London and I spent the morning at the beach yesterday, and it was just gorgeous. I'm trying to take advantage of any nice day to be outside, exploring with her because I know in a few months it'll be a little more challenging to get out and about. Lo makes everything more fun, but beach days are my FAVORITE with her. She loves to be in the water...doesn't matter how cold it is (it's absolutely FREEZING by the way), loves to explore the rocks and tide-pools, and loves to get sand in just about every single place on her body! Ha!
I wanted to put together a little "must have" list for parents with kiddos that are planning their first beach day of the year! Like a real rookie, I tried to lug my beach tent, two chairs, our lunch and two bags all while carrying Lo...and it was almost a disaster. Yesterday, I packed pretty minimally and it was SO much better. We were planning to spend just 2-3 hours ... so I didn't bring a tent like I normally would if we were spending the day. I will say, next time we do a FULL beach day - I'll have a beach wagon or cart to help lighten the load!
Here are some things I think you should def have...
1. Beach wagon/cart. THIS IS A MUST HAVE. I have been researching some on Amazon and plan to get one before our next full day. I've seen people with them in action and it looks like they make life a lot easier! The "all-terrain wagon" you see below seems to be pretty popular. I think I'll probably end up getting this one - I think it'll work great for all of our gear (and maybe Lolo too ;)
2. Umbrella or Pop-up Tent: Absolutely need this with kiddos - if you're planning to be at the beach more than a few hours! It's nice to get some reprieve from the sun - and good for them to take a rest if needed in the shade! We have this pop-up tent from L.L. Bean that we love. It literally sets up and breaks down in just a few minutes! It's so easy. I think for shorter beach trips (2-3 hours) an umbrella is totally fine, and I've got my eye on this one!
3. Chairs; Not like you'll sit in them all that much - BUT it's nice to have the option ;) I have these from Target, but if you're feeling fancy, get the chairs with cupholders (this one is cute) and pour yourself a wine cooler (or two...one for me ;)
4. The Proper Swimsuit: I'm usually chasing after Lo, carrying her at some point, and in and out of the water, so I prefer something comfortable (still cute), but that won't leave weird tan lines also! Last summer I bought a few one-pieces from J.Crew (shop it here) and I'm sure that's what I'll be rocking once baby number two comes. If you're looking for a bikini that's cute but also practical, this one is great and it's under $17! I would size up for sure!
5. Sunscreen you can count on: I've tried a bunch of different sunscreens, but the one I feel works the best is Babyganics SPF 50 (under $10). Lo has never gotten a sunburn while using this...and it's super easy to apply as a spray lotion. We love it!
5. Beach-Friendly Tote: We love our mesh tote because it's super easy to clean/get the sand off from and it's big enough to fit our towels and lunch bag! I also love this straw bag because of the cute rope straps - that look super nautical. It seems like it would hold a lot too - love it.
6. Toys: Hit up the dollar store for some cheap toys perfect for the beach! Definitely a bucket and a shovel (this one is $2.99). If your toddler wants to build a sand castle, this set has everything you need and it's under $10! Lo is really into kites right now - and they're perfect for a windy beach day!
7. Round Towel: I prefer a big round beach towel to a sheet or quilt at the beach. They're easy to brush the sand off and still spacious enough to sit yourself and toddler on. Here are a few cute ones...