Living in in the San Francisco BayArea, we are lucky to have tons of beaches nearby to explore. Having lived here my whole life, I have grown so fond of long walks, picnics, and more on along the shores and I was so excited to bring Harrison for his first time. A few of my mom-friends warned me that going to the beach with babies and kids is a totally different experience – and they were right! While we didn’t spend too long at the beach, we made sure we were prepared and ready so we could enjoy some quality time as a family. I wanted to share some of the beach essentials we brought along and those we will definitely be bringing next time!
Beach Essentials for Babies
Portable Play Yard
This playpen has been one of my absolute favorites. We use this play yard both inside and outside when we need to sit Harrison down for a few minutes of hands-free parenting. We have opened this up at our house, in my mom’s backyard, and finally at the beach recently. We brought a few of Harrison’s favorite teethers and toys we didn’t mind getting sandy, and set it up for him to play in. Kevin and I crawled in with him a few times but it was nice to sit in our chairs and watch the waved while he played independently. It comes with a canopy for shade on sunny days, and an extremely convenient carrying case!
Baby Sun Hat
Getting a baby to wear a hat is anything but easy. However, I am willing to bet a mom invented the hats with the drawstring cords because they definitely make the process easier. I love the shark hats for Harrison, but there are so many options on Amazon and available at Target. Since most pediatricians recommend no sunscreen until 6 months, we have been wearing a sunhat since the weather warmed up a few months ago. I would recommend getting a hat with straps or ties because I have lost count of how many times Harrison tries to get his hat off!
We haven’t ventured into the ocean here with Harrison but he has been in the pool tons this summer! I would definitely recommend investing in both disposables and a reusable swim diaper, in case different pools have different regulations. We’ve been using Huggies Little Swimmers or Pampers Splashers for disposable! So many people ask why use swimming diapers and not regular ones and my reply is, put a baby in water with a normal diaper and let me know how it goes HA!
So while the play yard was great, it wasn’t realistic for Harrison to be in the entire time, he is really on the move, and the play yard obviously confines him a bit. If you don’t mind cleaning off lots of sand, we really loved to watch Harrison play in the sand with some toys and crawl around. The sand was awesome sensory play for him, and some of the toys we brought along were also great for his motor skills development!
Now that we are working on more and more food with Harrison, I have discovered the importance of always having a snack on hand. As I mentioned, we are currently experimenting with purées so having 1-2 pouches (we use both homemade or store bought) in my purse at all times is necessary! Harrison is really liking all foods, so we are giving him little bites of our food too. I’ve been loving teething crackers and puffs as alternative snacks. We try to only give him them on occasion, since we are still new-ish to foods, but they were perfect on the beach if he got a little cranky and wasn’t yet due for a bottle or meal!
What are your must-have beach essentials for babies? Let me know in a comment below!