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This mom’s ‘backward beach day’ hack is a game-changer if you have small kids

backwards beach day mom tiktok
kelsewhatelse/TikTok

If you’ve ever taken a baby or toddler to the beach, you already know what an absolute nightmare it can be. Getting them up early for a beach day to get packed and ready means they’ll be tired and cranky—plus, their routine is thrown off all day so expect extra grumpiness and tantrums at unexpected times. Getting to the beach in time to beat the crowds and grab a good spot means being there in the brightest and most intense sun of the day.

And because the littles are tired and overstimulated, you’ll have to head out by early afternoon, which gives you sweaty, sandy, lotion-covered babies to deal with before dinner. And good luck going out to eat with your tired, cranky toddler — even if you do manage to get them cleaned up.

What if we told you there’s a better way? One mom has figured it out, and she shared it with us all in a viral TikTok video: a “backwards beach day.”

Mom @kelsewhatlese came up with this genius concept.

“I hated taking small children to the beach until I started doing backwards beach day,” she explains in her video. “So here’s a day in the life of our backwards beach day.”

She continues, “First we woke up slowly. We didn’t rush out the door to beat the crowds. We watched some TV, we went into town and got some bagels, and then we headed to the library, ’cause like I said, it’s a backwards beach day, so 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.”

This is such a simple concept, but it’s so genius.

She continues their day with some pickleball, then lunch (she notes that lunchtime crowds are basically nonexistent because, in this tourist town, everyone else is at the beach right now. Genius!). Then, “because my two-year-old wasn’t sweaty, sandy, or lotiony, I could put him down for a quick nap while I has work time,” she says. After he wakes up, “he is in the worst mood, so that is when we head to the beach. Nothing cures a toddler mood like sand and water.”

They stay at the beach until dinner time, whiling away those weird “witching hours” that young kids tend to have in the late afternoon. The beach is less crowded and the sun is less intense, so it’s ideal.

“A lot of times we’ll make dinner easy and just do a picnic on the beach,” she says. Like a cherry on top of this perfect day, there are no tantrums when it’s time to leave, because the setting sun tells the kids the beach is closing. And bedtime baths are the perfect opportunity to get all the salt and sand off.

Unsurprisingly, the comments are filled with parents who love this idea.

“first beach vacay coming in april…gonna use this on my preschooler,” one commenter wrote.

Another added, “I’m 26. I think I would benefit from a backwards beach day.”

Honestly, same.