Are you planning a trip to the beach with your baby or toddler? It can be stressful to bring little ones to the ocean for the first time! Here are my Tips for Babies and Toddlers at the Beach, including everything you will want to purchase before you go!
Are you planning a trip to the beach with your baby or toddler? We just came back from a long weekend in Florida with two girls under 4 and things surely have changed since we first brought Annabelle as a baby. There are new contraptions for wrangling a little one on the run, a wider variety of kid-safe sunscreen, and fancy protective beachwear.
Here are Five Tips for Babies and Toddlers at the Beach
1. Start planning early.
Give yourself enough time to make lists and pack appropriately for your vacation with a baby or toddler. I find that when I’m rushing I end up forgetting essential items and then have to spend extra money purchasing them on our trip. Pack your kids’ clothing in packing cubes to keep everything organized and bring a few extra outfits/swimsuits in case of emergencies. Put together their bags a few days in advance so you can go back to make sure you don’t forget anything.
2. Protect baby’s skin from the sun.
My favorite brand for SPF protective sun/swimwear is UVSkinz. I love the one piece onesie sunsuit/swimsuit for Ailey because I know her arms and legs are covered. We also love UV Skinz hats as they shade her eyes while providing great facial coverage. For our little princess Annabelle, she just adores her ruffle swim skirt and matching shirt.
Don’t forget sunglasses and this amazing half beach umbrella too. If you are going to buy a beach tent, do NOT choose a light colored tent. It doesn’t block the sun like you think it should and it will be so hot inside.
3. Contain your baby at the beach.
There is only one way to keep your baby from eating sand at the beach… don’t put the baby down.
I have to give a shoutout to my best friend Kim for introducing me to this baby wrangling contraption – the KidCo GoPod Portable Baby Activity Station. We set the activity station right under the umbrella on the beach for Ailey and she loved it. There are hooks for toys, a cup holder, and mesh bowl built into the chair. This is one of the most important beach baby essentials!
The GoPod is easily washable and folds into a carrying bag. For younger babies, KidCo makes a portable sleeping tent. This is the perfect place to nap as its breathable and will protect your little one from the sand and sun.
Ailey was obsessed with the sand – touching it, kicking it, and especially eating it. We found it was best to keep her contained in the KidCo as much as possible.
4. Bring your own toys for the beach.
If you want to save yourself from having to buy overpriced beach toys, bring your own with you! Last year we made the mistake of leaving Annabelle’s bucket and shovel at home, so we had to purchase the most expensive plastic beach toys ever made (that were broken in a day). Melissa & Doug makes a fun baking beach toy set. Or you can bring a full beach toy set including watering can (which is a must) and sand molds.
5. Keep Your Toddler Safe in the Water
Annabelle loves to play in the ocean with her Daddy, but she doesn’t know how to swim yet. She has been wearing the Puddle Jumper for years and knows how to move around in it quite well. We would NEVER let her swim in the ocean or any water unsupervised, but it makes us feel better knowing she has something to keep her afloat. If you prefer a life vest, this one for kids is great.