It is that beautiful time of year when Kris and I get to trade cars. My man is so sweet. During the winter months he takes our ‘special’ car, so me and the babies don’t freeze when we go out shopping. It has some cool features like the AC and heat take about 10 minutes to start working, and the driver side window doesn’t open. It also has some wonderful stains all over the ceiling from when we didn’t realize Zoey’s sippy cups were spraying smoothie all over the place.
Winter time, I get our cozy Honda with the heated leather seats. Now that it is summer, I am taking the Subaru. It is a much more beach-with-babies-friendly car. I can pack the hatchback with a million beach toys, chairs and bags. And since it is already pretty well loved, I am not worried about getting a little sand in it. Since I recently did a list of Splashpad Essentials and you guys loved it so much, today I decided to share 10 of my essentials for going to the beach with babies. Number 10 and 1 are the most important, and the ones that people forget all the time. So if you are a blog skimmer like me, don’t miss those.
10 Essentials for Beach Day with Babies
1. Portable Play Yard
Number one on my list of essentials is without question a play yard for baby. I just got a Regalo Baby Portable Play Yard and it has been life changing. Before when I brought Zander to the beach I felt like I couldn’t relax because he is always trying to eat sand and seaweed (or crawl headfirst into the water!!). I was a buffer between him and eating the whole beach. Now I can relax and enjoy the beach with him.
It is also the perfect place to put your kiddies when you are getting ready to leave the beach. After you wash the sand off their feet, while you clean up the rest of the beach stuff, they can stay clean inside the play yard. Who else has gotten their baby all clean and dry on a towel at the beach only to watch them start rolling in the sand??? Zoey has done this too many times to count…
Unlike a regular play pen, it is lightweight and easy to set up. I’ve been known to direct heated remarks at my pack-n-play (my husband loves to remind me of this…). It is so bulky and inconvenient while you are trying to assemble it, and it is hard to set up. My pack-n-play has it’s place… but that place is NOT the beach. The Regalo Play Yard literally takes one second to unfold! I wish I had taken a video while I was at the beach of how easy it is to set up (I will next time!). But since I didn’t you can check out the pictures here. The three pictures at the end show the set up process.
2. Wet Wipes!
Seriously, NEVER leave the house with kids, and without wet wipes. You will regret it. There have been too many situations to count where wet wipes have been a life saver. Zoey loves building mud pies, eating pb&j’s from the inside out, dumping half a bottle of sunscreen all over herself and rolling in the sand. Even when Zoey was potty trained and Zander wasn’t born yet, we still brought wet wipes everywhere with us. The beach is a place where you should let your kids get messy! But since we try and keep the car relatively clean, wet wipe baths are a must before we leave the beach.
3. Sunscreen, Swimsuit & Snacks
Don’t forget the basics! Zoey and Zander can never resist the water, swimsuits or not. So I’d rather bring swimsuits and have dry, clothed babies on the drive home. If I forget swimsuits they usually get wet in their clothes and ride home in clean diapers!
Sunscreen is a must, even on shady days you can be exposed to UV rays. You can apply it before you leave, but if you end up staying longer than planned you might end up having to reapply it. When we went to the beach this weekend we were planning for about an hour and a half and ended up being there for four hours because we were having so much fun. I have been teaching Zoey about sun safety and now she is the one who reminds me to put it on! She will say, “put on my sunscreen mommy! before the sun BURNS me!!!!”. If your kids hate sunscreen application, try making it into a dance/game like me and Zoey do.
Snacks go without saying, but I still forgot them sometimes, so I will mention it. I try and keep my beach bag always stocked with Plum Puffs and apple sauce packs since those are easy and can sit in my bag for quite awhile without going bad. I also keep water bottles in my bag. As I am running out the door I usually grab whatever fruit or veggie is in the fridge as well.
The rest of my list is pretty basic:
6. Hand sanitizer
8. Beach toys OR your imagination (we love making castles out of sticks, rocks and shells at the beach).
9. Lip balm and lotion
The most important thing you can bring to the beach is yourself. Even if you don’t have time to pack bag, grab the kids and go watch the sunset for half hour before bed. Or stop by for a quick treasure hunt for shells, while you are out running your errands. A childhood spent outdoors is a happy childhood, in my book. There is nowhere Zoey would rather be than playing in nature and I love that. And I keep my play yard in the trunk of my ‘beach car,’ so I can enjoy the beach in the spur of the moment with Zander, too.
What is on your list of beach essentials for a day out with your babies?
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