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Raise your hand if you LOVE going to the beach and having a blast. My hand is raised high. There is no place I would rather be in this world than sitting in the sand or running in the waves but that has changed since having kids. I still love spending hours at the beach but I have learned that a fabulous time spent running in the sand can quickly take a turn for the worse if you haven't packed correctly. I have been THAT crying mom dragging her two screaming toddlers through the sand to get to the car as quickly as possible. If you have been that parent before than you know how important it is to pack all the essentials and to have them on hand to create the happiest beach experience possible.
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Beach Packing List
If we forget sunscreen we don’t go. It is hands down the number one thing you need to spend a few hours in the sun even if it is overcast. Our favorites so far are California Baby and ThinkBaby (not the sport one). I love sprays for my toddler since he can only sit still for literally a couple seconds!
2. HATS & SUNG:ASSES
Yes hats to protect those tiny little eyes and if your kids are anything like mine they rip their sunglasses off first chance. I love a good trucker hat. Born to Love has some adorable ones! I play makes some really great baby sun hats that tie as well. My kids are very sneaky and can find ways to get the buckle undone but they have yet to figure out a good tie. My kids won’t keep sunglasses on no matter how hard I try but I do love Coolsome rubber flexible glasses with the strap.
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3. SUN UMBRELLA OR TENT
Some kind of easy pop up shelter from the sun. We love our classic sun umbrella by Sport - Brella because it’s light and easy to carry. It also has little flaps on the sides. There are millions of fancy tents, but anything that blocks a little sun is perfect!
4. EXTRA CLOTHES & DIAPERS
Pack an extra outfit, rash guard (to keep your little one out of the sun), swim diapers! We like iPlay reusable swim diapers. At the end of our day we throw out wet clothes into a wet clothes bag and always have extra dry ones to throw on.
5. BEACH TOYS
We try to keep this to a minimum. My son carries his own little bag and I let him fill it with a few cars, small shovels and maybe a small bucket. He has the Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch bag. I like this one because it has mesh in the bottom to shake out the sand before we get in the car. It doesn't take much to be entertained! I always throw in a few extra throw away cups or forks for digging.
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6. BLANKET & TOWELS
I keep it super simple and use our Las Bayadas beach blanket. I received it as a gift and it has been the best! It’s light and easy to shake off. You can find it at Nordstrom’s or Amazon. There are a lot of different blankets out there. If I was to invest in a new one, I think I would try out the sand free blanket by LAGHCAT or possibly the waterproof/sand resistance blanket by Campfy. This one is neat because it comes with stakes and a zippered pouch.. I don’t bring towels! We air dry at the beach, unless it’s cold and in that case I’ll throw in an extra towel!
7. WATER & SNACKS
Okay this is a big one! You don’t want to make it all the way to the beach and have to pack everything up to go get snacks. We always over pack on food and water. I try to stay away from plastic bags but they are a must for the beach. Everything in ziplock bags to keep it from getting sandy before you have a chance to eat it. Reuse it and put your wet suits in when all finished. Just don’t forget to carry these bags out with you and try to reuse them!
8. CLEAN UP
Last but not least BABY POWDER! Finally a chance to use up all those powders you got at the baby shower. If you’re like us, you got a lot and you didn’t use any on their bums. This is a trick that has literally saved me when leaving the beach. Simply sprinkle it on where the sand is stuck - toes, belly, butt and wipe away. No more sand in the car for the ride home. 🙂
** BONUS ITEM**
We try so hard not to pack anything valuable when heading to the beach. There is nothing worse then having to stay within running distance of all your things. Your focus should be on having fun and running around! I just discovered these amazing beach capsules! You can hide your things in them and put them under your blanket. Better yet they now have these amazing hair brushes and sunscreens with secret compartments!!
As a mom of a baby and a toddler, I know how hard it is to get out that door and onto new adventures. I keep our beach bag packed and ready to go so we don’t waste time searching for missing beach hats or blankets. Having these things ready to go will not only make your life easier but will set you up for a much more enjoyable time at the beach! Don’t forget the reason you are there, to relax, enjoy the sun and to laugh with your littles!
Check out my beach list below and let me know in the comments what your number one beach essential is!