23 Beach Essentials for Toddlers and Babies

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Summer is in full force and one thing that my family and I have been doing this year is hitting the beach. We live in Ontario, and there are lot’s of lovely beaches near us.

One thing I know about planning a beach trip with kids (or planning to go anywhere for that matter) is that you’re going to need to be meticulous about your planning and pack.

Kids need a lot. Going to the beach is no exception.

I’ve come to learn a few things about what to bring and what to leave behind for a fun and stress free beach day with the kids.

If your planning a trip to the beach with your littles, keep reading because i’m going to be sharing my picks for the top beach essentials for toddlers and babies.

Whether it’s your first taking your kids to the beach or your’e already a pro looking to see if there’s anything else that you should take along on yout adventure, this post is for you.

Beach Must Haves for Toddler and Baby

Choosing the right items to pack can be a bit tricky.

There’s a fine line between packing too little and lugging around an over-packed beach bag.

From essential sun protection to engaging toys, these beach necessities will ensure your toddler or baby is safe, comfortable, and entertained.

Keep reading to find out what to pack for your next trip to the beach with your kids.

Sun Protection

When it comes to spending a day at the beach with your little ones, sun protection is an absolute must.

Babies and toddlers have delicate skin that is more prone to sunburn, so taking the necessary precautions is crucial.

Sunscreen for Babies and Toddlers

Sunscreen is an essential part of any beach outing, especially for babies (6 months and over) and toddlers.

Their sensitive skin needs extra care and protection from the harmful UV rays.

Look for a sunscreen specifically designed for infants and young children, as these are formulated to be gentle and safe for their delicate skin.

When choosing a sunscreen, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher.

Apply the sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your child’s body, including the face, ears, and the often-forgotten areas like the back of the neck and tops of the feet.

Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Sun Hats

A sun hat is an excellent accessory to shield your little ones from the sun’s rays.

Look for a hat with a wide brim that provides shade to the face, neck, and ears.

The brim should be at least 2.5 inches wide to offer adequate protection.

Hats made from lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or straw are ideal for keeping your child cool and comfortable.

Not only do sun hats protect your child from the sun, but they also add a touch of style to their beach attire. Choose a hat with a fun pattern or a favourite character to make it more appealing for your little one to wear.


Protecting your child’s eyes from the sun is equally important.

Look for sunglasses specifically designed for children that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.

It’s important to get sunglasses that fit properly so that they’ll stay on securely as your child runs around and plays on the beach.

UV-Protective Swimwear

UV-protective swimwear is a fantastic investment for your little ones.

These specially designed swimsuits offer an added layer of protection by blocking out harmful UV rays. Look for swimwear that has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating of 50+, which means it blocks out over 98% of the sun’s rays.

UV-protective swimwear comes in a variety of styles, from full-body suits to rash guards and swim hats. These suits provide excellent coverage and peace of mind, allowing your child to enjoy the water without worrying about sunburn.

Comfort and Safety

When it comes to taking your toddler or baby to the beach, comfort and safety should be your top priorities.

The last thing you want is for your little one to feel uncomfortable or unsafe while enjoying the sand and waves. These are some must-have items that will ensure both comfort and safety for your child.

Swim Diapers

Swim diapers are an essential item to pack when heading to the beach with your toddler or baby.

Unlike regular diapers, swim diapers are designed to be worn in the water and they don’t swell up like regular diapers when wet.

This means that your little one can enjoy splashing around without any discomfort.

Swim diapers also help prevent accidents in the water, keeping the beach environment clean and hygienic for everyone.

Beach Shoes

Protecting your child’s feet from hot sand, sharp shells, or slippery surfaces is important to do for their comfort and safety at the beach.

Beach shoes are the perfect solution.

These lightweight, water-resistant shoes provide a protective barrier while allowing your child to walk comfortably on various surfaces.

Look for shoes with non-slip soles for added traction and adjustable straps to ensure a secure fit.

Beach Towels

A good quality beach towel is a must-have for any beach outing with your toddler or baby.

Look for towels that are soft, absorbent, and quick-drying.

Beach towels with fun designs or characters can also add a touch of excitement for your little one. Having a dedicated beach towel for your child will not only keep them comfortable but also help distinguish their space on the sand.

Umbrella or Shade Tent

Protecting your child from the sun’s harmful rays is essential, especially during peak beach hours. Bringing along an umbrella or shade tent will provide a shaded area where your child can take breaks from the sun and relax comfortably.

Look for options that are easy to set up, lightweight, and provide ample shade.

Remember to position the umbrella or shade tent in a way that provides continuous shade throughout the day as the sun moves.

Portable Fan

A portable hand fan will do wonders for you when you’re dealing with soaring temperatures and humidity. It will keep you are your little ones from getting too hot when spending time at he beach. I love that it’s small and compact and barely takes up space in our beach bag. It can also last for hours when the battery is fully charged.

Life Jacket or Floaties

Water safety should always be a priority when at the beach with your toddler or baby.

Even if your child is not swimming independently, having a life jacket or floaties can provide an added layer of protection.

Ensure that the life jacket or floaties are properly fitted and approved for your child’s age and weight. Keep a close eye on your little one while they are in or near the water and never leave them unsupervised.

Snacks and Hydration

When it comes to spending a day at the beach with your toddler or baby, it’s important to make sure they stay well-hydrated and fuelled with healthy snacks.

The sun, sand, and salty air can easily zap their energy, so it’s crucial to pack the right essentials to keep them refreshed and satisfied throughout the day. In this section, we’ll discuss three beach must-haves for snacks and hydration: water bottles, healthy snacks, and a cooler bag.

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is key to ensuring a fun and safe beach experience for your little one.

Pack a couple of water bottles to keep your kids refreshed and prevent dehydration.

Look for water bottles with spill-proof lids or straws, as these are more convenient for toddlers and babies to drink from independently.

Choose BPA-free bottles to ensure their safety.

Healthy Snacks

Snacks are a must-have when it comes to keeping your toddler or baby happy at the beach.

But rather than reaching for sugary treats or processed snacks, go for healthier options that will provide sustained energy throughout the day. Fresh fruits like sliced watermelon, grapes, or strawberries are not only hydrating but also delicious.

You can also pack small bags of trail mix with a mix of nuts and dried fruits, or homemade granola bars for a wholesome and satisfying snack.

Cooler Bag

To keep those healthy snacks fresh and cool under the hot sun, you’ll need to pack a cooler bag.

Look for one that is compact, lightweight, and easy to carry.

Insulated cooler bags with multiple compartments are ideal for separating snacks and drinks.

You can either use frozen ice pack to keep everything cold or sreeze some small water bottles overnight and use them as ice packs.

Beach Toys and Entertainment

When it comes to spending a fun-filled day at the beach with your toddler and baby, having the right toys and entertainment is essential.

Not only do these items keep your little ones occupied, but they also enhance their overall beach experience. From building sandcastles to splashing in the water, here are some must-have beach toys and entertainment options for your little adventurers.

Sand Toys

No beach trip is complete without a trusty set of sand toys.

These colorful playthings are perfect for digging, scooping, and molding sand into all sorts of creations.

From buckets and shovels to sand molds and rakes, sand toys provide endless opportunities for imaginative play. Encourage your little ones to build towering sandcastles, dig deep holes, and create intricate designs in the sand.

The possibilities are endless!

Beach Ball

A beach ball is a classic beach is a must! And its perfect for kids of all ages.

Playing catch, volleyball, or even inventing new games with a beach ball can keep your toddler and baby entertained for hours.

Books or Colouring Materials

I like to take books, colouring materials or stickers everywhere I go with my kids.

It’s an excellent way to keep them entertained when they need a break from the sun and sand.

Pack some of your child’s favourite picture books or colouring books along with crayons or washable markers. This quieter activity provides a nice balance between active play and relaxation.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

To add some extra fun to your beach day, bring along a portable Bluetooth speaker.

Play your kids favourite tunes and let them dance and sing along.

Foldable Wagon

You’re going to need a way to get all your beach gear from your car to your spot at the beach.

This folding wagon is perfect because it’s collapsible, so takes up little space in the car. You can also put your kids in it and drag them along from the car to the beach.

Diaper Bag Essentials

As a parent planning a beach trip with your little ones, it’s essential to be prepared for all their needs.

One of the most crucial items you’ll need is a well-stocked diaper bag.

Here are some things to consider packing in your diaper bag to ensure a stress-free beach experience for both you and your child.


When heading to the beach with a toddler or baby, make sure you have enough diapers.

Always bring more diapers than you think you’ll need, as you don’t want to run out in the middle of your outing. While you’ll need to pack swim diapers for water activities, remember to bring along regular diapers too.


Wipes are a parent’s best friend in almost any situation, and the beach is no exception.

Pack wipes for not just diaper changes, but also to keep your child clean and fresh throughout the day. Use them for wiping off sand and cleaning sticky hands.

Changing Pad

A portable changing pad is a must-have item to include in your diaper bag.

It provides a clean and hygienic surface to change your child’s diaper, even if there are no designated changing stations available.

Look for compact and lightweight options that can easily fit inside your bag without taking up too much space.

Extra Clothes

Beach trips often involve water play, sandcastles, and maybe even some unexpected spills.

To prepare for these inevitable messes, pack a change of clothes for your child.

Include a swimsuit, a pair of comfy clothes, and a lightweight cover-up to shield your little one from the sun’s rays during breaks.

Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of sandals too!

Plastic Bags for Dirty Diapers

When it comes to dirty diapers, it’s important to dispose of them properly to maintain cleanliness and minimize any unpleasant odors.

Pack a few plastic bags in your diaper bag to seal off soiled diapers until you can find a suitable disposal area. This will help keep your beach area tidy and ensure a pleasant environment for everyone.

You may also need to use these bags to separate for dirty clothes. So make sure to pack a few of the little bags.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to enjoying a beach outing with your toddler or baby, you need to be prepared with these beach essentials for babies and toddlers.

When you have the right gear, you, increase the chances of having a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for both you and your little ones.

So, pack your bags, and get ready for a fun-filled day of sun, sand, and laughter with your family on the beach.

BEACH essentials for baby and toddler

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