The beach can be a calming place; a safe space away from the burdens of adulthood. A place where a mediocre book, some SPF 30 and a comfy chair are all you need for hours of entertainment.
until you have children.
Your cute beach tote with sunglasses, a book, and a towel is suddenly replaced by a beach buggy loaded with sand toys, beach balls, at least two umbrellas, three tubes of SPF 70, four little sun hats, at least ten towels and no less than 400 snacks. So how do you make the most of a beach trip with young children? Here are 5 tried and true ways to improve your family's vacation and maybe even find a little bit of that calm.
Whether you have an infant, toddler or even preschooler, having a quick and sturdy carrier is a must. We love a soft structured carrier like the Tula, Ergo or Lillebaby. Wearing your infant can keep baby out of the sun, safe on your chest and free up your hands to eat or maybe even read that bestseller you brought along. Inevitably the sand will be too hot, too cold, too hard, too squishy or just too sandy for your toddler, so having the ability to toss them on your back for the walk to/from where you set up camp, is crucial.
In the hot summer months, bringing a pop up tent or other sun shielding device can make all the difference. Too often umbrellas blow away, fall over or just don't provide enough shade where you need it. Beach tents or sun shades are a great option.
Schylling Play Shade - ideal for infants or toddlers who will need space to rest
LL Bean Sun Shelter - plenty of room for the whole family to escape from the sun.
3. Water Safety
The most important thing to consider at the beach is how to keep your children safe around the water. If your littlest ones love to splash, bring along an inflatable bathtub or small swimming pool. This can ensure they are able to splash and play, without the risk of being knocked over by a rogue wave. And you can even set up their oasis in the shade for a baby cabana!
4. Sand Control
One of the best beach hack's we've come across recently is using a fitted sheet for a beach blanket. Positioning bags/coolers in the corners creates walls, perfect for keeping sand out and semi-mobile babies, in!
Transporting sand toys inevitably leads to sand in your bag, car and house. Use a mesh lingerie washing bag, load it up with your sandy toys, swish in the water and shake! Use a carabiner to clip the mesh bag onto one of your beach bags and the toys will be dry by the time you hike back over the sand dune!
We don't often recommend baby powder, but it can be particularly useful at the beach! The powder will dry the sand and allow it to brush off more easily. Just be conscious of the breeze when applying!
5. Baby Gear
A few must haves for your little beach babe include:
- Sun hat- make sure to find one with a chin strap to keep it on his head
- Baby sunglasses- a strap can help keep them on
- Change of clothes- as soon as baby is out of the water, change them into a lightweight cotton onesie or romper
- Skip the swim diaper- swim diapers, whether reusable or disposable, are made to catch poo so as not to contaminate public swimming pools. Swim diapers don't hold water (or pee) so use a regular diaper at the beach and save the swim diapers for the hotel pool!
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be! Make a list, pack early and don't stress if you forget something. There are plenty of shops on the way! Take that beach trip! Build a sandcastle, splash in a wave, chase a seagull. You likely won't remember all the things you had to lug to the beach, but you will never forget the memories you made with your family!