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7 Tips for Beach Trips with Young Children Without...

7 Tips for Beach Trips with Young Children Without Losing Your Mind

7 TIPS FOR TAKING YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE BEACH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND

We recently returned from a wonderful trip to Oak Island in North Carolina. It was amazing. I love the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the smell of the salty air, and the sand between my toes. We don’t live that far from the coast. Only about 3-4 hours depending on which beach you want to visit. But between having babies and my husband’s work schedule, we hadn’t been to the beach since I was pregnant with our first son. He’s now 2.5. It was time.

There is just something relaxing and almost cleansing about visiting the beach. And we were way past due on a family trip to the beach. So when my husband suggested it, I did not disagree. I could not wait to get my toes in the sand!

And then I remembered. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks. It wouldn’t be like the olden days when my husband and I would take trips to the beach alone. Nope. We would have three small children in tow who do not know how to swim. Two of the three had never been to the beach. The third, well, she was way too young to remember but we do have pictures of her eating sand.

Last trip to the beach

Wasn’t she a doll?!? That trip, I was pregnant and trying to chase down that little one. I vowed to never take a trip to the beach again without some kind of help. Namely grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, anyone. But I wanted to take a trip to the beach so badly, I forgot about all the craziness of the last beach trip. The sand and ocean were calling my name.

Here are my 7 tips for beach trips with young children. They are what kept me sane. I’ve even included affiliate links to help. Your tips might be different, but it at least gives you a starting point. If you have more to add, feel free to comment below!

1. Rent a house on the beach. We LOVE VRBO {Vacation Rentals by Owners}. Love them. My husband was able to find us a house to rent quickly that was within our budget, and we got a discount because we didn’t stay the whole week. By staying in a house you are able to cook your own meals, which saves money. Although I would suggest saving up for at least one seafood meal while you are at the beach. Going to bed at night listening to the waves crash was just what this weary mama needed. I even came home and borrowed my son’s Sleep Sheep so I could listen to the ocean. It was wonderful to simply walk down the stairs and onto the beach with three little ones. No strapping everyone into carseats. No driving trying to find a parking place. We would get up, eat breakfast, put on bathing suits, apply sunscreen, and head to the beach. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

2. Bring sand toys. Shovels, plastic cups, rakes, sifters, sand castle molds, whatever you can find, bring it. Amazon has great sets like this one that comes with it’s own travel case. This trip, my kids were diggers. Hours of entertainment. We dug holes big enough for the kids to climb into. The goal was to made tidal pools and to come back and check them out later in the day, but instead they became kiddie pools. Whatever works.

3. Life Jackets of some kind are a must for non-swimmers. My children are fearless. Our 14 month non-walker, loved crawling in the waves head first. We would stand him up and he would squeal with delight as the water encircled his toes. He loved it! Our older two loved the water too. But we had a rule. They had to go out with either Mommy or Daddy, they had to wear their Puddle Jumper float, and there would be no complaining when we went back to the sand for a little break.

4. Snacks and water. By observing fellow beach goers, we learned that the seagulls were drawn the sound of crinkling bags. Our oldest son thinks it’s hilarious to run and chase after seagulls screaming “roar”, so we tried to avoid loud snacks. Normally we would bring bananas, apples, or blueberries. A watermelon that has been cut would be a great treat too. We also brought sippy cups of water for the kids, and bottles of water for us. It was quite warm and we needed more water than we thought we would. Bring extra.

5. Sunscreen and Baby Powder. But not together. Don’t forget the sunscreen! This will save you in the long run. It is no fun taking care of young children when you are burnt. They don’t care. They will jump on your back, accidentally scratch you on the arm right on the burn, wherever you are burned they will find a way to make it hurt.

Just in case, coconut oil is great for burns. Young Living Lavender Essential Oil helps reduce the pain of the burn and helps to heal the area. I would sometimes mix Frankincense and Lavender in the coconut oil. Vinegar and brown paper bags also works.

Baby Powder is to help keep the sand off. Just sprinkle some on your hands and the sand comes right off! It’s amazing!!

6. No expectations. It’s just better to not have any. Really. Your children will be off of their schedule. They will have played hard at the beach. Being out in the sun, while wonderful, sometimes leaves you feeling tired. Chances are really good, you and your kids will have grumpy moments. This is where grace and forgiveness come in. Give each other grace in those tough moments. They will come. Believe me. When you are the one who lost your patience and/or snapped a response, be quick to ask forgiveness. And when you are the one who was sinned against, forgive quickly. At the end of the day, we were simply 5 sinners in need of Jesus. By having no expectations, you of course still need Jesus, but you aren’t setting yourself, or your children up for failure.

7. Leave social media at home. Instead of posting pictures and status updates, make memories with your children. You don’t want them to talk about the trip in the future and say something like, “Remember that time we went to the beach and Mom was on her phone checking out what her friends were doing on Facebook?” or “Remember that beach trip when Mom was on her laptop updating her blog the whole time?”. Our children will not be little forever. They won’t always want us to snuggle with them in their beds, or hold their hands while we walk down the sidewalk. Live with no regrets. Your friends on FB will be there when you get back. You actually don’t have to post pictures right after you take them ::gasp::. I know. Yes, you want to record the memories, but you also want to make memories. Engage your children and husband. Have conversations. Keep the television off, and focus on each other. You won’t regret it. I promise.

7 Tips for Taking Young Children to the Beach-2

Have you ever taken young children to the beach? What tips and tricks would you give to someone planning a beach trip? I’d love to hear your suggestions!


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