We have started to plan for a big family beach trip in July. As I walk through my list of must haves I thought I would share. Please leave a comment with products that you LOVE or other MUST HAVES! We are so looking forward to our beach time!
Shade- This is a must have for any family with children and frankly I think every large beach group. We have this kind of shade tent but it doesn't protect really well in windy conditions where the sand it whipping around. You may want to consider one of the "tent" versions with 3 sides.
Cooler- Another must have. A place to keep water and snacks chilled. We have one like the above picture with wheels. They actually operate OK in the sand but if you have a large wheeled cart for regular beach use its probably easier to haul all of the gear.
Cooling towels- We have towels like the one pictured above for sporting events. But, we throw them in the cooler for beach days too. Frankly baby doesn't like them too much since they are so cold but in the event that she is getting too hot it is nice to know we have them. Our teenager is more likely to use them.
Blankets/beach towels/yoga mat - We use some pretty generic cotton blankets as our base layer then everyone has a beach towel. I bring this yoga mat everywhere in my car. I like the added cushion and at the beach it replaces my cheapo changing mat from the diaper bag. The sand just wipes off when you get home so easy clean-up.
Sunblock- We bought this brand at BRU (Babies are Us) and have been happy with it so far. No sunburn yet this year. Be ready to reapply often. Keep as much of the baby covered as possible. Research now says it's the burns we get early in life that cause later cancers and other skin issues.
Hat- I love this iPlay hat because it covers the neck, it's designed to get wet & dries quickly, and you can cinch it to fit a growing baby. We have it in white. It comes in many colors.
Swim Wear- I have two very cute traditional one piece suits for our girl. We use them at the pool or the sprinkler when we won't be out too long. I also own this suit in purple and another like it by Coolibar. Our toddler is very very very fair skinned. This is about as covered as she can get with SPF 50 material. Rash guards are another option over a suit. They all snap or zipper so diaper changes are pretty easy.
Water Shoes- If your toddler is walking you must have shoes to help protect those little toes from the hot sand. The pair above is Stride Rite. We don't have them yet but plan to get some like it.
Water, Water, Water HYDRATE- We just got this green sprout straw sippy cup. Its glass (has a glass insert) and although she has dropped it multiple times so far it hasn't broken. Quickly becoming our go-to water bottle. Be sure to offer water frequently! Keep them hydrated on hot days!
Stroller fan- Clips onto anything. It doesn't have a big blast but it does move the air. We use it all the time in the summer. This one is from BRU.
Baby Powder- I love the beach. I hate the sand. Great beach tip for removing sand from little hands before snacks (and when they just love to put their hands in their mouth) Johnson's baby powder. Generously- don't hold back- sprinkle on hands, feet, legs, and rub off. It really does work well. Caution- be careful using any kind of powder with very young babies. You don't want them to inhale the powder.
Toys- The fun stuff that will keep them busy. Dig. Just dig for hours. Don't eat it. Did you dig a hole? Great now fill it back up. LOL But seriously sand castles, rock collections, wade pool exploration, beach balls, Frisbee - shut off the screen and enjoy the beach!