With summer fast approaching – and your dream beach vacation already booked – what do you need to pack for your wee ones to make the beach fun and relaxing? Being a Florida girl (at least for the last 5 years) I’ve found some important things you don’t want to forget on your next trip.
If you aren’t lucky enough to be staying ON the beach your bag might be a little more like mine – our beach is about 10 minutes away. For those of you who are staying ON the beach you may need to modify the list slightly.
Me Top Beach Accessories:
-Beach chairs, blanket, and towels. I’m more of a blanket/towel girl while my husband likes to lounge in his beach chair. We found some great beach chairs at Target that are very functional – especially when you are toting a tot! Our chairs have a backpack strap on them and a pocket for storing you towel, shoes, or wallet. This type of chair costs a little more but it’s worth the investment so you can throw it on your back and go.
–Family Beach Cabana Tent. With a new baby last summer I had to find a way to keep her protected from the sun and sand so we could enjoy our day at the beach. One Step Ahead sells the Smarties Cabana Tent and I was hesitant to invest in it. The reviews were ok – but not great – and at $79 it’s not a small investment. The main problem with the reviews was folding the tent back into the cute little bag it comes in. I found a video online that shows you how to fold the tent and I would recommend watching AND practicing before you head out to the beach. Once you get the hang of folding it back it’s a piece of cake. Why do I recommend the tent to my friends? 1) If you are breastfeeding the tent provides fold down sides for privacy. 2) The tent comes complete with a backpack carrying case and is lightweight. 3) The tent is a great place for babies (and big kids…or mommies) to play or nap in the shade. Roll the sides up and the breeze can blow through the tent or down for a little more privacy. We never go to the beach without our tent!
-Sunscreen. While I haven’t researched all the available sunscreens on the market, I do know that The Safe Mama has. If you are concerned with Parabens and other toxic chemicals that are in your beauty products be sure to check out her Safe Sunscreen List. We currently use a mix of questionable products that I’m sure aren’t on the list – but baby gets Earth’s Best which is paraben free. It’s a little thick and hard to rub in but it will certainly keep her from getting burned. Whichever brand you use –please don’t forget the sunscreen! You will turn into a baked lobster in under an hour!
-Sunglasses and hats. Protect your eyes from UV rays – and your babies’ eyes too. They make baby sunglasses and hats that will keep them safe from the damaging rays.
-Snacks. Pack a small bag or cooler with snacks and drinks for yourself and the kids. There is nothing worse than having to leave the beach because you’re hungry. Eco-tip: Bring a reusable bottle filled with ice and water.
-Trash bag. I try to always throw in a grocery bag (yes – we still have a few) to take with us. We always find trash littered on the beach and it’s a nice lesson to teach your kids. Typical items we ALWAYS find are straws, cigarette butts, and bottle caps. Most public beaches have trash cans placed as you exit the beach so just toss it in the can before you leave.
-Cloth Diapers & Wet Bags! Yes – we take our cloth diapers with us to the beach! While they do sell special swim diapers (in cloth and disposable) a standard cloth diaper used without the liner works just as well (if not better). And don’t forget the wet bag to toss your wet diapers and swim wear into before you leave.
Now – if only there was a perfect accessory to keep all the sand out of my car! It feels like we take the entire beach home with us by the looks of my backseat.
What about you? Have a beach trip planned? What are you taking with you?
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