What to pack for the beach with littles!
Going just about anywhere with a baby is challenging, let alone multiple babies! Then factor in the beach and it can be overwhelming. It can be anything but enjoyable for a mom at the beach when you don’t have some essential items for your baby. The hot sun, salty water, sand getting in their mouth and eyes! There are so many things to think about when packing for the beach.
This year, for the 4th of July, my husband and I decided the night before to do a family beach trip. Even with some disastrous things happen, like a fussy teething baby, and then baby throw up everywhere… we managed to have ourselves the most relaxing morning at the beach! I was so satisfied with everything that I packed for this trip that this is where the list started. On this day, since my husband went, we had more stuff to carry and we both had full arms! I do however, go to the beach on my own with my two girls, (almost 4 and 1) all of the time, so this list contains items from the simplified list and I can talk more about quicker beach trip with a lighter load to carry later in this post!
here is my go-to list of essentials to pack for the beach:
I’ll post the list along with the links to amazon here so you don’t have to scroll and I will explain when and why I pack each item below!
*Disclaimer* This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I know, this sunscreen is a little pricey. I live in Southern California, and I am out in the sun all the time and so are my babies! I wanted something that had zinc and that was mineral based. After doing some research about sunscreen, this is the one that I liked the best. I like that its a spray can, it makes it easier to spread the white lotion around. This is white strong sunscreen, but it works. When I am out on a typical day, and my daughters may be out in the sun for an hour or less, I don’t not put sunscreen on them. They end up getting some vitamin D in small amounts and never burn. I also always have hats with me and tend to put them in long sleeve rash guard swim suits with SPF. Therefore, I spent the money on a few cans of this and it has lasted us months and months because we only coat ourselves with it when we are doing beach days or parties or anything where we are exposed to harsh direct sun for multiple hours. The whole family used this in The Bahamas, and yes we were covered in white sunscreen, but we knew it was better for our bodies and no one got a burn!
Most of the time I end up needed to use one of these baby hats so that I can tie it under the chin and baby can’t take it off!! If I don’t have Babo Botanicals sunscreen coated on her little baby head, then I try and make sure she keeps a hat on. Tiny Trucker also has cute baby sized Trucker hats that work better for some babies.
I started using Water Wipes when Tomi was having some consistent diaper rashes when she was a newborn. I ended up loving them so much I never went back. They are really wet and are great for all types of diaper changes, cleanups, you name it! I have these on subscribe and save through amazon so we don’t have to worry about running out.
I have a few of these that I have gotten from the Target dollar section! I was also gifted these ones at my baby shower from a friend and they have been one of the best recommendations I have gotten for having two kids! While these are for storing wet swim suits, they also double as other things. I have used them as inserts for other bags. If packing multiple baby bags, but are using a normal tote bag, these an work to organize all of the baby stuff. Also, while we expect needing things like this for soiled baby clothes after a blow out, I have found I have had more accidents with my 3 year old have potty training regression accidents, than I have had baby blow outs! So for whatever life throws at you… it is nice to have spare bags to put dirty or wet clothes or items in!
We have been through quite a few beach blankets. I normally pack one of the Mexican blankets, a beach quilt we have, or a bunch of big towels.
This is the fan that I normally have clipped the the stroller on hot days. I also grab it when we are going to the beach. If baby or toddler start to over heat it is nice to be bale to cool them off quick.
We can never go to the beach without the beach toys! These are some of the more recently ones we have bought and the girls love them!
Having a beach wagon to carry all of this stuff is key!! One that is designed for the beach, with big wide wheels, will be crucial. When the wagon gets too full.. and we have stuff to carry as well, plus baby in an ergo and toddler running ahead of you, it can be impossible to get all of this gear down to the beach in one trip. So if I am going solo with the girls, I try to simplify the beach list and only bring what will fit in the wagon.
Whether you are feeding your baby with formula or expressed breastmilk or milk brining bottle to the beach is challenging! It was for sure easier when I was able to nurse her, but even then it is stressful to ensure your baby is fed, I get it! We see you mama! You’re doing great! When I was formula feeding, I would pack formula in a container (preferably an insulated one) but mainly I would just keep it in a cool place like the cooler or covered from the sun. And then pack either bottles with water or a separate bottle of water with empty baby bottles. This was a simple time in my life as I felt packing bottles was super easy! Yes formula is expensive and I was glad to be done with it, but boy was life convienient when she start drinking room temp formula bottles!! So now we have moved on to milk. Cows milk, Pea Protein, Oat Milk!? Thats cool mama! You do you! Whatever type of milk your little cherub drinks, I have found it works best to pack it in an insulated water bottle like a hydroflask. It keeps the milk cold and fresh and can be poured into empty baby bottles when it’s time to eat. I have made the mistake of forgetting about one in the car or something and it isn’t very fun to clean them out that way so I wouldn’t recommend waiting to rinse that out when you get home! Especially since hydro flasks can’t go in the dishwasher.
The lunch boxes that we use are from H&M Home and are no longer available. I am so in love with them, I will keep an eye out and post the link if they ever come back in stock. Until then, I have checked out Amazon and posted the link to one I would buy right now if I needed a new one for myself. We use these lunch boxes on a daily bases. I always grab one, throw a cold pack in the bottom, throw in some snacks and we are good to go. This is no different when we go to the beach only I will think of more long term, an actual lunch with snacks and foods that are good at the beach.
We have a bunch of these and it has become a daily routine to throw a few in a lunch box so we always have bottles and snacks with us.
The OXO potty is one of the most used toddler items for our family. We bring this thing everywhere and use it all the time. It fits easily in the back seat pocket of my stroller, or in the beach wagon, or its always in the back of the car when we need it! It’s a life saver! My daughter loves to touch everything when we use public restrooms, and some are more cringeworthy when that happens. I love having the option of popping open this little potty whenever.
When I ordered this beach tent, I thought it it was a popup tent. Even though they are tricky to close, I still like how quickly you get the tent set up with a pop open. It really only takes a few minutes and then take down it a lot easier too, I needed up keeping and loving this tent!!
Sometimes I go to the beach with just the kids during the week, and don’t have my husband to help carry things and babies. I don’t always set up the large tent. Sometimes I just bring the small baby tent. It is small and lightweight and if the baby needs a break from the sun, or a nap it is nice to have shade. This baby tent also zips up so it helps to keep sand out. When we do bring the big tent, I still grab this one, IF we are doing a longer day at the beach or if it falls when the baby will for sure need to nap. My baby isn’t big on sipping naps, she gets really fussy and wants her bottle and her bed and that’s that. Carli, my older daughter would just go rogue and play at the beach and nap later! Babies are all so different which makes packing lists for them that much more tricky!! Having this little tent really works out well for the way my baby girl Tomi is with naps right now and it has allowed up to have some relaxing beach days.