Holidaying with a toddler is challenging, but it is well worth taking a break as a family. It gives you the chance to get away from the stresses of life and really connect with each other. For a toddler, a beach holiday is a great idea, regardless of whether it’s pebbles or sand. Kids love to be beside the sea not to mention there’s plenty of space for them to wear themselves out. Once your little one gets a taste for the beach you will struggle to get them to go home, TRUST ME. But the key is in making sure that you’re prepared, that way you avoid your beach holiday turning rapidly into a disaster zone. Here’s a list of the basics your child will need to have the perfect time on the beach.
The right type of swimwear
You need to make sure that your child is covered up, or be vigilant about using sun lotion. A UV protective swimsuit is a potential solution. Applying sun cream to a wriggly child is tricky, so it is all too easy to miss a bit.
A UV protective swimsuit is an easy potential solution. This style of costume covers most of the body but is lightweight enough to keep your child cool enough. But, before buying one, do your research. Read some of the reviews other parents have written to make sure that the brand you buy is good quality and that this style of swimwear really is the right choice for your child.
It is also a good idea to kit your toddler out with armbands. Or, if you prefer a float suit. Whilst you should never leave them unattended in the water, it just means you’ve got a little added support in keeping them safe.
A shade tent
If you want to maximize the time you can spend on the beach packing a shade tent is a good idea. It is the ideal spot for your little one to have a nap. Just be sure to check it is not too hot under there. You can throw a dry towel over their changing mat to create a comfortable place for your child to lay on. My advice would be to go for one that pops up easily, our first tent was impressive but took hours to assemble! You want something fast and effective, preferably that has some UV protection. Pop your bags in there as well to help prevent any gusts of wind carrying it off down the beach.
A hat and sunglasses
As well as good quality sun cream you need to put a hat and sunglasses on your toddler. This really helps to keep the worst of the sun off and protects their eyes from any glare. A bucket hat or one with a flap that covers the back of their neck will help give additional protection as opposed to a baseball cap. In terms of sunglasses, you can get ones with elasticated straps to help keep them on, just in case your child isn’t a burgeoning fashionista.
Wet nappies are no fun for anyone. They are heavy, difficult to change and likely to leak. One solution is to use the water diapers like you would for swimming lessons. They don’t absorb anything but they will hold everything in until you can change them. Most parents put a regular nappy on, then put the water diaper on over the top. Provided the fit is snug enough the normal nappy will stay dry and you will be able to change it as normal. If you’re intending on them going in and out of the water, use a swim nappy underneath.
A changing bag
As if you’d forget the changing bag… But just in case you might, I’ve popped it in. A thin changing mat that can be wiped clean is ideal as are copious amounts of wet wipes for dealing with sticky post-ice-cream hands and sand attacks. Oh and don’t forget to bring some talcum powder, it’ll help get sand off in seconds!
Food and drink
Think about food and drink. At the very least you need to have water to hand to keep your child hydrated. If you don’t want to leave your spot, take their milk with you in a cool bag. This article makes some excellent suggestions about snacks you could take without having to worry too much about keeping them cold. Let’s face it, no one likes a melted mess at lunchtime.
Most toddlers love nothing better than digging in the sand. They will spend hours making sandcastles, so a bucket and spade are essential. You can buy one there, but it is much better to buy a collapsible beach bucket. That way you can put it in your suitcase and reuse it, which is much more environmentally friendly than buying one and leaving it in your hotel room. Or, if you’re going for a pebble beach, think about some other toys… a digger is always a hit in our household!
A first aid kit
You need to be able to deal with scratches and cuts. At the very least, you need to take antiseptic cream, some plasters, a piece of sterile dressing and a light bandage.
I know that the above looks like a long list, but because most of the items are small it is actually not hard to fit everything you need into your bag… and once you’re there, you’ll have everything you need for the perfect break, leaving you to sit back, relax and maybe sneak a (pre-made) cocktail or two!