Beach baby

This time is finally upon us: beach season! Aaaand since we’re sadly not going to be in San Diego forever, I am determined to Especially since we can walk to the water. No excuses!


Photo 95

When we go to the beach as a family, I usually wrangle the kiddos and carry beach totes, and the Pilot is a 6 foot 1 inch tower of beach gear. He carries chairs, boogie boards and our tent like it’s NBD. The Pilot is home on the weekends, but during the week, his schedule is busy so I’ll likely be venturing to the beach with Liv and P to play and splash. We’ll head to the bay, where I don’t have to worry about waves knocking Liv over, and build sand castles and eat acai bowls. Sounds like the perfect day.

Beach girl

Here’s what I’m trying to figure out: how to streamline all of the gear with a small kiddo + a baby. For P, I know we’ll need the absolute essentials, like diapers, wipes, extra outfit, a sunhat, and bottles, and for Liv, she’ll need her puddle jumper, sunscreen, water/snacks, and an extra pair of clothes. We’ll also all need towels. I’m trying to figure out the logistics of finding a place for P to nap if she gets tired, or if it’s worth bringing a tent out there. Also, how do you mamas lug all of this stuff to set up a spot??

Fellow mamas, any tips? I was looking at these Pea Pods and was thinking it would be easy to carry and just set up an umbrella or small pop-up for shade to P could snooze while we’re out there.

Some of our favorite beach gear:

This beach tent. It’s not an entire tent and is much easier to pop up and set up. I also love that it’s built-in sun protection.

Sports chairs. These are inexpensive and easy to carry/set up.

Waterproof sun hats. (This bumblebee one is so sweet!)

Honest sunscreen and sunscreen sticks. These work so well and I love that they are gentle on their skin and don’t contain freaky ingredients.

Sand castle set. It’s much easier when they have their own tote.

Friends with kiddos: how do you lug all of your gear to the beach? Any faves or ideas for baby naps? I want her to in a safe contained spot because she rolls around so much.

Cheers to the fact that spring is officially here 🙂



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  1. A backpack. And really limit what you need /use. Apply sunscreen prior. Pack a small tube for reapplication. Have liv pack a small pack with her items to lighten your load.

  2. A large bag for everything and I carry the baby and put the bag and toddler in the wagon!

  3. meeshapie says:

    we don’t live near the beach in the slightest but take a multi-family beach vacation each end of summer (I think there will be a minimum of14 kids, with only 2 over age 5). We have used a pea pod like thing, a lotus guava pack’n’play with a crib sheet on the top (it folds into a back pack) and a knobby wheeled wagon to haul gear. but hats/sunscreen/diapers are the key, right? could liv carry some supplies in her beach bucket?

  4. Kristen M says:

    Big blue bags from Ikea are great for hauling around gear. You may go through a few during beach season but they hold up remarkably well. We keep one loaded in the back of our car during beach season so that towels, sunscreen and toys are ready to go. My kids are older now and are responsible for their own water bottles. For younger kids it’s nice to keep a stash of juice boxes and individually packaged snacks in the car as well.

  5. Rachel Martin says:

    Look up the easygo wagon on Amazon! There’s even a specific beach one, and you might be able to find one used on Craigslist!! You can put everything you need in there and cart it to the it works as a place to throw kids in if they are too tired to walk back! I had a friend even put a bumbo inside it and put the baby in that for the walk home! So many options on what you can do with it! And it’s foldable!! It’s great for the zoo, the park, even for groceries!

  6. Alexis caldwell says:

    We have a utility wagon that goes pretty well in the sand. I use it to carry the tent, chairs, and everything else we need. Usually put baby in the ergo so my hands are free to pull the wagon and hold 4 year old hand. Then when it’s time for baby to take a nap I just lay him in the wagon under the tent. Works pretty well for us. 🙂

  7. I am so jealous of your proximity to the beach! I think the kids and I would LIVE there in warmer weather. Although I have no idea how to get all the things there… Maybe one if those wagons that I see softball parents with all the time?

  8. If P is strapped to you and Liv can walk, try this–Capacity/dp/B0000UZ58C/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1458691182&sr=8-3&keywords=shopping+cart

    the big back wheels help if you pull it that way

  9. Just say NO to that tent, mostly because you won’t be able to put it up by yourself. I had that one the previous summer and I always needed help. It would be great when the Pilot is there though.

    I think your best bet is a regular old beach umbrella. Here’s how you bring it all:

    1. Bring your double BOB, put the baby in one side and your beach/diaper bag in the other.
    2. Liv can walk with her little tote of beach stuff.
    3. Clip the puddle jumper to the stroller handlebar.
    4. Lay the beach umbrella or tent of your choosing across the top.
    5. Use a Mommy Hook to attach your lunch bag to the stroller handlebar or jam it on the seat with the beach bag.

    For naps, the easiest thing will honestly be to just buckle P in the stroller, that way you aren’t forced to be stationary (you can wheel that bad boy down to the water while Liv plays) and she will have plenty of shade. I brought my O2 brand clip on fan with me most days and clipped it to the sun canopy of the stroller for V.

    I hope this helps!

    I did it with my 3 and the walk from car to water at our jersey beach is farrrrr, You’ll figure it out! There were definitely a few tantrums and a few times I carried one kid on my back while lugging all that stuff, but it’s worth it for a fun beach day.

    Biggest tip of all – DON’T FORGET ANYTHING because once you’re there you’re stuck until the end of the adventure ha.

    • And if you don’t have the double BOB (can’t remember if you have that or not) then buckle P in the stroller and perch the bag in the front triangle or hang it from the mommy hook.

      • Fitnessista says:

        DONE. i do have a bob! just need to pump up the tires. what age can p ride in it? i think it’s 6 months right?

        • I have always loaded up my bob stroller. I don’t pack light either. I always bring a cooler, umbrella, chair, beach toy bag and regular bag full of towels and change of clothes, sunscreen. P can ride at 6 months. Or put her in ergo and load up stroller with stuff. Have fun at beach!

          • Maybe ask your ped about the BOB. I got the OK for my oldest at about 4 months because she had good head control. She said the company is really conservative to avoid lawsuits, etc.

        • It’s 6 months for jogging, walking is ok earlier!

    • Fitnessista says:

      you are a QUEEN. thank you!!!!
      ordering that fan now, too

  10. The Tommy Bahama beacheck cart from Costco is the BEST! I LOVE in Florida and use it nearly every day on the beach. When my toddler doesn’t want to walk, I even throw him in there on top of the beach stuff for the ride!

  11. I load up the stroller. You can put stuff on top and underneath. I usually load up a tote and put it on top, put towels in the bottom basket and then carry the chair while I push the stroller. And it gives baby a safe/shady place out of the sand to nap if you can recline the seat. I’m sure there are better solutions but it always worked for us! We use our BOB and the wheels do fine in the sand!

  12. We use this beach tent for our kiddos. It’s deep enough that you can have a little one nap in the back. Also it’s so easy to set up. I can do it on my own. I also agree that having a backpack is a great idea. I use a rolling wagon as well.

  13. Thanks for sharing all of your tips! Glad to see you guys are living it up before you leave SD. I’ll have to share this with my sister, who has a 11-week old and is already excited for trips to the Jersey Shore with her little guy this summer : )

  14. Lisa cormier says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. We will be hanging beachside lots this summer at my parents house and my husband won’t be able to join each time. Like you I have a 4yr old and 3mth old, and was asking these exact questions. How to lug everything and naps? I think our bob’s may be loaded up to the brim…..alone with 2 kids at the beach…may God help us. Lol

  15. Christy L. says:

    We have the big Radio Flyer wagon with two seats, and it has a canopy that you can take off or leave on. The seats fold down to be a flat surface, and I’ve used it for a flat surface for diaper changes, and I bet with some towels or a blanket it could be used for a napping spot with the canopy on for P. Not elegant, but extremely functional (and you could continue using the wagon to haul both of them and their stuff as P gets bigger). We usually spread out a straw-type mat on the beach, and our son just slept on the ground on a towel or blanket on top of the mat (under an umbrella of course). He actually slept really well like that.

  16. Looks like you’ve got it figured out! Enjoy your time at the beach!
    I know it will be sad, but I can’t help but be anxious to hear where you are moving next… 🙂
    Have a good day!

  17. Hurray for warmer weather! I am still in awe that you get yourself out so much. I love the break in the day to going out, but we have hit a severe sleep regression, and I can’t make myself leave the house until we get her sleeping better. Ugg. Teething is the pits.

  18. We live at the beach as well and one thing that I’m determined to buy this summer is a beach wagon!! Never again will I attempt to push a stroller in beach sand (rookie mom). I’m now convinced it’s a must have if you live near a beach!

  19. Not sure if this will help, but have you tried Turkish towels? They are super soft and much lighter/thinner than a regular beach towel, so they take up way less space in your beach bag and dry much more quickly. Plus, they are nice looking. ~$25 on amazon so slightly more expensive, but worth it!

  20. We used the BityBean carrier last summer with our 5-6 month old and it worked great! It’s lightweight, water proof and folds up super small – cheap too! I wore her in that on the front and our beach chairs have a pocket in them and can be worn like a backpack, so everything else went in the chairs. No stroller. I second the comment above that the tent is a huge pain to handle on your own.

  21. Here is a beach buggy…you can find them cheaper but this is the general idea. You can strap on the chairs in the front and put everything else in the middle. Liv can walk and you can either wear or carry the baby.

  22. Christabel says:

    IKEA has a pop-up beach tent for $20 right now! We just got one and it’s great.

  23. Concetta Petruzziello says:

    We have this and I love it. it sets up very easily–i can do it by myself and im not particulary strong and only 5 feet tall. and then we store our bags, towels, etc inside off the sand and can do diaper changes in there. B/c it’s open on one side and has vents on the other sides, it doesnt get very hot inside.

    when its all folded up and inside its bag, its about the size of rolled up yoga mat.

    But the struggle is real. My youngest was born at the end of May last year, and I hired a mother’s helper b/c I just couldn’t figure out how to handle the local pool on my own with a toddler and infant.

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