Baby · Holidays

The Best Beach Essentials for Babies and Toddlers (The Complete List)

Beach essentials for babies and toddlers are a MUST when it comes to exposing them to the beaming sun, sticky sand, and crashing waves.

As a someone who was born, raised, and still lives a few miles from the beach I can tell you a thing or two about summer fun and beach hacks for the entire family.

But as a beach mom, I can tell you even more about tried and true beach essentials for babies and toddlers that will make your beach visit a breeze (literally!).

My kids love the beach! Born and raised in South Florida they have had the luxury of enjoying one of God’s most beautiful gifts.

But, not without first making sure of a few important things:

  • We are all protected from the sun
  • They have the proper safety equipment
  • … and that we have the most convenient beach products to make our live easier

After many, many, many trips to the beach in my lifetime, especially with children I have narrow it down to my favorite beach essential for the entire family.

Next, we will cover beach essentials for babies and toddlers gathered from personal experience and customer reviews.

Best Beach Essential for Babies and Toddlers

The Complete list of beach essentials for babies and kids

1. Beach Bag

It all starts with a good, waterproof beach bag that can carry all the small beach essential items such as (diapers, wipes, sunscreen, phone, wallet, pacifier, etc.).

A great option is this Water-Resistant Large Tote Bag. What I love about it is that is not only spacious, but it comes in different beautiful designs which make it perfect for not only the beach, buy for the gym, to travel with, and even for daily use.

2. Sunscreen Lotion

Sunscreen lotion is the single most important beach essential for babies and toddlers.

However, not all of them are created equal as far as ingredient safety and UV protection.

Make sure check the top 5 best sunscreen lotions for kids (non-toxic and EWG certified).

But in summary, here are 2 of the best sunscreen lotions for babies and kids you will not go wrong with.

3. Swimwear and Beach Accessories

Beach swimwear is another important item in our “beach essentials” list.

As important and sunscreen lotion is for our little ones, so is the clothing they wear as they will also serve as protection from the sun.

Next is a list of the top swimwear for all ages and both genders.


RuffleButts Long Sleeve One Piece Swimsuit is perfect for Babies and toddler girls. With UPF 50 and its sun protective fabric, this swimsuit is ideal. In addition, it comes with a handy zipper which makes it easier for diaper changing. 

The RuffleButts swimsuit is not only efficient and adorable but it is also an Amazon Best seller, currently holding a perfect 5-star rating in customer reviews.

The Baby Boy One-piece Rashguard Swimsuit is a great choice for our little guys. It is made with sun protective fabric (UV protective  and UPF 50+) protecting the skin from 98% of UVA/UVB rays. It is also an Amazon’s Best Seller product.

The TFJH E Girls Swimsuit two-piece swimwear is UPF 50+ UV. It is available for ages 3-12 and it comes in different designs and colors. This TFJH E Girls Swimsuit is an Amazon Best Seller products and it has one of the best reviews for UV swimwear. 

The Boys Two-piece Rashguard Swimsuits from Sinoly is also an Amazon Best Seller. 

Boys Sun protective swimsuit fabrics are rated UPF 50+ and provide maximum UV sun protection by blocking 98% of UVA + UVB sun rays, wet or dry (as per the manufacturer).  They are also available in different style designs.

Water Shoes 

Oftentimes, specially here in South Florida, the sand is too hot to walk in. So, we always make sure the kids have water shoes they can wear if they want to.

In addition, most beach shore are full of sharp-edged shells that can hurt their tiny feet.

A great choice is the Water Shoes Quick Dry Non-Slip Toddlers by Bigib. It comes available for boys and girls. It is also an Amazon Best-Seller.


Hats also play an important part in our beach essentials for babies and kids list. That is because hats protect the sun from hitting the kids directly in their delicate faces.

The i play Flap Sun Protection Hat is perfect to block the sun from all angles. It is UPF 50+ and offers all-day sun protection for head, neck, and eyes. This is also an Amazon Choice products which means it is sold at great value and has great customer reviews (almost 3,300 to be exact).

4. Swim Diapers

If your baby or toddler will be getting wet during this beach visit, I recommend buying disposable swim diapers.

Unlike regular diapers, swim diapers don’t swell with water, which makes them more comfortable for our little ones to use. You can use these diapers year-round for the beach, pool, splash pads, or sprinkler fun!

5. Floaties

Floaties are definitely a beach essential for kids. When it comes to safety there is no compromise.

Even if you will be in the water with them, having floaties as an additional safety item is a smart-ideas.

The Jumper Deluxe Child Life Jacket for children from Stearns Puddle has the most (and best) Amazon Customer reviews. 

Some of its features include:

  • US Coast Guard-approved Type V/III life jacket for kids (certified for use on boats)
  • Adjustable buckle at the back offers a secure fit
  • Designed for children weighing 30 to 50 pounds
  • Learn-to-swim aid for beginners in the water

6. Cooler

No beach trip is complete without a cooler.

Talking about essential beach items for the entire family, how about a lightweight cooler with some refreshing, ice cold drinks and snacks!

The Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler is the one we have and love. It is an Amazon #1 New Releases in cooler. 

I love that it has cup holders and wheels. When walking to the beach, just put your beach bag on top of your cooler and you will have less to carry. Believe me, you will need as many free hands as you can get to manage the kid-craze at the beach!

With an ice filled cooler you pack:

  • water
  • juices
  • fruits
  • formula
  • deli meat
  • cheese
  • sandwiches
  • popsicle
  • … and more!

7. Beach Tent, Umbrellas, and Chairs

If you have been to the beach before you know how important it is to have something at hand that can shield you from the sun. Specially, if you have small children with you.

And, if you have never been to the beach before, then you will be happy you ran across this article.

There is nothing more relaxing that knowing you can spend some time at beach with the beach with the kids and not have to worry about finding shade. Because truly, there isn’t much of that at the beach anyways.

That’s where beach tents come in. They are great to:

  • lounge in
  • relax
  • put the baby down for a nap
  • have the kids eat a snack
  • protect the younger kids and yourself from the sun

What’s even cooler is that as the sun moves across the sky the tent will create even more share around it. That makes it a great place for the kids to spread their sand toys and play without having the sun beaming down on then constantly.

Our favorite tent and the one that we use, not only for the beach but to play in our backyard from time to time is the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL.

Some of it features include:

  • it has the fastest and easiest set up and take down of all beach tents on the market.
  • the Deluxe XL version is lightweight and compact, weighing just over 6 pounds and folding down to a travel size 
  • provides protection from the sun, rain and wind for all outdoor activities, UPF 50+ sun protection and 3 X-large windows for ventilation
  • fits 3-4 people
  • the beach tent has internal pockets to store personal items and hooks for hanging

It has nearly 2,000 Amazon reviews and an almost perfect 5-star rating.

My husband puts it together in minutes and to assemble is just as fast. Often times, we use our tent to play in the backyard and the kids LOVE IT!

However, if sitting on the floor of a tent is not your thing then you can also take a handy beach umbrella and a couple of beach chairs where you can lay back and relax.

8. Beach Towels and Blankets

No beach trip would make sense without taking, well… beach towels.

Talking about beach essentials, towels take the cake.

You don’t need anything fancy to dry the kiddos, you can just grab a house towel. However, they will love if their beach towels paid a tribute to their favorite character such as Princess Ariel and Mickey Mouse.


In addition, if you are looking for a beach blanket to spread across the sand and soak up the sun, here is a great one.

9. Inflatable pool

Depending on what beach you go to the waves might be too strong for the kids to play in the shore.

In addition, younger children such as babies and toddlers might not be able to freely enjoy the shore like the bigger kids.

Therefore, having an inflatable pool right by your tent will provide the younger ones with their own fun-filled pool.

What’s more, the older kids will have a blast filling up beach buckets with water to fill up the pool.

10. Portable Beach Fan 

Another important beach item when it comes to babies and toddlers is having a beach fan!

Although breezy, beach temperatures can make any beach experience unpleasant, especially when there are babies and toddlers involved.

Unlike adults who can easily jump in the water if they get to hot, babies and toddlers depend on items like fans, tents, and umbrellas to keep them cool and happy.

The best portable beach fan I can recommend is this Battery Operated Flexible Fan by Amacool.

This small and handy fan comes with a flexible tripod and legs. It is incredibly versatile and easy to clip in any position on most structures including strollers, crib, car seats, and more.

I love that it features a 360 degree angle and that it can be adjusted vertically and horizontally to any direction. It also comes with 3 speeds for different purpose and it has great reviews on Amazon.

11. Toys

What beach trip planning list would be complete without beach toys!

Beach toys are an all-time favorite of mine and now, well… my kids.

After all, beach fun is all about playing in the sand, building sand castles, and digging sand holes.

However, the last thing you want is another bag to carry.

So…. let’s take our beach toys in a super convenient backpack strip net bag.

The Click N’ Play 18-Piece Beach Sand Toy Set has everything your kids would want when playing in the sand:

  • bucket
  • shovels
  • rakes
  • watering can
  • and molds

AND when ready to go, they can simply help carry their toys by putting it on like a book bag. Win-win.

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In Summary

After many, many, many trips to the beach in my lifetime I can say that there is nothing like the sound of the waves and the ocean breeze in your hair.

However, once kids come in the picture beach fun is a little different.

We have to look out for their safety and well-being…. and our SANITY!

I hope this list has made it easier to narrow down on the best beach essentials for babies and kids which you can now add to your own list for years to come.

What beach essential for babies and toddlers have you found the most helpful?

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