packing for the beach with a toddler

How to pack for the beach with a Toddler/Infant

how to pack for the beach with a toddler

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Going to the beach…what used to be such a relaxing vacation before kids now has turned into a job! Gone are the days of reading a book on the beach drinking a cold beverage listening to the peaceful waves. Enter the copious amounts of beach gear and toys and constantly reminding a tiny human that sand is not to eat. BUT fun can be had with toddlers on the beach,  you just have to be prepared!! A little prep makes a stressful day at the beach into a more enjoyable vacation. Living in North Carolina our family takes several beach trips each year, we love the beach and have some tips and products that are a must for our family at the beach.

Here are some of our favorite beach products:

1. Beach Wagon

How to pack for the beach with toddlers | Surviving the beach with babies|  gracelee gifted
Click the picture for the link to this beach wagon!

We lived without this one for a while but it was the best beach purchase we have made (besides the tents).

My poor husband was taking multiple trips back and forth to the beach for tents and chairs and coolers …now he can pack the wagon full and we can make it to the beach in one trip!

2. Beach Tent

Click the picture for a link to this beach umbrella!

 This is a tie for first place because having a cool shaded place to sit is a must for sensitive baby skin as well as for all those beach naps!  We set up old blankets and towels under our tents (yes we have two)  and they are perfect for snack time out of the sun or for those beach naps after lunch.  You can angle them together for maximum sun protection! 

3. Baby Pool

How to pack for the beach for Toddlers | Tips for taking babies to the beach | gracelee gifted
Click the picture for a link to this baby pool!

Our children toddlers love the water.  We don’t love playing defense with the ocean for four hours.  The baby pool is a way for the kids to play in the water without having to worry about the waves crashing and knocking them over.  They have a blast putting ocean water  in the baby pool and love splashing around in it.

4. Air Pump

how to pack for the beach with a toddler | gracelee gifted
Click the picture for a link to this air pump!

For all of those items that need blown up and require more than lung power.  This is what we used to blow up the baby pool and took just a minute vs.  a hand or foot pump which seems to take hours.  Toddlers have little patience ..go with the rechargeable pump!!

Here are some other suggested items that we bring to the beach:


Beach Chairs

Beach Toys


Sunscreen (tear-free for their little faces)


Beach Towels

Beach Blanket/Old Blankets

Extra Change of Clothes

Baby powder

Extra swim diapers/ regular diapers/ wipes


Mini Fan/ mister

Camera /phone

Going to the beach with a toddler/infant tips and tricks:

  • If your little one is still in diapers and wearing a swim diaper, BEWARE those swim diapers especially when already wet do not hold poop well!! Be ready for a blowout to occur and for it to drip everywhere! Always bring extra wipes and swim diapers and a change of clothes in case of a blowout!
  • Make sure to plan your day around your kids schedule and eating patterns. A cranky, tired, hot toddler is no fun.  Plan snacks and pack a lunch ahead of time and you will be more likely to last more than 30 minutes on the beach!!
  • Have your little ones wear hats and sunglasses and bathing suits with rash guards with sun protection built in!  Greasing up a sandy toddler with sunscreen is tough and if you miss a spot you might have a miserable sun burnt little one on your hands! The sun is powerful at the beach and the white sand is a giant reflector!! Protect yourselves and your kids from those harsh rays!
  • Baby powder can be sprinkled on the skin to help gently wipe the sand of your little’s skin.

Have any tips and tricks that get you through beach vacations with toddlers? Comment below!!



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