What to Pack for a Toddler on a Beach Vacationby Jennifer Gregory
The toddler years are a great time to head to the beach. Toddlers typically love building sandcastles, playing in the waves and running on the beach. However, if you don't pack the right items, your trip can be stressful and require last minute runs to the store. By packing the right items, you will ensure that your vacation gets off to a great start.
Toddler Clothing and Beachwear
Pack two pairs of clothing for each day of your vacation and several pairs of lightweight pajamas. If your toddler is potty training, be sure to pack underwear and extra clothes changes of clothes in case of accidents. Since most children dislike getting into wet bathing suits, bring 2 or 3 bathing suits. Another good addition to your toddler's suitcase is an SPF sun shirt to help keep the suns rays off their skin. If you have a boy, bring a few t-shirts to wear on the beach. You may also want to bring a beach cover-up for your daughter. If your toddler is still in diapers, be sure to bring swim diapers along with enough regular diapers for your trip.
Beach Items and Toys
Many toddlers love to play in the sand on the beach. Bring shovels, buckets and balls to play with on the sand. Since it is important to keep your toddler's sensitive skin protected from the sun, bring a large umbrella that you can set up on the beach. If you are traveling by airplane to the beach, you can often rent one at the beach. You should also bring chairs to sit in or a blanket to lie on. A small cooler may be helpful for bringing drinks and snacks down to the beach. If you plan on taking long walks on the beach, consider bringing a jogging stroller for your toddler.
Since you will want to avoid the sun during the hottest time of the day and your trip may include a rainy day or two, bring some indoor toys for your toddler. Pick toys that your child enjoys playing with for long periods of time and does not have a lot of small pieces. You may want to put away the toys you are going to bring for a few weeks before vacation so that they seem "new" again to your toddler. If your toddler enjoys coloring, crayons, coloring books and paper should also be on your list to bring. You may also want to bring a portable DVD player and a few movies that your toddler enjoys watching. Be sure to bring books to read to your toddler before bedtime.
Night Time Gear
Before you leave on your trip, decide where your toddler is going to sleep on vacation. Some parents bring a Pack 'n Play on vacations while others bring a portable toddler bed. Be sure to have your child sleep in the bed before you leave home so that they feel comfortable. Bring your child's pillow, familiar blankets and any special comfort items. If your child will be sleeping in a room by themselves on vacation, bring a nightlight with you to help make the room more cozy.
Be sure to bring a hat and sunglasses for you toddler to wear when you are outdoors. Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen for your toddler and that you test it before you leave home for any allergic reactions. To help make mealtimes smooth, pack sippy cups, plastic dinnerware and toddler utensils.
- Jennifer Gregory