Friday, July 29, 2011

Helpful How To: Beaching with Toddlers

In case you ever wondered what it would be like to go on vacation with 3 toddlers and 1 infant, I'll tell you.


HECTIC.

But it can be done.

Without a nanny, despite what Cindy from Housewives of New York City might tell you.

Wanna know how we did it?

Too bad, I'm on tell ya anyway.

You should really be thankful for me and my ability to tout uselessful information.

And if you recall, last year, I told you about the miracle of a stroller on the beach for the babies.

But this year, we moved on.

To a whole new level of crazy.

Not that the stroller wouldn't have been helpful.

But our toddler is way too independant for the stroller now.

Wanting to climb steps by himself and whatnot....

So we left the stroller in the condo.

And brought out the big guns.

1.  An outdoor rug.


Ours was woven plastic and my sister paid $25 for it.

It was worth every single penny.

It was 4x6 and heavy enough that it wouldn't blow away - and we left it out - all day, every day.

But it was foldable, rollable and light enough that I could still carry it with a beach bag in one hand and a toddler in the other....

2.  A tent.


And here's where we learned something....

My $34.99 lightweight-stores so small you can pack it in your suitcase tent will only last SO LONG.

And set up is PAINFUL when you have to worry about tent stakes and a toddler stuff.

Which is why I would highly recommend investing in something more like that white tent behind us.

Every day we watched as our neighbors unpacked theirs and set it up in 3 minutes without breaking a sweat.

Talk about green with envy.

But at the end of the day, shade is shade is shade.

And shade is PIVOTAL to enjoying the beach with toddlers. 

TRUST ME.

3.  Blow up pool.

For the first 3 days, we didn't even need to use our blow up pool on the beach. 

We had tide pools within 3 feet of our "camp".


And let me tell you how these kid love some tide pools.

My child especially.

He would walk out onto the dry sand and then take a running leap into the tide pool, landing on flat on his belly and splashing everyone and everything within 10 feet of him.

And then he would belly laugh like Santa Claus at Christmas time.

But by day 4, the tide pools dried up.

Leaving us with a handful of hot children who weren't all too keen on the ocean situation just yet.

Thank GOD for the kiddie pool.


They played.

They threw sand in it.

They threw sand out of it.

They splashed all the water out in 3 minutes.

They sat on the sides and LET the water out when we refilled it.

It kept them busy for hours.

Plotting ways to get the water out of that pool...

And in retrospect, I'd never take my toddler to the beach without one.

4.  The UV beach shirt.

Oh how I love the UV protectant beach shirt for kids.


SERIOUSLY.

My kid LIVED in this thing.

I know my sister was annoyed that they were so hard to find for her girls...

She had all the cute frilly suits in the world, but every 30 minutes, she would have to reapply sunscreen for fear of getting 3rd degree burns.

Note to self: I could make millions by marketing pink uv shirts. 

(dear readers, if you have seen these in toddler sizes, tell me where.  Because my sister deserves a bag of them!!!)

And yes, I'm a lazy mommy when it comes to sunscreen....

All that sand....

And lotion...

Blech.  What a mess.

Which brings me to my next point.

5.  Spray on Sunscreen.


Buy the stuff by the gallon.

Because it goes fast.

But with toddlers?

There is no other way to reapply.

Ever.

Don't get me wrong, we used the lotions, alot.

But only BEFORE we went out.

And once we were out there, it was so much easier to spray them down than to rub them down.

I seriously don't know how our parents did it.

6. The Puddle Jumper.



If you are the parent of a toddler and you don't have one of these...  (I found them at GanderMountain.com)

Stop what you are doing, right this very second.

And go get one.

My nephew loves his.

My neice loves her.

My child loves his.

Heck, I LOVE this thing.

YOU WILL ADORE THIS THING.

It's magical.

And I swear my child is learning to swim with it.

Prodigy that he is.

But my fear of him being around the pool is practically erased with this thing!

I love it.

7.  A Big Shovel.

If all else fails and your child still hates the beach, buy a big shovel.


But buy one for your hubby, too.

Because, otherwise you may have a fight on your hands.

And be prepared.

Once a big shovel is introduced to the beach experience, no beach experience will ever be the same!

Gosh, I miss it....



1 comment:

Bumber's Bumblings said...

thanks for the tips, seriously! We are leaving in 3 weeks for the beach and I need all the help I can get!

We have one of the fancy no-sweat tents and hubby was saying it was too much trouble to take all the way down there, but I think this will convince him!

Going to buy one of those puddle jumpers stat!!!

So glad you had an awesome trip.