Life’s a Beach! Nat’s Tips for Beach Survival with Kids

beach with kids

Picture this. It’s a beautiful summer day. You’re at the beach with your twins. You sit on a lounge chair and read a book that you have been waiting to dig into all year long. Your twins play quietly in the sand, building the world’s largest sandcastle. You take a sip of your dripping-cold iced coffee and you listen to the sound of the ocean along with your kids chuckles.

beachIt is my reality. Even for just a moment.

I remember when they were born and I would go to the beach with them in the summertime. It was the furthest thing from a blessing. Definitely more like a curse. They would run in separate directions and I would be sweating my butt off and wondering why the heck we even decided to do this?? I would look at other women with their kids playing next of them quietly in the sand and thinking, “that will never happen”.

As the kids got older things got even more hectic. They went from running in separate directions to requiring me to make the world’s biggest sandcastle for them just so they could stomp on my fabulous creation. I remember lugging bags upon bags and coolers worth of goodies to keep the kids safe from the sun and hydrated. Mind you, I couldn’t keep them under the umbrella if I attach them to a leash. The ocean has always called to them from the moment they saw it.

beachI’m writing this today not to rub in my good fortune, but to give you hope and help you keep perspective on reality. If you decided to head to the beach this summer, or some unbelievable other location, and your kids are driving you to the point of drinking, remember — they will grow up.

When you look at that mom with her quiet kid, sitting next to her tweens, sitting next to her rocking out to the latest tunes, realize that that will be YOU someday. When you’ve had to change your shirt for the third time that day because you’ve sweated through the others, remember — someday you’ll be sitting on the lounge chair, watching your kids build the world’s largest sandcastle for some other kids to destroy.

Never lose perspective that your kids will grow up one day, whether you like it or not. Try not to rush the harder times. Always keep in mind little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems. Chasing after your kids at the beach or in a park is a lot better than consoling them after their first heartbreak or helping them pass the SATs. But if your tots are still tiny and you want to head out to the beach this summer, here are a few tips to make your trip a little easier.

Sunscreen is key!

beach1Made sure you have the right one and make sure you reapply often and early. Even if there are clouds in the sky, the UV rays can still penetrate your skin and give you a burn. On a hot, sunny day I recommend you go to no more than one hour between applications of sunscreen. If you’re planning a long beach summer, stock up early. Often you’ll find coupons in your local newspaper early on in the summertime. Ask or your neighbors and anyone in your community to give you those coupons. That’s gold.

Hats and coverups

Cover them up! Even if your kids have wonderfully dark skin, I think that kids should always stay covered. Land’s End makes an unbelievably wonderful long-sleeve swim top for kids. Grab yourself a few before the summer time comes. They even make them for moms and dads! If you’re on the fairer side you probably want to pick up a few for yourself.

Don’t forget the hat! A wide brim Safari type hat is your best bet at the beach. And if your little girl has long hair, let her wear it down to cover up the back of her neck. Oh, and don’t forget eyewear! Even tiny babies should have semi-protection.

It’s all in the timing!

Early morning and late afternoon have the weakest times of the sun. Since your kids are probably up at the crack of dawn anyway, embrace this and head to the beach. A sunrise at the beach is one of the most magical moments on earth. But you’re right, who the heck wants to see a sunrise on their vacation! LOL

Bring some baby powder!

beachWhen you have sand stuck in places where sand shouldn’t be stuck, adding a little baby powder to your skin will help brush the sand right off. Bring what you need, then bring some more! Pack things like a first aid kit, extra towels, some dry napkins, extra bottles of water, snacks in closed containers, then bring some more. It’s always better to have too much at the beach because often there’s no place to buy anything. Oh, and don’t forget a garbage bag! You should leave nothing behind other than your footprints.

Reusable swim diapers

Look into reusable swim diapers for the summer instead of buying packs upon packs of disposable ones. Get a better bang for your buck, and they actually hold more liquid than you think.

Keep the rules simple

If you haven’t by now helped your kids to distinguish danger from something that simply a no-no, now is the time. Water is as dangerous is it is beautiful. Set ground rules of what is okay and what’s not okay for your kids early on.

Location location location

When figuring out where on the beach you’re going to stay, closer to the shoreline is probably okay if your kids are bigger, but you might want to stay as far away from the shoreline if your kids are little. It’ll give you some time to run after them if they set off unexpectedly. And from the beginning of time I always set up shop next to the lifeguard station. I figured in an emergency my screaming will catch his or her attention fast!

With those few simple tips I hope that your beach vacation or trip out to the shore is a better one.

beach

 

 

By Natalie Diaz — Twiniversity owner and founder

 

For more summer time and beach tips read these articles:

Sun Protection for the Family

Sun Safety 101

Risks of Heatstroke

Sand’sational Solutions for Little Beach Bums

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what to do when you're having two bookAre you a new twin parent? Check out Nat’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!

The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.

What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.

Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.