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10 Must-Have Items for Taking Your Baby to the Beach

A baby playing at the beach, laying on a towel.
NadyaEugene/Shutterstock

Taking your baby to the beach can be a bit overwhelming—so let us help you pack for your next trip! Here are some must-have essentials to keep your little one safe, secure, and entertained!

What is it about packing for a beach trip with a baby that is so stressful? Not only do you have to worry about the heat and the sunshine, but you also have to keep them entertained while you attempt to relax. While you don’t necessarily want to pack extra items on top of what you need (babies require a lot of stuff), there are some beach essentials for babies that may make your beach trip a little easier.

Aside from bringing a bottle and/or snack and your diaper bag filled with the basics, you’ll also want to bring a few things that will keep baby happy and safe. Oh, and speaking of toting everything around. In addition to our baby-centric picks below, you can’t go wrong picking up a sturdy beach cart to make hauling it all down to the actual waterfront a bit easier.

Baby Sunscreen: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Of course, the number-one item you need for your babe is a good sunscreen to protect their skin and prevent sunburn. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen is a winner for many parents because of the great ingredients and the lightweight feel that really works.

It’s free of chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalates, PABA, and UV chemical absorbers and has an SPF of over 50—and it has 80 minutes of water resistance. It’s reef-friendly, applies easily, and absorbs quickly.

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen is free of chemicals and protective.

Swim Diapers: Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers

Even if you don’t plan on bringing baby in the water, it’s not a bad idea to put them in swim diapers. I like Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers because they don’t get puffy when wet like a regular diaper, and because they are pull-ups, the sides keep out more sand than a regular diaper.

These are really absorbent, with leak-guard barriers to prevent anything from coming out, and they have a stretchy waistband for a more comfortable fit.

Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers

Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers are absorbent and comfortable.

A Beach Tent: Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

A popup tent designed for use at the beach.
Pacific Beach

Forget the umbrella—it’s not enough for a baby, especially one who’s crawling around. Try something like this Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent. Baby can crawl around in there, hang out in there with plenty of space when they need some shade, and even nap in there.

This one is really easy to set up, even if you’re there on your own, and even easier to take down. The sandbags keep it from flying away in the wind, and you can keep the “shades” rolled down or leave them up for some air.

A Beach Tent: Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent

The Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent gives baby space to play and nap.

A Great Blanket: Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket

A toddler laying on a beach blanket.
Little Unicorn

Throwing a blanket or towel down is a must so that your little one has a place to play on the sand. This Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket is a better choice than a standard towel because the features are more convenient.

The size is great, and it’s also easy to take with you: it folds up neatly into a little tote shape that means you don’t need to spend time shoving a sandy towel into your bag. It’s also water-resistant so that you can easily wipe stains away.

Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket

This Little Unicorn blanket folds up to a compact size and is water-resistant.

A Mesh Beach Bag: Packism Mesh Beach Bag

Kids and babies get sand everywhere, and it tends to really stick to all the little crevices in their beach toys. This Packism Mesh Beach Bag is great because you can fill it with all of their stuff without worrying about sand collecting at the bottom of the bag. On the way back to the car just give it a good shake to help the sand stay at the beach!

It also has several pockets for organization, and it’s pretty large, so you can really just use this as your beach bag. The waterproof zipper pocket inside is great for anything you don’t want to touch the sand.

Packism Mesh Beach Bag

This Packism Mesh Beach Bag is large and holds a ton of stuff.

A Hat: i play. by green sprouts Baby Sun Hat

Toddlers wearing sun protection hats at the beach.
green sprouts

A sun hat is imperative for your baby. Their skin is super sensitive and the last thing you want is for them to get a sunburn, especially on their scalp. Plus, they’re not so great at keeping sunglasses on their faces, so this helps keep the sun out of their eyes.

I love this i play. by green sprouts sun hat for my daughter. It’s really lightweight but offers great protection, covering not only her head and her face but also the back and sides of her neck. It doesn’t seem to bother her too much, and the little star charm on the back helps keep the flaps down even in the wind.

i play. by green sprouts Baby Sun Hat

This little sun hat protects their face and the back of their neck.

A Portable Fan: Cambond Stroller Fan

Keep baby cool with a portable fan like this Cambond Stroller Fan. It clips onto basically anything (not just a stroller), so you can attach it to something near baby while they’re sitting or napping to give them a little extra air.

It has three speeds and it is really quiet, and it’s battery operated so you don’t need to worry about plugging it in or charging it. And then when you’re not at the beach, it’s great to clip onto their stroller during walks.

Cambond Stroller Fan

This Cambond Stroller Fan is great for keeping baby cool.

Some Beach Toys: B. toys Beach Toys

A boy at the beach playing with beach toys.
B. toys

Unless you have a newborn with you, you need to supply your little one with some toys to keep them busy. These B. toys Beach Toys are a great set: there’s a bucket, a mini monster truck, sand toys, a sifter, watering can, rake and shovel, sand molds, and a whirly pinwheel, so baby will never get bored.

This set is also great because it comes in a convenient mesh bag to keep everything organized. You may never lose a sand toy again!

B. toys Beach Toys

These B. toys Beach Toys are so much fun and come in a mesh bag.

A Pool Blanket: Nequare Baby Beach Tent

Another way to keep baby cool is with something like this Nequare Baby Beach Tent. This is a small pop-up tent that is ideal for newborns or babies only a few months old, and it can be used as a regular tent, or it can be turned into a little “pool.”

If you dig a hole under the bottom, you can fill it with water and it will hold it just like a kiddie pool. Baby can safely splash around and stay nice and cool without you having to stand at the water’s edge.

Nequare Baby Beach Tent

This Nequare Baby Beach Tent can be used as a regular tent or a makeshift pool.

A Safe Spot for Little Ones: Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome

A Fisher-Price baby dome that helps keep small babies contained and safe at the beach.
Fisher-Price

This Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome is really made for little babies—I would say probably six months or younger. It’s super convenient and folds up so that it’s much easier to tote around than it looks. Baby can sit or lay in here and play with the toys that come with it or safely fall asleep. If you poke around and read reviews of it online, one of the most common things you’ll come across are parents saying how great it is and how they wish they would have put it on their baby registry. It’s so convenient!

The mesh sides keep air moving in and out, and the canopy blocks wind and sun. You can hang toys off the hooks at the top to keep baby entertained. And it’s great for anywhere outdoors, not just the beach!

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »

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