12 Tips for Making Beach Day with Toddlers Go Off Without a Hitch

They say the beach is one of the most relaxing places you can ever go. Add kids to the mix though and you may feel more stressed rather than inclined to unwind. However, with these 12 tips, even you’ll manage to have a good time and see to smooth sailing ahead!

1. Time it right

Once upon a time, you probably sat on the beach all day working on your tan and slinging back plenty of pina coladas. With kids, it’s best to pick a time frame and stick to it. Either going earlier in the day and packing it up by noon or arriving after lunch and staying until the evening are better with kids. The younger your kids are though, the better it is to go earlier rather than later when their good behavior is depleted.

2. Throw a little shade

Ideally, your planned beach day with toddlers will be slightly overcast. It helps keep things from being too hot. But since you can’t control the weather on your days off, take along a beach umbrella or tent that will give you all shade from the strongest sun rays. Here are a few options that will ensure you have a respite from the sun when you need it.

3. Don’t forget sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must for everyone, especially tender toddler skin! Use formulas that are safe for children and for the reefs too. Choose ones that you have to manually apply rather than spray so your children don’t inhale the particles. And above all, set a timer to remember to re-apply that sunscreen at regular intervals. Generally, that will be about every 60 to 80 minutes. A few of our favorite sunscreens for toddlers are:

4. Bring beach toys

A plastic pail and shovel are always great for the beach though if your kid wants to take along some toys that would fare well in the sand, let them. However, avoid anything that can get lost in the sand or can’t easily be rinsed clean with water. Some parents even bring small plastic pools so little ones can splash safely in some water without getting swept away, a brilliant idea!

5. Avoid going without another grownup

The beach is one of those places that you definitely can’t slack on keeping tabs on your kids. There’s so much shoreline and lots of variables that can affect safety. Go with your spouse or another friend with kids. This makes it easier too when bathroom breaks are needed so someone will always have eyes on the children at all times. Also, make sure you choose a beach that is manned with lifeguards for everyone’s safety.

6. Pack the essentials from water to first aid

Plenty of water is a must when you’re at the beach. Be sure that everyone is drinking enough of it. Snacks and food are also important. If you want, you can splurge at the concessions, but it’s usually overpriced for subpar food. It’s better to stash a little cash to treat the kids to ice cream before going home. And of course, it can’t hurt to have those swim diapers for your toddlers along with first aid in case anyone gets a little boo-boo.

7. Get water shoes for little feet

Kids love to frolic along the shore for those shells. Unfortunately, some shorelines are riddled with sharp shells and rocks. With water shoes, your toddler can get their little feet wet without getting a whole bunch of ouchies. Here are a few options to prevent a good day gone bad.

8. Don’t forget hand wipes either

Yes, your kids can wash their hands off in the water to get the sand off. But hand wipes are best to get rid of any bacteria and dirt. This is especially important before eating any snacks. Plus, some of those public bathrooms don’t have soap and with your own wipes, you won’t have to worry about that. We love these herbal baby wipes so much that we carry them in our own store.

9. Think about those snacks some more

We briefly mentioned essentials and snacks as one of them. But snacks should be something that are easy to pack, serve, and eat on the beach. Fruit is great because it’s so refreshing and helps hydrate little beach goers. Squeeze pouches are easy to use for go-to snacks too. Sandwiches are great but cutting them into small shapes ensures that if one falls into the sand, you still have plenty more to go around.

10. Be smart about your cooler

Remember those old heavy coolers your parents brought to the beach when you were a kid? Life has gotten easier with cooler that have wheels that you can pull along behind you in the sand. There are also soft-pack style cooler that carry like a tote, making it easy to hold little hands while searching for a spot to set up. Here's a few great options that are bound to make your trip a little lighter and keep your food and drinks more refreshing.

11. Location is everything

At your local beach, it may help to do some research first to find the best spot to go with toddlers. Ideally, you’ll want to look for one with lifeguards on duty and close to a bathroom. If the public bathrooms on the beach leave much to be desired, consider setting up as close as you can to hotel or restaurant properties so you have clean bathroom access.

12. Bring the right towels

Even on the hottest days, a swim at the beach mandates a proper towel. For toddlers, a hooded towel works best to get them dried off and keep them comfortable. At the Land of the Wee, organically-grown bamboo is what these towels are made of for soft and safe comfort at the beach or anywhere. It’s especially cozy for snuggling up in on the way home after that busy beach day too!

Now that you know how to have a great beach day with toddlers, get packing and get out there for your summertime adventure!