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Must Have Baby & Toddler Beach Essentials

Sand bucket on the beach in sand

As we navigate our way through the end of a pandemic, most will vacation in areas within driving distance or in our own backyards. There will be road trips with kids and long summer beach days. So, I thought I would share my list of must have baby and toddler beach essentials.

The long summer beach days are what my family is looking forward to the most. My son had his first experience with a beach in Lisbon, Portugal. He was so amazed by the sand on his toes and the sand running through his hands. Since that vacation his love for the beach has only grown and our must-have beach essentials for toddlers have grown even longer.

Like any other travel with a toddler, beach days come with their fair share of planning. Things to consider when planning for a beach day: check the weather forecast, the time you will spend at the beach, especially if older children are going (it’s hard to pull them away), will you pack lunches and snacks or will you eat at restaurants in the area?

From road trips to toddler beach vacations to international travel, you will learn what items are essential and what works best for your kids. Here’s my go to list for a day at the beach with toddlers and the perfect beach vacation gift ideas for kids.

Beach Essentials For Toddlers

Of course the number one item on the list is sunscreen. Yup, no matter how much more melanin you have 😉 It’s still important and very necessary to wear sunscreen, especially for the little ones.

My number one sunscreen of choice is Black Girl Sunscreen For Kids. It’s a fantastic moisturizer and blends in without white residue. It’s cruelty free, vegan and reef safe. So many wins! You want to be sure to use a sunscreen that has a SPF of at least 15, no need to go higher than 50.

BabyganicsIs another great sunscreen option for toddlers especially like mine with sensitive skin. It’s available in three options: spray, lotion and sunscreen stick.

You can learn more about the importance and proper use of sunscreen from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

 What To Bring To The Beach With A Toddler

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Toddler life vest
  • Beach towel
  • Portable Fan
  • Beach blanket
  • Swim attire
  • Water shoes
  • Swim diapers or a travel toddler potty
  • Wet dry bags
  • Beach bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach chair
  • Sandals and extra clothes, top & bottoms
  • Food | Water cup | Juice
  • Wagon
  • Cooler

Beach Essentials For Baby

On-the-go baby dome is a must have baby beach essential. The dome is portable and can be used for both indoor and outdoor use.  Great for protecting your little one from the sun while having some play time and also can be used for naps. Folds flat with a handle for carry. Recommended usage is for 0-5 months.  

Baby Beach Tent- The portable baby beach tent comes with a mini pool which can be filled with water to keep baby or your toddler cool. It’s a pop up tent so there’s no assembly required, lightweight and comes with a carrying bag. The tent provides UPF 50 protection so it makes for the perfect baby and toddler beach essentials.

Portable Baby Bed- There are so many positives to this travel bed. It can function as a portable travel bed, pop up beach tent or a baby travel crib. Going to Nana’s house for some playtime? No problem! Headed to the beach or camping this is one of the best travel beds for babies to do just that.

Best Baby Swim Essentials

Mesh Baby Wrap-The baby water ring sling is a good baby carrier option if you wish to get your feet wet with the baby or if you have other kids to play on the beach with. This lightweight breathable baby carrier makes it easy to strap the baby in and enjoy your time at the beach. Be sure to practice how to use it at home prior to playing at the beach. Weight range for usage is 8 – 30 lbs.

Baby Pool Float- The last item on my list of the best baby beach gear is a portable baby float that provides shade to keep your baby protected from the sun.

  • Removable canopy
  • 3 point adjustable harness
  • Handles on each side.

These are my top beach must haves for baby.

Red bucket in sand at the beach

Best Toddler Beach Accessories

Most of us look for the cutest swimsuits for our kids or even matching mommy and me swim but what’s most important is protecting our children’s sensitive skin from the harshness of the sun. The best baby and toddler swimsuits that provide sun protection are rash guards. 

You can purchase a one piece or 2 piece set. Remember rash guards are made to fit snug so keep this in mind when deciding on size. I always size up for Joakim because I want him to be protected and comfortable. And as fast as children grow certain items I like to make sure it will last him a while.

Toddler Beach Wear

Simple Joys boys’ rash guard 2 piece set.

Carter’s girl 2 piece rash guard set.

  • Sizes -12 months – 5 T
  • UPF 50 + sun protection
  • Long sleeves
  • Drys quickly

Girls one-piece swimsuit

  • UPF 50+
  • Long sleeve one piece.
  • Made with zipper to the back.

Toddler Life Jacket- Water safety is incredibly important and while life jackets are certainly, a must have baby and toddler beach essentials every parent needs to be aware and knowledgeable on the best life jacket for their child. You can read all about the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations on choosing the proper vest for your child here.

Swim diapers or an on-the-go potty 

Swim diapers are a must have beach essential for kids. They are elastic around the waist and leg area, which provides for a great fit for a baby or toddlers. If your child is not potty trained, these swim diapers can hold in solids and they do not hold water so your baby won’t be swimming with a heavy diaper.

The bonus is these diapers are reusable!  

If your child is potty trained, 3 on the go potty options are the 3-in-1 fold-able portable toddler potty with a carrying bag, the OXO Tot 2-in-1 go potty with refill bags and a travel urinal are the best on the go potty choices for toddlers.

Having a potty is a necessary part of toddler beach essentials because when they have to go they gotta go!

Wet/Dry Bags-If you know me, you know we don’t leave home without wet dry bags. We were a cloth diaper family, and we quickly learned how much they come in handy. We used them for swim lessons, during potty training, dirty clothes, water parks or on beach vacations with our toddler.

Toddler Beach Sandals

Cat & Jack sandals are an inexpensive Birkenstock dupe, ideal for summer play and style. After all the water play at the beach, you’ll need a dry and easy to put on sandal. The back heel strap makes it easy to get these sandals on your busy toddler.

Baby and Toddler Beach Hat

Another summer toddler beach essential are sun hats to protect babies and toddlers’ heads and faces from the sun. The Matisaurus straw hat fits true to size, has a large brim with a chin strap and it’s actually pretty stylish. A more basic option is a bucket hat for sun protection.

Related: Road Trip With A Toddler

Toddler Beach Shoes

We’ve tried many water shoes. Apolter water shoes are currently our favorite. These non-slip water shoes for toddlers come in a variety of patterns.

  • Ergonomic design
  • Breathable material
  • Slides on like socks
  • Reasonable priced

A second option with the same great features are the Store Of Baby water shoes.

Toddler Beach Chair

This travel booster seat is ready to travel with you and your toddler. It comes with a removable tray that is washable and a washable chair cover. It also functions as a portable high chair.

  • Ages 6 months to 3 years
  • One hand release buckle
  • 3 point safety harness
  • Carry bag with strap

Beach Towel

You certainly don’t have to go out and purchase a toddler beach towel but they are truly a better option than bringing along a regular bath towel although many do. The children’s hooded towel for the beach is a better option because of its absorbency, versatility and its UPF 50+.

Best Beach Bag For Moms With Babies and Toddlers- The F- Color over-sized mesh bag is the perfect choice for moms headed to the beach with kids.

  • Large inside space
  • Multiple extra pockets on the outside
  • Mesh material to prevent sand buildup
  • Lightweight

Portable Fan- The SkyGenius clip fan is one of our favorites because of its ease of use, it’s rechargeable and clips onto many different items such as strollers and tents. It comes with a replaceable and rechargeable battery. We’ve never actually used the battery; we charge the fan by USB source. It’s just more convenient.

WiHoo Portable Stroller Fan- The WiHoo is battery or USB powered as well. It has a flexible tripod design which makes it very versatile. You can stand it up or wrap it around a chair, stroller or wherever you need it.

Spray Bottle- If you are looking for some good toddler beach hacks or on any hot day purchase a cheap spray bottle and fill it with water. Use it as a mist to keep your baby or toddler cool on hot summer days or while at the beach.

Toddler Beach Tent- Take a beach tent to protect your little one from the heat and they also make for a safe place to take a nap.

  • Easy and quick setup.
  • Can be used as a playpen or nap while at the beach.
  • Lightweight

Beach Blanket- Sand proof beach blanket can accommodate the entire family. It’s over-sized, lightweight and comes with stakes. The blanket is also waterproof.

Best Kids Wagon For The Beach- The Mack Daddy of all beach wagons for toddlers is the Veer All- Terrain Cruiser Stroller/ Wagon! This wagon is extremely durable and comes with all the bells and whistles. It’s certainly on the pricey side but worth the investment! It’s durable, multi-functional and comes with lots of goodies. The Veer functions as a stroller and wagon.

  • You can push or pull the wagon.
  • Attach a car seat which makes this a must have baby and toddler beach essential. Adopters for car seats fit many popular brands.
  • A removable snack and drink tray. Yup!
  • 3 Point harness
  • Storage nooks
  • Stows with ease

Toddler Sunglasses- Who doesn’t love a fashionable toddler? Baby Banz sunglasses provide UVA and UVB sun protection for kids ages 0-2 years old.

  • A velcro strap to make sure your baby’s sunglasses remain in place.
  • One year replacement guarantee if anything happens to the sunglasses.

Food/Juice/Water Cups- Two of our favorite toddler water bottles are the Yeti Rambler Jr. and the Hydro Flask for kids.

Best Beach Cooler With Wheels  

We always bring a cooler to the beach. I don’t know about your toddler but mine needs a lot of variety when it comes to food and snacks. One minute he wants apple slices and the next he wants a sandwich. So, for us bringing a cooler to the beach gives everyone a variety of options especially if you are making a long day of it at the beach with kids.

Coleman Portable Cooler with wheels keeps items cold for up to 5 days it’s capacity is up to 50 quarts. Comes with a handle, sturdy wheels and cup holders on the lid. Another option is the Igloo Glide with wheels which has a capacity up to 110 quarts.

Toy trucks in the sand at the beach

Beach Toddler Activities

Sandbox toys setThis set comes with all the sand toys your kids will need, a bag to carry them all in and a board book- “How To Play With Sand”.

Water BlastersOne of my toddlers’ favorite activities for hot summer days at the beach or having fun in our backyard is playing with his water blaster soakers. They will keep your children busy and have a blast the entire time they are outdoors. They are very easy to use with a foam cover.

Beach Balls

Kiddie Float- The Funboy Private Jet toddler and baby beach float has a steering wheel which comes with a horn for sensory play and a removable shade canopy. And don’t forget a portable air pump. 🙂

All the toddler beach essentials you need to keep you kids active at the beach.

Tips: If you are a breastfeeding mom the Lekebaby breast milk cooler is an option to bring along to store your milk.

It took me having a kid to learn the wonders of bringing a bottle of baby powder to the beach with kids to get the sand off. I promise it’s a must have baby & toddler beach essential!

If your partner is anything like mine, having a portable handheld vacuum to clean up any extra sand after your beach vacation with kids is a great idea. It’s not a part of my list for toddler beach essentials but it’s a great one if you need to keep your car clean. LOL.

Related: Baby Essentials First 3 Months & Beyond

That’s it! I hope you find this list of must have baby & toddler beach essentials helpful!

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