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Baby Beach Essentials: Must-Haves and Extras You Can’t Forget

Three buckets with sand and a spade on tropical sand beach

We live just a few meters from the sea. So, I guess you can call me a pro when it comes to baby beach essentials. Over the years, I’ve learned through trial and error what makes a beach day enjoyable and stress-free with a little one (yes, it’s possible!).

The right gear ensures sun protection and keeps your bubba entertained and comfortable. In this blog, I’ll share my ultimate baby beach essentials list, splitting it into must-haves and nice-to-haves, along with a handy packing guide to make your next beach outing a breeze.

Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned beach-goer, this guide will help you prepare for a fun and safe beach day with your munchkin. So pin, save, or share the image below for future reference!

Colorful Illustrative Summer Beach Party Event Flyer with the text "Baby Beach Essentials: Must-Haves and Extras You Can’t Forget."

15 Beach Must-Haves For Baby

Hear me out. Bad things happen when I don’t pack these baby beach essentials. And by bad things, I mean diaper blowouts, sunburns, and meltdowns. So, don’t forget these non-negotiables for a successful beach day with your little one: 

A colorful checklist with beach designs and the text "15 Beach Must-Haves For Baby."

1. Sunscreen

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Sunscreen."

Sun protection is critical for your darling’s delicate skin, especially on a sunny day at the beach. So, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. 

Moreover, look for natural, chemical-free options that are gentle on their skin. Remember to reapply every two hours or after they’re in the water, and use the recommended amount each time.1

2. Swim Diapers

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Swim Dieapers."

Regular diapers won’t do the trick for a trip to the beach. And I’m certain you don’t want to deal with a diaper blowout or a swollen nappy that makes your bubba look like a bee.

Therefore, invest in swim diapers that hold solid waste while allowing liquids to pass through. They will prevent uncomfortable accidents while your munchkin splashes in the water.

3. Sun Hat

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Sun Hat."

A wide-brimmed sun hat will protect your pumpkin’s face and neck from the sun’s rays. As such, look for hats with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) to provide an extra layer of sun protection.2

It’s also obvious, but pick one with a chin strap to keep it in place. Your little one will likely try to take it off, and you want it to stay put.

4. Swimwear

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Swimwear."

Of course, you can’t forget about your peanut’s swimwear. Opt for swimsuits or rashguards with built-in UV protection for added peace of mind.

Swim sandals or water shoes are also a must to protect your babe’s feet from hot sand, rocks, and shells. Make sure they’re snug, comfortable, and secure so they won’t easily slip off.

5. Change of Clothes

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Change of Clothes."

Accidents happen, whether it’s a spilled drink or a diaper explosion. That’s why you must pack extra clothes for your boo after being in the water.

Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics that will keep them comfortable in the heat. These include cotton, linen, and bamboo. And don’t forget to bring an extra change of clothes for yourself too!

6. Beach Toys

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Beach Toys"

Don’t commit the biggest crime of going to the beach without any toys. I did it once, and boy, was it a disaster! Pack a few lightweight and easy-to-carry toys such as beach balls, sand buckets and shovels, and even simple water guns.

Buckets and shovels are classic options that can entertain your child for hours. You can also bring some floating toys or inflatable pool floats if you plan on swimming in the water. And for older babies, consider packing a small ball or frisbee for some active playtime.

7. Snacks and Drinks

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Snacks and Drinks."

Spending a day at the beach can work up your and your bubba’s appetite. Therefore, pack some healthy snacks and drinks to keep everyone well-fed and hydrated.

Some great options include fresh fruits, nuts, string cheese, and water or juice in spill-proof bottles.3 And don’t forget to bring a cooler bag or insulated containers to keep everything fresh.

8. First-Aid Kit

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "First-aid Kit."

Accidents and injuries can happen anytime, so it’s always best to be prepared. Make sure to bring a well-stocked first-aid kit that includes basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and tweezers.

Additionally, pack the necessary medication or allergy remedies if your muffin has any specific medical needs or allergies. And make sure to keep the first-aid kit easily accessible at all times.

9. Extra Bags for Trash and Wet Items

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Extra Bags for Trash and Wet Items."

Bringing extra bags with a tiny tot is always a good idea when heading to the beach. These can come in handy for storing trash and keeping the beach clean.

Moreover, bags are perfect for packing up wet items such as towels, swimsuits, and toys. Opt for reusable bags that are easy to clean and sturdy enough to hold all your beach essentials.

10. Shade Tent or Sun Shelter

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Shade Tent or Sun Shelter."

Spending too much time under the sun is unsafe for your little bean, even with sunscreen and protective clothing.4 That’s why a shade tent or sun shelter is important if you plan on staying at the beach for an extended period.

It provides a cool and shaded area where you can change diapers, breastfeed, or simply take a break from the sun’s heat. Look for lightweight and easy-to-assemble options for convenience.

11. Baby Powder

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Baby Powder."

Who knew that baby powder could come in handy at the beach? Sprinkling some on your darling’s skin can easily remove sand before returning to the car or changing their diaper.

It works like magic and can save you from dealing with a sandy mess in your vehicle. Plus, it also helps to soothe any potential chafing from wet swimsuits.

12. Beach-Friendly Wagons/Strollers

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Beach-Friendly Wagons/Strollers."

Do you have a lot to carry or a long walk from the parking lot to the beach? If so, consider bringing a wagon or stroller that can handle sandy terrain.

You can load it up with your beach gear, snacks and drinks, and even your little one if they tire of walking. Bring one that’s sturdy enough for the beach and won’t easily tip over in the sand. Otherwise, you’ll end up hauling everything on your own two arms.

13. Beach Blanket

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Beach Blanket."

A beach blanket is a must-have for any trip to the beach with your pumpkin. It provides a clean and comfortable place for you and your little one to relax and play on.

Look for one that’s water-resistant, lightweight, and easy to shake off sand from. A large enough blanket can also double as a changing mat when it’s time for diaper changes.

14. Towels

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Towels."

Don’t forget to pack enough towels for you and your bubba. You’ll need one to dry off after swimming and another as a clean place for diaper changes. 

Consider bringing an extra towel or two in case of spills or accidents. And if you plan on being at the beach all day, bring a comfortable towel or blanket for your little one to nap on.

15. Floaters/Swim Aids

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Floaters."

Is your babe old enough and loves the water? If so, bring some floaters or swim aids for added safety. Just ensure they are properly sized and fitted for your them.

Never leave your little one unattended while playing in the water, even with floaters on. And remember to always keep a close eye on them.

5 Nice To Have Baby Beach Essentials

While the above essentials are necessary for a successful trip to the beach with your baby, here are some nice-to-have items that can make your day at the beach even more enjoyable:

A colorful checklist with beach designs and the text "5 Nice To Have Baby Beach Essentials."

1. Portable Fan

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Portable Fan."

A portable fan can be a lifesaver on hot beach days. It gives instant relief from the heat and helps keep your darling cool and comfortable.

Look for one that’s battery-operated and has adjustable settings so you can control the strength of the fan. You can also use it to dry off wet skin or clothing, making it multi-purpose.

2. Inflatable Baby Pool

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Inflatable Baby Pool."

An inflatable kiddie pool is a great way to entertain your little one at the beach. Fill it with some water and let them splash around while staying safe and cool.

Look for one with a soft bottom and shallow depth, specifically for babies. Don’t forget to pack a small pump to inflate it and some toys for added fun.

3. Portable High Chair

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Portable High Chair."

If you plan on having a picnic or snack time at the beach, a portable high chair can come in handy. It provides a safe and secure spot for your munchkin to sit and eat without worrying about them crawling away or getting sand in their food.

Look for a lightweight, foldable high chair that fits easily into your beach bag. You can also use it as a makeshift seat for your darling’s while you’re lounging on the sand.

4. Mesh Beach Bag

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Mesh Beach Bag."

A mesh beach bag is perfect for carrying all your baby beach essentials without bringing home a ton of sand. It allows the sand to fall through instead of collecting at the bottom like a traditional bag.

You can also use it to store wet or sandy items, such as towels and toys, without getting your other belongings dirty. Look for one with multiple compartments to keep things organized.

5. Baby Carrier or Sling

A colorful banner with a beach theme and the text "Baby Carrier or Sling"

If your boo is too young to sit or play on their own at the beach, a baby carrier or sling can be a lifesaver. It frees your hands while keeping your little one close and secure.

Look for one that is made of breathable fabric and has UV protection. This way, your child can still enjoy the outdoors without exposure to harmful sun rays.

Tips for Beach Safety

The beach is a fun and relaxing place. However, always prioritize safety when bringing your sweet pea along. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always apply sunscreen regularly
  • Keep your baby hydrated with water or breastmilk
  • Never leave your little one unattended
  • Use a sunshade or umbrella to avoid direct sunlight
  • Be mindful of hot sand
  • Protect your bubba’s feet with shoes or socks

Wrapping Up

Baby beach essentials are important to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable time with your little one. Save the packing lists above for your next beach trip, and remember the safety tips to make the most out of your day by the water.

What are your must-have baby beach items? Share them in the comments below. Happy beaching!

  1. The Best Sunscreen Tips for Kids.” Children’s Hospital Colorado. ↩︎
  2. 5 Benefits to Wearing a UPF Hat.” Sungrubbies.
    ↩︎
  3. O’Toole, G. “Ideas for Kid-Friendly Beach Food and Kid-Friendly Beach Snacks.” Children’s Hospital of Orange County, 2022. ↩︎
  4. Sun and Skin.” National Institutes of Health, 2014. ↩︎
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