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Baby and Toddler Beach Must Haves

Packing up to hit the beach with kids is no easy task!! My kids could live at the beach if I let them, so I decided to round up all of my favorite items for when we hit the beach in this baby beach must-haves post!

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baby boy on the beach on gathre mat with Logan and lenora bag
Baby boy here is sitting on Gathre mat with the bag in the graphic!

Beach Must Haves for Baby and Kids

My husband and I LOVE the beach.  When we were newlyweds we moved to Destin, FL for a year and truly soaked up that beach life.  We also got married in a beach wedding – so getting our kids to the beach often is so important to us. 

We tend to be at the beach 2 -4 times a year, and have been doing that since we had our first baby 8 years ago.  Over time I have really streamlined what we take, and how we do things.  

I mean nothing like carrying kids when its 100 degrees to make you figure out the best way to function on the beach!

Toddler Boy running on beach

In this post I will talk about great options for your beach vacation whether you are flying or driving. – the reality of it is, if you are flying there are things you need to leave behind, and if you are driving I would definitely say make the space in your car for everything I recommend. 

Packing up for the beach is so much work! Add kids and babies into the mix and it doesn’t get any easier.  I have 4 kids, and we head to the beach a few times a year, so I feel like I have truly mastered the art of what to take (and what not to take) over time.

I tried to include some options that are more compact for if you are flying, as well as options that are even more desirable if you are driving and have a bit more space.  

Baby and toddler beach must haves

Beach Tips you are Flying

Beach trips are a bit more complicated if you are flying, but I learned a couple of things a few years ago when we hit the beach for just a few hours on a short trip to California.

If you aren’t going to be spending a ton of time on the beach, but want to still help your kids enjoy the time. Have only the essentials.  

You will want a bag of some sorts – the bag in this post is my favorite because it’s huge, but it has waterproof pockets and such that makes it take over the need for wet bags and such!

The small towel is also super helpful to have on hand. It won’t take up a ton of room in your bag! I also always make the Gathre mat work – we honestly use the Gathre mat in the airport to sit on floors, or in the hotel room for little ones on the carpet, so you will use it multiple times!

Then go to the dollar store and grab a couple of spoons and disposable pie dishes and such – spend less than $5 and use those items instead of shovels and such.  That way your kids can play but you aren’t wasting a lot of money on items you can’t take home. 

You can also grab things like spoons and cups from a continental breakfast to use.  Kids just want items to dig with – so anything that can be used then thrown away is great. 

That said – if you will be spending more of your trip at the beach, I suggest taking many more of the suggestions below into consideration!!

little girl in yellow swimsuit playing on beach

I own every item in the image below, and truly love them.  Aside from the Beachmate and wagon we take everything EVERY TIME we go to the beach whether we are flying or driving.  I think when you travel, sometimes making room for the things that are really needed is smart no matter what it takes up space wise!

baby girl in pool float

I am working also working  on a pool favorites post,  but in the mean time – I wanted to share a baby pool float that we got for our baby girl this year that is a game changer!!

Honestly I am so mad we didn’t have it with our older 3 kids.  They can use it in several ways, and our baby girl LOVED it. 


baby girl in mint pool float

And now finally to the beach favorites !! I will update this post with new photos from our most recent trip to the beach asap too!

Beach favorites for kids and babies

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Baby Beach Must Haves

  1. Small shammy style towels are a must have. They take up much less room!!
  2. RePlay snack stackers for snacks
  3. If you don’t own a GoPod for your baby, get one!! It’s been our lifesaver item for 5 years!
  4. If you are taking food or not – Bring some collapsible containers with lids – you can use the containers and the lids as trays for your kids to eat on and keep sand out of their food.
  5. Baby powder helps get the sand off!
  6. As moms we almost always have our phones out and handy – this pouch will keep your phone dry and free from sand.
  7. A stroller fan to keep the kids cool (this one is battery operated which is what I prefer!)
  8. Gathre Mat – don’t question it!! this one is amazing!!
  9. Straw lid – this lid is seriously my favorite – you can add it to your swell bottle and it makes it a straw lid, so much more user friendly for the beach. 
  10. If you don’t want tot take a full on beach tent – this little thing allows you to put some water in the dip for a baby to stay cool without taking them in the water. 
  11. I have been team natives for YEARS for my kids and switched to these this year and am hooked. The soft heal portion make them less likely to give your kids blisters!
  12. Swell Bottles – this water bottle is amazing for outings because it keeps your drink cold, but also allows you to close it up and put it in your bag. 
  13. Bags for dirty diapers  or trash – but especially diapers!!!
  14. My Beachmate – seriously this thing is amazing.  Shovel holders, the compartments double as buckets, there is a cooler bag.  The fact that you can take everything in ONE TRIP is amazing.
  15. These small little towels are great for keeping yourself or your kids cool. Simply get them wet and put them on your neck and it will keep you/them so much cooler.
  16. Logan and Lenora bag and wet bags – these are the cutest bags and HUGE.  Size matters in beach bags with kids! And like I said above – these are great because they fold down super flat but the pockets work as wet bags, so I can keep our dry clothes away from anything wet and vise versa
  17. These silicone brushes help so so much in taking the sand off! (if you have a surgical sponge it also works great!)
  18. Collapsable buckets which will make your trip from the car much happier
  19. A beach tent is super great for keeping the sun off baby
  20. Sunscreen bar – a sunscreen bar is especially nice for your kids faces and ears.. the beach is not the place to miss anything.
  21. Veer Wagon – I used to have a different wagon on this post, but have now owned both and hands down recommend the Veer.  I have a full review here, but it has been our favorite “stroller” and we recently used it on a beach trip where we flew and I can’t say enough good things. 
baby and mom on gathre mat at beach | Baby and Toddler Beach Must Haves

Other Travel Posts

Below are some other travel posts that you might find helpful if you are beach bound in the near future! 

Tips Tricks and Hacks as well as my favorite items from Amazon for travel!

Road trip favorites with kids

Flying Favorites with kids

kids in Keenz stroller wagon | Baby and Toddler Beach Must Haves

Pin the Photo Below for later

Hopefully you feel more prepared for the beach with your kids, and you enjoyed my Beach favorites for kids and babies. Be sure to pin the photo below for later, and if you don’t follow me on Instagram (@arinsolange) follow along for more fun!

Beach favorites for kids and babies

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