Taking a baby to the beach is the perfect way to spend a warm summer day with your family. There are few things cuter than watching your baby play in the sand and water. We love spending time on the beach with our little ones, and we’ve learned that being prepared is key to a great family outing at the beach. To help your family have the best day possible at the beach, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of baby beach essentials. So pack up your baby beach gear and get ready to hit the beach!
Baby’s First Beach Trip
If this is your first time taking a baby to the beach, be prepared to haul a whole lot of baby beach necessities with you. Babies skin is so sensitive that you’ll want to take extra precautions in the sun.
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If you read our post on sun safety for babies, you’ll know that your beach essentials for baby must include a way to provide shade for your little one. We also recommend trying to cover as much of your baby’s skin as covered as possible when in the sun. Not only will this offer better sun protection for your baby, it’s much easier than trying to cover a wriggly baby in sunscreen.
Thinking about a family beach vacation? Don’t miss our Guide to Visiting an All-Inclusive with a Baby and the 10 Best Baby-Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts.
Can You Take a Newborn to the Beach?
Yes, you can take newborn to the beach! If you are spending a while at the beach with your newborn, make sure you have a shady spot to put your baby down to sleep on the beach. We also recommend consulting your doctor about using sunscreen on newborns. Typically the recommendation is to wait until an infant is 6 months old for sunscreen.
We consider a portable baby beach tent or a larger baby beach shelter to be newborn beach essentials. Having this important baby beach gear allows you to safely take your newborn to the beach and still protect them from the powerful sun and wind.
We haven’t forgotten about the toddlers! You can find all the best toddler beach essentials here.
Beach Essentials for Baby
Based on our experiences taking our little ones to the beach, here are your baby beach must haves by category. In some instances we’ve included a few options, as we know every family is different. To make it easy for you, we’ve created a convenient Baby Beach Essentials shopping list on Amazon.
Whether you are going on a beach vacation with a baby or visiting your local beach, here is our complete list of baby beach must haves:
Baby Beach Clothes
One of the most important baby beach necessities is their beachwear. Keeping your baby's skin protected from the sun is much easier with protective beach clothes rather than trying to make sure you cover every spot with sunscreen. You'll still want to be diligent with covering other areas with sunscreen and reapply as needed.
*Please consult your doctor about using sunscreen on babies less than 6 months old.
Baby Sun Hat
A proper baby sun hat is one of the most important baby beach accessories. We like this baby sun hat because it has large flaps to protect the sensitive skin on your baby's face and neck. It also comes in several fun colors and has strings to keep it securely on your baby.
One Piece Swimsuit
Ensure your baby is well protected from the sun with a one piece swimsuit that covers your baby's arms and legs. Look for a rash guard that has UPF 50+ UV sun protection blocks UVA and UVB rays.
One Piece Swimsuit with UPF 50+ protection
While everyone would much rather see those plump little baby thighs on the beach, this adorable one piece long sleeve swimsuit with UPF 50+ for girls will offer much more coverage.
RuffleButts Baby One Piece Rash Guard
If the full length swimsuit doesn't work for you, you can offer your baby almost as much protection with this one piece rash guard. This one by RuffleButts features UPF 50+ sun protection comes in some of the most adorable patterns.
Animal Face Hooded Towel
After a swim, wrap your little one up in one of these hooded towels. They are the perfect way to keep your baby warm. The hardest part will be choosing which animal face to get (I like the monkey the best!)
COCOSAND Baby Sunglasses with Strap
Babies won't enjoy the super bright sun and the glare off the water. Baby sunglasses with UV protection are one of our must have baby beach items.
We all know that babies aren't always interested in having sunglasses on, but even if your little one gets a hold of these, they are designed to withstand little hands twisting them. They also have plastic lenses and the strap will help to keep them on your baby.
Baby Banz Sunglasses with Sun Protection
Another great option for baby sunglasses to help protect your child's eyes from the glaring sun at the beach. These sunglasses by Baby Banz will protect your baby's eyes from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays. The neoprene strap will help keep these award winning sunglasses on your baby.
Reusable Swim Diaper with UPF 50+ protection
Another important accessory on our list of infant beach essentials are swim diapers! These are a great option by i play. These reusable swim diapers have a triple protection layer and are machine washable. They can be worn either alone or under a swimsuit.
Baby Water Shoes
If your baby is transitioning to a toddler and trying to walk more, bring along some baby beach shoes. Having proper water shoes helps protect your baby's feet from the hot sand, sharp shells or rocks. (I think the shark pattern is super cute).
Baby Swimming Essentials
Help your baby keep cool in the pool or in the calm ocean water with these baby swimming essentials.
WaterLand Baby Carrier
This ultra compact baby carrier by WaterLand is made from a soft and breathable surfing suit material designed for all-day comfort. Having your baby in a baby carrier in the water is so much easier than trying to hold onto a slippery, wet baby.
Vlokup Baby Water Ring Sling Carrier
Another great option for a baby carrier for taking your baby into the pool or calm ocean water is a ring sling. You'll want one that's breathable and that will dry quickly. With this type of baby carrier, we recommend trying it out at home before using it for the first time with your baby at the beach.
SwimWays Baby Float Activity Center with Canopy
Another great way to keep your baby cool at the beach is to use a float with UPF protection like this one by SwimWays. With this float, your baby can sit upright and float right beside you in the water. It also allows you to have your baby in the pool with shade.
Inflatable Baby Pool
If the water at the beach is just too rough for your baby, then add an inflatable baby pool to your beach essentials for baby. You can position it in or near your baby sun tent so your baby has some shade while they splash around in this pool.
Baby Beach Toys
When you talk about baby beach must haves, you have to include baby beach toys! Bring along some baby beach toys to keep your baby occupied and hopefully to distract your baby from eating all the sand!
Baby Beach Toy Set
Grab yourself a set of baby beach toys that includes a bucket, shovels and a watering can. Your baby will love dumping out the water and digging in the sand. Our kids loved the animal molds the best.
Baby Beach Book
Help prepare your baby for a beach vacation by reading them a book about the beach. This series of indestructible books is perfect for babies. They are 100% washable, so you can even bring them along to the beach.
OCOOPA Waterproof & Sandproof Beach Blanket
Give your baby a large area to play on with a baby beach mat. One of these sandproof beach blankets is perfect since you can even stake down the corners.
If you are looking to really keep your baby out of the sand, check out the baby beach hacks in our list of best travel hacks for babies and toddlers. You could even bring your baby travel crib for a place for your baby to nap.
Baby Beach Tent
As mentioned above, if you are planning a full day in the sun, a baby sun tent is high on our list of must haves for a baby beach vacation. There are few options to consider when looking for the best baby beach tent, but you'll be very glad you had one.
Pop N' Go Playpen
Give your baby all the space to play and nap on the beach! This Pop n' Go play works equally indoors as it does outdoors! From picnic to an afternoon on the beach, your baby will have plenty of space to explore.
It comes with a UPF 50 shade cover and only weights 7.2 lbs. With a compact fold and travel bag with shoulder strap, you'll have no trouble getting it to the beach. There is also an optional self-inflating mattress for nap times.
Use code BABYCANTRAVEL10 for a discount on any purchases.
KidCo Peapod Plus Infant Travel Bed
If you plan on giving your baby a nap on the beach, then this is definitely one of the best baby beach gear items. Using the KidCo Peapod Plus as your baby beach bed, you can protect your baby from the sun and any bugs.
Another alternative is to use your stroller on the beach with a CoziGo stroller cover to keep the sun off your baby.
Pacific Breeze Beach Tent Deluxe XL
This Pacific Breeze baby beach tent offers enough room for your baby to crawl around. It weighs just 6 lbs and folds down into a carrying case. It also has stakes and sand pockets for windy conditions. Your baby will be well protected from the elements in this SPF 50+ shade tent for the beach.
Coleman Canopy Tent | Beach Sun Shelter
Also with UPF 50+ sun protection, the Coleman beach tent is a good alternative at a good price. Packed with thoughtful design features like an extendable floor that zips up for a private changing room, ground stakes for stability and a back window which opens for more ventilation.
Babymoov Pop Up Baby Sun Shelter
This UPF 50+ sun protection baby sun shelter is the perfect size for your baby. The lightweight Babymoov baby beach tent has a pop up system for easy setup and transportation. We like that it has roll up mesh netting to help protect your baby from mosquitoes while still giving them plenty of room to play.
Other Beach Must Haves for Baby
While that probably already seems like enough stuff to pack for the beach, we have a few more beach essentials for baby to add to your beach packing list. Sunscreen is a must have beach item, but we also like the fans for keeping baby from getting overheated at the beach. A cooler is also necessary to keep any food or milk from spoiling.
Anpro Stroller Fan for Baby
Any baby beach gear which helps keep your little one cool is worth a closer look. This USB rechargeable portable baby fan with a flexible stand helps keep your baby from getting too hot at the beach. This will work especially good if your baby is napping in the stroller or your baby sun protection tent.
Go one step further to cool your baby off a the beach with this handy, portable misting fan.
Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Baby Sunscreen
Sunscreen is an absolute must have for a baby beach vacation, especially if they might be crawling around in the sand or water. Thinkbaby makes a vegan, water resistant, reef safe sunscreen for babies. We like that it's a cream sunscreen since those typically offer a better coverage.
Babyganics Sunscreen Spray 50 SPF
While we prefer a cream sunscreen, spray sunscreens are so much easier to reapply on a baby or toddler. We like that Babyganics sunscreen comes both in a cream or a spray option.
We've also included other baby sunscreen alternatives in our Baby Beach Essentials list on Amazon.
Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag
An insulated cooler is an essential baby beach item to keep food and milk from spoiling. If you don't already have a cooler that you use for camping with a baby or toddler, then this collapsible cooler bag is a great option for the beach.
Summer Pop ‘n Sit Portable Booster Chair
Included in our list of best portable travel high chairs is this Summer Pop 'n Sit portable booster chair. If your baby is eating solids, you can give your baby a break from the sun by setting up this chair in your baby sun shade tent for a snack.
Collapsible Folding Wagon
Ok... now you just need a way to get all your baby beach essentials down to the sand. A collapsible folding wagon is an easy option for packing all your baby beach gear down to the beach.
Beach Vacations with a Baby
Now that you have all your beach essentials for your baby, where will you go? Here’s a list baby friendly holidays that should give you some inspiration for your next beach vacation with a baby:
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.