1St Time Taking a 14Month Old to the beach...What Should to Consider...

Updated on June 27, 2011
L.K. asks from Tallahassee, FL
15 answers

My Hubby and I (1st time parents) are taking our 14month old to the beach for the 1st time. What are some things that we should have handy or consider before,during and after the beach? We are going to Destin, Florida and temperature is in high 90s. Any advice or ideas please.
Thanks for your time.

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So What Happened?

Oooh! Thank you so much ladies for taking your time to respond...I love all the ideas and i got them all in a list so I could buy what I don't have. I'll make sure we have some type of fun and lots of pictures.

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answers from Dallas on

Sunscreen/waterproof sunscreen, flipflops or swim shoes, hats for all, beach toys, picnic basket, organic mosquito spray for late evening beach play, we made certain to buy a large covering to sit under, bought portable fans, and spray bottles to spray cool water on the kids that was kept in the coolers. Kept fruit in the cooler (grapes, plums, peaches, tomatoes etc.) anything juicy to keep the kids hydrated from water, vitamin water, powerade etc. Thick blankets because the sand gets really hot, extra towels. Bags to put the sandy things into and a change of clothing.

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answers from Los Angeles on

a BIG thing of cheap baby powder--awesome for getting wet sand off hands feet and anywhere else! It was my lifesaver for sure! I think everyone has covered everything else I could think of :)

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answers from Washington DC on

I found that the shade tents you can pick up at the local beach stores are much more effective and easy to set up than the more expensive ones at the sporting goods stores. If you want the tent to always be facing one direction be sure to take an umbrella to put in front of it as well. Also remember that every kid is supposed to eat a pound of dirt in their lifetime! Hahaha!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

A large umbrella or portable tent for sure.
Definitely get a hat...or 2....or 6.
Be prepared for a very short visit to the beach...and be prepared that he or she may just HATE it. My son (at 6 months) recoiled his toes from the sand upon first exposure. He's 8 now and guess who still doesn't like the sand? ;)

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answers from Savannah on

I've got a 4 1/2 year old and a 19 month old, and we go to the beach every weekend and sometimes on Thursdays too....Something to keep in mind would be where is the parking (as in, do you want to leave a few things in the car rather than lug it all around with you?), and does the spot you choose have one of those mats that takes you from a boardwalk to firmer sand so you can wheel stuff out or not? There are nice beaches around, some free parking, but we stick with the one we use even though we have to pay $1/hour because the walk from parking to the beach is pleasant and there's a carpet looking thing that I can roll my son in a stroller past the soft sand onto the firmer sand. Once on firm sand, I can cruise on up to wherever we want to plant ourselves for the morning. I say that because it's too far for my 19 month old to comfortably walk while my hands are full of "stuff" (but he can sit in his stroller and I can stack stuff in the carry basket and push at MY speed instead of tiny legs speed). Destin, I believe it's the powdery soft sand which is gorgeous but does get hot on bare feet so do get the little water shoes!!! We have more "dirt" sand that "powder" so it's not as hot, but nothing more unpleasant that the bottoms of your feet burned. We also choose a parking space that would make us walk past a shower on the way out. Basically I load his diaper bag with everything I'd normally pack it down with, including wipes, plenty of diapers, and a full change of clothes, but leave it in the car. We park the car, then put him in a swim diaper (because it doesn't hold pee and I don't want him having an "accident'' in the car!) and his swim suit. (I put sunblock on him right before we leave home; it's fresh but just easier to do at home). We will put lotion on his body, but also I spray some sunblock on my hands and put it on his face that way so I don't have to worry about him fighting and stuff getting in his eyes! The beach bag is packed with a swim shirt, sunglasses, and hat (but he won't wear any of them for any length of time, whatever) a small first aid kit (I bring one everywhere, that's just me) and a small bottle of white vinegar with a tight screw cap lid on it (label off, marked V on both sides) just in case we have a jelly fish incident. Bring the sunblock along. Some days you'll see none at all, but I've been stung before and since my youngest is really sensitive to a lot of stuff, who knows if he'd have a reaction or not if he was to get stung. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion. I pack an extra swim diaper and some wipes, some bottled water to wash hands and mouths if they decide to eat sand (the youngest did this the first few times, but has learned better), a plastic bag for trash, another plastic bag for sandy bits later, a bucket, shovel, little ball to kick around, and a small ice chest with drinking water, some apple wedges or grapes, the towels and the beach blanket (ours is a big "thing"....like a thin, tarp looking thing but soft that I bought at Babies R Us). We like to eat breakfast then leave for the beach, and then leave for lunch and a nap. I don't think it's realistic to have the baby out there all day, or through lunch for sandy sandwiches, or skipping a nap, or out in the heat of the day when it's at it's hottest. We avoid the beach from 12:30-4, but are fine with that since we get there around 8:30-9am. That's plenty of time to play in some sand, ease them into the water, and back and forth. Go get some lunch, take a little nap, then you can either go back in the evening or not, depending on how you guys feel. Don't forget the camera! And yeah, kids are different, who knows how yours will react? My first: I was expecting him to be nervous at first sight because my little neice had been....but no, he ran full speed, head long into the waves and I had to throw everything I was carrying down and chase after him. He likes the water fine, but it a TOTAL sand baby and would sit there and dig a big hole all day if we let him (but he will cry if we don't let him fill the hole up before we go home). My youngest was ok on the sand, terrified at the water (my husband just sat down and held him on his lap and let the water move up to his ankles and back for about 30 minutes the first day), but now that boy is a TOTAL water baby and will run (at 3' tall, 25 lbs, and stand firm against the waves as they hit his chest and won't get out of the water without a fight (or bribing him with "the big shovel"). Have a good time. Be prepared to be patient. Have fun whatever you end up doing out there. :)
When leaving: bring it all up to the shower and clean it all off, then go to the car to put the baby back into a "real" diaper and dry shorts. I've seen those beach carts at Walmart for $35 and we're going to buy one this weekend---it looks SO awesome and SO convenient, but then again, we have the firmer sand. I don't think it'd work at all on soft sand. (Unless you pushed everything in it from the car to the end of the walk and then just carried stuff a shorter distance). We use a small hand held cooler for 4 bottles of cold water and a ziploc of grapes or fruit, not a big ice chest. It's easier. Some people love sitting in chairs. We either lay down on the blanket, sit on the sand with the boys, or are playing, so we've never brought chairs.



answers from Charleston on

Baby wipes, and a change of clothes for the baby for sure. Sunscreen and/or a rash guard shirt. Have fun!



answers from Los Angeles on

Sunscreen, swim diapers, water shoes, hat. My now 18 mo old won't wear a hat but worth a try. Like any other outing have snacks and drinks and maybe a few toys like a ball, bucket, sand toys. If you plan on staying awhile maybe a couple of chairs with umbrella(s) & blanket for relaxing.



answers from Sacramento on

You'll want some sort of shade canopy. Worth every dime. Obviously, lots of sunblock, including the little stick kind you can use on areas like the scalp and ears. Also pack some post-sun relief, just in case you miss a spot and get burned.

Don't forget the little things. Extra plastic bags to use for trash, diapers, etc. Also bring hand wipes. You'll go through a lot with sand time.



answers from Washington DC on

Instead of flip flops or crocs I would do water shoes. You know, those ones that are really hard to get on, but once they're on they're staying on?! Both of my girls HATED the sand touching their feet at that age. It didn't bother them on any other parts of their bodies though! Also, bring a little bottle of baby powder. You can sprinkle it right on her legs, feet, hands, etc. when you're about to get in the car and all the sand comes off like magic! And definitely bring your video camera!!!



answers from Phoenix on

My sons 1st time to the beach was a disaster. He had sunscreen on then started to cry, rubbed his eyes and the sunsceen went in his eyes. We had to leave almost immediately. Be careful of sunsceen on his face! Snacks, umbrella, towel to sit on, sand toys



answers from Kansas City on

Yes, I agree with most of what was listed already! Don't focus too much on sand toys (which I'm sure you can buy for cheap once you get there) but make sure you have a couple buckets and a few shovels. I doubt he'll be interested in too much else besides that, except for maybe a beach ball! I would do crocs instead of flip flops for a 14 month old. They are easier to walk/run in, especially for new walkers and they are just as easy to shake sand out of and get wet. Target sells a line of crocs that are cheaper, only like $12/pair.



answers from Houston on

Get one of those long sleeved UV protection swim shirts to prevent sunburn. Nothing feels worse than letting your helpless baby get burned.
Also bring a small bottle of vinegar just in case of jelly fish stings.

Have a blast.


answers from Santa Fe on

We just went with our 20 month old and had a great time. Make sure you have shade (rent a beach umbrella or cabanas or whatever they have there). Reapply sunscreen. Bring shovels and a pail. Our daughter had a blast digging in the sand and running down to the water to dip her toes and then running back. We'd take her in the water and hold her and swim. We brought a swim floatie that she wore and she LOVED it. A sun hat is great if your child will keep it on (ours will not). We had her wear a cloth swim diaper and a swim shirt. When she got sandy and it was time to change we'd carry her to the water, dip her in to wash it all off, and then quickly change her on a sand free towel. Have fun!



answers from San Diego on

An umbrella, blanket to sit on, snacks, water, some sand toys, towel, a wagon to lug all the stuff are all helpful. Hat for your baby if s/he will wear one (mine don't), swim diaper, sunscreen. I like the swim suits that have rash guards (the shirts) just for the extra sun protection. Baby powder helps get the sand off afterward. Have fun!


answers from Boston on

id invest in one of those baby cabanas or a family size cabana if you and/or your husband want to be shielded from the sun too... or even an umbrella with one of those sand grabbers so it will stay put. then a small bag of supplies - a few toys, diapers, wipes, change of clothes ( just in case ) sunblock and one of those uvb/uva protection swim shirts. snacks too! and just have fun and dont expect too much. sometimes you can get them to spend a few hours, and other days you wonder why you made the drive at all !

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