This post may contain affiliate links and ads. Read our disclosure policy here.
Vacations, long weekends and days spent at the beach are in the near future for many of you. Last month we spent several days at the Jersey Shore, during which time we got a real crash course in BEACHING with a BABY. Yeah, that was interesting. Don’t get me wrong – we had a GREAT time! But going to the beach with a baby is like packing for a jungle safari, a riverboat cruise and an all-inclusive week on a desert ranch, all at once. A bit of an exaggeration? Maybe. Just kidding. I’m not exaggerating at all. It’s hard to replicate the comforts of your own home on a vacation when you have a baby. All of that handy “GEAR” that takes up every square inch of your house is convenient and turns into part of your daily pattern with the baby. High chair, swing, pack ‘n play, exersaucer, crib, etc – we pretty much use ’em all on a daily basis – but short of renting a small box truck for a long weekend at the beach, it ain’t coming along for the ride. It was time to start thinking about beach gear for a baby. (Find a list of these items at the bottom of this post!)
This “BRING ALL THE THINGS” line of thinking is hard to shake – and my list of things to pack hit a fever pitch when I started to list every single baby item that I NEEDED to bring ON the actual beach.
I finally hit rock bottom when I considered renting a pack mule AND a cabana boy to help move my Keurig, a small sink, Landon’s entire collection of Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn toys plus Lily’s Sofia the First easy chair onto the beach. It was time to sit down and get serious. I could only bring what I could carry. And I hate carrying things.
My sister and I put our heads together and we came up with a list of 15 must-have items when taking a baby to the beach. We tried to narrow the list to just 10 items. It didn’t happen, but we tried. :) Have a toddler? Don’t miss our Top 15 MUST-PACK Items for Taking a Toddler to the Beach.
Our most recent addition in this series is now available – Top 18 MUST-PACK Items for Taking a Kid to the Beach
Check out our must-have baby beach gear!
1. Baby Beach Tent – For shelter, shade and just a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the beach, these little tents are incredibly convenient. A couple of things to look for: one that is extremely simple to set up and a bonus if it offers some sort of UV Guard Protection from the sun’s harmful rays. While Lily never succumbed to a nice little beach nap in our tent, she did enjoy playing inside of it when she was a baby. Landon “I’m So Chill” Weaver, on the other hand – was only too happy to nap more than once in the tent.
These tents fold down to practically nothing and usually come with some sort of storage pouch which makes them super easy to store and travel with.
2. Hat/Cover Up/Rash Guard – (or all of the above) Hats keep sun out of baby’s eyes and off of his scalp. A baby’s skin is super sensitive. Sand is the archenemy of sensitive. It is scratchy, itchy and finds a way into EVERYTHING. Cover ups and rash guards help to protect a baby from all things sun and sand.
3. Spray bottle with fresh water – Nothing fancy here, folks. Pick up a run-of-the-mill spray bottle (dollar store, travel section of Walmart or Target, etc). Fill it with clean tap water before you head to the beach.
These came in handy multiple times on the beach when, despite our best efforts, the babies insisted on grabbing, holding, scraping and eating sand. A quick spray of water on them (or on our hands first and then splashed onto them) and we were able to significantly cut down on the amount of sand that they ate for lunch.
4. Flipple – A what? Yep. A Flipple. LOL I bought this little gadget a couple of months ago, on a whim, during a Zulily sale. I figured since we are frequently on the go and almost always have bottles of water on us, this could come in handy with Landon. The Flipple allows you to adapt a standard water bottle into a baby bottle or (sold separately) a sippy cup. Genius!
We have now used the Flipple at the beach and countless horse shows. He loves it, we love it. Great product.
5. Munchkin Click Lock Food Pouch Spoon Tips – The day that my sister gave these spoon tips to me, I knew they were going to be life-changing. We frequently feed Landon baby food from pouches – especially when we are out and about. No more remembering to pack a spoon, no more toting around dirty spoons in the diaper bag until we finally remember to take them out. No need for a bowl either. Simply twist the spoon tip onto the baby food pouch and squeeze food onto the spoon. Too easy! I love the included cap – eliminates the need to clean the spoon right away.
6. Small Inflatable Baby Pool and Bath Toys – Years ago, my cousin suggested buying a tiny little baby pool for the beach. Time and time again, it proves to be the best boredom buster to keep the babies cool and entertained. My sister threw some bath toys in for my niece last month and they were an instant hit. The only problem we ran into was trying to keep the five year olds OUT of the tiny pool. :D
Check out this AWESOME Baby Beach Tent with Pool… it nestles into the sand!!
7. Stroller or wagon with all-terrain/off-road wheels – We picked up a jogging stroller with big ‘ol tires at the last consignment sale specifically for things like the beach. We loaded up Landon and our beach gear and pushed him pretty effortlessly across the sand. The dry sand was a little tough in spots, but the wet sand was a breeze. Landon was happy to sit and eat or lay down to nap in his stroller and I loved that it kept him out of the sand.
It was also convenient for those just-before-naptime moments when he was cranky. I simply took him for a walk down the beach and he was out for the count.
8. Mesh Baby Carrier – Another great way to keep the baby off the sand is to carry her. But you’re probably thinking, “I don’t want to get my carrier or wrap all full of sand, plus the fabric will be so HOT sitting on the beach.” My sister had the great idea to bring a mesh sling. It was breathable AND water proof. Perfect for baby wearing on the beach, in the water, etc.
9. Water-Resistant Blanket – These things are all the rage! We have actually owned a couple for a few years. They have earned a permanent spot in each of our cars and have given us a nice dry spot to sit at many horse shows, beach trips, fireworks nights and more.
You can see my sister’s blanket in this pic that I took of Lily while she was hiding from the attack seagulls as she ate her lunch!
10. Baby Powder – Regular old baby powder comes in handy at the beach for sand removal. Just rub some powder on those sandy legs, feet, arms, you get the idea. The powder helps the sand come off without irritating the skin.
11. Sunscreen – Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget to throw the sunscreen into your beach bag. Make sure you lather up the kids before you leave for the beach and then reapply according to your product’s instructions.
12. Swim Diapers and Other Essentials – Maybe you’re not going to haul the entire diaper bag to the beach with you, but be sure to pack enough diapers (regular and swim) and wipes to get you through your day! While we’re at it, don’t forget the burp clothes, a change of clothing (or three) and bibs.
13. Snacks and water – Think about what meals and snack time(s) are going to occur as you sit on the beach. Pack plenty of bottled water as well as snacks and food for yourself AND your baby. Think about any bottles, formula or other feeding essentials that you might need and pack for them into your beach bag. We love our Pack-It Cool bags for beach days and road trips. The entire bag is essentially a big ice pack, keeping everything cool for hours.
14. Ziploc bags – I admit, I am pretty obsessed with ziploc bags when we go on a trip. They help me to compartmentalize and organize all of our STUFF from snacks to toiletries. The beach is no exception. Since ziplocs are sealed WATERproof bags, they are ideal for keeping items away from the water and sand. I like to pack food, diaper essentials and also spare outfits in ziploc bags. Bonus – turn an empty ziploc into a trash bag for any food wrappers, dirty diapers, etc.
15. Mesh Bags – Pick these bags up anywhere from Walmart to the dollar store. Sometimes they even come in sets of multiple bags. Tuck these bags into your beach bag and at the end of the day, throw anything super sandy inside. Clothes, toys, etc will shake some of their excess sand off as you walk to your car or hotel, cutting down on the amount of sand that is dragged into your living space.
So, to recap, Top 15 MUST-PACK Items for Taking a Baby to the Beach:
Baby Beach Tent
Hat/Cover Up/Rash Guard
Munchkin Click Lock Food Pouch Spoon Tips
Small Inflatable Baby Pool and Bath Toys
Check out this AWESOME Baby Beach Tent with Pool… it nestles into the sand!!
Stroller or wagon
Mesh Baby Carrier
Swim Diaper and Other Essentials
Snacks and water
What are YOUR absolute must-haves when it comes to beaching it with a baby? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
More fun you might enjoy…