We had an absolute blast taking Mazen to the beach this year.
Our first visit to the beach was when he was just learning to crawl. That wasn’t very fun.
During our second visit he was just learning to walk. We had a little more fun, but he still didn’t really know how to play on the beach.
The first day he was quite scared of the ocean. He was content playing in the sand. But by day 2 he started to explore the surf and by the end of our week he was begging us to take him deeper into the water. "MO WAVES!"
Here are five tips for taking a toddler to the beach!
1. Bring a baby pool. This was Caitlin’s genius move. She packed a blow-up baby pool that we were able to fill with water. When the toddlers were first timid about the water or when the grown-ups grew exhausted from jumping in the waves, the pool was a lifesaver to keep them happy. They alternated games of "swimming", throwing sand inside, dunking toys and cleaning hands.
2. Purchase a few new sand toys. I bought the boys matching sand dump trucks that were a big hit! Matching because then there would be no bickering and sand trucks because the wheels were big and there were no creases for sand to collect. Moreover, they were designed to be completely rinsed off when the day was over. They had lots of fun scooping sand into the back.
3. This beach bag. I can’t say enough good things about it!! The outside pockets are amazzzzing for sunscreen, diapers, snacks, etc, and the mesh material was awesome for sand, sticky, etc. It can all be rinsed off! I’ve never had a beach bag that I even liked, so to find one that I love makes me really happy.
4. Shade. Thanks to Caitlin for their great tailgate tent. We were planning to buy one this year but put it off since they already had one. I can’t go to the beach in the summer without shade, and it was so nice to have a full-size tent rather than just an umbrella. I know little pop-up tents are popular for babies, but I hated the one I bought second hand last year – I couldn’t fit inside and it was hot! A big open air tent like this is way more practical for a day at the beach. And necessary if it’s a scorcher and you plan on staying out a while.
5. Baby sunglasses, a hat, a rash guard or just lots of sun screen. Whatever your toddler will tolerate! My child wears sunglasses like it’s his job, but he refuses a hat. Caitlin’s son doesn’t mind a hat, but tears sunglasses off. I’ve heard these sunglasses are great for babies (and the company will replace them if they break like our GAP ones did a few months in!) I love this company for rash guards and hats too. If you can cover up as much as you can with fabric, putting on sunscreen gets a little easier.
What are your best baby beach tips?