Pool Bag Essentials:
1. First off, we use this big bag (in size XL, zippered top and long handles) to keep all of our pool stuff and I never unpack it. Makes life so much easier and we can just bop to the pool quickly anytime we want to!
2. I use this bag for our sunscreen. I love my LOLO bags and this one is the perfect size for 5-7 bottles of sunscreen.
3. Sunscreen - our pediatrician recommended Blue Lizard Baby for Molly Anne's body and Cerave Stick (I got this at CVS or Walgreens) for her face. Both are super easy to put on and don't leave a bunch of white streaks all of her. Most importantly, they protect her skin really well. My dermatologist says Neutrogena 30+ or more SPF only for me and absolutely no spray bottles, only lotion, so I use this.
4. Beach towels. I love these for Molly Anne. Christine has to monogram anything I get for her from Pottery Barn Kids because "Molly Anne" is one too many characters! ;)
5. Snacks - goldfish, animal crackers and a water bottle - lots of water to keep her hydrated. We used to bring a bottle and formula if we went midday when she used to get that bottle. I also usually bring a little lunch box of waters or maybe a limearita or two! Koozies are also necessary of course!
6. Swim Diapers - I always bring a couple extra and I stick them in a wet bag (this one is cute but I got mine at a cute shop in the Charlotte airport ha) that I bring for her wet suit from swim class. I don't use the throw away swim diapers at swim class since she uses an iPlay diaper there.
7. Toys - we bring a few bath toys and lately Molly Anne has liked the dollar store little tube that she can lounge on. I got one of these floats for her to hang out in but she was not interested in staying so still in a pool. Soooo we haven't used it. She'd rather be active haha.
8. iPlay hat - again she isn't a huge fan of this because she can't swim underwater in it but I do get her to wear it so the skin on her head doesn't get too toasty. She wears size 9-18 month now.
9. Coverups - I've learned that the swim diapers do leak a bit. I still put her in it at home and slip her bathing suit on but then sometimes I'll put a regular diaper over her bathing suit until we get to the pool. I'll just take it off of her in the car before we get out to walk up to the pool. Also, these coverups/tunics are super cute but I've learned not very practical for the pool because they're hard to get on and off. This Janie and Jack one has been on repeat because it's cute, sleeveless and easy to get on.
10. Hair brush - not really essential but nice to have!
11. Wipes - always necessary.
Beach Day Essentials:
In addition to the pool items above, I brought these things to the beach:
1. Baby powder - my moms FB group was spot on with this. It gets sand off the skin SO easily.
2. Stroller - our Baby Jogger City Mini was wonderful for the beach. I locked the front tire and dragged it backwards through the sand on the back two tires. Once we got to hard sand closer to the water, it was like walking on asphalt, it was so easy. It was this reason that I was able to get Molly Anne to nap on the beach because we walked and walked and I put her in the lay down position in the stroller and she was out!
3. Umbrella - our hotel provided these so that was really nice. An umbrella is necessary and I recommend putting it in front of your chairs so the child has room to play. We just slid our chair under it so she could drink her bottle in the shade.
A couple more things:
I freaked before I left about getting a beach baby tent but I'm so glad I ended up returning it to Amazon after it took more more than 15 seconds to get it put back into the bag it came in (who has time for that while trying to watch a child near water?!). It was not necessary at all. Maybe for a 2 month old who doesn't move much but my child wouldn't have even thought about going in that thing for a nap. She would have rather played in the water. Hence why I had to put her in the stroller and walk just so she'd nap!
Fitted sheet - I had heard to take a fitted sheet and to secure all four sides with a bag, cooler etc. and that the sheet would give a sand free space for the baby to play. Yeah right, my child had sand EVERYWHERE. This did not work for us. Again, maybe for a smaller baby that would be perfect.
Hope this list helps someone! I don't think it's a crazy amount of stuff, just the basics of what you'll actually use! Let me know if I forgot something!