As people who love the beach a lot, we have tried many things that will keep our baby and toddler occupied for our family fun time in the sun. There is nothing like getting to the beach and realizing that your day is going to have to be cut short because you didn’t plan for the youngest in your group.

Deciding what is needed without over packing is really hard for your first beach adventure with a baby or toddler.

This article is your ultimate guide to baby/toddler beach essentials so you can make sure you have everything you need and nothing you don’t!

Is a trip to the beach worth it with my young child?

Absolutely! With the right planning and kids beach gear, your family can enjoy a fun and relaxing day at the beach.

What should I consider packing for a day at the beach with a toddler or baby?

There are many items that you should consider when going to the beach with a toddler or baby. The most important is to remember items that will protect your child from the sun and keep them safe. The below toddler beach gear list will keep you covered on these items plus items to ensure you have a fantastic beach day.

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Best Beach Gear For Toddlers

Weather you are traveling near or far to the beach, making sure you have the best beach gear for toddlers or babies is essential. Kids beach essentials are about three things – sun protection, keeping cool, and having fun. Your toddler beach gear bag should be all around these beach essential too!

Sun Protection For Beach Day Essentials

When traveling to the beach for the day, make sure you are planning to protect your baby and/or toddler from the sun. These items should be added to your sun protection checklist for beach day essentials.

Zinc Sunscreen


  • Mineral sunscreen, no chemical active ingredients
  • Spf 50+ broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Paraben-free & fragrance-free
  • Sweat AND water resistant (80 minutes)

Average Rating: 5 Stars

Why do you need a zinc sunscreen?

A super high quality zinc sunscreen is an absolute must for any beach trip but even more so with toddlers. Their skin is still so sensitive and a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide is particularly important as it effectively blocks all parts of the UV spectrum and is even great for sensitive skin. — Recommended By Sophie From Baby, Toddler, & Kids



  • Zipper closure
  • UV One Piece Swimsuit/Sunsuit/Rash Guard/Swimwear
  • UPF 50+ Sun Protection Blocks 97.5% of Harmful UV Radiation
  • Front/Back Zipper with Flap for Protection.
  • Nylon/Spandex. Chemical-free Fabri

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

Why should you buy a sunsuit?

Sunsuits are specially designed to keep skin safe from the sun by covering more skin and offering UV radiation protection. This will reduce the risk of your child being burnt compared to a regular swimsuit. Sunsuits are available in a wide variety of designs, from favorite TV characters to animal scenes. You can choose between a short-sleeved or long-sleeved version depending on the outdoor temperature. — Recommended By Sylvie From Kids To Cornwall

Sun Hat


  • 100% Polyester
  • Pull On closure
  • Machine Wash
  • Extra neck coverage, stay-put tie strap
  • Quick-dry material for active play
  • Wicking liner for comfort

Average Rating: 5 Stars

How to pick a sun hat?

A high quality, UV-blocking sun hat ensures that faces, ears, and scalps don’t end up burnt. Not all sun hats are created equal, while there are some adorable choices out there, you will want to look for quality, by ensuring that there is a protective liner. The best sun hat is one that your child will actually keep on, so try a few to find the one that fits and stays on the best. — Recommended By Dani From Diapers In Paradise

Toddler Sunglasses


  • Composite frame
  • Composite lens
  • Scratch Resistant Coating coating
  • Lens width: 45 millimeters

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

A toddler beach essential in our family has always been toddler sunglasses that provide 100% UVA & UVB protection. As adults we wear sunglasses to protect our eyes, toddlers need their eyes protected also. I recommend buying toddler sunglasses that come with a removable strap to hold them in place securely and minimize the risk of losing the sunglasses while at the beach. — Recommended By Ingrid From Christmas Time Made Easy

Water Shoes


  • Rubber sole
  • High Quality Fabric Material
  • Rubber Outsole & Foot Safety
  • Smooth neck design prevents scratching when wearing

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

Why does water shoes make the toddler essential list?

Water shoes are basically shoes for the beach/water and protect feet from the sun. They are designed to be worn without socks in the water and on slippery environments like rocks. Water shoes are perfect for exploring beaches that are rocky, have shells, and/or black sand. They also work well for any beach as you never know what is under the water where your toddler is stepping. — Recommended By Suzi From Survey Suzi

Pop Up Beach Tent


  • UPF 50+ UV defence material which provides sun protection
  • Pop-Up Technology
  • Sturdy design, external sandbags, and included tent stakes
  • Measuring at 65″ x 59″ x 43″ when pitched
  • Weighing just over 2lbs
  • Stores in a 17″ x 17″ x 1.5″ beach bag

Average Rating: 5 Stars

Should you add a pop up beach tent to your beach must haves for toddlers?

A pop up beach tent is a handy travel essential especially when planning your beach adventure with kids. It acts as a semi sheltered place and helps protect your child from the scorching sun. If the baby or toddler is tired from playing in the sun, water and sand, they can also taken a quick nap inside the beach pop up tent. Pop up tents are lightweight, easy to use and are usually sturdy against winds. One of the important factors to look for in a pop up beach tent is the type of UV protection the tent provides. — Recommended By Anuradha From Country Hopping Couple

Keep Cool With These Baby/Toddler Beach Essentials

Like everyone else, we love our beach days. What is more fun than hanging out in the water and hunting for seashells? In addition to protecting you and your kids from the sun, make sure your beach day essentials include items that help keep your family cool.

Spill Proof Cup


  • Premium insulated, vacuum sealed stainless steel cup
  • Keeps drinks cool for 15 hours
  • Spotless 360 Degree drinking edge
  • Includes on-the-go cup lid
  • Cup automatically seals when a child stops drinking
  • Top rack dishwasher safe

Average Rating: 5 Stars

Why should you add this best spill proof cup to your beach must haves for kids?

Hydration at the beach is very important, especially for the young beach visitors. My favorite spill-proof cup for toddlers is the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup. It is actually spill-proof and the handles are great for toddlers to use. The 360 in the name is because the drinking edge is the entire cup. It automatically seals when your toddler is finished drinking to keep the sand out! — Recommended By Jennifer from FamilyTripGuides

Baby Pool For Beach


  • UPF50+ Protection
  • Mini pool with lovely ocean animal pattern
  • Easy Pop-Up & Portable
  • Wind-resistant & Ventilated

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

Why should you add a baby pool for beach into your gear bag?

It may seem a little silly to take a paddling pool to the beach, but it’s one of the most useful baby / toddler toys when it comes to family beach days on the sand! Packing a blow up pool takes very little space in your beach bag, and a small one can be blown up in minutes. Once assembled, use a bucket to fill it with water from the sea and your toddler will happily play for hours, safely by your side. Little blow up paddling pools aren’t just for trips to the beach either, so you can be sure you’ll get plenty of use out of yours in the backyard this summer too! — Recommended By Nadine From The Zero Waste Memoirs

Portable Fan


  • USB or Battery Powered
  • Powerful and Quiet
  • Flexible Tripod: Small fan with upgraded silicone flexible tripod
  • Cute Octopus Design

Average Rating: 4 Stars

Is a portable fan something you should add to your toddler / baby beach essentials?

Grab yourself a small portable fan that will easily clip on to the side of your pop up tent or the arm of your beach chair. This little bit of breeze will help keep your kiddo cool while playing in the sand. Another benefit that these fans produce is that they help keep bugs away from your little one since flying bugs have a hard time attempting to land when being blown by a breeze. — Recommended By Tiffany From Mommy And Me Travels, also check out our guide on the best airline strollers

Have Fun With Your Kids On The Beach

Family beach days are a great way for you and your kids to spend some fun family time together. You can taylor your days activities to ensure fun for everyone in your group. We have gathered the below items that will help you plan this kids beach day.

Travel Playpen


  • Portable and Foldable Design
  • Mesh Cloth Design & Zipper Door
  • Removable and Washable Mattress
  • Overall Size – 45.5L x 31W x 27H inches
  • Carrying Bag Size – 23.5L x 7W x 20.5H inches

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

Why is a travel playpen is a must have beach day essentials?

When going to the beach with a toddler, a good travel playpen can be considered an essential item. After hours of playing on the sand and in the sea, it will result in a very tired toddler and you might not want to head back to your accommodation for nap time, especially if you’re there with older kids as well. Thanks to the playpen, you’ll have a place to put your little one down for some rest. An awesome feature on some travel playpen is the addition of a mosquito net and/or a shade, which is very useful when going to the beach. — Recommended By Babs From Moms On Flip Flops

Baby Powder


  • 100% NATURAL

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

Does baby powder really work to get sand off feet?

Our favorite beach hacks for visiting with kids (and even without) is taking a small tub of baby powder with our beach necessities. Sprinkle a generous amount into your hands and rub it over the sand on your legs, feet and arms. Baby powder removes moisture from the skin which means the sand will brush right off easily. When you are getting ready to head home and don’t want to trek bucketloads of sand into your car and all over the car seats, the baby powder is the perfect solution! You will wonder how you ever went to the beach without it! — Recommended By Holly From Four Around The World

Beach Wagon


  • Wagon cart outside dimensions approx 34.3″lx20″wx26.4″h
  • Ground to the top of the handle is 38.6″
  • 7″x 4″ thick wide solid wheels

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

What is the best way to transport beach stuff for kids?

A beach wagon is a total game-changer for this mom of three kids that knows first-hand how much gear families have to take to a beach. We went from arguing about who was going to carry things (and the kids HATED carrying things so it always caused a fight) to being able to load everything into the wagon and hitting the sand in a much better mood. Things to consider when shopping for a beach wagon are the weight limits it can carry, how large the wheels are, how easily it turns and what size it folds down to. Once you’ve experienced the convenience of owning a beach wagon, you’ll never go back to not having one! — Recommended By Karen From Smart Steps To Australia

Toddler Beach Toys


    • Premium & Durable Materials
    • Ideal for Outdoor Fun
    • Perfect for Little Hands

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

What are the best beach toys for toddlers?

When we go to the beach, we never go without beach toys. Usually, we take a bucket, a shovel, a sand sieve, and a couple of sand molds. My daughter loves her bucket and shovel to build sandcastles or just dig huge holes that will fill up with the waves coming in. She also has a couple of sand molds that she loves. When the sand is mixed with little rocks, she also sieves it to get “soft sand” and “hard sand” – very important in her world. With these beach toys, she can keep herself entertained for hours and I get to enjoy some quiet beach time with my book. — Recommended By Eva From Kids And The Outdoors

Swim Diapers


    • Inner material is 100% Polyester
    • Small vents, breathable, soft, easy to clean
    • Outer material is 100% PUL polyester cloth

Average Rating: 

Do I need to buy swim diapers for our family beach day?

Swim diapers, whether cloth or disposable, are an absolute necessity when heading to the beach or pool with a toddler/baby. Unlike regular diapers, swim diapers aren’t designed to absorb water, but rather to let it pass and contain any solids. Make sure to bring along at least 2-3 pairs, and change just before time to get into the water. Don’t try to substitute a traditional diaper, as they are designed to absorb liquids and will quickly fill up rendering them useless and uncomfortable. — Recommended By Kristin From Snorkel And Hike

Large Towel That Packs Small


    • Light weight and compact
    • Fast dry towel
    • Carry bag included

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars

What is the best beach towel for toddlers?

A large towel that packs small is essential when going to the beach for a day with your toddler. A large towel is great for sitting on the sand, drying off quickly, keeping warm, and helps to protect you from the sun. The packing small part is key. Typically towels are one of the most bulky items that are included in your kids beach essentials. You can reduce the bulk, and the number of trips to and from the car, by having a large towel that packs small. — Recommended By Clara From Petite Capsule

Wet / Dry Bag


    • Fashion & Durable
    • 2 Zippered Design
    • Lightweight & Easy to Carry
    • 3 Size, Enough Space

Average Rating: 4 Stars

What are the best bags for the beach?

Wet / dry bags are small and light bags. They have two compartments that close with a zip, and the larger compartment guarantees complete waterproofing. On the beach they are perfect at the end of the day to separate the wet swimsuit from the rest. If, on the other hand, you have much more wet than dry things, beach towels, games, and more, you can also put your personal effects, such as wallets or mobile phones in the dry / wet bag and put everything else in the beach bag to ensure that they will not be damaged. — Recommended By Clotilde from A Princess Travelling with Twins

Toddler Beach Essentials - Everything You’ll Need For A Day On The Beach With Kids

Wrap Up Of Toddler Beach Essentials – Everything You’ll Need For A Day On The Beach With Kids

I hope you enjoyed our guide on toddler beach essentials and now are ready to hit the beach with your little ones and start building those lifelong family memories. Do you have other items that make your family beach days more enjoyable? Share them in the comments below so we can all see them.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on some great Caribbean family vacations, why not read my guide on the best Caribbean resorts for families or you can find my guide on the best travel strollers that fit in airline overhead bins here. You can also read my top tips on planning your family travels here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook Group: Little World Adventure Travelers yet then don’t wait. You will get to hear about all types of places around the world and ask questions to make sure you aren’t missing anything as you take off to build your next family adventure.

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