Today we’re sharing our top tips and must haves for taking a baby to the beach. Number two on our ‘must have baby gear for the beach’ list might surprise you!
After many years of taking our kids to the beach I like to think I’ve perfected the art. We lived at the beach for a month when our third was only two months old. We were also potty training a 2 year old and our oldest was only 5 at the time…yeah we like to live on the edge haha. And at this point I take all three kids (ages 6, 3 and 1) to the beach by myself at least once a week!
Here are my top tips and products you need to take babies and toddlers to the beach (and actually enjoy it)!
tips for taking kids to the beach
1// Planning ahead when you’re taking a baby to the beach is a must. For us that means letting the baby nap before we head out. I learned quickly that a half an hour ride to the beach was not enough of a nap for her to be happy for hours at the beach. So instead of getting there at 9 we opt for 11/12 after she’s had her morning nap.
Pack light and smart
2// When you’re taking a baby to the beach too much stuff can make it more overwhelming. Try and keep it simple. We have one large beach bag that always comes with us. It has towels for each kid, a separate smaller bag with all of our sunscreens and baby powder (more on this in a few), a wet bag with diapers/wipes and a large blanket. If you have an infant you will want to pack a couple muslin blankets as well. I snap a hat for each family member to the strap and we’re good to go! Our food goes in a backpack that one of the kids can wear, which is super helpful if you’re going solo with multiple kids.
Snacks are king
3// Getting to the beach is hard enough, you don’t want to get stuck with whiney hungry kids once you finally get there. Our food backpack has 2-3 snacks for each kid (which is usually cut apples, pretzels, teething crackers and a cliff bar) and our lunches. Lunch is also super simple and usually a peanut butter/jelly or a lunchable (oh the shame- haha). Look they think it’s the biggest treat in the whole world and it’s probably the easiest grab and go lunch I can think of. Each kid has a water bottle in the car and I bring one big one onto the beach in our beach bag. We never bring a cooler, it’s just too much hassle and takes up too much space.
easy on the toys
4// As of now the boys each bring a boogie board and we have one large bucket that has a few shovels and small toys. Over time I learned that they weren’t playing with a lot of the toys we were bringing. So we pared down and a couple shovels usually does the trick. It really depends on your kid though. Some kids will want to make sand castles but not boogie board. Just pay attention to what they like to do and weed out the stuff they don’t play with. Don’t fall into the trap of bringing everything ‘in case’ they might want it.
5// When we come off the beach I change all the kids at the car. I keep one large towel and a full change of clothes for each kid in the back. I hold the towel up next to an open door and they get de-sanded and put on clean clothes. Easy peasy.
6// Wear the baby! If you have a little one that isn’t walking yet or is new to walking wear them. It is so helpful to have free hands when you’re taking a baby with you to the beach especially when you’re walking onto the beach. I’m able to carry the beach bag, the beach bucket and the umbrella when I wear the baby!
must haves for taking a baby to the beach
1// This one is a must if you have an infant. Not only can you easily bring all your stuff down to the beach, it doubles as a crib for beach naps. We would empty it out at the beach, lay a nice fluffy towel in the bottom and let the baby nap in it. This clip on fan is great to have too if it’s really hot. Just clip it to the wagon so they get some air while they’re asleep.
2// If you have a crawler, you’re going to love this! We’ve just started bringing this and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. Not only is it a great place for them to eat their lunch or snacks it’s also super helpful if you’re trying to setup or pack up. Because if you have a crawler you know they’re constantly crawling away. The best part is you can wear it as a backpack! Just clip the bottom straps and slide your arms through like a backpack. Our boys always fight over who gets to wear it.
3// Even if you don’t have a baby bring baby powder! It’s the best thing to get sand off of little hands (and faces). I don’t know the science behind it all I know is it works. Now listen, I have never used baby powder on my kids otherwise but these days there are lots of safe options like this one. Baby powder with talc isn’t even sold anymore so it’s all good.
4// If you have an infant these are everything on the beach! I always brought two and would use them from everything like a nursing cover to a swaddle at nap time. To use it as a nursing cover tie two corners together and put your head through the hole. Voila! Listen the whole key here is to pack less. So anything that can be used multiple ways is a huge plus.
Best baby carriers for the beach
5// Like we talked about above a baby carrier is a must! Not only is it helpful when bringing your things onto the beach it can also help get baby down for a nap. The Solly Baby Wrap is my favorite for newborns and smaller babies, plus it’s really lightweight and packs easily into a bag. The Sakura Bloom is what I use from 3 months on and I LOVE IT (I’ve used a lot of carriers and this is my favorite by far).
Have fun friends!