Aren’t beach babies just the cutest?! I’m lucky enough to live very close the beach and absolutely love taking my toddler, big kids and baby to the beach as often as I can.
However, taking babies to the beach requires a little more work and a bit of extra planning in order for your day trip to be enjoyable, rather than stressful.
I have learned countless lessons from our numerous trips to the beach with babies and kids. After years of practice, I’m confident enough to say that we have perfected the art of taking babies to the beach.
If your family travel adventures will include beach time, keep reading for my practical tips for taking your babies to the beach! Everything from dealing with sand that gets everywhere to keeping everyone happy and using my must-have beach essentials.
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What to Pack for a Trip to the Beach With Kids
Packing for a trip to the beach with babies and kids can seem overwhelming. Being prepared for your beach day trip will make all the difference!
Tips For Taking Babies to the Beach
Pack Baby Powder for the Beach
My number one secret of surviving a beach trip with babies is baby powder! Moisture is what causes the sand to stick to your skin but baby powder dries up all that moisture meaning you can easily brush the sand right off.
All you need to do is sprinkle some baby powder on your baby’s sandy bum, or your kid’s sand covered feet, and towel the sand off. It’s miraculous and it really works! Nothing spoils the beach more than being covered in itchy sand all day! This neat little trick makes the beach so much more fun for everyone.
Now you can worry less about cleaning the sand off everyone, and let the kids be kids. Afterall, it wouldn’t be summer if someone didn’t get buried in the sand!
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Another baby beach protection essential is sunscreen. You’ll want to apply plenty of sunscreen to your baby’s skin to keep them from getting sunburn or other sun-related illnesses. Make sure you choose a sunscreen with a high level of protection and apply as per the instructions on the bottle.
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Baby Friendly Wave Free Beach
When taking babies to the beach, it’s important to remember that the tide isn’t the same at every beach. If you want your babies and younger kids to be able to enjoy splashing in the water, search for a beach with a gentle, or nonexistent tide.
Nothing spoils the fun of taking babies to the beach like getting tossed by a surprise wave. Most harbor beaches have little to no waves. This not only makes the water very gentle for the youngest of swimmers, it makes it warmer as well!
One of our favorite beaches to take babies to is Baby Beach at Dana Point Marina in Orange County, California. My crawling baby can safely enjoy exploring the edge of the water, and my older kids don’t mind the change of pace as they walk around waist deep in the calm harbor waters.
Pants for Beach Babies
If you’re planning to take baby to the beach, but they won’t be getting in the water, there’s no need for a swim suit.
Instead, you should dress your beach baby in a lightweight outfit that you don’t mind getting dirty. You could even use a lightweight footed sleeper. Pants do that all important job of keeping most of the sand on the beach and off of your baby – especially away from the diaper area, where it will rub and chafe.
If your beach baby is going to be playing in the water, of course they’ll need a swim diaper and swimsuit. This is also where the magic baby powder trick comes in incredibly handy!
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Baby Beach Shoes
Baby beach shoes are great for protecting your little one’s feet on a rocky beach, or while exploring the wonders of tide pools. They can also make a huge difference in how much baby enjoys the day trip to the beach.
Tight fitting mesh beach shoes keep out most of the sand, whether they’re in the water or on the sand. Baby beach water shoes will make a more pleasant beach experience for everyone, especially if you have older children who complain about getting sandy feet.
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Frozen Juice Pouches for Beach Babies
Well… This isn’t strictly just for your beach babies. These frozen treats can be enjoyed by everyone and certainly help to keep everyone happy and refreshed during your day at the beach.
Simply freeze juice pouches such as Capri Sun, and half-filled water bottles to use instead of blue ice in the cooler at the beach. You have to remember to put them in the freezer the night before, but it’s very much worth it. Edible ice makes your cooler that much lighter to carry at the end of the day.
My secret top tip for these frozen juice pouches is to save one for each of my kids to drink when it’s time to leave the beach at the end of the day. It cuts down on the whining about having to leave the beach, and also helps cools them off when we get in the car.
Waterproof Bag for Phone
Waterproof phone pouches or cases are handy for keeping your phone or device dry while taking pictures in the water, or for using at the pool or water park. Afterall, you want to capture the joy on the face of your beach baby!
A plastic zippered pouch is even more handy at the beach because it keeps sand out of the tiny crevices and ports of your device. There’s nothing worse than digging sand out of your phones charging port for weeks after your trip to the beach!
Alternatively, you can substitute a plastic baggie as a cheaper solution. It’s by no means waterproof, but it will help keep the sand away from your phone.
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Designated Sand Free Beach Bag
If I’ve learned anything from all my trips to the beach with babies, it’s to keep a designated ‘sand free’ beach bag for items such as extra clean diapers, and clean clothes for your baby.
You’ll definitely want to clean off your little beach baby with baby powder and change them into fresh clothes before putting them in car seats.
It’s important to keep those clothes sand free, otherwise there’s no point in changing them! When I take my babies to the beach, I put their clothes into a zippered bag and then put that in the zippered pouch on my beach chair.
When taking babies to the beach, you’ll need to make sure that everyone knows to keep their hands off of the designated ‘sand free’ beach bag.
There is a specially designed beach bag with a unique patented weave that creates a “one-way sift” ensuring sand, dirt and dust will fall through to the ground below but particles underneath do not penetrate through to the contents inside the bag.
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Keep Your Keys Handy
You might have had an amazing day at the beach… But there is nothing worse than digging through a beach bag of wet towels and sandy toys in a hot parking lot with whining kids to find your car keys.
My top tip for taking babies and kids to the beach is to attach a small carabiner to your keychain so you can clip it onto the outside of your beach bag and find your keys easily at the end of the hot day.
When taking babies to the beach, I never bring a big cooler. I recommend using a cooler bag if at all possible. It will cut down greatly on the bulk and weight of what you have to haul with you to the beach, especially if kids outnumber adults.
Some backpack beach chairs actually have a small cooler pouch attached to the back. We pack room temperature snacks and just keep a few cold essentials and drinks in the small cooler pocket.
Another beach item that I skip is the beach umbrella. I spend most of my beach days chasing the baby and the other kids around the beach, so I wouldn’t be sitting in the shade much anyway!
You can fill it up with towels, sand toys, cooler bag and snacks. Stack your chairs on the side and wheel the whole thing right over the sand. A beach cart is a lifesaver if you can’t carry it all, and stairs are no longer an issue.
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A beach tent is the ideal baby beach protection. If your little beach baby will be napping at the beach, you will definitely want a sun tent.
There are various types and sizes of baby sun tents you can buy. Be sure to invest in a good quality beach tent that provides UV and wind protection when taking babies to the beach. Click here to find a review of 10 Best Baby Beach Tents.
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Baby Beach Toys
Toys can make or break the day when you take babies to the beach. You don’t need to invest in special baby beach toys. We’ve always brought everyday baby toys from home that could either be washed or easily cleaned.
However, proper sand toys like buckets and spades are great for the older children that can run around and make sand castles.
→ SHOP AMAZON: Beach Toys for Baby
Beach Spray Bottle
It’s important to keep everyone cool when taking babies to the beach. Little spray bottles are super handy because you can constantly mist your baby to keep them cool. This is also great for older kids and adults who want a little bit of freshening up.
The spray bottle is also great for cleaning off your beach babies hands so they don’t eat the sand off their fingers. This is a must have beach item for babies and doesn’t cost much at all!
Baby Beach Float
If you’ve chosen a harbour beach with calm and warm waters, a baby beach float is a perfect way to let baby explore the water. There are so many different types of baby floats out there but we recommend going for something sensible rather than whimsical. We always look for a baby beach float that has a covered roof so that they have some protection from the sun when enjoying the water.
More Tips for Taking Kids to the Beach
We love taking our babies, toddlers and bigger kids to the beach. There’s something so special about a family day out with the sea and sand. However, if you’re not prepared, taking babies to the beach can quickly turn into a sand covered nightmare!
If you’re kids are of all different ages, you need to make sure there’s something to entertain everyone. Plenty of refreshments, snacks and sunscreen is essential to keep everyone happy.
Make sure you don’t just plan for what you’re going to do at the beach, give some thought to your escape plan too. How will you coax the kids off the beach, get them into sand free clothes and ensure you can find the car keys?
Going to the beach with babies and kids might sound like a military operation (and it can be). But it’s better to be prepared for your beach day trip so you can all have an amazing time rather than finding yourself hot, sandy and stressed out!
If you take only one thing away from this post, let it be the baby powder trick. I guarantee that will solve half of your problems with taking babies to the beach!