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Our Go-To Packing List for Beach Trips with a Baby

What do I need to pack for a trip to the beach with my baby or toddler? It’s SUCH a popular question because baby’s first trip out to the sand and water can be nerve-wracking for any new parent! We want your day in the sun to be all about fun and super low stress, so we suggest getting as organized as possible pre-trip. Make your list, check it once, check it twice, pack it up and get ready to have a blast with your family.

Wagons are a wonderful mode of transportation for the beach. They not only carry your kid(s), but they can also lighten the load by holding some of your heavier or bulkier items like floats, coolers, and towels. See why we love this luxe option. I like to look for a wagon with a canopy for added sun protection. Pad the bottom with a towel for extra comfort and place these mini portable baby-safe fans around the edges for added airflow and breeze.

Speaking of your cooler, I actually like to keep the adult cooler separate from the kid cooler. These freezable cooler bags are amazing for cold baby and kid snacks because they don’t take up extra space with ice packs. Fill yours with age-appropriate foods and snacks small containers (I love these) and bento-style boxes for grab-and-go tummy satisfiers. Remember to help the whole family stay extra hydrated, stainless steel bottles and sippy cups are excellent for keeping drinks cold and fresh.

Now onto the beach bag. Choose the largest bag you can bear, because beach items add up quick! This oversized option is excellent because of its water-resistant material and multiple zippered pockets.

Oversized Carry-All ToteOversized Carry-All Tote

I try to stay organized by separating items into smaller wet bags and pouches. I love a bag in a bag! Here’s my go-to formula:

Vacation Swim BagVacation Wet Pouch

  • Parent Pouch: Have a dedicated place for your watch, phone, keys and wallet. A water-resistant option is ideal.
  • Dry Snacks: I keep a supply of fruit leathers, dried veggie chips, dried fruits, and applesauce pouches in a lined lunch bag. These little bags are super fun to use in place of disposable plastic bags.
  • Dry Clothes: A spacious dual-compartment pouch like this one is ideal for clothing items. Stash a change of clothes or two and spare bathing suit to swap for wet or soiled suits and clothes.
  • Sunscreens: I like to keep them all together in a gallon-sized bag or large reusable pouch. Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is so important and I like to have all of our baby-safe and adult sunscreens on hand at all times. Keep them in their own bag to contain potential spills.
  • Diapers: I prefer to use a dual-compartment pouch for diaper duty as well. Leave one compartment empty for the inevitable soiled diapers to keep your collection of wipes, swim diapers, and regular diapers clean and protected.
  • Accessories: Sun hats, lightweight muslin swaddles, and sunglasses stay sand-free in a reusable pouch of their own.

A great beach blanket is key for successful playtimes. This parachute-like one is my favorite! It’s incredibly lightweight, packs up small, stays put thanks to pockets you fill with sand to act as weights, and brushes clean very easily. Layer this larger beach blanket with a fun playmat for smaller babies that may need extra comfort. This one is hands-down adorable and super simple to keep clean. Plus, hello amazing backdrop for beach pics!

Seaside PlaymatSeaside Playmat

Inexpensive, mesh bags like these are wonderful for carting beach toys, floats, and swim vests to and from the beach. Excess sand and water slip right out of the holes preventing mold growth and sandy messes.

Mini pop-up tents and blow up baby pools are also favorite items of parents to help keep their kiddos cool while enjoying the beautiful beach. Important: Follow the product’s directions very carefully about staking and weighing down the tent. To be extra careful, avoid use when it’s windy. You get the best of both worlds with this genius product that is a mom favorite! But, of course, if you put your baby in any sort of water to not take your eyes off them!

If you can get your little one to enjoy a quick cat nap then you may benefit from some added white noise from this portable sound machine—I never leave home without one and a baggie of extra batteries. And remember, sun and clouds move fast, so keep a very close eye on sleeping babies and children and encourage air flow with multiple portable fans and shade with tents, canopies and lightweight muslin swaddles. It can get hot in there fast!

Pop-Up Beach Tent with PoolPop-Up Beach Tent with Pool

And, of course, don’t forget an adorable baby bathing suit! So trust us, yes, you can do the beach with the baby. Yes, you can have a good time! Get as prepared as possible on the front end, and do all you can to enjoy a stress-free time with your sweet family at a beautiful beach.

Note: This post is written with 6+-month-old babies in mind. Please consult your pediatrician for professional advice on baby and child sunscreens as well as safe sun best practices.

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What to Pack for Baby at the Beach