baby

'The 6 things I've learned about going to the beach with 3 kids under 3.'

Hamilton
Thanks to our brand partner, Hamilton

Remember those Saturdays when you'd roll out of bed mid-morning to be greeted by nothing but glorious sunshine and warm weather?

When your only worry was making sure you got to the beach in time to get a prime spot with your mates to bask in the beautiful Australian outdoors?

Before becoming a mum I used to think that once I had kids I'd spend most sunny days at the beach with my kids frolicking freely in the fresh water with the sand between my toes, eating ice creams and munching on some chilled watermelon.

The reality, after popping out three babies within 13 months, is far from that.

My beach days look more like herding ants and enough luggage for a four-week European holiday. And that's not including half the stuff I actually needed, but forgot. 

Once I even attempted taking two toddlers and a baby to the beach solo just to prove I could do it, it turns out... I just couldn't. It took me a while to try again.

To my credit, I'm getting much savvier. I'm learning to get as prepared as possible before hitting the sand. 

So, I've created some tips so parents can learn from my mistakes...

1. Pre-marinate your mini army. 

Getting ready for the beach is a military operation. Rub that sunscreen in! Image: Tegan Natoli. 

Applying sunscreen to toddlers is often not dissimilar to wrestling a crocodile, and almost as fun as changing nappies. 

So, to avoid your kids looking like a freshly crumbed chicken schnitzel, lather them in some SPF 50+ protection BEFORE you get to the beach (20 minutes before sun exposure is what's recommended, and top up every two hours or more often if swimming or sweating).

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Hamilton Sunscreen is my go-to at the moment, mainly because they specifically have a toddler range which is gentle on young skin, can be used on face and body, and most importantly, is fast absorbing so you haven't got any slippery little suckers on your hands!

And there is a handy little Toddler Lotion & Roll-on for any top-ups. Yep, with a little UVA & UVB protection, hats and protective clothing, my little army is ready to take over the beach.

2. Water is the new liquid gold.

Although you might be gazing out to an endless body of seawater… you can never have enough drinking water.

It's like toddlers can feel when you don't have access to drinking water, so of course they become particularly parched.

To save yourself from lugging the kids all the way to the kiosk and paying $5 for water, be sure to take one of those huge bottles with you just in case.

3. Choose your snacks wisely.

They always want each other's snacks, obviously. Image: Tegan Natoli 

My kids are pretty much human seagulls ready to attack any beachgoer for their delicious-looking snacks, so I need to go prepared.

Avoid wet, sticky foods unless you're into panko (sand) cucumber. Some dry snacks are the way to go and the less rubbish, the better, because that's one less thing you'll have to take with you when you leave! 

4. Towels are so 2017.

Even if you bring an individual towel for everyone… they will always want to sit on yours so I basically take a queen-sized bed sheet. The more kids I have, the bigger my "beach towel" gets!

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That way you can set up shop with all your kids and all your bits and pieces and worry less about sand creeping into every crevice and object that you've brought with you.

5. Beach umbrellas aren't what they seem.

Yes, they look cute and we feel like better parents for going to the effort to protect our kids from the sun, but it only takes one little gust of wind for those bad boys to go catapulting down the beach.

Save yourself the hassle and find yourself a naturally shady spot so you are not having to constantly ensure your kids are sitting within the one metre of shade that your brolly is creating.

6. Yes, they will need a nappy.

I can almost guarantee that if you're taking a non-toilet trained toddler to the beach… they will need to do a number two.

I don't know if it's because they are feeling at one with nature or they are just trying to punish us, but swimmer nappies or poo-catching swimsuits are a must, because life is always full of surprises.

Hamilton sunscreen available at your local pharmacy. 

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Reapply sunscreen frequently. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eye wear when exposed to the sun.

What other tips do you have around days with your tiny humans? Let us know below.


Hamilton
Hamilton Sunscreen available at your local pharmacy. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Reapply sunscreen frequently. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eye wear when exposed to the sun.
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