Because Summer is in full swing, Qais and I like to hit the beach weekly and soak up this short lived season. Before having Poppy you could honestly find us at the beach multiple times of week. Although we don’t hit the beach as often anymore, we still like to get sand in our toes and enjoy the beach as much as we can. Having Poppy has changed what going to the beach has looked like. And honestly, it can be a little tough wrangling a baby, a dog and trying to relax. So I wanted a few tips and items we bring with us to make our beach trip more enjoyable.
1. A beach tent is a Godsend
Okay, so trust me on this. Do not attempt to go to the beach without this! A beach tent is so practical for beachin’ with a baby. It offers UV protection from the sun, a place to nurse, a place to change diapers, shelter from the heat, a great place to feed your baby without too much distraction, a place to nap and place to store all the things you need. We opted for the 3-4 person tent and it comfortably fits Poppy, Q, Bowser and I. We literally throw her toys down on a blanket in there and let her go wild. It really is something you need to enjoy your day at the beach. I couldn’t even imagine going without it. Also, it’s super easy to build and tear down. And this one in particular has ventilation on all sides keeping it nice and cool on hot days! Here is the exact one I have.
2. A BIG bag of toys
Don’t even dare to bring a baby around Poppy’s age (9.5 months) to the beach without a single toy. If your baby is younger you can totally skip this. But, at Poppy’s age, they are little explorers and want to get into everything. I’d suggest bringing toys they have’t seen in awhile to keep their attention. We pack her favourite toys at the moment and books, since she loves to flip through them. When all else fails, we bring our spare phone so we have a moment to breath. She likes to just look at the phone and it’s our backup for when tantrums occur. You may want to bring a tablet too, no judgement here. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do!
3. Weekender bag
As I’m sure many of you know, going ANYWHERE with a baby = lots of stuff! Instead of taking multiple bags, Q and I throw everything into a Freshly Picked Weekender bag. We put her lunch, diapers, change of clothes, wipes, etc. in it. This Freshly Picked weekender bag is great since it has 9 pockets (SO needed) and can be worn as a back pack, across the chest and over the shoulder. Making it really easy to take anywhere. I highly recommend this for anytime you need to load up a lot of stuff for your baby!
4. Baby lunch bag
Talking about bags, having a designated lunch bag for Poppy has made her eating out so much easier. I love the one we have from SoYoung. It’s cute, practical and just the right size. I throw my Medela freezer pack in it to keep her food cold and we’re good to go. It also comes with a strap for over the shoulder, which I think is super smart too!
5. Bring easy to eat food
At home, I love feeding Poppy stew, spaghetti and meatballs and all the fun things. But when we’re out I like to keep it super simple. Firstly, because she gets distracted. And secondly, I find she doesn’t always love to feed herself when we’re out. My go-to on the go meal is baby alphabets, chicken breast and a pouch of Baby Gourmet. I use the Baby Gourmet as a sauce for her pasta and she loves to feed herself some throughout our beach trip. I usually shred her chicken by hand and will either just feed her or put it in one of her silicone plates that I bring along. My tip is just to keep food super simple!
6. Plan the trip around naps
Depending on how far the beach is from your house this will apply to you. Our favourite beach is about 45 mins away from home. So we’ll plan to leave on her first nap so she can nap on the way and wake up refreshed and ready to hit the beach. I always put her in something comfy to sleep in on the road and change her once we get to the beach. I bring a blanket, portable white noise machine and her paci to make sure she has everything she needs for a restful sleep in the car. Once she wakes up we get out of the car and spend a few hours at the beach. We usually head home close to her second nap and if she doesn’t fall asleep in the car we’ll put her down as soon as we get home!
7. It probably won’t go as planned and that’s OKAY
One thing I’ve learned about having Poppy is most things don’t go as planned. For example, one of her beach trips Poppy started crying at the top of her lungs and wouldn’t stop (none of our usual tricks were working) and I was so embarrassed because the beach was pretty busy. So I quickly put her in her carrier, grabbed Bowser and headed for the car. During our walk towards the car she was still SCREAMING at the top of her lungs and of course someone came running towards us, Bowser tried to attack them. THEN my sandal fell off and I had to try tying it with Poppy in the carrier (it’s basically impossible). And honestly, it was a total nightmare and everyone was looking at me! I was mortified and couldn’t believe that’s how our beach trip ended. Of course Q couldn’t even help because he was tearing down the beach so I was the crazy lady with the crying baby, barking dog and a shoe flying off.
So yeah, long story short, don’t worry if things don’t turned out as planned. It’s totally normal. And to end this story, Poppy was crying because she wanted to pet Bowser and when we picked her up she lost it, lol.
Here are a few items that I can’t live without for the beach too:
- Amazon sun hat
- Amazon stroller fan
- Pacifier wipes
- Straw Silicone cup
- Lovevery Park Blanket
- Baby Bjorn Carrier
- Baby Bum Sunscreen