5 Hacks to Make Your Beach Day With Baby Easy & Fun

Helpful hacks to make any family beach trip a breeze.

5 Hacks to Make Your Beach Day With Baby Easy & Fun

Summer is winding down, but there’s still at least a few warm days left before the leaves start falling and the kids head back to school. Many families are taking advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to take one last trip to the seaside. Beach days are a great way to relax and have fun with the kids--if you prepare right. We’ve compiled five hacks to make your family’s day out--well, a day at the beach.

Have a “go bag.”

As soon as you arrive at your beach vacation, pack your beach bag and leave it in the car. This huge one made from recycled sails is super durable, waterproof and will fit all your necessities. This way when you are trying to get a squirmy baby in a bathing suit and out the door you are not also scrambling to make sure everything you need is packed and ready to go. Some key items not to forget to include in your beach “go bag”:


- At least two beach towels to dry off with. These are great- they roll up thin and

won’t hog all the space in your bag!

- A few toys for baby to play with. Stackers, shovels, a bucket etc.

- Wipes to clean off sandy, messy hands

- Non- toxic sunscreen the whole family can share. Make sure you reapply every two

hours or after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating!

- An extra swimsuit and swim diaper. Because, well, poop happens!

- A thin beach blanket you can easily roll and fit into your bag. A great alternative if

you don’t want to carry baby and a chair!

Bring an extra chair.

Babies love climbing on beach chairs. Make sure you bring one for baby or you are sure to be sitting in the sand while she commandeers yours! A beach chair is also a good place to feed baby lunch or snacks and can eliminate sandy hands a bit! This chair that can be carried as a backpack is very useful to keep your hands free to carry baby and your beach bag.

Go big (umbrella) or go home.

Baby’s skin is very sensitive so make sure you provide her with plenty of shade. A giant umbrella is incredibly useful for protecting your family from the sun's rays. Plus the larger the umbrella, the less likely the wind is to topple it over!

Smoothies, not snacks.

No matter how hard you try it is virtually impossible to feed babies and children on the beach without them eating handfuls of sand as well. For shorter beach trips try packing a nutrient dense smoothie in thermos bottles instead of snacks. If you pack your smoothie with fruit, greens, nut butters or avocado they will satiate hungry tummies and be a whole lot less messy!

Tailgate Cleaning Station

At the end of your beach day clean your little ones off in the trunk or tailgate of your car before putting them in their car seats. This will help keep the sandy mess to one area of your car and prevent you from finding sand in every crevasse until Christmas! Keep a towel specifically for wiping sandy bodies, a pack of baby wipes and a bottle of baby powder in the trunk of your car and you will always be ready. Why baby powder? Shake a little baby powder onto sandy bodies and it helps the sand fall off with much less irritating rubbing!

Photo by Sara Jane Mercer.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

Keep reading Show less

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play