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 baby 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 best products for taking baby to the beach, guaranteed to make your summer 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 Bare Republic! The baby-friendly applicator ensures that it goes on easily and is perfect for sensitive baby skin. Water-resistant for 80 minutes, it's also reef-safe and protects babies and kids from both UVA and UVB rays.
Confession: We are obsessed with these mats from Little Unicorn . 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. They come in a variety of gorgeous patterns, but the best part? They fold up into a convenient envelope shape with an easy-to-carry strap—no extra bag to chase after down the beach!
A sun bonnet is a must-have for your day at the beach, and this one from iPlay by Green Sprouts is perfect for not only keeping the sun out of baby's eyes but offers 50+ UPF protection and comes in tons of great colors. ( Looking for more choices? Check out our round-up of the best sun hats for babies and toddlers! )
If you're looking for a one-stop shop, the Hape beach toy essential set is it. Not only does it include 11 high-quality BPA-free sand toys, but they're all conveniently packed up in a mesh backpack that even a toddler can carry. (And if you need more, check out our sand toy round-up !)
Worried about what will happen if you hand your toddler a pair of sunglasses? With these shatter-resistant + ultra-flexible frames from Weefarers, 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!)
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. (Check out more options in our beach tent round up !)
Teema's line of easy-breezy Turkish towels are exactly what you want to bring to the beach with you this summer. Woven from Turkish cotton, 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 Hydroflask's non-toxic BPA-free 40-ounce water bottle, which keeps liquids cold for 24 hours. (And if you're looking for a bottle that's all theirs, these are our favorite stainless steel water bottles for little ones .)
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.
If wrangling your little one into a towel doesn't sound like a fun way to spend your beach day, a hooded poncho is the perfect solution. These bamboo + 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 from the basics masters at Primary 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.
#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.]