Essentials for Taking Your Baby Beachside

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We're heading to the beach with a baby in tow for the first time this summer, and I've been racking my brain trying to make sure that I am as prepared as humanly possible. While I realize that it probably won't be the relaxing book-reading/napping/water-lapping-at-my-toes-type experience that I've had in the past, I also hope that it won't be a complete and utter disaster. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Number one on my list is some sort of shade. I am very fair-skinned and skin cancer runs in my family, so I am very serious about my girls' skin as well. Plus a bit of time out of the sun if someone gets tired or fussy is a must. I first checked out umbrellas and discovered these two (stripe, pom pom), but quickly moved on to something a little bit more substantial and ended up purchasing this cabana. We've already used it once and it was perfect - lightweight, easy to set up and kept the sun off of our backs.

2. Speaking of the sun, I've been checking out our sunscreen options and I definitely know that we want two types: spray and wipes. I'm still researching the best type (maybe I'm overthinking things? I don't know), so if you have any recommendations I'm all ears!

3. Large, plush beach towels. My oldest is obsessed with her name and with making sure that the baby doesn't take her things, so I loved that these particular towels can be personalized.

4. Blankets for my still mostly crawling thirteen-month-old to play on without getting completely caked in sand.

5. And to assist in the not-completely-caked-in-sand department, I've heard that baby powder or corn starch works wonders at removing sand in a jiffy.

6. A spray bottle filled with water to remove sand from pacifiers and such, or just to spritz a bit to cool down.

7. Wet wipes for hands, faces, and pacifiers, especially after eating sticky treats like grapes and strawberries.

8. A cooler to hold all of the sticky treats, water, and milk.

9. Toys to entertain. My kids love tossing a ball back and forth, so a beach ball is definitely on our list along with other classics - shovels, rakes and pails.

10. A portable clip-on fan to help us cool off a bit and circulate some air in the cabana in case of a mid-day nap.

11. Ziploc baggies or plastic grocery bags are great for dirty diapers, wet clothing, and general garbage.

12. A baby carrier to easily transport my babe onto the beach without her having to step on all of that hot sand along the way. I am also considering some sort of wrap or sling that is water-friendly for safer ocean play.

13. A travel chair with a tray to contain her while she eats and keep the sand far away from her food.

14. And last, but not least, a portable beach "radio" that allows you to keep your electronics safe and sound, as well as play music (or perhaps white noise?)

So what do you think? Have I obsessed enough about this? Did I miss anything? And how on Earth does one manage to cart all of this paraphernalia to the beach???

(Image credits: Products as linked, Composite by Lauren Hufnagl)

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Main, Family, Baby, Toddler, Travel

Lauren is a writer, DIYer, and Etsy addict living with her family in her tiny work-in-progress home in Pennsylvania. When not blogging, she can usually be found chasing around one very spirited little three-year-old and snuggling her new baby girl.