Disclosure: Some links below are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase
Getting ready for a trip to the beach soon with a baby or toddler in tow? While the prospects of a vacation can certainly be exciting, sometimes vacationing at the beach with a little one can be challenging to say the least. The multiple applications of sunscreen, the eating of sand, the hauling of baby gear up and down stretches of beach can leave your vacation feeling more like a chore than a relaxing getaway…Well no need to stress.
While you can’t get rid of all the nuisances of traveling to the beach with your kids (unless you want to hire a babysitter and leave them behind), you can make it a bit easier by being equipped properly. I’ve done my research (both through my own real life experiences with two kiddos at the beach and through research on the web) on the baby beach items that will make your trip to the beach much easier. I’ve pulled together 15 must have baby products for the beach.
Top 15 must have baby products for the beach
Easy to Rub in Sunscreen
One of the most important baby products for the beach is sunscreen. Unfortunately, applying sunscreen on a baby or a toddler is much like wrestling with a crocodile. It’s no fun for anyone. Make your life a bit easier and find a sunscreen that rubs in easily, but is of course safe and effective. Remember to apply 15 to 30 minutes before heading out to the beach. You’ll also need to reapply every 2 hours. We prefer typically use either La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Gentle Sunsceen or Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen. Both of these sunscreens run in easily and are safe and effective.
Bathing Suits with coverage
This item is to make applying sunscreen even easier. Especially if your children are fair, it’s worth considering bathing suits with extra coverage. The less exposed skin, the less area you have to apply sunscreen on (and reapply every two hours). For little boys rashguard shirts are a great option. For little girls they make rashguard shirts and one pieces with sleeves as well.
Sunhat with strap
Keeping with the sun protection theme, a sunhat for protecting against those harsh rays can also be super helpful. Most babies and toddlers won’t consistently wear sunglasses, so hats can provide some protection there. Ideally find a hat with a strap to help keep it in place and discourage your little one from taking it off.
Baby Tent for Beach – BabyMoov
Bringing a small pop up tent for the beach is a great idea. You can then put baby down for a nap and avoid a long trek inside. You can also find some that zip up to provide protection from sand blowing. I highly recommend this BabyMoov Pop up Baby Beach Tent. It zips up and folds up easily into a carrying bag, making it ideal for a trip to the beach. It also comes with stakes to help keep it in place. The mesh netting provides protection while also allowing for air circulation to keep baby cool.
Umbrella for shade
If you don’t have a beach tent, you’ll at least want an umbrella to provide some shade for your baby or toddler at the beach. Little ones tend to get overheated easily. Plus, if your child tends to burn easily, they may also need a break from the sun for their skin. This one is a critical baby product to have at the beach.
No trip to the beach would be complete without beach towels. Having hooded baby beach towels for drying of hair and keeping the towel wrapped around your baby or toddler can come in super handy. Plus, they make so many adorable beach towels for babies and toddlers.
Free Swimming Baby Inflatable
If you plan to spend any time at a pool on your beach trip, an Inflatable device for floating in the pool (of course under close adult supervision 100% of the time) can be super helpful. Most babies love splashing in water. We loved using this free swimming Baby Inflatable float. My son absolutely loved floating around in this in the pool last summer. It’s easily inflatable / deflatable for easy storage. The float also designed to be anti-flip, but again, like all baby floats, requires constant close adult supervision. It’s definitely sturdier than some of the designs I’ve seen out there.
Baby Splash Mat
Another great idea for a beach trip are these baby splash mats. You can connect them to a hose (if you’re by a pool) or simply add a bit of water to them so that younger babies can sit and happily play in the water. The one I linked comes with rings and a canopy for shade.
No beach trip is complete without at least a bucket and a shovel! Many Babies and toddlers love playing in the sand, and it will keep them happily occupied for long periods if you’re lucky. I preferred trying to distract my little ones with plastic beach toys as opposed to them trying to eat seashells and seaweed or anything else they could find laying around in the sand. Here’s a great set that comes with multiple buckets, shovels, a watering can, and sand molds.
Sand Free Outdoor Blanket with Weights
An outdoor blanket is a super handy item to have with you at the beach. Multiple kids can sit together and it makes a great place if you need to do a diaper change too. Since it’s inevitably windy at the beach, I recommend getting a blanket that has some weighted corners or comes with stakes, so that it isn’t constantly rolling up in the wind. They also make these great blankets that are sand resistant. So when you pick them up and give them a shake, the sand simply shake right out. These are great to have for a week at the beach so you aren’t fighting piles of sand!
This one is an absolute must-have baby product for the beach. If you plan to spend any time in the water, you will want to bring along swim diapers. Regular diapers are designed, well to absorb as much water as they can. If you take a baby in with a regular diaper it will fill up like a water balloon. Not recommended. They do make both resuable swim diapers and disposable ones too. Keep in mind that they are not super absorbent, so they tend to leak and require more frequent changing. In fact, some pools require babies layer diapers and wear both: a disposable swim diaper with a reusable swim diaper on top to prevent leaks.
Heavy Duty Collapsible Beach Wagon
If your trip down to the actual beach requires a bit of a walk, then you should consider bringing a wagon. They’re great for loading up tons of supplies and easy to pull behind you. Just keep in mind you’ll want one with larger wheels designed for sandy terrain. Otherwise, it’s more of a pain to pull it behind you than its worth in my opinion. I also prefer the collapsible lightweight ones so that when you go home you don’t have something that takes up tons of room. This is a great heavy duty collapsible beach wagon that includes cup holders and an expandable table.
No trip to the beach would be complete without a cooler with drinks and snacks for the family. I personally prefer a cooler that’s more like a bag, like this one by Scout. I can throw it over my shoulder with my beach bag. I hate dragging a big bulky cooler with me to the beach, and it’s nearly impossible with kids in tow as well.
Large Beach Bag
Of course you’re going to want a beach bag that you can carry all the sunscreen, towels, extra swim diapers, and other baby gear in. Plus any accoutrements you need for yourself too. Whatever you get, just make sure it’s large. I’ve never regretted buying an extra large beach bag! I’m always wishing I went bigger.
Baby Beach Chair
This isn’t absolutely necessary but if you have a toddler who is just walking (or a little one who hates the sand), they may like having a little beach chair just like their parents. My daughter loved to perch up on her tiny beach chair which had a matching umbrella and sit and eat her snacks after she was worn out from playing on the beach.
Inflatable Swimming Pool
You may not think of bringing an inflatable swimming pool to the beach, but with young children it can come in handy. You can add a shallow amount of water from the ocean to it and sit it by your beach chairs. Allowing you to actually sit down for a bit while your kids play in arms reach. We saw another family do this at the beach and thought this was brilliant! The next day we went out and got an inflatable swimming pool ourselves. It was a huge hit with my kids and our nephews too.
That wraps up my list of must have baby products for the beach. I hope having some of these items handy makes your beach vacation more enjoyable. Did I leave out one of your favorite baby products for the beach? If so, please share your faves in a comment down below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out my post on How to Keep Toddlers Busy in the Car – Road Trip Toys & Activities to get ready for your drive to the beach!