Baby girl sits and builds a sandcastle with a shovel and pail, two beach essentials.

The beach offers a natural world of ‘firsts’ and new discoveries for your baby. The first time their tiny toes touch tiny grains of sand, the first time they hold a seashell, the first time a gentle wave tickles their roly-poly legs, and of course, the first time they eat sand (it’s bound to happen).

If you are taking a beach vacation, or even just a day on the sandy shore, what do you bring? You have all the latest and greatest gear at home to make life as easy as possible, but the thought of renting a small U-Haul to take it all to the ocean is a bit silly!

Here is our list of the top 16 baby beach essentials:

Shade Shade Shade!

Bring your own shade to create a canopied play/rest area for your baby. Their fresh skin isn’t used to the beachside rays, so find a beach tent that has UV guard protection like this one from Sunba Youth. It folds up nicely for storage and travel. Or check out this fantastic baby tent with its own mini pool!

Rash Guard

Not only is a rash guard great at protecting sensitive baby skin, but they also come in handy to keep sand out of little nooks and crannies.

Baby wears rash guard to the beach to stay protected from the sun.

Sunscreen

Obviously. Have you tried the Australian brand, Blue Lizard baby sunscreen? Amazing.

Waterproof Floppy Hat

These hats create their own shaded canopies for your baby. They come with a drawstring tie so the hat won’t blow away, and the hat offers coverage over the face and upper back.

Baby wears floppy hat to the beach to stay protected from the sun.

Wet Bag or Large ZipLoc Bag

Your baby isn’t going to be ok sitting in a cold, wet bathing suit after being in the water and sand. Bring a bag (a few Ziploc bags work great) to throw in all your wet clothing.

Swim Diapers & Regular Diapers

Of course your baby isn’t going to be doing serious ocean swimming, but most likely they will plop down in the wet sand. Regular diapers immediately balloon and weigh a solid 10 pounds when wet! Pack reusable swim diapers and your normal diapers to keep baby nice and comfortable.

Spray Bottle (with fresh water)

Babies are going to eat sand. So when it happens and you need to give their hands a quick clean up, use a spray bottle with fresh water.

Water Bottle/Sippy

Depending on how old your baby is, bring a water bottle to keep your little one hydrated. Or to wash down any sand that sneaks its way into their mouth.

Baby drinks water from sippy cup to stay hydrated at the beach.

Baby Powder

Great beach hack! Simple rub it on your baby’s legs, and tada! Sticky sand is gone.

Mesh Baby Carrier

Baby carriers are fantastic, but so many of them aren’t breathable and are so hot! If you are spending days on the warm sand, get a mesh sling that breathes and is waterproof.

Water Resistant Blanket Towel

You might as well just keep a few of these in your car. They are perfect for the beach, pool, picnics, wherever!

Baby rests on waterproof towel at the beach.

Waterproof Shoes

Keen makes an incredible waterproof shoe for babies and toddlers. If it’s going to be hot, that means the sand is going to be roasting. Baby feet are way more sensitive than ours. If you can’t get a pair of shoes, put socks on your baby to avoid burning their little piggies in the hot, hot sand.

Portable Crib (or Stroller with a Shade)

Yes, you can certainly invest in a portable crib to take to the beach, but this is just one more thing to carry, and one more thing to store. If you don’t see yourself using one of these much, stick with a stroller (an off-road BOB stroller with sand friendly tires), a lightweight swaddle blanket to create shade, and a wind barrier.

Beach Bag

Get a nice big (waterproof) bag to throw in all the beach essentials if you have a baby.

Beach bag filled with beach essentials

Toys

Pack a few small favorites or maybe a couple newbies for your baby to hold on to or play with. Floating rubber duckies and other bath toys work great! Or a sand bucket and shovel can provide entertainment in the sand.  

Pajamas

After a day at the beach, you want to get your baby feeling nice and cozy. Pack a pair of clean pajamas to change into after a rinse off.

Of course taking a baby to the beach for the first time might take a lot of preparation and packing, but watching your little one take in all the new wonders of the ocean is so worth it! What are your favorite baby beach essentials? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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