10 Beach Essentials for Baby and Toddler

Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to flock to the beach or pool to cool off and get a much-needed reprieve from the heat. But how is a momma supposed to relax completely when she contemplates everything her little one will need to make it through the day at the beach?

After you’ve managed to face the daunting task of loading the kids and all their diaper bag essentials into the car, you next have to tackle the task of gathering the beach essentials and items you need to actually survive a day at the beach with a couple of rambunctious toddlers!

Because NO ONE wants to face the wrath of a toddler under the hot summer sun!

Luckily, I’m sharing my beach packing list that will help make things a little easier with a baby or toddler in tow.

Heading to the beach with a baby or toddler? This beach packing list, will tell you exactly what you'll need for a fun-filled day with baby and toddler in tow.This post may contain affiliate links.

1. Sunblock

First, things first. Sun protection! You’ll definitely want to pack a kid-friendly sunscreen brand that is both easy to apply and adequate for baby’s delicate skin. If you’re still not sure what factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen, this post should help!

A few of our favorite brands, include Neutrogena Baby, Babyganics and Aveeno sunscreen.

Remember to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure to avoid any burns and overexposure. And most importantly, REAPPLY throughout the day especially if the little one will be in and out of the water!

Finally, remember to check the label for ingredients that won’t irritate or cause any allergic reactions. Baby’s skin is extra sensitive and needs to be handled with care.

2. Water Shoes

Some may overlook this. But remember the sand gets hot and some beaches have all sorts of rocks and stones that can be very unpleasant to step on.  If it hurts your feet, think about how uncomfortable your baby would be! Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that’s easy for a toddler to move around in.

3. Beach Toys

A bucket with shovel is a great start, but don’t limit it to that! Grab a few favorites, like an inflatable beach ball to toss around, plastic cars to bury in the sand or squishy squirt toys for the water!

4. Cabana, Tent or Umbrella

If you’re vacationing or planning to spend hours in the sun away from home, having some sort of shade nearby is a must! You can pack a basic beach umbrella or splurge on a beach cabana tent made especially for the little ones. These often have UV ray protection built in.

5. Blanket

This one is simple. Sometimes towels just won’t cut it. Bring a thin blanket which will cover more surface area on the ground and less space in your already crowded beach bag.

6. Wet Bag

A wet bag is a lifesaver when you’re looking to separate the dry clothes from the wet in your bag! An empty grocery bag often does the trick.

7. Baby Powder

Apparently a best kept secret for removing sticky sand from the skin is some good old baby powder! A quick sprinkle of the powder magically releases sand from the skin, keeping it on the beach rather than in your car.

8. Sippy Cup

With a baby in the sun all day, hydration is key!  Make sure to pack your favorite sippy cup.  A great choice is one with a sliding lid to keep sand out!

9. Snacks

No doubt beach time can coincide with lunch time; pack a snack bag of fresh fruit, veggies and some crackers for the little one to munch on.  Also, if you haven’t done it already, invest in one of those little snack catchers — they work wonders to prevent fistfuls of snacking, while easily containing baby’s food.

10. Swim Diapers

And finally, don’t worry about poofy, swelling diapers…disposable diapers will get the job done.  Try a pair like Huggies Little Swimmers!
10 beach items for baby

Which is YOUR favorite beach essential for baby?

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Such an awesome list of beach activities PERFECT for toddlers! Great ideas to keep kids busy on the beach and burning-energy so that they are ready to hit the sack after a sun-filled day!

I wish I had this list with my first baby! Easy tips to keep your infant cool in the summer at the beach. So important for babies under 6 months!!


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  1. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a baby in our family, but it looks like you’ve put together a great list. Sounds like you’re ready for fun.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  2. I enjoyed this post! We will be heading to the beach later this summer. I am going to check out the beach cabana tent. I plan to try the baby powder thing out with the sand as well. I never thought of spreading out the blanket! One of the things I think is absolutely essential are the beach lounge chairs. When I have a kiddo who refuses to get in the sand I can always count on them sitting in the lounge chair.


    • Thanks for the comment Melanie! And, I certainly agree that the beach lounge chairs would complete the list for one happy and relaxed momma!!

  3. haven’t had to take a baby to the beach in a long time,but sunscreen is always a must with my grandbabies

  4. This is such a great list! I think any mother, grandmother or aunt will find your list very useful!

  5. I don’t have “babies” anymore. Mine are 5 and 3. We just spent a week in Hawaii and your list is perfect. We added Sun hats and life vests and floaties to our list because the kids were actually playing in the waves and tidepools a bit.

    • Glad you liked my list! Life vests and floaties are a great addition!! I left sun hats out in my case, because my little one refuses to wear them. Instead we have to load on the sunblock to make sure his scalp is covered!

  6. I always forget to bring a beach ball and I think it would be even better if I brought it. I sometimes bring a little bit too much to the beach but I always say it’s better to have more than less. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. This is a really great list. I think you’ve covered it all. I just recently learned the baby powder and sand trick. I am planning to use it on the next vacation I go on! Thanks for sharing this list!

  8. Great list! The wet back is what I always forget. Huggies Little Swimmers are my favorite ~ love the Finding Nemo designs. The cabana is an excellent idea, but my little guy would never stay put!
    Farrah recently posted…Baby’s First SwimMy Profile

  9. This is a great list. I think most people forget to let sunscreen soak in before going out into the sun.


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