This past few days we've gotten around to going to the beach - Jersey shore. We went to Belmar twice since that area is nice and no too touristy. About an hour drive from my parent's house and a nice day trip for the whole family :) including baby. Since we typically don't wind up leaving the house until around 2pm anyway, by the time we make it to the beach it is already around 4 or so, and at that point it's also free, fewer people there, not as hot, and sunburn is less likely. Although we still keep baby covered up and I make sure to wear sunscreen since I burn really easily.
Now, for the essentials. In the past we just brought along a towel and some fold out chairs but those can be cumbersome to carry around. This year (with baby in mind) I think I made some really nice choices in terms of beach gear so we are all set for summer! Here is a list of things that I think are really nice to have for having fun in the sun!
1) I got a waterproof blanket from Bed, Bath, and Beyond - typically 20 bucks but with the 20% discount coupon they always send us it was only 15 - great deal :) It's nice because it just folds up and zips up into a carry tote with a pocket. This is a similar one, but I have the pic of it below and this one is similar.
2) Beach tent - I didn't want to spend tons on a tent, and I wanted it to be easy to set up and take down, and have plenty of room and be airy. I also didn't want a real tent since those seem cumbersome. Plus since I breastfeed I needed a nice shelter to feed baby away from the sun and prying eyes. I originally noticed this one from BBaB but at the time when I decided to actually buy it, they no longer had it in stock.... But I found an even better* alternative - cheaper and in stock at Christmas Tree Shops --- this store is amazing - so many tchatchkes and just perfect for stocking up for the summer. Anyway at CTS they have the Nantucket Beach Hut for $15 - can't beat that especially since you can find them online for much more. So if you have a CTS near you, recommend getting this 'hut' - otherwise BBaB online has them (they don't carry them in the store).
Some nice features:
* two window flaps that can be zipped up
* easy assembly - 3 rod-like things that fit into little casings around the hut
* roooooomy - so roomy inside
* if it's too windy, it can flap around too much, make sure to have plenty of heavier items inside (diaper bag works wonders for it)
3) Most expensive item in our beach repertoire - for baby - a tent that's roomy and breezy and keeps the sun out but baby in (mostly). I was in a Babies R Us looking for a baby tent and they had three different kinds, I finally settled on this one. Of course I also used the 20% off coupon so it was only 30 bucks I believe, pricey but not too bad.
An improvement would be for the front part to have a higher clearance off the ground so the baby can't touch the sand and pull more sand in. It also tends to tip so would be good to have little stakes that dig it into the ground like the ones that come with the Nantucket Beach Hut.
4) Water! Bring a water bottle - we use two stainless steel water bottles - perfect for washing down baby's hands after he gets them all sandy!
5) Sunscreen! I just got some Badger unscented sunscreen since it has the fewest ingredients and no harmful chemicals as per the Skin Deep Database. It is pricey but knowing that I'm not putting harmful chemicals on baby (haven't put sunscreen on him yet - but will in future) is well worth it.
Share your favorite beach accessories or stories!