Remember when hitting the beach meant throwing a towel, a water bottle, and your phone into a cute straw bag and spending the day relaxing in the sun and sand? 🤣
These days, going to the beach with the kiddos in tow can be a bit more... complicated. But we think it can also be a lot more magical, too. There are few things more memorable—or more adorable—than watching your babe dip their feet into the ocean for the first time or crawl happily through the sand. And although they might not be as relaxing as they once were, even science has proven that vacations make your kids happy long after they are over.
We've found the best way to conquer a beach day with our babes is to always come prepared. So if you're hitting the beach with your baby this year, mamas, don't stress—we've got you covered!
Here are the 15 things to pack to make your summer beach adventure a success.
We love mineral-based sunscreens for their safety + coverage, but they can often be tough to apply. Not the case with this one from Vivaiodays! It goes on easily and is perfect for sensitive baby skin. Water-resistant for 40 minutes, it's also reef-safe and protects babies and kids from both UVA and UVB rays.
A sun bonnet is a must-have for your day at the beach, and this one from Bebe au Lait is perfect for not only keeping the sun out of baby's eyes but the soft, breathable muslin helps to keep them from overheating.
Stashing a few toys in your bag will make sure your little ones stay busy at the beach all day. We can't get enough of this modern, minimalist twist on the traditional beach bucket and tools made from sustainable bamboo fiber—it makes collecting and pouring water so much fun!
Finding a shady spot for baby is key to a great day at the beach, but we'd be lying if we said we hadn't struggled with finding a beach tent that doesn't require an engineering degree to set up. Until we found this cabana—it's light, easy to carry, and 100% foolproof.
Brooklinen's new line of easy breezy Hammam towels are exactly what you want to bring to the beach with you this summer. Woven from Turkish cotton, but lined with terrycloth on the backside, the towels are super soft but also dry fast. And with their on-trend tassels, you're gonna be the hippest mama on the sand.
You know what will set off a baby tantrum fast? Sun-warmed water in their sippy cup. Keep a stash of icy cold H20 for the whole family in Welly's non-toxic BPA-free 28-ounce water bottle, which keeps liquids cold for 24 hours (and comes with an infuser for adding fruit for flavor!)
Feeling like you want to transport your fridge to the shoreline... just in case? We hear you, babies are demanding and fickle—sometimes they want grapes, sometimes they want yogurt, sometimes they want cheese sticks! Be armed with all of the possibilities by bringing Yeti's Tundra Haul cooler to the beach with you. Yeti is the granddaddy of luxe coolers and this newest version has two ultra-tough, puncture-proof wheels that can take on sand, rocky terrains, rugged trails and more—all while keeping up to 45 cans of beer (er, juice boxes and bottles) or 55 pounds of ice at freezer-esque temps.
Throw your towels, totes, buckets—and, oh yeah, your babes!—in here and your trip from the car to the sand will be smooth sailing. Bonus: The canopy has a UPF of 50, so nap time is made in the shade.
Confession: We are obsessed with these mats. Super easy to wipe clean and perfect for setting up a sand-free spot on the beach, these blankets have countless other uses when you're not spending the day at the sea. The best part? They come with a convenient storage bag!
If wrangling your little one into a towel doesn't sound like a fun way to spend your beach day, a hooded towel is the perfect solution. These double layer cotton beauties are ultra-soft, ultra-absorbent, and quick drying, so your littles will be warm in no time.
When you go to beach with baby, you're not likely to spend much time sunbathing. But you still need a superior sunscreen to protect you from the harsh rays and La Roche Posay's Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is one of the safest on the market. With an SPF 60, it recently scored a perfect score (100!) from Consumer Reports for the fifth year in a row.
Although disposable swim diapers are certainly an option, we think reusable ones are the better bet for both the environment and for your wallet. (They're pretty darn cute, too.) This one features snug-fitting legs to prevent leaks and comes in an assortment of great colors.
Wet bags are perfect for storing drenched, sandy bathing suits, but they're also great for containing snacks, packing an extra set of clothes, or more. We like to have a few in our beach bag for whatever the day may bring! This version has two compartments one for wet and one to keep dry things safely tucked inside as well.
Worried about what will happen if you hand your toddler a pair of sunglasses? With these shatter-resistant + ultra-flexible frames, you won't have to. They're not only great at keeping your little one's eyes safe from the sun's harmful rays, but they're virtually impossible to break. (We know, we tried!)
#Momhack alert: Rubbing sandy skin with baby powder is an easy, effective way to remove sand from your skin! We always stash a bottle in our bag for a day at the beach, especially when there are sand-loving littles in tow.
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[This was originally published June, 2019. It has since been updated.]