When you think of a day at the beach, you probably imagine something relaxing and rejuvenating unless you have kids. Having young kids at the beach can be stressful! Whether you’re worried about the water, having enough snacks, or managing meltdowns, there is a lot to consider when heading to the beach with kids. 

To help our fellow mommas out, we’re sharing a round-up of beach tips that can help keep your beach day stress-free! These hacks will keep everyone safe, happy, and comfortable on your next sandy outing. Here’s what to do:

12 Beach Hacks for Moms Who Need a Break

1. Apply sunscreen with an applicator. 

Applying sunscreen on a toddler (or any kid) is a nightmare. Not only is it a mess, but it can be really hard to get good coverage when they’re wiggling and fighting. A sunscreen applicator or sunscreen brush set is a lifesaver! It makes sure you have good coverage and keeps the sunscreen off your hands. Now you won’t dread reapplying every couple hours! At least . . . not as much. 

2. Gain peace of mind with neon life vests and swimsuits. 

At the beach, life jackets are essential for a safe and relaxing trip. Ensure that your kids (even the ones that can swim!) are equipped with neon swimsuits and life jackets. The bright colors will ensure if your child goes under or is swept away by a current, they’ll be easy to spot. Swimzip has great neon rash guard and one-piece suit options and doubles as UV protection! 

When shopping for life vests, make sure your child is within the weight range and confirm that they are Coast Guard-approved. Also, we’ll emphasize the phrase “life VEST.” Puddle Jumpers, arm floaties, and tube suits are unsafe because they promote dangerous swim posture. Stick with the vests and secure them properly according to the manual! Test the fit by holding the shoulders of the vest and lifting your child. If the vest doesn’t slip over their chin and ears, it’s correctly buckled! 

3. Use a lidded service tray to serve snacks waste-free.

Snacks are a must-have beach trip for parents and kids. However, there aren’t a lot of places to dispose of waste, it can be difficult to open things with wet hands, and sand could get into any opened containers. We recommend using a divided serving tray to store your treats in an organized, easy-to-access, and waste-free way!  

4. Relax while your baby plays in an XL play yard. 

Don’t forget the whole point of a beach trip is that you and your kids get a little break! A baby glued to you, crawling toward open water, or trying to eat fistfuls of sand won’t make for a relaxing day. Instead, bring a shaded XL play yard that’ll give your baby plenty of room to explore safely! These are so big you could even lie in them!  

5. Keep everything off the sand with an umbrella table or folding table.

We love a sandy beach, but we don’t like sand anywhere else. Keep sand out of your drinks and off your phone with a folding tray or this handy umbrella table. These elevated surfaces come in handy for lots of beach day activities! 

6. Stay cool with cooling towels, misters, and neck fans.  

Staying cool is not only important for being comfortable, it’s actually important for safety, too! As an adult, you can probably determine when you’re getting too toasty, but it’s harder for your kids to discern when it’s time to cool down. Keep lots of tools on hand to beat the heat like a neck fan, misting water bottle, cooling towel, misting fan, and even just a spray bottle. Of course, also have plenty of places to get shade using an umbrella, tent, or canopied play yard. 

7. Keep the sand at the beach using mesh bags and laundry baskets. 

As mentioned, we want to keep sand on the beach and nowhere else. Put everything from sand toys to diaper changing essentials in mesh bags or laundry baskets. This way, you don’t take too much sand home with you! We prefer beach bags like this drawstring bag and this mesh tote. And, you can organize them using these zipper pouches

Bonus tip: Baby powder or this Sandscreen product are great for removing sand from the skin! Let’s create a sand pile at the beach, NOT at home.

8. Avoid potty problems with a portable toilet. 

Can kids pee in the water? Yes. Will they? Maybe. This may be a struggle, especially for a potty-training toddler who has just been taught NOT to pee their pants. Of course, you don’t want to regress on all your potty progress, so if your toddler insists they have to go (and no other bathrooms are available), we recommend having a portable toilet ready! This way, when you hear “I have to go potty!” there’s no reason to stress!

9. Bring a basic first-aid kit for minor bumps and scratches. 

Things happen. You don’t want a minor bump or scratch to send everyone home early. Have a small first-aid kit in your beach bag to clean scrapes, bandage cuts, and soothe bruises. Of course, along with your first-aid kit, ensure you have plenty of sunscreen! That’s the one item you KNOW you’ll need! 

10. That stroller wagon can also hold lots of beach gear. 

Even if you don’t need the wagon to transport your kids on your beach trip, bring it along anyway for all the stuff! It’s the perfect vessel to keep all your stuff organized and tow it all to and from your vehicle. Much better than throwing everything on your shoulders and making a dozen trips! 

11. Remember, painting is the perfect beach activity. 

Kids love water and sand, but we all know how short kids’ attention spans can be. If you want a relaxing beach day, you don’t want to sit down with your favorite drins, only to be interrupted by your toddler, who is already bored of their current water adventure. 

This is why we like to bring paint with us! It’s the perfect beach activity because you don’t need to stress about the mess! Just get something easy to set up, like this watercolor paint set and a portable easel. Now, your kids have at least another hour or two of fun before they come back to you for inspiration (or a snack). 

12. Make a toddler pool on the beach or sandbar for hours of fun. 

You’re not going to get any time to relax if you’re constantly rescuing your child from running too far out into the river, late, or ocean. You can’t keep a toddler from enjoying the water on the beach, but you can create a toddler pool in the sand! 

Create a toddler oasis by using this baby beach puddle blanket to create a shallow, toddler-friendly pool for your littles. Then, throw in some beach toys and shade the area for the ultimate toddler beach hangout! You can even dip your own toes in the cool water for an even more luxurious beach experience. 

Use these hacks to have a beach day that’s actually relaxing!

You deserve a break! Take your kids to the beach and use these tips to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone that includes you! When everything is safe, engaging, and organized, you’ll all have a good time. 

For more parenting advice and safety information, head to the Safe in the Seat blog! We can help you with everything from safe road trip travel to effective co-parenting! Plus, you can find more recommended summer products on our Amazon Shop!

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