Both my husband and I grew up in sunny South Florida, so you would think we knew all about going to the beach.
Our son, Grayson, was 10 months old at the time, and while we “visited” the beach before, we were never there for more than 40 minutes on an overcast day. That morning, we spent a lot of time packing up the car, but we brought all the wrong things. We packed a picnic lunch, a waterproof blanket, sunscreen and some cold drinks. What we didn’t take into account was the sun, or conversely, the lack of shade.
Trekking out to the beach, carrying our provisions in the stroller and the baby in my arms, we soon became bogged down in the sand. We squinted at the vast beach full of people, devoid of even a spot of shade. Of course, people brought umbrellas, pop-up tents and sun shades, but we were completely lacking. We promptly turned around and ate our sad little lunch on a picnic table and then drove back home.
The next week, I spent a bit of time on Amazon shoring up our defenses against the sand and sun (Amazon Prime is my friend). There are no excuses for Miami natives to be so amateur at beach-going.
Note: I grew up spending zero time on the beach. That is where all the “tourists” are. Boats? I can do boats.
Our next outing was more of a success. We had a UV tent this time and an easier beach, on the sleepy west coast of Florida. Our trek from the car was only a few feet, and my husband was able to erect the tent after a minor struggle. Shaded from the sun, and sitting in some borrowed beach chairs, we watched as my son played in the sand, crawling back and forth like a little turtle.
Round two on Amazon and we are properly equipped for many years of future beach trips. Our third trip to the beach with the baby really tested us. After a long hike from the car with a heavy (now 13-month-old) baby and gear, we arrived at the beach of our original failure, on the tip of Key Biscayne.
We scooted our chairs back and zipped the little tent closed. A little rain leaked in, but we stayed dry. Grayson napped in my arms to the sound of the rain splashing on the tent roof. After about twenty minutes, the rain cleared and for a moment, we had the beach to ourselves. It was a good moment.
Just before my little one’s first birthday, I realized we had a problem. Our bath toy collection was growing and growing, and our bathroom was (and still is) seriously low on storage. There is only one cabinet, and no storage underneath our pedestal sink. Toys were accumulating on the edge of the tub after every bath, just begging to be knocked to the floor. I needed a versatile, no-installation place to store wet toys. When I looked for bath toy storage ideas online, I didn’t find a solution that would work for me. Most of the products available stick to the walls with suction cups, and I didn’t want to mess with suction cups.
I also wanted a bath toy storage solution that held LOTS of toys, drained well, and didn’t look terrible. After seeing all the bath toy options, I started looking elsewhere. Eventually, I came across the ASICS Mesh Backpack. It has a drawstring closure and long, thin shoulder straps which seemed perfect for looping over a towel bar. Priced between $7.21 and $13.75 (depending on color), I gave the little bag a shot.
The ASICS backpack turned out to be the perfect for bath toy storage! I can hang it anywhere – over the towel bar, looped across a bathroom caddy, across the hot/cold knobs, or the showerhead. It opens wide to allow my little one to choose toys and put them away. Water drains easily through the mesh and it holds a lot of toys! There is even a nylon pocket on the outside for extra storage.
The backpacks come in 10 bright colors to choose from with colors like pink, gold, orange and royal blue.
To up my bath storage capacity, I also purchased the Maytex Mesh Pockets PEVA Shower Curtain Clear. With 9 pockets in varying sizes, I’m able to store things like razors out of reach from the baby. Small containers and other lightweight objects (like bath books and wash cloths) fit in the larger mesh pockets at the bottom.
Thanks to these 2 easy bath toy storage ideas, I have a lot more storage. Toys–even wet ones–clean up fast so we can move on to more important things, like pajamas and story time.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links to products I purchased and used myself. I recommend these products. If you decide to buy any of these items, I may be able to buy a cheap cup of coffee from the commission I receive.