We have t-minus one week and 2 days before we head to sunny Florida for a little va-cay (can I get a “hip, hip, hooray!!”). Since summer is just beginning to make it’s way to the Midwest, my kids have only a few pieces of clothing that could ‘make do’ in 90+++ degree weather. Last week we still had days around here where coats were essential pieces of our wardrobe, so this mama really has not pulled out last year’s summer gear (though, I’m sure most of it will not fit) and surely has not had the energy to shop for new clothes this season. So… to get my mind in summer-shopping-gear I have put together the following list of items that will be essentials in my beach bag this vacation and all summer long.


What's in my beach bag


1. Burt's Bees Baby Powder – Want to know the secret to wicking away all that irritating wet sand on little beach cruisers? Baby Powder!! One of the best secrets I have found on the internet! I love this all-natural and talc-free powder to de-sand little bums.

2. Clif Kid Organic Z Bar – Tate and I have been carrying these bars around with us the past cou

ple of months and they have been a lifesaver. I like to give Tate snacks while we are out running errands or during park trips as they keep him occupied for a period of time while I need to tend to Maddie or fill our grocery cart with other essentials. I feel guilty always giving him goldfish, cheerios, crackers (my usual go-to snacks) and so I have loved popping him these bars full of so much goodness!! They make snacking on-the-go so much easier and more guilt-free for this mama!

3. Babyganics Sunscreen and Bug Repellent – Hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and SPF of 50. Babyganics has been ranked by EWG for multiples years as one of the top baby and children’s sunscreens. I am a sunscreen-Nazi with Tate and (knock on wood) with one summer’s use of Babyganics and another Spring under our belt I have never seen the color pink on Tate’s skin. It must be noted I do reapply and reapply every 1-2 hours. Success so far!

4. iPlay Bucket Hat – Even if I lather and then lather myself again I always manage to burn the part in my hair and the tops of my ears (anyone else have this problem?!). I can apply and then reapply sunscreen to these areas but nothing seems to work! A bucket hat like this iPlay one is the perfect solution to this problem for our little ones. I just love the iPlay prints! My only concern is Tate wanting to take the hat off so that he can point and talk about the “fire trucks” on the hat versus wearing it… I can only solve one problem at a time though folks!

5. Headscarf – I found these headbands on Etsy and am obsessed. I just order two for Maddie and more than I am willing to admit for myself!! The shop owner has 20, 30, ++ different colors and prints to choose from so that you can mix and match with every outfit. I cannot wait for this package to arrive because Maddie and I will be living in these adorable headscarves all summer.

6. Melissa & Doug Beach Toys – It totally wouldn’t be a beach trip with beach toys! This set has all the essentials – a shovel, rake, scoops and a bucket! I plan for this to keep Tate occupied for all of 10 minutes! Wahoo!!

7. Salt Water Sandals – I have personally never owned Salt Water’s but have heard rave reviews for numerous peeps. I hear they are great in and out of the water and can hold up for even the busiest little ones all summer long (right up Tate’s alley!). I ordered Tate the tan Surfer’s and have been anxiously waiting by the door for the package to arrive any day now!

8. Huggies Little Swimmers Swim Diapers – For any mom of little ones, swim diapers are a must in the beach bag! I love Huggies Little Swimmers because they have this special absorbent material that doesn’t make the diaper swell up when wet. They stay put under lots of movement (this has been greatly tested by my little boy) and fit perfectly under little boy swim trunks.



Another great aspect of these swim diapers are there ‘tear away’ sides that make changing a wet, antsy, arms-flailing, toddler a little less difficult to change. Last summer we lived at the pool and I went through many, many swim diapers and tried just about all the different brands out there. Huggies Little Swimmer are by far the easiest to put and take off, with great flexibility, and super absorbent powers! They are definitely one of the first things thrown in my beach bag every summer!


And, don’t you just love the cute patterns! Oh, and the cute, little cheek hanging out!! Thank you Tate for being my cute diaper model (I am not sure he had a choice in the matter). We cannot wait to take Tate swimming in Florida. I am pretty sure that is the thing we are looking forward to more than anything else on this vacation. He is going to have such a blast!!

9. Sunglasses – Every cool kid needs a pair of ‘shades’ for the summertime. Lately Tate has been obsessed with any accessory (i.e. hats, glasses, my bracelets). I am not quite sure where this new obsession came from because all winter it was a fight to get him to wear any hat during the gazillion blizzard storms we had! I will take his new found love of accessories while I can because toddler hats and glasses are just the cutest!


What are some of your beach bag essentials?

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