What you need when beaching with baby!

Summer seems like it's flying by! Secretly, a part of me can't wait for it to be over so we can get back to a consistent, more predictable schedule & routine. But I'm also hoping to savor the last month and spend some quality time with my kiddos.

Anyone else headed on vacation in August? 

One of the mamas in my Empowering Mindful Moms group asked what she needs to pack for her baby's first trip to the beach. Since one of my favorite past times is sharing useful, must-have or nice-to-have product links from my Amazon purchase history, I happily came up with a list of my favorite beach essentials. 

Obviously, you want clothes, a swimsuit, swim diapers, snacks, plenty of milk and/or drinking water for baby....and, if you are breastfeeding, a breathable nursing cover for you...I was obsessed with these muslin swaddle blankets when my babies were little. So obsessed that I justified purchasing new patterns with each new baby - I was certain I'd find a use for them post-nursing...Maybe a beach sarong? (Have yet to do that...) ...But the bamboo viscose ones are heavenly.

Here are some additional items I recommend:

  • Hat: Don't forget something to keep baby protected from the sun!
  • Baby powder:  It helps to get sand off those chunky little baby legs.
  • Small inflatable pool: Use a bucket to fill one of these with a few inches of ocean water and your baby will have a safe place to sit, splash, and stay cool!...OR, just learned this great tip from my sister: Bring a plastic shower curtain liner, dig a hole, line with the shower curtain liner, and add some water. She says carrying a folded shower curtain liner is easier than lugging the inflatable baby pool. Wish I'd tried that! 
  • Sunscreen: This is my favorite face stick for applying sunscreen without getting it in the eyes. It slides on smoothly, compared to some of the others that seem thicker and harder to apply. (Great for keeping in your bag for park playdates, too.) Sunbum is one of my favorite sprays for the body. (My son used to get really bad eczema when he was a baby & we finally figured out that sunscreens were making it worse. This is the only one that didn't create a problem). I also recently discovered Wegman's brand spray sunscreen and love it. It's got a nice wide spray that makes it easier to cover kids who are squirming away. And it smells good.
  • Makeup Application Sponges: My assistant, Jessica, came up with the amazing idea to use makeup sponges to evenly apply sunscreen on the face when using non-spray sunscreen. Genius. (I can't stand sunscreen on my hands). 
  • Puddle Jumper:  If your kiddos are big enough, these swim floaties are the best. (So much better than the inflatable "water wings" of the 80s/90s.) These are coast guard approved, too, thus safe for boat outings. 
  • Light weight beach towels: This is among my all-time favorite ever Amazon purchases. I LOVE these Turkish towels for beach, pool, park, splash pad, amusement park, etc. outings. They are lightweight and non-bulky, so it's easy to fit several in a beach bag. They dry super fast, work as a beach sarong, and repel sand. There are some beautiful, soft, but REALLY pricey Turkish towels out there, but these were relatively well-priced considering it's a pack of 6. (They were even cheaper when I got them - Don't ask me why the picture shows 15 - I wish I got 15). Since buying these, I've NEVER brought another towel to the beach again. There's nothing worse than leaving the beach with a pile of heavy, wet, sand-filled towels. These are wonderful. (Skip the nursing cover and just get these. You WILL use them post baby days!)
  • Beach blanketThis is another favorite purchase for the beach. It comes with stakes (which are essential for windy days) and folds into a nice little pouch. It also repels sand and is easy to bunch up into a ball when baby is melting down and you need to get the heck out of there. 
  • Pop up beach tent: I have a love hate relationship with these things. There's nothing better than a good beach nap and it's important to have a shady spot for baby. Lugging around a giant, heavy umbrella (while carrying a baby, a beach bag, a cooler, and all the things) isn't ideal. This is perfect while enjoying the beach....It's just hit or miss whether you can get it to fold back up again when you're ready to leave!
  • Fisher Price Baby Dome or Pop Up Play Pen: If you want to enjoy the beach and get a break from keeping sand out of baby's mouth! 
  • Stroller Fan or Spray Fan for keeping baby cool!
  • Balls: I love these balls. They are inflatable/deflatable (making them ideal for travel) and soft/easy for babies to grab. This was something I always kept in our suitcase so we'd have some type of toy on vacation. 
  • Go Pod: We borrowed this from my sister when my son was a baby. It's a great option to keep babies contained...If they are happy to hang there! 
  • Shovel & Rake: The Dollar (& a Quarter) Tree usually sells these in the summer. (Note: Since they are cheap, buy a few extras - We've had multiple experiences of other eager sandcastle builders wanting to share our big shovels!)  
  • Wagon Stroller: I started seeing these wagon strollers last year at an amusement park and wished I'd had one when my babies were little. I can't speak to how well they maneuver in the sand, but this seems fabulous for carrying both baby and all the things! Also a great place to lay baby down for a nap. 

 I hope these suggestions help you feel more prepared for your trip to the beach with baby!

Anything missing that you found essential? Email me and let me know! I love providing useful tips and product recs to the mamas I work with!


(PS: Some of these links are affiliate links. At zero cost to you, my business may earn a small commission if you purchase by clicking through our links. Thank you for your support!)