For those of you who took L/O to the beach

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by kristy horner, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. kristy horner

    kristy horner Well-Known Member

    We've never taken the kids to the beach before, but are embarking on an 8 day trip to the Outer Banks. I am completely frazzled while packing. I want to take it all...I'm afraid we'll get there and I won't have what I need and the place won't be babyproofed at all and we'll be miserable! We have family going with us (who always say they'll help....but what they mean is they'll play with them-lol) and I know we outnumber them..but sometimes going places is more work than fun, KWIM?!! Anyway, the point in my post is to find out what things you couldn't live w/o at the beach and what things you wish you'd taken but didn't ...etc..!

  2. serranoboys

    serranoboys Well-Known Member

    I don't know if my list will be of much help because mine were only crawling when we went and yours may be walking already. But here's what we brought to the actual beach during the day:

    2 bathing suits each : Both got used due to poop blowouts, a sand mite attack, etc. Also it was really helpful to have them dressed in their swim diapers and swimsuits right before we left. However, I would put a small towel on the car seat because they are sure to pee as soon as you buckle them in.

    Aqua Socks: We didn't really need them becasue they only stood where we held them to stand which was right at the shore. But the sand farther up the beach was unbearably hot so if you have walkers I wouldn't go without them.
    Protectants: (obviously) sunscreen, bug spray, big floppy hats

    Medication: Benadryl and Tylenol

    SMALL shovels/pails: My mil stopped at the dollar store on the way and got the saddest looking pail set I've ever seen and they LOVED it. Caleb held on to it the entire time (the shovel).

    More water than you can drink: Much of our water supply was depleted by sandy mouth/eye/head/hand clean-up. It's so much easier than running to the shower every 3 minutes. The second time we went, we made sure to have enough cold drinking water as well as room temp ones for washing off.

    Towels: for obvious reasons. Make sure to leave a couple in the car (I ALWAYS have them) so that you can give them a final sand dusting before you get into the car. And with any luck you'll still have an untainted small towel in the carseat. I'm sire they make an actual item that you can line your seat with to protect from sand but I've never seen it and more than likely I wouldn't buy it anyway.

    Umbrella/Tent: If at all possible, I would RENT one of these at the site. We did and it was nice to have a shaded place to sit with them when they looked wiped out. I honestly would not bring one because you're already going to be overwhelmed by the stuff you HAVE to bring to a beach.

    Things I wouldn't bring:

    Pack and Play
    Big toys (the sand and water itself is fascinating enough)

    One thing I would have like to try is one of those collapsible beach tents for the off chance they actually napped on the beach. It seems small and easy to carry. We just never found one anywhere. I hope this helped a little. And just know that even if your help is just there to play with them, you're a step ahead my friend. My family doesn't do squat and it kills me. It would be such a huge help if they could just play with them and keep them entertained while I "get things done". That would be a dream. My in-laws totally take over entertainment duty and it feels so good to be able to perform my mom duties IN PEACE! Good luck and I know you guys will have a blast!
  3. snoopytwins

    snoopytwins Well-Known Member

    We recently got back from a 5 day trip to the beach and I'm assuming you're specifically asking about items to take/not take to the beach itself and not for a hotel room.

    Gotta love the neat sheet (family size). It's a nice size and the sand doesn't "stick" to it. I found ours at Toys R Us last year.

    An umbrella/canopy of some sort for shade. That sun gets brutal even with sunscreen. Loads of sunscreen. We took hats and sunglasses for the boys too but they were having no part of that. We just dosed them down with sunscreen frequently.

    Like pp said...aquasocks are good but we didn't have those. The boys wore their knock-off brand crocs and those worked well on the beach.

    Lots of bottled water to drink and rinse off (love the beach except for all that darned sand). We had a small ice chest for beverages and food.

    I also took snacks and food. Things like the lunchable jrs worked well for lunch and some goldfish and raisins for snacks.

    We had a big red wagon that we lugged all our stuff in including the ice chest, towels, neat sheet, etc. We had the stroller for the boys and when they looked sleepy we walked them around the beach in their stroller (on the firmer sand by the water of course) and they fell asleep there. Otherwise, mine would not have napped at the beach...too much going on.

    Some beach toys...mainly a bucket and shovel would be great...mine were fascinated with the sand and water.

    We took some stale bread to feed the birds which the boys loved. They chased the birds around.

    A couple of extra plastic bags for trash that way you don't have to constantly walk to the trash cans 50 miles away to throw something out. You just collect while you're there and throw away as you leave.
  4. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    We went to DH's parents' lake house and I was amazed at how much the girls DIDN'T need! Oh and the house wasn't baby proofed and it was exausting. Here are some must-have things (for me at least):

    Booster chairs for eating. They eat so much and it was nice to have a place to strap them into. I actually put them on the floor or on the ground outside to eat. We got the $20 FP ones that they were great!

    Two pnp's. My girls don't sleep well together and having a place for them to sleep and nap where I could leave them was essential for some ME time.

    A couple of toys- but its amazing what they will find to play with (tupperware, water bottles, pillows, etc).

    I would also bring a little cabana for the beach. We have one that sets up in minutes (from Kelty). Water socks, bathing suits, washable swim diapers and pails and shovels will also be needed. Along with lots of sun screen, bug stray, and tylenol.
  5. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    I would take a gate or 2

    Baby powder to get the sand off - works great!
  6. kristy horner

    kristy horner Well-Known Member

    That's a great start! Thanks...for those of you who used bug spray, what kind did you use? I've never used bug spray on the kids and they have sensitive skin...
  7. SnowCraig

    SnowCraig Well-Known Member

    I would second the point of don't pack too many toys. They will be so amused by the water and the sand that you don't need to haul a lot of toys with you. Some shovels and pails will probably do just fine.

    We pack a big towel for us to sit on, a towel for each kid, a cover-up for each kid, extra diapers and wipes, sunscreen, sippies with water, a snack that is easy like Goldfish, hats, and that's about it. We put sunscreen on them before we leave the house and reapply if we are there long (our average beach trip is 2 hours). I recommend going after a nap or well before a nap so they aren't cranky. We have a half-shelter sun tent that is small and easy to put up, but most of the time don't even use it. The kids want to be at the water instead of in the tent. We use it for sun "breaks" and snack time mostly. There is no way my kids would like down and nap at the beach - they have too much fun.

    Another piece of advice....don't bring a lot for yourselves. I don't bother bringing beach chairs because I just sit in the sand and play with the kids. Pre-kids I'd take a beach bag for myself with towels, books, magazines, I don't have time for any of that and it's not worth dragging that stuff around.

    Have fun...relax...enjoy the beach...and don't worry about the sand (in the mouth, nose, hair, diapers, etc.) washes off!!

    Jess Craig
  8. hot2trottt4u

    hot2trottt4u Well-Known Member

    Dont forget
    -electrical plug covers
    and your playyard if you have one is always a good, i know we used our to block off a section of the beach house we rented.
    here is a picture we also had to move the furniture around a bit to keep them contained but it was so great to have a safe zone to put them.
    also the portable seat for eating, our fold down so are perfect for travel and they can be on the floor if need be.
    good luck
  9. happyfor2

    happyfor2 Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you posted this question. We are heading to the beach for the first time with the boys in about two weeks and staying in a beach house. I am really excited about going but am starting to get really nervous how it is all going to go. And like you, I'm really starting to wonder what I need to take with us. So far I plan to take our play yard (as a PP mentioned), two pack n plays (for sleeping and naps), two single umbrellas (I think our double stroller will just take up too much space in our vehicles), two collapsable booster chairs, a few toys (whatever I can fit into one large bag that I have), and our inflatable tub that fits inside a regular bath tub. So far this is my list but I look forward to seeing if anyone else has any other suggestions. I am also starting to stress about the car ride. It will take us about 4 hours to get to the beach and this will be the longest ride they have taken. I just hope it is not screaming and crying for most of the ride! (this could possibly include me as well!!)

    Good luck and have a lot of fun!
  10. Stephanie M

    Stephanie M Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(SnowCraig @ Sep 11 2008, 05:40 PM) [snapback]975249[/snapback]
    Another piece of advice....don't bring a lot for yourselves. I don't bother bringing beach chairs because I just sit in the sand and play with the kids. Pre-kids I'd take a beach bag for myself with towels, books, magazines, I don't have time for any of that and it's not worth dragging that stuff around.

    AMEN! I totally agree with this. Don't lug those awkward chairs to the beach . . . you want use them.

    Defintely bring tissue, paper towels, extra towels, or something to wipe yucky noses.

  11. NINI H

    NINI H Well-Known Member

    gates for the room
    sand toys, but not alot
    snacks and drinks
    a booster or equivalent (although we just put them in their stroller to eat)
    PNP (we used one)
    A ball
    WIPES!!! (lots and lots)
    Solarcane (sp?)
    A cheap stroller for walks on the beach (I wouldn't ruin my good one for one week of comfort)

    As for umbrellas, chairs and towels, we ended up not using ANY of it. It was such a waste of time to lug it all. We took bug spray, but didn't need it.
    We also didn't use anything for their feet and their eczema actually healed. We would carry them over the hot sand to the cooler area.
    We could have also done without so many suits. Swim diapers would work just fine. I did take the diaper bag a couple of times so I could put them into something dry.

    And to the pp. Our drive is about 9 hrs. And it went wonderfully. They slept the whole way back! I was shocked at how well they really did travel. And it's a good thing with all the hockey tourneys we have to attend this year. But this is them, your children could react differently.
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