Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Beach Essentials for Toddlers + Babies

Y'all know by now that we recently went to the beach for the very first time with Walker and Knox. It was by no means easy packing and hauling all the stuff they needed to be at the beach for a few hours each day, but it was so worth it! Our suitcases were pretty packed, but our hearts are full of sweet memories. 

I did a lot of research before we left of things we would need at the beach -- and I will say that I definitely overpacked and we didn't use 1/4 of the stuff I brought (and actually liked some stuff that one of my sisters-in-law brought better than my own stuff!). So here are the things that we used daily and I will continue to pack with us year after year when we travel to the beach with the boys: 

1. Wet Bag: This is key to putting wet swimsuits in when you're leaving the beach {or pool} to take back up to your room or condo with you. Many times, we would go down to the beach in the evenings and Walker would take off his rash guard when the sun was setting and hand it to me, and it was just nice to have a place to put something that was soaking wet. 

2. Kids Croakies: I mentioned before how I purchased cheep sunglasses for the boys at the Target Dollar Aisle because I didn't want to worry about them losing or breaking anything more than $1-3. But the best way I kept them from actually losing the sunglasses while they were out on the beach {and ensuring I wasn't constantly looking for said lost sunglasses} was to put these kids Croakies on them. In total frat boy style, they would keep them around their neck if they were off their face and made it easy for Walker to put them on himself. 

3. Stainless Steel Sippy Cup: I love the Contigo Kids water bottles for every day use, but the stainless steel ones help keep the water extra cold when we're down on the beach. {Basically like a kid's Yeti Tumbler!} We would bring water bottles down to the beach to constantly refill their cups to ensure they were well hydrated on those hot beach days. 

4. Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen: This sunscreen works best for our two little boys with fair, sensitive skin, and I love the SPF 50. We did have to reapply a couple of times a day {of course} but neither boy got burned on our trip! 

5. Blow-Up Pool: You may remember that I purchased this pool...and we ended up hating it so much that I threw it away. We had a hard time keeping it upright and it collapsed easily, and because of that, no one ended up using it. #epicfail 

My sister-in-law purchased this pool and it worked perfectly and had enough room for their twin 15-month-old girls and 13-month-old Knox. I'll just go the cheap route from here on out! 

6. Annie's Cheddar Bunnies: My boys love Cheddar Bunnies anyway, but I love them for the beach because they're not a snack that melts easily {think fruit snacks or Lära Bars -- both of which I love, but get yucky in the hot sun}. Since we were on the beach a good chunk of the day -- and because the boys were running around and working up an appetite -- these pre-packaged snacks were perfect to tide them over until lunch or dinnertime each day. 

7. Yeti Portable Cooler: A pricey purchase, yes, but we loved this cooler and plan to get many years of use out of it! Since we stayed in a hotel, Brandon would fill it up daily with our snacks, water, adult bevies, etc. in our room and then take it down to the hotel's ice machine and fill it up. It is heavy when you get all of that stuff in there -- and Brandon hated lugging it 100 yards across the beach each day -- but I think that's pretty par for the course being a dad at the beach. ;) 

8. Long-Sleeved Rash Guards: My boys have fair skin just like their mama, bless their hearts, so I cover them up practically from head to toe when we're at the beach, pool or lake. I try to buy long-sleeved rash guard sets, if possible, but if I see a swimsuit trunk I like, I'll buy one of these to coordinate with the colors. We love them so much for our boys that Brandon and I are planning to buy an adult version for the beach next summer. 

9. Swim Diapers and Travel Wipes: Walker is fully potty trained, so these are only for Knox, but I like the Huggies brand of swim diapers a lot more than the Pampers brand. {Knox wears Pampers diapers during the day and Huggies Overnites at nighttime.} When I purchased these swim diapers, they threw in a travel pack of wipes in a protective case and I LOVED that thing! It was so helpful to find in the beach bag because it was bright, but it also kept the wipes from getting nasty and wet. 

10. Babyganics Bug Spray: My favorite brand of bug spray, this helped keep any of the sand fleas and mosquitoes off our boys. It's DEET-free, which our pediatrician recommends for little ones. 

11. Crocs Kids Sandals: I love these sandals for Walker, but especially for the beach. Since they're Crocs, they dry easily when wet...and I love that they're simple enough for Walker to put on and take off himself. They're light, too, so they weren't heavy and clunky in the beach bag or on his feet.

12. SPF Sun Hat: I have raved and raved about these sun hats before; we love them so much! As I mentioned, my boys are fair skinned, so we always have hats on them at the pool, beach or lake. I like that these are big enough to not only cover their heads and faces, but their necks, too. And they have built-in SPF! Can't beat that. 

Honorable Mentions: 
+ Goggles: Walker is really into goggles right now, so I scooped up this pair on Amazon before we left. He loved using them in the pool! 

+ Puddle Jumper: Since Walker was doing so well swimming after his swimming lessons, he didn't use the Puddle Jumper at all during the trip. {Of course, we watched him like a hawk in the pool and at the beach.} We took it with us, but didn't end up using it. 

+ Life Jacket: I put this as an "Honorable Mention" because while we used it, Knox hated it. He hates all life jackets, so I wasn't surprised. He's too small for the Puddle Jumper, but too big to go without anything, so I did a ton of research and this life jacket got consistently positive ratings from parents.

+ Sand Toys: Before we left, Brandon and I went to both the Dollar Tree and scoured Target's Dollar Aisle for cheap sand toys to take with us to the beach. I'm glad we didn't spend big money on these, because we lost about 3/4 of what we came with and then just left the majority of it on the beach for someone else to enjoy on our last day. Walker loved building sand castles and taking buckets of water from the beach all the way back up to our tent, so these were money well spent. 

+ Wet Ones: Wet Ones, wipes...anything to get food and sand off of little hands. I brought these plus our wipes {mentioned above} in our beach bag. I also brought a travel thing of baby powder, but didn't end up using it. It would have been great to use if we were at a condo where we had to sweep up any rogue sand, but since we were at a hotel, they had a ton of foot-washing stations around where we could get all the sand off before dragging it through the hotel. 

+ Fan{s}: Again, not a necessity, but we did like the option of having this fan and this fan down on the beach {under the tent} to circulate the air. Neither of my boys slept down on the beach, but one of my nieces did and my sister-in-law used them to cool her off during her nap. 

+ Cooling Towels: Again, not a necessity, but very nice to have. It got hot out on the beach, and these were nice to have to cool our boys down quickly. My sister-in-law had one of my nieces lay down on this for her nap to keep her cool while she slept. 

+ SPF Lip Balm: You may have kiddos who are too small to use lip balm, but we used this on Walker {and ourselves}. I'm so paranoid about the sun that I cover every inch of ourselves and our kids in SPF. I liked this brand since it tasted good and didn't have a tingle -- something Walker can't stand. 

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

1 comment

  1. All such great ideas! We have that exact cooler and we use the heck out of it! That's also the sunscreen I got for Vivi!


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