Taking your baby to the beach for the first time can feel overwhelming given how much stuff you’ll need to pack.
As any parent knows, even going out with your baby for a short trip requires a bag full of essentials such as diapers, wipes, spare clothes and snacks.
But on a beach vacation, where you’re likely to be in a more remote and perhaps even foreign destination, it’s essential to pack everything you need before you set off.
So we’ve created a list with essential items you’re likely to need for a beach vacation with your baby or toddler.
Packing List For Baby & Toddler Beach Vacation
It seems obvious but it’s very easy to forget to pack your beach towels.
If you’re unsure how many to take, you can’t go wrong with one per person.
For your little one you may want to pack a few, including a poncho style hooded one to keep them warm.
Not necessarily needed for all beaches, but insect repellent is essential if you find yourself on a beach with mosquitos or other nasty insects, so it’s worth having on you at all times.
As well as regular diapers, any time your baby or toddler is planning to go in the water you’ll need to put them in a swim diaper.
Some people prefer to use re-usable ones as they’ll save space in your suitcase.
You’ll probably want to take 2 or 3 bathing suits for your baby, and it’s worth always having a back-up with you at all times.
One thing to note is a 2-piece can make changing nappies a lot quicker and easier.
Babies under 6 months should avoid sun exposure completely.
But if your child is older than a high-quality kids sunscreen with SPF 50 is absolutely essential to protect their delicate skin.
Remember to re-apply frequently and after contact with water.
Anytime you wear a pair of sunglasses, your child probably needs to be wearing some too.
If buying for the first time, choose a durable pair with minimum 95% UV protection.
To keep your child’s face, earns and neck protected from the sun you’ll definitely need to pack a couple of sun hats.
Consider organic cotton and ones with straps to help keep them on your baby’s head for longer!
Baby rash guards are an excellent way to keep your child’s delicate skin protected against the sun.
As an added bonus they also protect against sand too.
Sand and pebbles can get extremely hot and uncomfortable on a sunny day, so remember to pack appropriate footwear for your baby or toddler.
Water shoes are great because they offer sun protection and can used in and out of the water.
Pacifier With Leash
If your baby uses a pacifier, having a leash will save a lot of hassle and the need to constantly wash off a sand and other dirt.
Cool Bag & Ice Packs
If you’re staying on the beach for extended periods in hot weather then you’ll need to keep milk, foods and drinks cool.
Although you might have one for the adults, having it’s a good idea to have specifically for your child’s food and drink.
Snacks & Drinks
It’s easy to underestimate how much food and drink your child will need at the beach, especially as a fun day at the beach is hungry and thirsty work!
Depending on where you’re going you may not need to take a lot from home.
But on the other hand if your child is a fussy eater, you’re traveling overseas or going to a remote domestic destination then you may need to pack quite a lot of snacks like pouches, Cheerios and puffs.
You may not have thoughts about taking a spray bottle, but it could save you a lot of time when cleaning your little one’s hands.
With a bottle, a couple of sprays and a quick wipe is all it takes to get rid of sand and other dirt from their hands.
They’re also a pretty effective way to cool and refresh your baby when they get too hot.
If your child is under 6 months then they shouldn’t have any sun exposure at all, so they’ll need to spend all their time under an umbrella or canopy.
But even if your baby is slightly older, it’s a good idea to have some shade so you can avoid prolonged periods of sun exposure and find shelter during the hottest part of the day.
Beach tents are great because not only do they proved shade, but they also offer protection against the wind.
Look for ones that are sturdy yet light, easy to pack and easy to assemble.
Something To Sit On
While you could sit on your beach towel, they can be better options such as beach chairs or a water resistant blanket.
If you do opt for a blanket, go for the largest one possible so the whole family can sit on it in comfort.
Inflatable Baby Pool
If space permits, then you should seriously consider taking an inflatable baby pool on your beach vacation.
They tend to be something babies and toddlers love playing in, and it’s an easy way to keep them close to you and under mom or dad’s watchful eye.
Beach toys are always a hit with little ones and help keep them entertained.
Bucket and shovels are essential as they enable children to have fun building sandcastles, and beach balls and kites are also worth considering.
Floaties are a great way to introduce babies over 10 months to water.
With floaties, just remember the word of caution from the American Academy of Pediatrics, who state the floaties are not a substitute for life jackets.
All Terrain Wagon or Stroller
Lastly, with all this stuff for your baby, along with everything else for the rest of the family, you might be wondering how you’re going to transport it once you get to the beach.
Fortunately, all terrain strollers or wagons have been created just for this reason, so if space permits and you’re traveling by car then having one of these on your vacation will make your life a lot easier.
Printable Packing List For Baby Vacation
- Beach Towels
- Insect Repellent
- Swim Diapers
- Bathing Suit
- Sun Hat
- Long Sleeved Clothing
- Beach Footwear
- Pacifier With Leash
- Cool Bag & Ice Packs
- Snacks & Drinks
- Spray Bottle
- Something To Sit On
- Inflatable Baby Pool
- All Terrain Wagon Or Stroller