The must-pack essentials for surviving a day at the beach

The sun’s out, the weather’s warm, and you get that inkling to visit the beach. Excitedly, you yell out to your kids to, ‘get ya bather’s on, we’re going to the beach’.

Your excitement soon turns to, ‘Oh god, what do I need to pack’ as you start to make a mental list, knowing you won’t have much time to execute your mum packing skills with kids raring to go.

Anyone who’s ever taken kids to the beach knows you end up looking like a travelling circus as you plod along the sand trying to find a spot; carting bags, towels, umbrellas, a toddler dangling under one arm…

You get the nod of ‘I feel your pain’ from other mums who have already claimed their spot and quickly trying to slap sunscreen on kids who are hopping up and down waiting to escape to the water.

So, to save you looking like a haggled pack-horse, we’ve put together a list of essential items all mums need to survive a day at the beach with their baby and kids.

The top 10 essentials all mum’s need

  • Natural sunscreen: The best sunscreens for little ones is a natural sunscreen that has no chemicals and is gentle on their delicate skin. Make sure it’s at least SPF50 or higher and apply it all over, including the top of their head, ears and feet. Don’t forget to reapply it after they’ve been in the water.
  • Sunhat: It’s recommended that you use a sunhat with a wide brim to protect your child’s face, neck and ears. Unfortunately, toddlers hate hats. Find one that ties up under their chin to keep it on as long as possible.
  • Umbrella or beach tent: Find a spot on the sand with enough room for you to set up a shade umbrella or beach tent. Gone are the days when it’s cool to lie on the beach roasting. Now all the cool kids camp out in a shady spot on the beach.
  • Blanket: Once you’ve set up your umbrella or beach tent, a big blanket or over-sized beach towel should be spread out to give you all a nice place to sit, eat and rest.
  • Nappies: Make sure you remember the swim nappies, along with your normal ones. Swim nappies are designed to keep messes on the inside, even when they’re wet on the outside. And there’s nothing worse than holding a baby whose nappy leaks while you’re holding them, especially on a hot day!
  • Water: Although you’re surrounded by it at the beach, make sure you bring plenty of water for drinking to stay hydrated. A handy hint – fill up a large bottle to keep for washing sand off before you change to come home. Sand tends to stick to feet which in turn makes your car look like a sandpit.
  • Snacks: All that activity is sure to make little ones hungry, so make sure you pack loads of sun-friendly snacks (avoid dairy or any snacks that will melt).
  • Toys: Who doesn’t love making a sandcastle? Make sure you bring along a sand bucket and shovel as toddlers love digging in the sand and getting messy.
  • Clean towels: Kids will run up and down to the water all day long, sitting on towels with wet backsides and jumping on them with sandy feet when they arrive from that run up the hot sand. Make sure you have a clean towel in the car for the final wipe down.
  • Clean clothes: Have a change of clothes for each kid that you keep in the car to make sure they don’t get covered in sand. A handy hint – baby powder is amazing for helping to get the sand off skin – sprinkle some on and dust it off.