Heading to the beach is a great way to entertain your toddler but you have to be organized. Here are my must-pack items for a glorious day at the beach with our toddler:
Food and snacks
Spend a few hours at the beach and you will most certainly end up with a very hungry toddler and most probably, a very hungry mum as well! My favorite beach snack to pack is fresh fruits, not only for our toddler Marios, but also for us –grapes, berries and nectarines are my current favorites but the options are endless especially during summer. Watermelon, melon, ananas, apples, cherries and many more. Sandwiches with feta cheese, juicy summer tomatoes and oregano or basilic are another favorite as is a pasta or quinoa-lentils-green apple salad.
You don’t want to be stranded on a beach with a gazillion degrees Celsius without any water. Especially when a toddler is involved in this picture. So, make sure to take with you enough cool water for your toddler and everyone else or that there is a place nearby from where to get some if needed.
Pretty obvious, though it’s easy to forget. Grab your toddler’s sunscreen first thing and make sure you have enough for the day. You should also apply some sunscreen to your toddler -and ideally to yourself as well- before hitting the road. Once at the beach, don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly.
If you have any, that is. We got a surf-style t-shirt for Marios as a present and we like to put it on because it’s great protection from the sun throughout the day. It’s not necessary to wear it all day long but especially during the peak sunny hours (12.00 – 16.00), it’s a great solution to keep your toddler sun-protected. Direct exposure to the sun might also be beneficial since that’s how our bodies produce vitamin D. Did you know that in Switzerland, and many other northern European countries, babies are given a vitamin D supplement until age 3 because of the limited exposure to the sun?
There is no need to carry a whole truck of toys every time -although we are all guilty of doing this from time to time, I think- but do take a few with you so you can keep your little one entertained. If for some reason you can’t get any, worry not. The sand and the sea provide multiple opportunities for improvised games and it’s also a great motivation to socialize and play with other toddlers -and their beach toys!- while at the beach.
Hat & sunglasses
For your baby, for you, for your partner. A hat is more essential than the sunglasses, especially for the baby.
Waterproof baby diapers
When they are young, those waterproofs diapers are really practical but you could also choose to leave your toddler to enjoy this much-needed sense of freedom.
Waterproof, compact or your mobile phone’s camera, whichever you choose make sure to take it with you fully charged. Photos by the sea will be some of the memories you will cherish forever.
Umbrella or a tent: we like to have ample shade especially now with our toddler. Shade is also practical to keep any food items you have with you cool so pick a good quality umbrella or tent. Oh, and one more tip: if you are opting for a tent, make sure it’s super easy to open and dismantle.
Swimming aids such as swimming vests, float suits or sit-in floats
Beach towels and blanket
Aunties & Uncles
Whenever possible, we also love to “pack” and take with us our wonderful, crazy aunts and uncles!
That’s my list of what to pack when heading to the sea for a day with a toddler. Have I missed anything? What else do you take with you? Leave a comment down below.
Read more articles here:
What to pack for a trip with a baby or toddler
Travel tips: first summer vacation with a baby
Family holidays in Preveza, Greece – What to do
Six places to visit in Spain’s Costa Brava with a baby
Are you planning your next vacation with your baby/toddler? Check out my mummy and baby/toddler travel checklist here.