A Day at the Beach with Your Baby and What to Bring
Ahh, a day at the beach. Is there anything better? Sharing it with your baby for the first time can be a joyful occasion. It can also be a downright hassle if you don’t bring the right gear…and it’s no fun cutting a beach day short.
Honestly, the best way to have a successful beach day with a baby in tow is to plan ahead and have everything you need. Some might argue that less is more, but when it comes to fun in the sun in with a baby we’d have to disagree. Being well-prepared makes for a happy baby and the relaxing day you were hoping for. This list is all about making sure your baby has what they need!
Basic Essentials Checklist for a Day at the Beach With Your Baby
These are the basics you’ll need for any amount of time spent at the beach with your baby.
- sunscreen – Bring plenty! Check ingredients to be sure it’s gentle enough for baby skin. Face stick sunscreen helps for keeping it out of your baby’s eyes.
- swim diapers – This one depends on if you plan to take your baby into the water or not. Disposable and reusable are both options…though we’d suggest disposable at the beach or your might be hanging out with a poopy diaper packed away for the rest of the day.
- regular diapers – You won’t want your baby hanging out in their swim diaper…that gets messy real quick. You’ll want a couple of extra regular diapers to change your baby into…which is what you’ll want them to be wearing on the ride home anyway.
- wet wipes
- baby sunhat – Choose with UPF protection that also covers your baby’s neck.
- SPF rash guard swimsuit – Babies have sensitive skin. Of course, you’ll slather them in sunscreen, but a long-sleeved swimsuit with built-in UPF 50+ protection is the best choice. The more of your baby’s skin is covered the lesser the chance of them getting too much sun.
- hooded towel – Because they’re cuter than regular towels.
- Extra clothes
- life vest (as needed) – if any on-the-water activities are planned, this is obviously a necessity.
- large picnic blanket – the beach can get windy, so a light blanket won’t do. We suggest one that’s large and a little thicker – there are even “sand-proof” beach blankets that can fit the entire family.
- food pouches – These are much easier to feed your baby with than a jar and spoon. You can even freeze them the night before for a cool treat once they’ve thawed (though we’d say to bring room temperature ones, too, in case your baby won’t eat anything cold). Extra snacks are always a good idea!
- beach toys – We recommend putting these in a mesh bag. Once home you can hose them off through the bag for easy clean up.
- baby sunglasses – It’s great to have these for your baby, but we recommend getting them used to them before you head to the beach. Otherwise, they probably won’t keep them on.
- baby powder – This one might be making you say, “Hmmm…” But baby powder is a miracle worker for taking sand off skin. Trust us!
- Breastmilk or formula (Unless you breastfeed, of course!) - You’ll either need to prepare the formula at the beach or keep breastmilk in the cooler. Coming up we’ll talk about the Baby’s Brew…a must have beach day product! Don’t forget the bottles, too.
Beach Day Extras For Baby You Won’t Want to Forget
Next up are some of the top products we’ve found to take your beach day from good to great. We bet there were a few items on that essentials list that you hadn’t thought of (the baby powder is genius, right?!), but for the most part a lot of those are no-brainers. (Though a checklist always helps to not forget something!)
The following products are the extras you need to make a beach day last. We want you fully prepared for feeding time, naps, and clean-up…as well as a way to pull out all the stops to keep your baby or toddler happily playing.
Make your beach day amazing with some of our favorite beach day products and hacks:
The Baby’s Brew is about to change your bottle-feeding game on the go. If you don’t exclusively breastfeed, it can be a daunting task heading out for a full day at the beach when you know you’re going to have to feed your baby. Making bottles can be messy, and how on earth will you warm them up? This is often enough to make families stay home. But the Baby’s Brew is a battery-powered portable bottle warmer and formula dispenser in one that makes preparing and warming bottles a snap. It’s reliable and you can even choose the precise temperature that your baby enjoys. This is a beach day must-have.
2. Beach Tent
Umbrellas at the beach are fun, but they can be a huge pain to transport. Not to mention that you have to position them perfectly to shade everyone, and if it’s windy, well…good luck. Beach tents provide a relaxing place to hang out, offer a nice shaded area, and fold up for easy carrying. Larger canopies are another great option!
3. Misting Bottle
It’s important to keep your baby cool throughout the day. This can be done by keeping them shaded most of the time, but a misting bottle is a great item to have with you. Using a mister is a fun way to cool your baby off and can also double to get excess sand off once you’re on more solid ground.
4. Portable Travel Sleeper
A day at the beach means you’ll likely be there during nap time. Trying to be a cool parent and saying, “It’s fine…we’ll just skip nap!” can actually backfire. A tired baby is a cranky baby, and listening to crying at the beach isn’t fun for anyone. Watching a peacefully sleeping baby at the beach, on the other hand, is pretty darn awesome. Bringing a travel sleeper with you means your baby has a safe and cozy place to nap. We love how the one from Lulyboo folds up small and can also be worn like a backpack for east transportability.
5. Wet Bags
These are perfect for storing wet or dirty clothing. As you know, babies can mess up an oufit without warning, so having these relieves the stress and yuck. Just throw them in the bag and deal with it later!
6. Pop-Up Pool
We love this idea! It’s fun to dip your baby’s toes in the water and let them have some fun in the sand. But you’re also not setting up shop right on the water and the waves can be way too much sometimes. Unless you’re in a calm area, you might not be able to bring your baby over to the water to play at all. By bringing an inflatable pool or pop-up pool with you to the beach, your baby has a safe and fun water space to play in as you relax looking on (or join in the fun!)
7. Wagon with Large Wheels
Strollers can be a pain in the rear on sand. Not only that, but they don’t carry everything you need. A collapsible utility wagon with sturdy wheels is a much better option to haul all your family’s gear. And if this list is any indication, you’re going to have a lot of stuff. If your baby can sit up on their own and support their own neck and head, they can also sit in the wagon while you take it to the beach. If not, the following suggestion will help you out!
8. Sling or wrap
We suggest bringing a baby carrier of some sort to the beach and the reasons are two-fold. For one, being able to go for a walk on the beach is lovely. Having a carrier that your little one loves to be in means you’re able to do this more easily. (Otherwise you’d have to take turns back at your post watching your little one.) And two, smaller babies just sleep better in a carrier. Being in a new and exciting place like the beach might make it difficult for your baby to sleep. Snuggle them up close to you in a wrap, and your chances are much higher of getting your baby the ZZZs they need beachside.
9. Fitted Bed Sheet Hack
This isn’t any fancy product, just a super smart way to keep your baby contained while also keeping sand out (well…it’s hard to keep sand away completely, but this will help a lot!) Find an old fitted bed sheet and bring it with you to the beach. Then, set something sturdy in each corner…like a cooler, diaper bag, etc. Instead of a beach blanket, you suddenly have an enclosed place for baby to sleep and play. Set up a large umbrella, and you suddenly have a makeshift play pen.
10. Freezing Towels
We have one more beach hack before we go. Wet some washcloths the night before, roll them up and then freeze them overnight. Place them in the cooler before you head to the beach. When baby gets hot, you can place them on your baby’s head or neck to cool them down.