We’ve spent the last three weeks indoors staring at our brand new son and getting the hang over parenting two kiddos simultaneously (man on man defense!) but we’ve also been going a bit stir crazy. So next week, we’re packing up the family and heading to the beautiful North Carolina coast.
While I’m looking forward to spending days with my toes in the sand, I’ve also been doing some serious planning to keep our little ones comfortable, happy, and protected against the blazing summer sun. Here’s our list of 5 must-have beach essentials:
1. First things first – SUNSCREEN. Specifically, California Baby SPF 30 sunscreen. Yes, this stuff is pricey – but it’s been consistently rated one of the best and safest sunscreens on the market for babies and young children. It’s non-chemical, very water resistant, and perfect for sensitive skin. I never leave the house without a tube in our diaper bag (or in this case, our beach bag!)
2. A spacious shade tent. Our favorite is the Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade. This is perfect for trips to the park and really any prolonged outdoor activity – but it’s absolutely crucial on the beach! With a newborn baby in tow, this tent will keep Arlo completely out of the sun and will give our 17 month old daughter a break from the heat when she’s had enough of making sand castles and chasing seagulls. Added bonus – it gives me a discreet place to breastfeed!
3. A giant beach bag. Toting everything a family of four needs for a day at the beach is no easy feat. The bigger the bag, the better – towels, sand toys, magazines, hats – you name it, it’s probably in our bag. Our favorite is the One Step Ahead Sand-Away bag. When the day is done everything manages to make it back to the house except for a pile of sand in the bottom thanks to the mesh design.
4. A small inflatable baby pool. This one is the perfect size. I love these because they pack down small and can be blown up once you reach your destination (thanks, honey!) and provide a safe, close place for older babies to splash, play and keep cool on the beach. A couple bucketfuls of sea water and some large seashells or float toys can keep a little one safely entertained.
5. A great sun hat. Even slathered in sunscreen, a brimmed sun hat is crucial in protecting little faces from harmful UV rays. Currently, I’m a bit obsessed with sun bonnets like this one on etsy for my daughter. And this awesome one for our little dude. And be sure to get one with a chin strap so wind or little hands can’t take it off.
Now all we need is a sunny day and a stack of gossip magazines (my guilty pleasure!) and we’ll be all set!