Wondering what to take to the beach with a baby?
We are very fortunate to live 5 min away from some beautiful beaches. Our baby has been visiting the beach since she was only around 6 weeks old. We have also spent many days on the beach whilst traveling with baby to overseas destinations. Bringing your baby to the beach can be an overall fun experience and they’ll be captivated by the beach atmosphere around them. We actually find that with the right baby beach accessories our bubba is actually really at peace at the beach.
While planning your upcoming beach trip with the baby, there are some things you’ll need to pack to boost both, you and the baby’s comfort level while at the beach. We have broken our list up into two handy sections. The first contains all the beach necessities for baby – the items that we ALWAYS take to the beach with us. Whilst the second list contains some really handy extra baby beach supplies that you might want to invest in (but that aren't necessarily essential).
Remember it is important to think about how much you can carry whilst also balancing your baby in your arms, so the trick is to find the right balance of handy beach gear, whilst not overloading yourself. Let's make the challenge of taking baby to the beach a breeze and not a stressful affair by choosing to purchase only the best baby beach gear for our needs.
Find below our really handy list of 22 of the best baby beach gear that will make life at the beach with your baby easier!
Beach Essentials for Baby
Things you should Never Leave Home Without
1. Baby Beach Bag
A baby beach bag is really essential, especially when bubs is still little! I don't think you have to complicate things, we simply took along our normal everyday diaper bag to the beach as it already contained all the items we would typically need on an outing. As baby got older, we often left the diaper bag in the boot of the car and simply popped spare clothes, diapers, wipes etc in our family beach bag.
It is important to have a bag that is nice and large and that is easy to carry around. Pockets are always handy to keep things organized. If you are on the hunt for a great diaper bag, I suggest you check out our diaper bag guide here.
>>> Click to see this beautiful diaper bag on Amazon.
2. Swim Diaper
When going to the beach with the baby it's essential that you bring waterproof diapers so that you aren't frequently changing them. You will need to decide whether you will want to use disposable swim diapers or if you would prefer a reusable swim diaper. We personally do prefer using the disposable type so we can simply throw them in a bin closeby when they get soiled, but I know that reusable swim diapers are very popular at the moment too!
While in the sun you'll want to apply sunscreen to the baby's skins to keep them from getting sunburn or other sun-related illnesses. Per the sunscreen bottle instructions, make sure to follow the instructions for the best applications for skin protection. We have tested out a few different brands of sunscreen for our baby and we really love Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen. It has a SPF 50+ rating and whilst other sunscreens contain questionable ingredients and known carcinogens, this company has gone out of their way to develop a sunscreen that is truly safe to use on your baby. You can read all the parents' reviews on this sunscreen here.
4. Hat/Cover Up/Rash Guard
Since the baby's skin is still in its ultra-sensitive phase, you'll want to bring a hat to the beach to keep the sun from beaming down on the baby's head. Also, it will keep the sun out of their eyes. Cover-ups and rash guards will keep the baby safe from sunburn and sand rashes and other elements that can irritate the baby's skin while on the beach. We find that the best baby swim gear will have a UPF rating of at least 30+. Ensure the hat has large flaps and that the rashie has long sleeves.
5. Snacks and Water
While you're out all day on the beach, you're definitely going to get hungry and so will the baby. Pack a lot of snacks and water to hold you over while on the beach. Snacks and water will satisfy the appetite and keep baby happy until you can feed them a proper meal. Of course, if your baby is breastfed, it is pretty easy to take baby's food along ;).
6. Pop Up Baby Beach Tent
A baby sun tent is best for protecting your little one from the harsh UV rays of the sun. It also makes a nice little oasis for a private retreat from the beach, while there. The tent is also great for private diaper changes and taking a quick beach nap.
We absolutely love pop-up style tents as they are quick and easy to set up. It is important to ensure that the baby beach tent has UV protection as well as stakes to secure the tent down for windy days. At the very least, do take a baby beach umbrella; we find that the shade at midday under the umbrella can be a bit useless, but it is better than nothing! You can see a list of all the best beach tents for baby by clicking to our post here.
7. Baby Powder
Baby powder is a staple and a must-bring item to the beach. Baby powder will keep sand from abrading the baby's skin if you rub the powder all over their skin. Forget about using a towel to run off the sand from baby's skin. Pop some powder on to the legs and arms and the sand will come off without aggressively rubbing their sensitive skin.
8. Water Resistant Baby Beach Blanket
Water resistant blankets are highly essential when it comes to comfort on the beach. It's also good to put the blanket under the baby's tent or pool while they’re sitting on the hot sand. But it can also just be a great place for them to play. I promise you that if you pop them on the sand, they will try to eat it! So best to keep them on a nice clean blanket I say! Any picnic style blanket with the waterproof backing will work just fine, but if you don't have a picnic blanket yet, we found that the best beach blanket for baby is the Skip Hop Baby Outdoor Blanket.
9. Baby Beach Toys
Maybe not essential when bub is still little, but we found that our baby loved to have toys at the beach once she could crawl around. We mostly brought everyday baby toys from home, that could either be washed or easily cleaned. We didn't bother with buying any actual sand toys for her till she was closer to 1 years of age. However, if you are after the best baby beach toys, we suggest you have a look at this set here.
10. Disposable Tidy Bags
The last item that we never leave home without is some disposable tidy bags. We typically just use diaper bags. Easy to pop some dirty diapers into seeing as there won't be a bin closeby. Also very handy if you have any diaper accidents (swim diapers can be really messy when they get soiled). Pop your dirty clothes in there and tie it up till you get home to wash. We also use it for any snacks that don't get finished or that might drop in the sand. So handy!
Handy Extra Beach Items for Baby
Items that are not Essential but will Make Life Easier!
1. Beach Baby Stroller
A baby stroller that can handle the beach terrain can be really handy. We often use our baby jogging stroller on the beach instead of the pop-up baby beach tent. A stroller is great as the baby will be familiar with it and might fall asleep a lot easier in it as a result. We don't recommend using a stroller when you need to walk far to get to the ocean though, so if your beach typically has a lot of sand for you to cover to get close to the water, I would suggest you stick to a baby tent. Even all-terrain strollers are still really tricky to use in the loose sand.
Our beach has a narrow section of beach sand, it also has a cement path along the beach, so we only have the drag the stroller a metre or so before settling down. Jogging style strollers are best for the beach. Whilst we personally have a Baby Jogger, the BOB Jogging Stroller comes highly recommended for beach use.
2. Wet Bags
Wet bags are so handy for beach days. I'm sure I don't even have to explain why right? You need these handy bags for those wet swimmers/clothes. Chuck your dirty bibs or burp clothes in them to keep them separated from the clean items in your bag. We never leave home without our wet bags!
3. Small Baby Beach Pool and Bath Toys
Sometimes the beach waves can simply be too rough for a little baby so it can be advantageous to take a small pop-up pool so they can enjoy being in the water (and cool down) just like everyone else. These pools are brilliant as they dig out a small hole in the sand. The pool is a pop-up style so sets up with no effort. Simply collect some ocean water with a bucket and you are done!
The pool in the photo above is the Early Years Baby Beach Shade Pool, however, our favourite and vote for the best baby pool for the beach is the MonoBeach one. I really find that they are pretty cheap and really easy to take along to the beach.
Tip: Bring along their favorite bath toys for extra fun while they’re in the pool.
4. Spray Bottle
If you are wondering about how to keep baby cool at the beach, here is a simple and easy trick for you. Bringing a spray bottle to the beach is advantageous, especially when it's warm out. With the spray bottle, you can constantly mist the baby to keep them cool. The spray bottle is also great for keeping the baby from consuming sand while spraying it on their hands to keep them clean. Nifty!
5. Mesh Bags
If you have heavily sandy items to bring back from the beach, just put them in a mesh bag and keep the excess sand from getting to places you don't want it. Honestly, they take up so little room to pack and once your baby is playing with toys in the sand, they really are so incredibly handy to have. Mesh bags don't cost much, you can check pricing here.
6. Beach Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is another really handy item to have at the beach. As it can be way to hard to manoeuvre a stroller around on the sand, a carrier is great for those of us who have a baby that requires a bit of rocking and movement to fall asleep. We love our Ergo Baby Carrier, but I wish we had the mesh type as ours got too hot for baby really quickly.
A mesh baby carrier is ideal for the hot days or beach days as the material of the carrier is designed with a breathable material, so you don't have to worry about whether the baby will overheat whilst in the carrier.
Go for a stroll up and down the beach and I'm sure that in no time at all your baby would have drifted off to sleep. We always take our carrier with us, but we typically leave it in the car and only go and fetch it if we really need it.
7. Spout Adapter for Water Bottle
In the event that you've forgotten a bottle at home, the Spout Adapter for a water bottle is a great little accessory to have one you at all times. Bringing this to the beach will come in handy as you can change the average plastic water bottle into a baby friendly bottle in just seconds. Such a great idea, especially as you can't refill the baby bottle when the water is gone. The spout is the ultimate beach item to pack. Check out the reviews from other parents here.
8. Food Pouch Spoon Tips
With these spoon tips, you don't have to bring any extra baby spoons or bowls. Just twist the spoon tip onto any baby food pouch and Voila! You can feed the baby without the added mess and worry of cleaning up while on the beach. So super handy!!! Love it! Click here to see the latest prices on these spoon tips.
A baby beach seat is super helpful when your baby gets to an age where they get bored lying down all the time. You can easily pop them in their chair to not only feed bubs some food, but you can also pop a selection of toys on the tray to keep them happy and occupied. I have seen so many parents use an infant beach chair whilst camping; when enjoying an outdoor picnic as well as at the beach! They fold down just like a camping chair would. So easy!
10. Portable Baby Beach PlayPen
I must admit that I have never bothered taking a baby beach pack and play with on our outings. However, we have spent many beach outings that involved us simply chasing after our baby. A pack and play is actually a brilliant way to give a baby a confined space to play in whilst you might possibly even relax as well. So I'm thinking that it really would be worth the effort to set up! Have any of you given it a go? I would love to hear your thoughts!
11. Baby Beach Float
A baby beach float is brilliant for those of you who have access to a calm ocean. A section of our favourite beach is in a cove, so the beach there is always peaceful with only really small waves. So we can easily carry baby over the low waves and then pop her in the float on the calm water (where we can still easily stand). I wouldn't bother tagging the float along though if you have strong waves, best to leave it at home in that case.
12. Baby Beach Shoes
Baby beach shoes are essential if your beach has loads of sharp rocks, shells or coral. And obviously more-so when your baby can walk. We are fortunate to have some beautiful soft sand here where we live so we never bother with shoes. But on a few of our trips to beaches in destinations such as Gili Islands & Vanuatu proper beach shoes not only for our baby but for the whole family was truly essential.
So there you have it! Please don't try to take all of these items to the beach, not unless you have many extra hands to help you carry gear. We often leave items such as our stroller, carrier and diaper bag in the car – but then our car is usually parked really close by, so if you have to park far away you might have to be more selective in what you take. Our beach close by always has shade, so we never take a pop-up tent to that beach. So get to know your beach and think about which items you would really get good use out of. A good starting point is to start with the first 10 items and then pick 2-3 items from the second list that you think will be really helpful.
For ease of use, here is the quick list of the baby beach products mentioned in this post:
Essential Items that you Should Take:
- Big baby beach bag
- Swim diapers
- Baby sunscreen
- Baby hat & rashie
- Snack & water
- Pop-Up beach tent
- Baby powder
- Waterproof blanket
- Beach Toys
- Disposable diaper bags
Handy Items that you Might Want to Pack:
- Baby stroller
- Wet bag
- Baby beach pool with shade
- Spray bottle
- Mesh toy bag
- Mesh baby carrier
- Twist on spout adapter
- Pouch spoon tips
- Baby beach chair
- Portable pack and play
- Baby beach float
- Baby water shoes
Over to You:
- Do you have any other suggestions of what we should take to the beach for a baby?
- What do you think of our list of beach stuff for babies?
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