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13 Baby Beach Essentials

13 baby beach essentials

Heading to the beach with a baby and maybe a toddler? Then this list was made just for you!

The first time we took our firstborn to the beach beach (not the lake) she was 11 months old. We brought her to the Bahamas and while it was fun, there were a few things that would have made our trip easier.

When we brought the twins to the ocean for the first time, we definitely felt more prepared! Now that we've done several beach and ocean vacations with the kiddos, there are a few things we recommend to make your vacation the best beach experience ever.

1. Beach Tents

Depending on what type of beach vacation you want to have, will depend on which tent (or tents) work best for you. We brought our beach tent when we vacationed in Virginia Beach, and I'm so glad we did. The twins took a nap in the shade and we were able to enjoy the ocean without heading back to the hotel room early.

Large Beach Tents

This tent is one of our favorites for bringing to the beach. It's large, fits all of us when we're having lunch or snacks, and has great air flow so our twins could nap while we hung out.

Infant Beach & Water Tent

If you're looking for a way for your baby to enjoy the ocean without chasing them in the waves (which we've done, and we hate it), then this is the tent for you! Give them a taste of the water without worrying that they'll dive head first into it. Although I guess I can't promise you that they won't try to drink it...

Portable Baby Beach Tent

This beach tent is perfect if you're want something easy to carry around, but still want to protect your baby from the sun. This tent collapses down to a super small size!

2. Baby Life Jackets

We tried a few different life preservers, water wings, and jackets at our neighborhood pool before we took our kids to the beach. As it turns out, we only like one type. Baby water wings and swim vests didn't work for us at all. Honestly, we were more worried about our kiddos in the water when they wore them!

The only thing we like are life jackets. I trust that our kids are safe when they're wearing them, and I'm less anxious around the water when they have them on. I recommend finding something you like that works best for you and your family too!

baby in a yellow life jacket at the pool

3. Baby Floats

We have a few different baby floats that we've used at the pool and beach. For a single baby float, I highly recommend one that has shade to keep them covered while you're in the water. But if you're looking for something a little more portable, then I have you covered there too!

Covered Baby Float

We brought this baby float to the Bahamas with us, and used it in the pool almost every weekend at our apartment before we moved. We loved it for Skylar! And she had a great time playing with the toys while enjoying the water with us.

Small Baby Float

If you want something a little more compact, this pool float is for you! The cover comes off to make it easy to carry around, and it's easy for your baby to enjoy splashing in the water.

Twin Baby Float

This float works perfect if you have twins or multiple kids. We bought this float for our twins to use when we went to Minnesota for the summer, and then we brought it to Florida with us the next month. I wasn't sure how sturdy this float would be but it's actually amazing. All three of our kids were able to use it no problem! Our toddler jumped into the middle when we were hanging out at the pool and it stayed stable the entire time. It's your best bet for multiple kiddos!

twins in a twin float and a toddler sitting in the middle

Read about our Bahamas vacation and what essentials were important while traveling abroad with a baby!

4. Big Beach Blanket

The beach isn't the beach without a blanket to protect you from the sand, lol. I love the ocean, I hate having sand in my swimsuit. Like, hate hate it. So if you're like me even a little bit, then you'll want a sandproof, waterproof beach blanket. Nothing says ocean like less sand and water!

5. Beach Toys

The beach isn't the beach without toys! Amazon has some great toy options for kiddos headed to the beach. Both options come with bags to keep the toys in, which is ideal for moms who dislike rogue toys.

6. Mesh Beach Bags

Every time we go to the ocean I come back with a few more shells. Maybe you or your kids also like to collect shells or rocks? I never know how to store them when we're coming home, this bag is the solution!

mom with her twins at the beach in Florida, mommy and me pictures

Want a beautiful beach vacation? Consider Florida's Emerald Coast for your next adventure!

7. Baby Hats with UPF Protection

Headed to the water but wary of the sun? I was paranoid about our babies burning before we were able to use sunscreen on them. Keeping their heads protected eased my anxiety. Finding the perfect baby hat with UPF protection is the way to go.

8. Baby Swimsuits with UPF 50+

I swear, swimsuits for babies are the cutest thing ever! I love me some chunky baby thighs in a little swimsuit. The Ruffle Butts RuggedButts swim store on Amazon has the cutest baby swimsuits. And they all have UPF 50+ to protect your baby's sensitive skin from burning.

9. Reusable Swim Diapers

Swim diapers are perfect if you don't want to buy disposable ones. Using a swim diaper helps keep stuff in the diaper and not in the pool, while also reducing waste! This one is machine washable and comes in 6 different colors.

10. Baby Fan

Baby fans are great for hot days, whether you're at the beach or on a walk. They keep baby cool and easily hook to strollers or other objects. Pop one in your baby tent while they're napping at the beach.

11. Baby Shoes

In the Bahamas Skylar didn't wear baby shoes in the water, and the bottom of the pool cut up her toes when she crawled around. It killed me that she got hurt having fun!

So when we brought the family to Florida, we wised up and got everyone water shoes. I'm so glad we did! They wore them everywhere.

12. Toddler Sunglasses

Every baby looks cool in if only they would keep them on their face. The solution is to get sunglasses with a strap in the back. They can't take them off and it will keep their little eyes protected from the harsh sun.

toddler on a boat in sunglasses with a life vest on

13. Natural Sunscreen

Sunscreen is such a personal decision for most moms. It can be hard to find a product that works and is safe for your little one! We didn't use sunscreen for the first 6 months as directed, and we improvised with shaded floats, hats, sunglasses and long-sleeve swimwear.

When our babies were a little older, we slathered their skin to keep them from burning. This one worked well for us.

If you're headed to the water, I hope this list helps you out. We love vacationing to the ocean and lake with our kids. My husband and I grew up in Minnesota where everything is #lakelife! We are so used to living near lakes that we crave to be near the water. We literally can't go 6 months without heading back to the beach!

If you're headed to the water soon, leave me a comment and let me know where!

With Joy, Jessica


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