Travel Planning

The Ultimate Beach Packing List for Babies and Toddlers

*Last updated on January 2nd, 2018 at 12:27 pm

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It’s May and that means fun in the sun and the surf! I love a day (or even a couple hours) at the beach and with the beach only half an hour away, I’m assembling a kit to keep in the trunk of the car.

The ultimate beach packing list for babies and toddlers

Here’s what I’m including and you can too!

Beach packing list

#1 Full body swim suit

Sunscreen can be expensive, messy, obnoxious, and it’s so easy to miss a spot. Full coverage suits mean less sunscreen and less mess. We’ve used Stingray suits since my daughter was born (and those first ones were hand-me-downs) and they’ve held up really well! For little babies get the one piece footed suits to keep the sand out of the suit!

#2 A sun hat that covers their neck

Another trick to minimize sunscreen application. I like the Sunday Afternoon hats because the brim is stiff enough it doesn’t flop down in front of their eyes but their neck is still covered.

#3 An outdoor blanket

We’ve had the JJ Cole 5′ x 7′ outdoor blanket for over 3 years now and it has held up great. We keep it in the car so it’s always on hand for impromptu beach trips or picnics in the park.

#4 A pop-up sun tent

When my daughter was born I bought a Coleman beach tent, but once my son came along I no longer had the time to fully assemble a tent with stakes. I’m planning to buy this one since we had a good experience with a rented pop-up tent in Hawaii.

#5 Your sunscreen of choice

Even with the fancy swimsuits and hats, you’ll still need a little sunscreen for those UV rays reflecting off the sand into the face. The Environmental Working Group has a list of the safest sunscreens for kids.

#6 Sand toys in a bag

We grabbed a cheap set of sand toys for our Disney Cruise this year and the best part ended up being the mesh backpack the toys came in. The mesh allowed the sand to wash out and it was light enough for the kids to carry. I’m thinking about buying another set to leave in the car.

#7 Soft cooler and insulated water bottles

We have a cheap cooler from Target, but I have my eyes on upgrading to either a YETI or an RTIC. If only those suckers went on sale! I use my cooler at least 5 times a week though, so surely I can justify the cost? Maybe not?

For almost all my day trips these days I’m packing smoothies in the camelbacks and that has been a huge hit with the kids. So refreshing in the middle of the day!

#8 Quick-drying towels

The one downside of the full body swim suits, is they really soak through your towels. Right now we’re using standard towels but I’m looking to upgrade to some quick drying options! I like that this one comes in extra-large. Regardless what kind of towel we are using, we always keep 2 in the trunk of the car!



So that’s it! Let’s hit the beach!






2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Beach Packing List for Babies and Toddlers

  1. Great post. Thank you for sharing your tips. I’m from the south of England with 4 kids. We are near beaches but mostly stones, not sand. But no worries as it makes our adventures to other uk beaches and beaches abroad all the more exciting.
    Being that we don’t have much sand locally I did it a nightmare deciding what I need to take. having a tick list like this is perfect. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hmm stones can be fun too! You might want to have the kids bring sturdy water shoes like Keens or Plae. My kids can play with rocks for hours so I’m sure they’d love your beaches!

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