A beach trip with a baby is not exactly a relaxing mental image. Sand and little hands that go right into the mouth are enough to make any sane mama a little crazy.
We just got back from a vacation and there was 1 item that I could not have lived without on the beach! I have also compiled a list of other beach essentials for baby under 1 year old (and some that apply for preschool age too).
(Affiliate Links are used in this post. A small commission may be paid to me at no extra cost to you and that helps to support this page. Please see my disclosures page for additional information.)
Before you get to the beach, read my Road trip plan for on the road entertainment for kids.
#1 Must Have Beach Item For Baby
You know how you see things and think it is such a simple idea but you just didn’t think of it until it is too late? This is that kind of idea. I will give credit where it is due, my mom actually thought of this. So what is the big secret? We took our Pack N Play to the beach with us. Every day for our 7 day vacation.
My mom mentioned that we might want to consider taking it and I really did not want to at first. It seemed like a pain to drag out to the beach every day. But I am so glad I did.
We had multiple people walk by our tent and tell us that they wished they had brought their Pack N Play for their little ones. I used it every single time the baby was down at the beach.
Pack N Play for Naps
I would pack my portable changing mat and change him from his swim diaper into a dry diaper before nap. I laid a towel down for him but if you had a really young infant, you could bring a crib sheet to tuck in around the mattress for safety.
He would get a bottle then take his usual nap. Since we were under a tent, the ocean breeze kept him cool and the sound of the waves crashing against the beach was a great natural sound machine.
Pack N Play for Play
After nap, it was time for a little play time! My little one can sit unassisted so I would let him play in the sand a little. But as soon as the sandy fingers started heading for the mouth, we would rinse off in the ocean and head back to the trusty pack n play.
I brought some regular toys (not beach type toys) to play with in the pack n play. He had a great time playing and could put things in his mouth without me worrying about it. He also spent a lot of time standing up and watching people walk by and watching his sister play.
Pack N Play for Snacks
The beach and sand make me cringe. It never fails that when I eat something on the beach I crunch down on a big piece of gritty sand. I can only imagine that my kids are probably eating 25% sand when snacking on the beach! The Pack N Play helped with that for the baby.
I gave him a little bowl with some puffs or sometimes we would just set them on a towel for him. I always had a transitional sippy cup full of ice water for him to make sure that he was hydrated. One day I even took some fresh cut up strawberries in our cooler & put them in the Silicone Fruit Feeder for him (I like these better than the mesh version because they are easier to clean).
Other Top Beach Essentials for Baby
Baby Splash Pad/Pool
Ok, I said my #1 beach essential for baby was NOT a baby pool. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t something awesome to have with us.
With my first baby, I bought a baby pool that was way too big. It took 19 years to blow up, it was cumbersome to pack and it took 47 trips to the ocean and back to fill it up with water. This year, I found the ultimate baby pool for the beach!
This baby splash pool is so great for many reasons! It is inexpensive, has a built in back support seat if your baby is still a little wobbly, and a toy ring activity. It also takes no time to blow up (you won’t even need a pump) and with 1 or 2 sand buckets of water, you will be set. Seriously, it is so worth it.
We will use this at home in the back yard too so it was a double win!
10×10 Tent Canopy
You may not think about a tent making a beach essentials for baby list but having lots of shade at the beach is mandatory if you have a new baby! As a family, we all spent more time under the tent than out in the sun so it is a worthy beach item for us.
It also helps prevent your cooler from getting hot & any food or drinks that you brought from warming up.
Sand Bag Anchors
We were the family fishing our tent out of the ocean after a big gust of wind a few years ago. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t pretty and we had to buy a new tent after the powerful ocean mangled ours to bits. This year we got smart and purchased these sand bags. They were super easy to set up and our tent was safe and sound.
We talked about how amazing our wagon was every single day. We used it when we arrived to the condo to unload our car because all the carts provided by the facility were being used. Hauling beach chairs, coolers, toys, and that oh so precious pack n play was much easier with our wagon!
I even saw a couple of people hauling their toddlers around in the wagons!
Other Primary Essentials
Of course you don’t want to forget your beach essentials. Baby Sunscreen (this is the only one that doesn’t break my kids out), beach towels, sand toys, tons of water & snacks.
This DIY Kid’s Beach first aid kit is also a must for infants, big kids or even adults at the beach.
I hope this list helps you when packing for your baby’s first trip to the beach. The additional beach essentials for baby helped us on our beach vacation. Hopefully they will make your trip easier too! What can you not live without on the beach?!
Mrs. SBF says
We had all of these things when our kids were little for our weekend beach trips. Great post!
Such great and practical tips for taking baby to the beach! Great post!
Stephanie Davis says
These are great tips! One thing I’ve noticed the past couple of summers, is that some beaches are not allowing you to set up the canopy tents anymore. 🙁 They are so convenient for babies, elderly, and heat intolerant people. It looks like you had a great vacation!
Stacy Craft says
Yes, where we stayed they had an ordinance that required you to remove everything each night. Previously we have always been able to leave the tent frame and chairs on the beach overnight. It was a pain but we made it work. We would have only made it about 30 minutes without a tent!
Absolutely! I’m glad it worked out for you all!
That personal baby pool needs to be adult size. So prepared Great post -)
We hauled a pack n play around for many years when our girls were younger. Pack and play and stroller were just a part of our travels for many years! 🙂