The 10 P's of Bringing a Toddler to the Beach
Bringing a toddler to the beach is by far one of the hardest, but most rewarding things. You have to pack SO much, it’s so hot, the sand is a mess and basically they will eat the sand and get it in every crack and crevice. But while it is hard work (and not nearly as relaxing as it was prechildren), it is very worth it!
Seeing your child discover the sand and waves is enjoyable and just an overall freeing feeling to be outside “trying” to relax. It’s good to step away from the normal sights and sounds we see and hear every day and step into a sunny, breezy environment. I will say that bring toddlers to the beach isn’t very relaxing, but if you’re prepared it will be much smoother!
There are many tips and tricks to bringing a toddler to the beach and here are some of our best ones that we found to be helpful and resourceful.
Prepared. Make a list of the items you'll need beforehand to bring a baby to the beach and double check yourself (hey, you can use this). Lists are a mama’s best friend!
Play Pen. Our first day on a beach we attempted a pack n play and it didn't last too long. However, some children play great in them (mine is just a tad more high maintenance) and this can allow you the ability to sit and relax. Try a small ball pit or ball play pen if you don’t expect the child to throw the balls out the whole time.
Pool. Many families with little children bring out small, blow up baby pools. This can help keep baby cool and it of course gives them something to do. We have done this and not done this and I can say that while it is extra work, it is extremely helpful for small children who can’t really enjoy the beach water.
Protect. Make sure to bring an umbrella to setup for them to play under. Putting sunscreen on your child is pretty much a no brainer, but choosing the best sunscreen for them isn't always considered as much. Stay away from sunscreen sprays as these are dangerous for anyone to inhale, let alone small children. Choose sunscreens that are more natural oriented and are not full of added junk that isn't necessary. We love Young Living sunscreen and Episencial by Babytime; and make sure to reapply often. If you find they get a little sunburned, then apply lavender essential oil mixed with coconut oil to soothe skin.
Place. If your little one is around one year of age (or walking), try bringing them their own little beach chair so they feel like they have their own place to sit too. A sandy baby bum in your lap may not be the most enjoyable!
Pack. Make sure you have snacks, water, fresh fruit, sippy cups, yogurt, a towel, spare clothes and some diapers just in case. Wipes also come out super, duper handy while on the beach. Bring essentials like sunscreen, towels for blankets for beach naps, and a few fun toys.
Play. You may have to get down and build a sand castle, dig a hole or simply shovel sand into a bucket to keep them occupied. Don't be afraid to let them get wet and enjoy the water. While there are many precautions to take, let them enjoy! Beaches are wonderful for their sensory development.
Please. Be prepared that in order to please them all day in the sun, you're going to have to work. You may have to bend the rules and give them a few more snacks than usual or you may have to let them get covered with sand (and you covered too). It's a dirty job, but someone has to be happy. You may have to walk back to the room for them to nap or you may have to setup a nap spot for them on the beach. Be ready to please your little one so you can all enjoy the day.
Patience. Yes, you need patience when taking a little one to the beach. You'll have to feed them, chase them, entertain them and try to get them to nap. You may have to leave the beach for a few hours just to get them to take a nap (my child). Gone are the days of lounging around and "relaxing" on the beach (one day you'll get that back).
Prayer. Pray that you magically make it through the day, while still getting some sun and relaxation in AND while also magically having a baby who also enjoys the beach (mine is an official beach bum).
What are your tips for bringing a baby/toddler to the beach?
Thanks for reading, Sasha