28 Tips for Going to the Beach with a Baby

Since having a baby, our vacations have drastically changed. Now, beach trips are dictated by nap times, making sure to pack enough snacks and toys, and finding the closest playground.  

As much as I always hope that it will be a stress-free, relaxing trip, it doesn’t usually end up that way. Still, it’s enjoyable to get away every once in a while, and now to experience the joy and excitement through a child’s eyes makes beach trips that much better.

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Can you take a Newborn to the Beach?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t have an official age recommendation for when babies can go in bodies of water like oceans, lakes, and rivers, but most pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is about 6 months old or can hold their head up well on their own (around 4 to 5 months).

That being said – you CAN take your newborn to the beach, if you are careful, follow recommendations and try these tips!

How Hot is Too Hot for a Newborn?

What outside temperature is too hot for a baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests parents avoid taking babies outside for long periods of time if the heat index is greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do I need to take a Newborn to the Beach?

Taking a newborn to the beach requires special care and attention to ensure their safety and comfort. Here are some essential items you should consider bringing:

  • Sun Protection: Newborns have delicate skin and are susceptible to sunburns. It’s crucial to bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and mineral-based sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Shade: Bring a beach umbrella or pop-up tent to provide shade for your baby. This will also help keep them cool and comfortable.
  • Lightweight Clothing: Dress your baby in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric like cotton. Avoid synthetic materials that can trap heat.
  • Diapers and wipes: Bring enough diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream to last the day. It’s also a good idea to bring a plastic bag to dispose of dirty diapers.
  • Feeding Supplies: If your baby is bottle-fed, bring enough formula, bottles, and clean water. If you’re breastfeeding, bring a nursing cover or find a private spot to breastfeed.
  • Blankets and towels: Bring soft, lightweight blankets to lay on the sand, and towels to dry off your baby after a dip in the water.
  • First Aid Kit: Bring a small first aid kit with items such as antiseptic wipes, bandages, and baby pain relief medicine.
  • Water and snacks: Keep your baby hydrated and fed throughout the day with plenty of water and snacks like cut-up fruit or crackers.

Remember to check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly. Avoid the hottest parts of the day and keep your baby well-hydrated. Keep an eye on your baby and never leave them unattended.

Tips for Having Infants at the Beach

Since our first beach trip, I’ve learned a few things that will make life easier when you’re toting a baby to the ocean.  Although this may involve carrying many items on and off the beach, it will make your experience more enjoyable.

Here are a few tips to maintain your sanity on a beach vacation with your little one.

1. Stay as close to the beach as possible

If you’re staying overnight or planning a whole beach vacation, plan on staying as close as you can- preferably an oceanview room with a balcony.

Depending on how old your baby is will dictate how long and when he/she needs naps and if they will easily nap on the beach or not.  Not only does staying on the beach make it easier to lug all the equipment to your sunny spot on the beach, it allows you more freedom to bring your child inside for naps.  

Along with bringing the baby in for naps comes being stuck in a hotel room at 1 pm on a sunny, summer afternoon which is never fun, unless you really just want to catch up on work or some reading.  The suggestion for a balcony oceanfront room allows you to still enjoy the beautiful views and feel like you’re on vacation while not being in all the action.

2. Bring an Inflatable Pool & Bucket

If your baby is at least sitting up, they will thoroughly enjoy sitting in the water with some water toys.  It will keep them cool, occupied, and best of all out of the sand.  

You also want to bring a large bucket to be able to bring the ocean water to fill up the pool.  The bucket will also double as a toy once they’re standing because babies love water play!  Just through some toys in there and they’ll love splashing in the water.

Related Post: 11 Tips and Ideas For Being Outside With A Baby

3. Use Baby Powder or Corn Starch to Get Off Wet Sand

This trick really works! We all know sand can be such a pain to get off.  I still will find sand in my bags and on my living room floor days after we have gone to the beach.  

Baby powder and corn starch both work great to get wet sand off of the baby and make it easier to clean them up.  Wet sand is impossible to clean off so these items help dry out the area so it wipes clean easily.

4. Sand Toys in a Mesh Bag

If you’re going to the beach with a baby, you’ll absolutely need some sand toys. There’s no need to splurge on expensive toys as the sand and water offer more than enough stimulation for them.  

All they need is a small bucket, shovel, and maybe a little watering can and they’re good to go!  A mesh bag to store them in also allows the sand to sift out once you’re finished instead of allowing it to just sit in the bag making a mess. This set of sand toys even comes with a mesh bag that’s also a backpack.

5. Portable Playard

This piece of baby gear is probably one of my most used gadgets, especially in the summer. The Summer Infant Pop n Play can be used indoors and outdoors, but I love it, particularly for outside play.

A playard with a canopy is perfect for the beach if you have active, crawling infants. This way they can stay put and you don’t have to worry about your baby getting onto the sand. The Summer Infant Pop N Play also folds up so conveniently and is portable enough to bring on and off the beach. It pops open in seconds with just a quick pull.

6. 2 piece bathing suits with SPF/UPF

When buying bathing suits for your baby, remember that 2 pieces are the best way to go. When removing a wet swimsuit for a quick diaper change, a 2 piece will make it a lot easier on you. Some of the one-piece swim suits for boys have a snap closure on the bottom which also makes for quick changes.

Also, be sure that the bathing suits have a UPF index. This is similar to SPF that you are familiar with for sunscreens, but is a measure for the UV rays that can penetrate through a fabric.

Although you may be thinking that you don’t have to put sunscreen on your baby’s body because they’re wearing a swimsuit, it may not be giving them all the safe coverage that you think unless it has SPF. Here is an example of a bathing suit that 2 pieces and offers UV protection.

Related Post: 11 Tips and Activity Ideas for Being Outside With a Baby

7. Swim diapers & extra regular diapers

These are necessary even if your baby is just playing close to the water, with a bucket of water, or near a baby pool. As soon as you splash those regular diapers with water, they expand. So if your baby dumps a bucket of water on himself, he’ll be drenched and uncomfortable. Buy a pack of disposable swim diapers to use during water play or try these washable and reusable swim diapers.

Also, don’t forget to bring regular diapers! You want to put them in a regular dry diaper in between swimming so they’re not sitting in a soaked diaper for too long.  This will cause a diaper rash. So if your baby is ready for a break from the pool to eat a quick snack, switch them into a dry diaper and have a spare swim diaper for a second round in the pool or ocean if needed.

8. A Bucket and a Watering Can

Sometimes there’s no need for fancy, expensive toys and a child will just be happy with simple everyday tools and objects. Providing them with a watering can and a bucket will give them lots of opportunities for imaginative play. They’ll have so much fun filling and dumping buckets.

9. Let them eat sand!

On our first 5 or 6 beach trips, we tried to keep our daughter from even touching the sand. This was mostly because she was at the phase of putting everything in her mouth and we didn’t want her eating sand, but also because we just didn’t want to deal with a cranky, messy, and sandy baby.  

We learned just to embrace the disaster that is kids & sand and realized, how is she going to learn not to eat the sand if she doesn’t first eat the sand?  

It worked great because after a few handfuls in her mouth, without us slapping her hands away, she realized yuck- I guess this isn’t for eating.  Sand is also such a great sensory experience for little ones for them to touch and feel different textures which feeds my soul as an OT.

10. Small Tent for Naps

Planning a beach vacation with your baby or toddler? Make it more manageable and enjoyable with these tips and enjoy your trip.

If your baby is still on the younger side, you may be able to get them to nap on the beach.  Make sure there is a cozy, shaded area for them to lie in. Something like this tent could help out a lot.

11. Sun Protection

Planning a beach vacation with your baby or toddler? Make it more manageable and enjoyable with these tips and enjoy your trip.

A baby’s skin is much more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make sure to always practice safe sun protection.

  • Put a wide brimmed hat on your baby
  • Apply Safe Sunscreen (ThinkBaby) 30 minutes before exposure so it has time to let the ingredients soak into the skin and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Avoid high noon hours when sun is strongest: 10am-2pm
  • Keep all skin and body protected. Wear a rash guard, dress baby cool, and use muslin blankets
  • Keep baby in shade or under an umbrella or canopy

Related Post: Are You Using the Safest Sunscreen For Your Baby?

12. Tent or Umbrella

Bringing a lightweight pop-up tent or umbrella will help give both you and baby shade because we wouldn’t want them out in the heat for too long.

Related Post: 19 Summer Must-Haves for Your Baby

13. Lots of Snacks

Finally, a time and place when you can not get so upset about your baby being such a messy eater. Give your baby all the messy foods they want because you don’t really have to worry about cleaning it up!

Obviously, you want to adhere to their feeding and snack schedule, but pack extra in case they start to get cranky.  You can never pack too many snacks! Watermelon, ice cream (if there’s an ice cream truck nearby), popsicles, and applesauce are all great foods that they can practice self-feeding without making a mess inside. A cooler bag is a great addition to keep the snacks cool!

14. Rolling Wagon or Beach Caddy

When you’re going to the beach with a baby, a caddy is a lifesaver. You’ll absolutely need this with all of the things you have to bring for the whole family.

15. Leave the Diaper Bag at Home

Consolidate everything into a beach bag or you’ll just wind up bringing home tons of sand in your diaper bag and finding it in there weeks later. A mesh beach bag is your best bet to let the sand fall through the openings.

16. Portable Fan and Spray Bottle

Planning a beach vacation with your baby or toddler? Make it more manageable and enjoyable with these tips and enjoy your trip.

These spray bottle fans have come in handy so much for me and baby! A quick little spritz and the nice breeze from the fan are a perfect way to cool off if you can’t make it into the water.

17. Bubbles

You want to be able to keep your baby entertained on the beach and bubbles are a fantastic way to do just that. Blow bubbles around your baby and watch them swat at them and be in all their glory while watching the bubbles float around in the sky.

I love using the long bubble wands that make extra large bubbles that stick around longer.

18. Keep them hydrated

It’s so important to keep your baby hydrated on those hot summer days. Always make sure you have a sippy cup of water with them (over 6 months) or plenty of milk/formula. They can’t tell you when they’re thirsty or not feeling well so it’s up to you to keep feeding them liquid.

19. Baby Beach Chair


This chair is perfect for the beach with its 3 different growth stages (including leg holes for younger babies who can’t sit up yet!), intuitive design, and canopy to keep the sun off baby! I wouldn’t head to the beach without it!

20. Baby Float


While not everyone will decide to get into the water with their infant, if you do – having a float can be handy! A baby float works great in calm, shallow waters under the supervision of parents or guardians on the beach. There are lots of options for baby floats including some that come with a cover to protect the baby from the sun and from small splashes while they’re in the ocean.

21. Beach or Sand Shoes


Sand can be hot and scratchy, having shoes that are designed to be in the water and/or walk in the sand are a perfect addition to your infant beach day!

22. Infant Sunglasses


Your little one can sport stylish sunglasses while at the beach, providing protection against the harsh rays of the sun while also making a fashionable statement. To prevent the sunglasses from falling off while your baby is playing in the sand or water, it’s recommended to choose options with straps.

23. Beach Blanket


When you’re planning a beach outing with your kids, it’s crucial to pack beach blankets or towels, especially if you’re taking your baby with you.

These essentials are useful for laying out on the sand to keep your little one cool and comfortable, and towels will come in handy when drying off after a dip in the water.

You can also utilize blankets or towels underneath tents or umbrellas to provide shade and reduce sand exposure for your baby.

Most towels and blankets specifically for the beach are excellent at repelling sand as well – making them the perfect choice!

24. Waterproof Carrier Wrap


A waterproof baby carrier wrap could quickly become your go-to item for the beach after just one use. It’s ideal for taking your little one for a refreshing swim in the ocean or a leisurely walk along the shore while they nap.

With a waterproof carrier, you can keep your baby snug and secure without the need for a bulky carrier seat or stroller. It’s a convenient and hassle-free way to enjoy the beach with your baby.

Even More Tips for Having Infants at the Beach

If you’re planning a trip to the beach with your infant, here are some tips to make it a fun and safe experience for both you and your baby.

25. Set a Sunscreen Timer

It’s easy to overlook, but having a timer can be a useful tool in remembering to reapply sunscreen at the beach. Check the instructions on your sunscreen bottle for the recommended time intervals and set your timer accordingly.

A timer on your phone or watch can be a simple yet effective solution to help keep you and your baby protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

26. Keep Your Water Spray Bottle in the Cooler

Bringing a spray bottle filled with cool water to the beach can also be helpful. Keep it in your beach cooler alongside your supply of milk and water, and use it to stay cool and refreshed throughout the day with your baby.

27. Stick to Shallow Water

Choosing the right beach can make a big difference in your beach day with your baby. Although it’s important to supervise your little one at all times, selecting a family-friendly beach with calm and shallow water can help parents feel more comfortable.

Opting for a beach with shallow water will also make it easier to introduce your baby to the ocean, even if it’s just dipping their toes in for the first time.

28. RELAX!

When spending a day at the beach with your family, it’s crucial to remember to relax and have fun. After all, the beach is a place to unwind and enjoy quality time with loved ones, including your little one.

When you’re calm and composed, it’s likely that your baby will feel the same way, allowing everyone to have an enjoyable day in the sun.

. . . . . . .

If you’re going to the beach with your baby, definitely keep some of these tips and must-haves in mind. It will make your time much more enjoyable!

Planning a beach vacation or just a day trip with your baby or toddler? With the sand, sun, and ocean a huge factor with children, make it more manageable and enjoyable with these tips and enjoy your trip.
Planning a beach vacation or just a day trip with your baby or toddler? With the sand, sun, and ocean a huge factor with children, make it more manageable and enjoyable with these tips and enjoy your trip.



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