Since it is now officially summer (yay!), I've decided to share my knowledge (much of which was acquired after some sort of botched trip). To clarify, I figured it would make most sense to divide it into things you will need for an infant, things for a toddler, and things in general.
For those of you that are frequent beach goers as well, this list will probably be pretty obvious. But hopefully it will serve to help some of you who may not be lucky enough to live close enough to do the beach on a regular basis!
Beach Mom Essentials
- HUGE bag!!!
- multiple towels...at least one for each beach goer!
- sunscreen...both baby version and adult
- camera for snapping pictures of the kiddos
- beach hut/tent/umbrella (the huts work the best and are really easy to put up, although a pain in the arse to take down!)
- something to sit in if baby can't sit on its own yet (or even if it can if you plan to be there awhile)...we've done the car seat, Bumbo, and bouncer...the Bumbo is definitely easiest to tote and coolest option, but the bouncer seems to be the most comfortable)
- some toys, but keep in mind they will probably get sandy, so bring things that can be rinsed off easily (sadly Sophie tends to trap the sand)
- enough bottles/food to last your duration + some (*I don't know about you, but I tend to get hungrier when at the beach...babies seem to follow suit)
- sippy cup with water if your youngster can handle that
- beach hat
- towel to lay on, preferably in a sun hut so it won't get too sandy!
- small baby pool if possible for baby to cool down in
- lots of snacks and drinks!
- as many toys as you can possibly carry...some for the sand, some for the water
- a kiddy size beach chair if you plan to have toddler eat a sandwich or something...otherwise don't bother...they won't sit down much anyway
The list for a toddler may be surprisingly short, but the great thing about a toddler at the beach is that their constant desire to explore and play actually comes in handy! I have taken an infant to the beach (about 3-5 months between both boys), a 1 year oldish, and now a two year oldish, and I must say this is the easiest age yet (at least so far). Colton totally entertains himself with the sand toys, understands the boundaries like you have to wait to go in the water with an adult (unlike last year when he would just make a beeline), and doesn't get overly hot or bored like his baby brother!
Even though it's pretty much a pain in the arse to get there, I love taking my boys to the beach (although Levi has been slow to enjoy it himself!). Hopefully, this list will make it easier for you, so you don't have to learn from mistakes like I did!