An easy-breezy beach day typically involves waking up at a wildly early hour to pack up kids, umbrellas, snacks, chairs, the cooler, sunscreen, and toys, and hauling it all to the beach before all the other families claim the “good spots.” We’re exhausted just thinking about it!

Mom Kelsey Pomeroy, who goes by @kelsewhatelse on TikTok, explained that her family does beach days differently—she called it the “backwards beach day,” and we think it’s pretty clever. The basics are that you switch up your day to maximize your toddler’s prime morning hours and visit the beach in the afternoon instead.


This might seem obvious to beach locals, but for those of us who did not grow up near the beach and also live very far away from the beach, “backwards beach days” is a new idea! I used to hate taking my small children to the beach. Taking a baby and a toddler to the beach might seem like an easy day out for many people, not for me. All of the gear, all of the sweat, all of the sand, the crowds, and then trying to go out to eat later when your kids are exhausted and overstimulated and all of the restaurants are crowded. There were just so many things that I didn’t like about it. Until one day when it occurred to me that I could just do the beach the way I want to do it and I came up with a plan that avoided all the things I didn’t like about going to the beach with small children while keeping all the things that I loved about it. This might seem silly to people who live near the beach, but for those of us who live 15 hours from it and have to dedicate an entire vacation to it, it almost seems sacrilegious to not wake up and immediately go to the beach. It feels like you’re missing out on the whole purpose of your vacation. So I had to remind myself that the purpose of my vacation, is to have a vacation! So I need to do it the way that is best for our family. And for small kids, it makes a lot of sense to just do the day backwards to what most people do for a beach day. I know depending on what beach you go to, a night time visit may not be the best idea. Tides and waves work differently in different places, but where we go in Florida it’s the perfect time to visit for us. Backwards Beach days have truly saved the beach vacation for us. . . . . . #kelsewhatelse #backwardsbeachdays

♬ original sound – KelseWhatElse

Here are the steps Pomeroy laid out:

  1. Wake up slowly. No rushing out the door to beat the crowds. Watch TV or read books to ease into your day. Enjoy your coffee even!
  2. Do something fun while everyone is well-rested. Capitalize on the fact that your child will likely wake up in a good mood to get some activities done in the morning, like going to the library, playing a game, or spending some time at the park. “Everything we would typically do in the afternoon on a beach vacation we do in the morning while our kids are still well rested and not overstimulated, but we capitalize on those great moods,” shares Pomeroy.
  3. Eat lunch at home or go out to lunch to take advantage of the fact that lunch crowds are likely smaller, and the prices are cheaper at lunch than at dinner. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your kid dropping their sandwich in the sand or getting it snatched by a seagull.
  4. Nap time. “Because my two-year-old wasn’t sandy or sweaty or lotion-y, I could put him down for a quick nap while I had work time,” Pomeroy explains. Plus, no fighting a toddler to head home for a nap when everyone is still having fun at the beach.
  5. Head to the beach. “When my two-year-old wakes up from a nap he is in the worst mood, so that is when we head to the beach. Nothing cures a toddler’s mood like sand and water. We’re going to stay at the beach for a few hours until dinnertime. Three to 6 p.m. could be like the witching hours with small children. I don’t want to be in a restaurant right now; I want to be on the beach. ‘Backwards beach days’ mean less crowded beaches and less sun exposure you have to worry about.”
  6. Head home. “And then like a visual representation that the beach is closing, we could say goodbye to the setting sun and head for home. Getting the sand off of them is easy because you have a bedtime bath anyway.”

We can’t believe we didn’t think of this brilliant switch earlier!

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