Remember when hitting the beach meant throwing a towel, a water bottle, and your phone into a cute straw bag and spending the day relaxing in the sun and sand? 🤣

These days, going to the beach with the kiddos in tow can be a bit more... complicated. But we think it can also be a lot more magical, too. There are few things more memorable—or more adorable—than watching your babe dip their feet into the ocean for the first time or crawl happily through the sand. And although they might not be as relaxing as they once were, even science has proven that vacations make your kids happy long after they are over.

We've found the best way to conquer a beach day with our babes is to always come prepared. So if you're hitting the beach with your baby this year, mamas, don't stress—we've got you covered!

Here are the 16 things to pack to make your summer beach adventure a success.

Super easy beach tent

kids beach tent

Finding a shady spot for baby is key to a great day at the beach, but we'd be lying if we said we hadn't struggled with finding a beach tent that doesn't require an engineering degree to set up. Until we found this cabana—it's light, easy to carry, and 100% foolproof.

$73.99

The (super gorgeous) towel

Brooklinen Hammam Beach Towel

Brooklinen's new line of easy breezy Hammam towels are exactly what you want to bring to the beach with you this summer. Woven from Turkish cotton, but lined with terrycloth on the backside, the towels are super soft but also dry fast. And with their on-trend tassels, you're gonna be the hippest mama on the sand.

$65

Beach tote for *all* the things

Ev1 From Ellen Degeneres Large Beetroot Pink Beach Tote

Is there anything worse that a bag full of sand on a beach day? Well, yes, there are worse things, lol… but it is really annoying! Cure that problem with this mesh beach bag from Ev1 (Ellen Degeneres' line with Walmart) that is super cute in this bright neon hue and super cheap at this insane price.

$5

Cooler

yeti cooler

Feeling like you want to transport your fridge to the shoreline... just in case? We hear you, babies are demanding and fickle—sometimes they want grapes, sometimes they want yogurt, sometimes they want cheese sticks! Be armed with all of the possibilities by bringing Yeti's Tundra Haul cooler to the beach with you. Yeti is the granddaddy of luxe coolers and this newest version has two ultra-tough, puncture-proof wheels that can take on sand, rocky terrains, rugged trails and more—all while keeping up to 45 cans of beer (er, juice boxes and bottles) or 55 pounds of ice at freezer-esque temps.

$399.99

Sun bonnet

Primary Sun Bonnet

A sun bonnet is a must-have for your day at the beach, and this one from Primary is perfect for not only keeping the sun out of baby's eyes but also protecting them thanks to its UPF 50 protection.

$15

Minimalist beach toys

Quut Ballo

Stashing a few toys in your bag will make sure your little ones stay busy at the beach all day. We can't get enough of this modern, minimalist twist on the traditional beach bucket—it makes collecting and pouring water so much fun!

$16.36

Wagon to get the kids from point A to B

Veer

Throw your towels, totes, buckets—and, oh yeah, your babes!—in here and your trip from the car to the sand will be smooth sailing. (And don't worry if a little sea spray gets on Veer, it's water-resistant!)

$599.00

Water-resistant beach blanket

water-resistant beach blanket

Confession: We are obsessed with these mats. Super easy to wipe clean and perfect for setting up a sand-free spot on the beach, these blankets have countless other uses when you're not spending the day at the sea. The best part? They come with a convenient storage bag!

$40.90

Comfy + absorbent poncho

kids beach poncho

If wrangling your little one into a towel doesn't sound like a fun way to spend your beach day, a poncho is the perfect solution. These bamboo + cotton beauties are ultra-soft, ultra-absorbent, and quick drying, so your littles will be warm in no time. They even feature a pouch pocket just the right size for storing all of their beach treasures.

$42

The best sunscreen for parents

lar roche-posay sunscreen milk

When you go to beach with baby, you're not likely to spend much time sunbathing. But you still need a superior sunscreen to protect you from the harsh rays and La Roche Posay's Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is one of the safest on the market. With an SPF 60, it recently scored a perfect score (100!) from Consumer Reports for the fifth year in a row.

$21.99

And the best (mineral-based!) sunscreen for baby

Sun Blocz baby

We love mineral-based sunscreens for their safety + coverage, but they can often be tough to apply. Not the case with this one from Sun Blocz! It goes on easily and is perfect for sensitive baby skin. Water-resistant for 80 minutes, it's also reef-safe and protects babies and kids from both UVA and UVB rays. Oh, and it's minty eucalyptus smell is divine, too!

$23.99

Reusable swim diaper

Although disposable swim diapers are certainly an option, we think reusable ones are the better bet for both the environment and for your wallet. (They're pretty darn cute, too.) This one features snug-fitting legs to prevent leaks and comes in an assortment of great colors.

$9.50

Hydro Flask

hydro flask water bottle

You know what will set off a baby tantrum fast? Sun-warmed water in their sippy cup. Keep a stash of icy cold H20 for the whole family in non-toxic BPA-free Hydro Flask's 24-ounce water bottle, which keeps liquids cold for 24 hours.

$29.95

A wet bag (or two)

wet bags

Wet bags are perfect for storing drenched, sandy bathing suits, but they're also great for containing snacks, packing an extra set of clothes, or more. We like to have a few in our beach bag for whatever the day may bring!

$9.99

Virtually indestructible sunglasses

kids sunglasses

Worried about what will happen if you hand your toddler a pair of sunglasses? With these shatter-resistant + ultra-flexible frames, you won't have to. They're not only great at keeping your little one's eyes safe from the sun's harmful rays, but they're virtually impossible to break. (We know, we tried!)

$22.99

Classic baby powder

#Momhack alert: Rubbing sandy skin with baby powder is an easy, effective way to remove sand from your skin! We always stash a bottle in our bag for a day at the beach, especially when there are sand-loving littles in tow.

$3.92

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$99.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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As someone who is currently pregnant with not one, but two girls, I'm really excited for when the time comes to buy hair accessories and help them create fun hairstyles. At the top of my list of things to buy? The Wunderkin Co hair bows, not only because they are absolutely adorable but also because they're already a celeb favorite.

The list of fans includes Jessica Alba, Hailey Duff and more importantly, Chrissy Teigen's daughter, Luna, who is the ultimate fashionista. They are beautiful, made super well and come in a huge array of colors, but you won't break your bank account while buying them. Win-win-win!

Besides all the Wunderkin Co products being pretty, they are all handcrafted by women around the U.S. and are 100% guaranteed for life. So if your little one ever breaks their clip or the bow comes undone, you can send your product back to the team and it will be replaced at no charge. How amazing is that?


Luna has been spotted on Instagram rocking these three adorable accessories:

Petite schoolgirl headband

PETITE SCHOOLGIRL // JADE

This absolutely adorable headband comes in a rainbow of different colors to match any outfit. Plus, the headband comes in three different shades to coordinate with different color tones. The soft nylon allows it to fit all heads, too.

$13

Midi fable bow

MIDI FABLE // INGRID

This bow is simply perfection. It's attached to a right-side alligator clip, which won't allow it to slip out of place even with littles running around. It also comes in a bunch of different solid colors and prints and your kids can choose between two bow lengths.

$18

Flower clip

FLOWER CLIP // ONYX

These hair clips feature four flowers in a row, which can be easily mixed and matched with solid clips or other colored flowers to make the perfect hairstyle. Bonus: They look great on mama's hair, too.

$6

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If you're not familiar with Birdies, Meghan Markle is a big fan (and we're a fan of anything she's obsessing over). The popular flats are incredibly comfy and can be worn as slippers at home or out and about for maximum comfort while still looking as chic as ever. The secret? The insole is comprised of seven layers, starting with memory foam cushioning and shock absorption foam and ending with a soft, quilted satin that has arch and heel support.

And now you can have a major twinning moment with your littlest love because Birdies has taken their best-selling silhouette and created four limited-edition mini-me styles.

Say hello to Little Birdies, the *cutest* shoes for your mini.

The Little Starling in black velvet

little birdies shoes

The Little Starling is available online now and comes in black, two glitter shades and a calf hair cheetah print. Easy to slide on and off, they're made just like mama's so kids can easily wear them without having to worry about buckles or laces. We're all for anything that gets us out the door quicker in the morning.

They're made for kids ages 5-12 (sizes 13-4) and range from $40-$60 depending on the print. The best part? They each have a matching adult pair.

$40

The Little Starling in cheetah calf hair

the little starling shoe

We've tried them and can confidently say the memory foam cushion sole feels like you're walking on a cloud. And, we're not alone. Meghan Markle has been spotted wearing them multiple times and the reviews are amazing. Just check out how cute they can be styled on their Instagram.

The Little Starling fits true to size, just keep in mind the initial fit is a bit snug until it molds to your foot over time. We'll take one in each color, please!

$60

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If you've scrolled through Instagram anytime in the last year, you're probably familiar with the famous Amazon coat. You know the one that doesn't really have a shape, but is essentially the love child of a parka and a puffer—made to help you look effortlessly chic but oh-so-warm in the grueling cold.

It's technically made by Orolay, but the internet went crazy when influencers kept sharing pics in the down ensemble last year because the price point is so good. And the reviews racked up on Amazon—it's even a favorite of Oprah. Editors on our team truly love the coat and swear that it keeps them cozy, even through Northeastern winters.

Well, we've got great news: It comes in a kids version, mama.

Orolay children hooded down coat

kids amazon coat

The Orolay Children Hooded Down Coat is practically the exact same coat, but in a cuter, mini version. Coming in three colors, (black, green and red) it has the same fleece-lined hood that littles will love to wear and a loose style so they can wear as many layers as needed underneath. Plus, it has plenty of zippers to adjust the fit and keep items dry.

Other features we love? It's windproof, water-resistant and machine-washable (just be sure to remove to faux fur before tossing in the wash).

The sizing and shape of it is ideal for kids since they grow out of clothing so quickly. Right now, the sizes range from 6-12 years old but the roomy fit could fit littles of all sizes. It's been marked down (and will likely be on Black Friday, too) so a few sizes are already selling out.

Now the question is...what color should we get?

$129.99

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The older kids get, the harder it can be to find them holiday gifts that make their eyes sparkle. But fear not. While they may have us bested when it comes to celebrity YouTube star knowledge, you have an advantage: #TeamMotherly. Our editors have combed through the internet looking for THE BEST recommendations for toys and gifts, which ensures you get to hang on to #coolmom status.

Here are the best gifts for the older cool kids in your life.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera

fujiilm_instax

With the nostalgia of the Instant camera's from our childhoods and the modern updates like a selfie mirror, the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera is sure to be a hit with your big kid (that you'll have fun playing with too).

$49.85

Umbra Hangit photo display

umbra_hangit_display

The perfect gift to pair with the camera. Give them a place to (neatly) display all of the photos they take and add instant fun to any space.

$18.03

Love Bubby tee-shirt

love_bubby

I'm only a little jealous that I got this for my daughter and not myself. The Love Bubby shirts are super high-quality, unique, and I love that they encourage my daughter to stand up for what she believes in.

$28

GoldieBlox scratch art projector

goldiblox_joann

The STEM pioneers at GoldiBlox have created the ultimate kits for your artistic scientist. Motherly's co-founder and CEO Jill Koziol got to try one out with her kiddos. The verdict? "Super fun, easy, with a great mix of science and crafts with fun." There are lots of kits to choose from, though we are particularly excited about the GoldieBlox Scratch Art Projector.

$24.99

Ravensburger Gravitrax starter set marble run + STEM toy

gravitrax

Speaking of STEM, this interactive track system that allows your curious and inventive kid to design and build their own race tracks. They'll learn about gravity, magnetism and kinetics, and have a blast doing it.

$59.95

Tea Collection dress

tea collection dress

If your child loves to twirl around or needs a more dressy outfit in their wardrobe, we adore the dresses at Tea Collection. They're high-quality, machine-washable and the brand gives back 10% of profits to The Global Fund for Children—win-win.

$49.50

Amazing Origami

amazing_origami

Amazing Origami: Traditional Japanese Folding Papers and Projects comes with everything your artist needs to get started on the ancient tradition of origami, no matter what their previous experience is. They'll get instructions and project guides, and tons of gorgeous paper so they can start folding immediately.

$16.86

Watercolor United States of America scratch off map

scratch_off_map

Are you a road-tripping family? Let your child keep track of all the adventures with this map. Can you get all 50?

$19.99

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier

amusement_pier_lego

The LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier is one of 2019's hottest toys, and we can see why. Your child will spend hours constructing its ghost ship, swing carousel, ticket kiosk and snack stall, and then many more playing with the final product.

$129.95

African elephant adoption kit

elephant_adoption_kit

Inspire your little change-maker by gifting them an African Elephant Adoption Kit. They'll get a Soft plush animal, formal adoption certificate, full-color photo of the species, fascinating information about the animal, and best of all, the knowledge that they've contributed to a cause they can be proud of.

$55

Monopoly 'Stranger Things' edition

stranger_things_monopoly

If Stranger Things has taken over your home, this will be a huge hit (and is another gift that you'll enjoy playing with, too).

$19.99

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Crystal Star fashion doll

omg_doll

L.O.L dolls have a new cool big sister. The one is fun, pretty and trending hard, so grab one before they fly off the shelves!

$49.88

Little Free Library kit

little_free_library

We've been seeing these popping up all over our town, and we could not be more on board. The Little Free Library Kit is a DIY book-sharing movement that allows your child to construct a book-hut, and then share and receive free books from friends and neighbors. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

$329

Darice 120-Piece deluxe art set

art_set

The set is huge and has everything you little artist needs to create masterpieces all day long: markers, crayons, color pencils, oil pastels, watercolor paints, and so much more.

$10.85

Lynx faux fur bean bag chair

bean_bag_chair

As stylish as it is comfortable, you'll love that its cover is machine-washable, and they'll love sitting in it reading for hours.

$268

Rebel gift box

If you haven't yet experienced the Rebel Girls Books, you are both in for a real treat. It shares 200 stories of marvelous women that are sure to leave everyone who reads them inspired and hopeful.

$65

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid

atlas_obscura

Give the gift of adventure, in book form! The atlas transports the reader to 100 of the most surprising, mysterious and weird-but-true places on earth with tons of facts and stunning images.

$13.27

Pick-A-Pom ribbed beanie

Leave it to Anthropologie to make your kid want to wear a winter hat. With interchangeable pom-poms that snap on to the top, your child can design something totally unique (that will keep them warm and toasty).

$38

Blank comic book

comic_book

Let their creativity blossom with the Blank Comic Book. It contains 100 plank pages ready to be filled with the hilarious and daring adventures of your child's next comic.

$5.99

JIMU Robot competitive Series: Champbot kit

champbot

Motherly CEO and Co-founder, Jill Koziol, tried this out with her daughter, and loved it! "The directions were interactive and helped her to problem solve. It was a great family activity and she was so proud of what she had built; and she loved operating the robot once it had charged. I love that there are different parts to it so there are wins along the way but also a requirement to keep with it, supporting a growth mindset and building resilience.

"This is fabulous for any budding engineers and especially Lego lovers that are ready to take it to the next level!"

$129.99

Heelys

Anyone who was a kid in the early 2000s just had to have Heelys, and guess what? They're back, mama. The roller skate and shoe in one is such a fun present for any kiddo who loves to zoom around to wherever they're going. But parents will love that they're a super high quality sneaker that will hold up to everything your kids put them through. We like this classic gray style, but they come in all sorts of colorways including these pink hi-tops and these Spiderman kicks.

$65


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