s delicate skin. If you’re still not sure what factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen, this post should help!
A few of our favorite brands, include Neutrogena Baby, Babyganics and Aveeno sunscreen. I’ve used all of these on my children because of the best balance between effective, safe and actually affordable! For super sensitive baby skin, we also love the all-natural Eartha Mama sunscreen although it’s a little pricier!
Remember to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure to avoid any burns and overexposure. And most importantly, REAPPLY throughout the day especially if the little one will be in and out of the water!
Finally, remember to check the label for ingredients that won’t irritate or cause any allergic reactions. Baby’s skin is extra sensitive and needs to be handled with care.
2. Water Shoes
Some may overlook this. But remember the sand gets hot and some beaches have all sorts of rocks and stones that can be very unpleasant to step on. If it hurts your feet, think about how uncomfortable your baby would be! Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but investing in some simple water shoes makes it that much more easier for your toddler to move around in!
3. Beach Toys
A bucket with shovel is a great start, but don’t limit it to that! Grab a few favorites, like an inflatable beach ball to toss around, plastic cars to bury in the sand or squishy water toys to keep little ones occupied!
4. Cabana, Tent or Umbrella
If you’re vacationing or planning to spend hours in the sun away from home, having some sort of shade nearby is a must! You can pack a basic beach umbrella or splurge on a beach cabana tent made especially for the little ones. These often have UV ray protection built in.
This one is simple. Sometimes towels just won’t cut it. Bring a blanket which will cover more surface area on the ground and less space in your already crowded beach bag. As a new mom I saw many of these time and time again, and wish I hadn’t waited years to finally purchase one — waterproof, easy to carry and SO useful when you have little ones at the beach or backyard!!
6. Wet Bag
A wet bag is a lifesaver when you’re looking to separate the dry clothes from the wet in your bag! An empty grocery bag often does the trick.
7. Baby Powder
Apparently a best kept secret for removing sticky sand from the skin is some good old baby powder! A quick sprinkle of the powder magically releases sand from the skin, keeping it on the beach rather than in your car.
8. Sippy Cup
With a baby in the sun all day, hydration is key! Make sure to pack your favorite sippy cup. A great choice is one with an insulated cup to keep water cold and a sliding lid to keep sand out!
No doubt beach time can coincide with lunch time; pack a snack bag of fresh fruit, veggies and some crackers for the little one to munch on. Also, if you haven’t done it already, invest in one of those little snack catchers — they work wonders to prevent fistfuls of snacking, while easily containing baby’s food.
10. Swim Diapers
And finally, don’t worry about poofy, swelling diapers…disposable diapers will get the job done. Try a pair like Huggies Little Swimmers while your baby is in the water. And of course, don’t forget a dry diaper for when it’s time to pack up and head home!
BONUS: Make beach trips a little messier with a mesh beach bag like this one where you can dump all baby’s toys and items in, give it a shake and be mostly sand-free!! (I love that it has separate compartments to separate wet and dry items too!)
Which is YOUR favorite beach essential for baby?
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.