I’m not saying we were paranoid ‘new parents’ but if we could have bubble wrapped everything or our child, we would have done it.  So, the thought of taking our daughter (at the time under one) to the beach was not an activity we were in a rush to do.  She was young, and we were still learning.

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Now with the grandparents living in Lavallette, it was inevitable.  Not getting out of it.  Need to experience this as a family.  So, here we go!

Listen, I only had a few concerns, you know, a few hundred strangers, water, the sun, and keeping our child entertained.  Remember, we were new parents here, at the time, so, where do we start?

Of course, we needed to tackle the preparation.  Do we have all the essentials?  When you're going to the beach, you are going to the beach.  It's not an hour out, an hour in, and so on.  We needed to make sure we could all stay out there, safely, especially for a little one, for the whole day.

Now don't get me to know, we had a place to go to if it was needed, just a block away.

Still, going out to the beach solo, or without kids, is an undertaking, so let's get this adventure started.

I put together a small guide of the little things we absolutely made sure we made attention to while planning our day, and what to expect when you are out there for the first time.



  • Scott Young, unsplash
    Scott Young, unsplash


    This is always the toughest for a new parent. You never want to bring too much, but you never want to bring too little. Start with the absolute essentials. Food, more food, snacks, milk, and sunscreen.  Once you have that squared away then you can move on.

  • Kyle Anthony, Townsquare Media
    Kyle Anthony, Townsquare Media

    Bring toys, maybe.

    Our daughter is busy!  Even at a young age, she loved to be entertained.  So, bringing her toys was a no-brainer.  Except, she didn’t play with one.  As adults, we take the beach for granted.  We go there to hang out and lay around.

    For our daughter, this was a brand new experience.  There was so much that kept her attention that her toys weren’t even on her radar.  So, pack light.  Remember, you’ll have to carry this to your spot at the beach and back to the car (or home.)  She did love playing with the bucket and shovel.  If you think that you’ll need more toys, then try to fit them in the bucket.  This will help you to not overpack.

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    Can't forget food.

    Bring a ton of snacks!  Don’t get frustrated with your little one when they have zero interest in food.  There was so much going on that kept our daughter’s attention.  Trying to stop down for lunch may not be an option.  Snacking and milk are two great alternatives for continuous “picking.”


    Share!  One thing that we did lean, if there’s a certain food that your child loves to pick at while you’re eating, then bring it!  That was the one time that we could get our daughter to stop and focus on eating.  Egg salad on a bagel it is!

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    You’re at the beach… now what?

    First things first, before you leave the house or car apply sunscreen (and apply often.)  make sure you have a shaded area for your child to hang out (most of the day.)

    A tent or a large umbrella and a large blanket are key.  Going back to the statement about taking the beach for granted, don’t miss out on the little things.  Again, these are all new experiences.  We really loved watching our daughter touch the sand for the first time and standing at the edge of the water.

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    What will really happen.

    Have that camera ready!  You will be taking pictures non-stop.  Depending on the age, your child may hit some milestones.  Not saying your child will start swimming or surfing for the first time but standing on their own (even taking that first step isn’t out of the question.)

    After a fun action-packed hour, the ocean breeze, and the sound of waves crashing put our daughter down for a good solid nap.  That’s the perfect time for, us, parents to enjoy some rest or games on the beach.

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