Ride the Waves: 14 Essentials to Put in Your Beach Bag

Summer is on it’s way and while the kids are out of school for a couple of months, a lot of us are taking advantage of the heat and the sun and headed to the shore. While the beach may not be as relaxing as we remember it to be before having children, it can be even more memorable when you bring your family along to enjoy the sand and the waves.

There are several items that we always make sure to put in our beach bag to make the experience go more smoothly. Here are our top 10 essentials that you must make sure to have with you before heading out to the beach!  Have a hack or a must have product not listed below – let us know!

Beach Bag Essentials

  1. Sunscreen: This is pretty much a no brainer. We always make sure to apply the sunscreen prior to getting to the beach and every couple of hours while we are there. A few that I use all the time are Sun Bum Face Stick,  MD Moms baby silk Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes, SuperGoop Everyday Sunscreen, Babyganics Sunscreen Spray, Acure Organics Baby’s Day Out, and GlitterTots Sparkle Screen a fan fave of the girly girls!
  2. Water Resistant Blanket:  Kids still haven’t learned the rule that you aren’t supposed to walk all over the blankets while you’re soaking wet and have sand all over you. Thankfully it’s not a big deal because we have a blanket that can withstand both the sand and the water. Our Skip Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket has been a beach staple for years now… it’s[ractically lives in the back of our cars. It’s perfect for the beach, the park, the splash pad, and anywhere that you want to sit down and have fun with your family.
  3. Shelter from the Sun: You never want to keep children in direct sunlight for very long. The suns rays are extremely strong at the beach so try to keep them in the shade as much as you can without spoiling the fun. Last year we discovered this Shade Shack pop-up tent for teh little guys and it was so great to sit in. It provided just enough shade to keep them protected and cool and folded up so compact we could easily put it in our beach bag. Our newest obsession is this Lovin Summer Beach Tent that gives you protection like a canopy from the sun. You can also use this on grass too!  Make sure to watch the videos of how to set it up ahead of time, so you dont waste precious beach time navigating the setup!
  4. A Seat for the Little Ones: When we took our babies on their first beach trip they couldn’t sit up on their own just yet. We  brought the Bumbo with us to the beach on a whim and it turned out to be the greatest decision ever. It’s easy to clean, waterproof, and is comortable for them to just sit and watch everyone play or the waves crash.
  5. Baby Powder: This is our favorite beach hack…baby powder is the absolute best at helping remove all of that excess sand from the beach. It never leaves our beach bag. You can use The Honest Company Organic Baby Powder  or we’ve also found this great Sand-Off Mitt that makes getting sand off a breeze.
  6. Sun Gear: Sun Hat, Swim Diaper, and Sunglasses:  A sun hat with one strap that goes around their chin is critical, especially if your little one likes to take off their hats. iPlay has a variety of styles of hats that will keep your little one’s face from the sun.  We also like cloth swim diapers because they are softer and much more stylish than disposable swim diapers. iPlay has swim diapers in a variety of designs that will keep your little one protected and looking stylish. If you’re into the disposable swim diapers, we love Babyganics Swim Diapers.  Babiators provide your child’s eyes protection from the sun with 100% UVA and UVB protection while looking stylish. They come in a variety of colors that you can mix and match depending on your little one’s outfit.
  7. A Great Tote: Of course you need a great bag that has plenty of room for all of the essentials. We love the personalized tote from Parker Thatch. It’s durable, stylish, and has so much room inside! And don’t forget the kids! We love this Octopus Bag from Melissa and Doug that is great for their towels and toys!
  8. Toys: While the sand can keep them entertained for a while, it’s always nice to extend the entertainment with fun beach toys. We love the Green Toys  and Melissa and Doug beach toys. They are very sturdy and durable and can stand the test of time with little ones who might like to play with them extra rough in the sand.
  9. Mist Fan: Although it’s easy to cool off from the hot sun in the water, sometimes our little ones aren’t fans of that method. We bring  a mist fan, like this Sunpentown Personal Handheld fan. It’s great to gently spray the kids and keep them cool without completely freaking them out with a splash of water.
  10. Water: It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated while at the beach and especially being out in the sun. Every member of our families has a resuable Klean Kanteen or Green Sprouts stainless steel water bottle that we fill up with ice cold water before we leave home. It’s perfect for the beach beacause everyone knows who’s water is theirs and it helps eliminate the trash because we don’t have to throw them away when the water is all gone. It also keeps the water chilled throughout the day.
  11. Kids Chair: Give them a place to relax in-between play time with their own chair. We love this one from Pottery Barn Kids!
  12. Towels: No trip to the beach is complete without towels. We love these lulujo Turkish towels because they are perfect for the entire family! They are stylish,colourful towels, extra large, highly absorbent, fast drying, and versatile. We love to use them as blankets too for those cool summer nights at the beach.
  13. Goggles: We know how much kids love to swim in the water while at the beach and why not let them explore what’s under the sea. No need for boring goggles when you can get fun and stylish goggles from Bling2o.
  14. Trash Bags: No matter how much (or little) stuff you bring to the beach, you somehow always wind up with a big pile of trash. Make sure that you bring a bag specifically for trash and let everyone know when you get there so that they can throw their trash away rather than risk it get blown away and go in the water.

What are the Big City Moms Team Beach Must-Haves?

Risa Goldberg, Co-Founder of Big City Moms says she will never leave for the beach without “My Camera! I love my Nikon DSLR. I take it to all major events with my children, but I love taking it to the beach because great memories are always created there and I love capturing it forever.”

Leslie Venokur, Big City Moms Co-Founder hates the mess that the beach can leave with all of the sand. “Sand-off! its a mitt infused with baby powder – my new fave as max can’t dump the powder everywhere! I love the baby powder trick to get sand off – but hate the tug-o-war fight I get in with my son trying to get the baby powder bottle out of his hands…He always wins and gets powder everywhere!” And because our little ones always get hungry while running around in the water and the sand, Leslie always makes sure to have a cold treat on hand. “Frozen fruit pouches – a mess-free nutritious snack!”

Emily Prawda-Weiss, Big City Moms Director of Business Development and Marketing, wants her girls to have fun while at the beach! “I love the Collapse-A-Pail. These collapsable pails are perfect for the beach or pool–they don’t take up a lot of room in your beach bag and the colors are really bright to spot when clean-up time comes around. Our kids love to fill them up with sand to make a city of sandcastles!” She also wants to keep their eyes protected while out in the sun all day. “One of my girls has light eyes which causes sun sensitivity. Who wants to squint?!? At the beginning of each summer, I load up on sunglasses from The Children’s Place because they are durable, inexpensive and come in a variety of fun colors and styles.”

Ilysia Belosa, our Graphic Designer always has SUPERGOOP! Everyday Sunscreen on hand. “This sunscreen gets best of the beach bag because it’s perfect for the entire fam. Great for babies and adults…it absorbs really quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky.” She also can’t take a beach trip without her itzy ritzty Wet/Dry Bag. “This bag ensures that everything in your bag that needs to stay dry, does. It’s sturdier than a plastic bag so you can use it over and over again. And who can resist the adorable patterns?!”

Samantha Bartsfield, Business Development says that when headed to the beach with the kids “I won’t leave home without a beach spike for all! It’s the perfect storage to keep the snacks and drinks clean and sand free, and perfectly positioned and stays in place! And the kids have a blast digging to set them up!” She also can’t leave home without “a cooler for family snacks and water, a cute insulated wine bag is a mommy must have! Especially for the late day cocktails or bbqs on the beach with family and friends for summer fun!”