baby sitting on beach in swim gear, baby and toddler beach essentials

Planning a summer visit to one of Cape Cod’s beautiful beaches? I’ve got your baby and toddler beach essentials covered! I tend to over-prepare and over-research for anything I do, and heading to the beach with a baby or toddler (or both!) is no exception. Here are my must-haves for a fun and stress-free beach day!

Don’t miss out! Download our free beach essentials packing list to make sure you have everything you need for a perfect day in the sun. Get your free packing list here!

Sun Protection

Sun protection is key for little beachgoers! Pack sunscreen, such as Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin, perfect for babies with eczema. Opt for a wide-brimmed hat with a chin strap; if your toddler or baby is up for it, consider sunglasses. UPF rash guards provide extra protection— you can buy them as separate pieces or in sets at Old Navy and Target.

Keeping Cool

Stay cool at the beach with a pop-up tent, providing ample shade—choose one with an open side for better airflow. Bring a mini portable fan for added comfort, perfect for beach days or any outings with your child.

Food + Drinks

Staying hydrated is crucial at the beach. Babies drinking milk may want to feed more, so make sure you have enough. For older kids, pack water bottles. To minimize sand sticking, opt for dry grab-and-go snacks like puffs, crackers, cereal, cookies, and applesauce pouches. Snack cups are handy so you don’t have to pack big boxes. Don’t forget a cooler with ice to keep your drinks cold!

In the Water

When it comes to water adventures, be prepared with essential gear. A puddle jumper or life jacket is critical for water safety. Don’t forget to pack swim diapers; I prefer disposable ones for easy removal. I often grab diapers from a local store, like Target or Walmart, to lighten the packing load if I’m traveling. Pack regular diapers (and a changing pad!) for non-water activities. Finally, water shoes are a game-changer on the beach and versatile enough for pools and splash pads.

On the Beach

Set yourself up for a stress-free beach experience with a few key essentials. Opt for a versatile beach blanket that doubles as a clean play area—this one is perfect for travel. The Hiccapop chair is a must for comfortable toddler seating; you can use it anywhere! If you’re staying in a rental, ask about available beach toys. Or, if you have room, consider packing your own!

Changing and Cleanup

Don’t forget about leaving the beach! Opt for hooded towels for added comfort and convenience. Consider bringing wet bags, which can pull double duty if anything is still damp when traveling. Choose a versatile tote bag that can do double duty for packing and travel, or find one that rolls up tightly for easy storage. These essentials will streamline your changing and cleanup at the beach.

Gearing up for a beach adventure with your little ones doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By packing these baby and toddler beach essentials and considering items that serve double duty for travel, you’ll set the stage for a stress-free and enjoyable experience. I hope these tips make your beach outing with a baby or toddler a breeze.

Need it all in one place? Don’t forget to download our free beach essentials packing list to make sure you have everything you need. Get your free packing list here!

Happy beach days!


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