Summer is here and nothing screams summer more than a day at the beach.  Heading out to the lake or beach with little ones can be a little more complicated than going solo. With careful planning and packing, a day at the beach with babies and young children can be a full of sandcastles, splashing in the waves, and soaking up the sun. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for a fun and stress-free beach day with your little ones.

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Sun Protection

  • Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply it generously and reapply every two hours or after swimming.
  • Hats: Wide-brimmed hats provide extra protection for your child’s face, ears, and neck.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your child’s eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Rash Guards/Sun suits: Long-sleeve rash guards or swim shirts offer additional sun protection.
  • Beach Umbrella or Tent: Create a shaded area where your kids can take a break from the sun.

Beach Essentials

  • Swim Diapers: Regular diapers aren’t suitable for swimming, so pack swim diapers for your little ones.
  • Beach Blanket: A large, waterproof beach blanket provides a comfortable place for the family to sit and play.
  • Chairs: Lightweight, portable beach chairs for adults to relax while keeping an eye on the kids.

Hydration and Snacks

  • Water Bottles: Pack plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated.
  • Snacks: Choose easy-to-eat, snacks like fruit, crackers, and sandwiches. Consider packing them in a cooler to keep them fresh.

Toys and Entertainment

  • Beach Toys: Buckets, shovels, and molds for building sandcastles.
  • Floaties and Inflatables: Age-appropriate floatation devices for swimming.
  • Ball and Frisbee: For older kids, pack a ball or frisbee for some active play.

Clothing and Extras

  • Extra Clothes: Pack an extra set of clothes for each child to change into after swimming.
  • Swimsuits: Bring a backup swimsuit in case the first one gets too sandy or wet.
  • Hooded Towels or Ponchos: These are great for keeping kids warm and dry after they come out of the water.

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Safety Items

  • First Aid Kit: Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications.
  • Life Jackets: For babies and young toddlers, consider bringing a life jacket for added safety in the water.
  • Identification: Make sure your child has some form of identification, such as a wristband with your contact information.

With the right preparation, a day at the beach with babies and young children can be a fun filled day for the entire family. Always check the weather before your go and aim to arrive early to get a good spot and avoid the midday sun. Happy beaching!