This article about the Best Beach Essentials for Baby was written by baby travel expert Celine Brewer and may contain affiliate links.
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. I love spending time on the beach with my little ones, and I’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, I’ve put together the ultimate list of baby beach essentials. So pack up your baby beach gear and get ready to hit the beach!
This baby beach tent offers enough room for your baby to crawl around. It weighs just 4 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.
A beach tent is the easiest way to provide shade for your baby at the beach and is one of my top infant beach essentials.
A proper baby sun hat is one of the most important baby beach accessories. I recommend a baby sun hat with a wide brim or that has large flaps to protect the sensitive skin on your baby's face and neck. Also look for one that has a chin strap or strings to keep it securely on your baby.
One of the most important baby beach necessities is their beachwear.
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.
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.
Babies won't enjoy the super bright sun and the glare off the water. Baby sunglasses with UV protection are one of my 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.
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!)
Another important accessory on my 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. I like that it has roll up mesh netting to help protect your baby from mosquitoes while still giving them plenty of room to play.
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, making it one of the top baby swimming essentials.
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.
Included in my list of best portable travel high chairs is this Summer Pop 'n Sit portable booster chair. If your baby is eating solids then this can become one of the best baby beach accessories. You can give your baby a break from the sun by setting up this chair in your baby sun shade tent for a snack.
Plus using the tray for this high chair, you can avoid your baby's snack from getting covered in sand.
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.
While your baby might spend a lot of time on the beach trying to put sand in her mouth, a set of baby beach toys is a great distraction. Show her how to shovel the sand and put it in the bucket. She'll love pushing over the small sand castles you build for her!
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.
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.
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, I recommend trying it out at home before using it for the first time with your baby at the beach.
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.
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. I like that it's a cream sunscreen since those typically offer a better coverage.
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.
If you read my 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. I 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.
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. I 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.
I 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.
Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
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.