The Beach Baby Set Up – What To Bring With A Toddler

How much stuff do you really need to bring to the beach with a toddler? Here are my essentials.

Last year, I shared a post on what to bring to the beach with a baby. Tommy was between 6 and 8 months last summer. He started crawling and could pull himself up on things. He ate sand non stop in addition to breast feeding. We didn’t worry about bringing him snacks to the beach and he would just fall asleep on us.

Now, he is running around, loves to collect shells, is eating tons of food and luckily will still fall asleep on us.

What I think you should bring has changed a bit but not entirely…

what to bring baby to beach sport brella

Best Umbrella: Sport-brella 

I listed this last year, but hadn’t yet bought it yet in the season. Now we own one and LOVE it. It’s my favorite large beach umbrella and easily sits on it’s side. Tommy can sleep in the tent on a towel or being held by Nick in a chair. Last year, we set up a Summer Infant Play Yard inside and Tommy was content for hours. But honestly, since Tommy is on the move so much we have only used the tent for lunch and napping.

Best Bathing Suit: iPlay Built in Diaper Swim Trunks

Tommy is actually wearing the same size bathing suit as he did last summer. LOL. He was such a fat baby we needed to size up for his waist. He fits into most of his clothes from last summer to be honest. iPlay makes my favorite bathing suits because they have a built in diaper. FYI swim diapers only hold in poop so your kid is basically always wet even if they are not playing in the water if they pee. The iPlay keeps in pee better than a regular swim diaper so that they are not uncomfortable. Tommy never goes #2 at the beach when he has his on. He has a couple times once we get back home which is so odd to me. We have 3 iPlay suits and a couple that require a separate swim diaper. We also have long sleeve rash guards with built in SPF as well.


Sunscreen: Kiss My Face, Sun Bum Baby Bum, Babyganics and Gaggle

Use a mix of sunscreens. Baby Bum by Sun Bum is a lotion that I like because it is easy to rub in and lists all this great stuff on Amazon:

  • Retinyl Palmitate Free / Propylene Glycol Free / Paraben Free / PABA Free / Ozybenzone Free / Pthalate Free / Petroleum Free / Artificial Fragrance Free
  • Natural / Hypoallergenic / Photostable / Parsol 1789 / Vitamin E Enriched / Pediatrician Tested

I bought a kids Kiss My Face spray that goes on clear and is 50 SPF that I love but ran out quickly. It was easy to spray Tommy’s legs and arms while sandy but also because he hates sitting still to let me rub in lotion. What I don’t love is that since it is clear, you don’t know if you miss any spots. Tommy also got a little tan wearing it. No burn but my son has very tan hands for sure.

On Tommy’s face I use the Honest Stick or Babyganics Sunscreen Spray.

How much stuff do you really need to bring to the beach with a toddler? Here are my essentials.

Water Safety: Puddle Jumpers – for 30 lbs+

Tommy is 29 lbs but all my friends in the cape bought these for their kids around Tommy’s age. We first tested these out at my sister’s pool and just bought Tommy a boys version of his own. He loves swimming with one now. My niece Dylan can swim unassisted wearing one of these and she turns 2 at the end of August! Tommy cannot but it is helping teach him to keep his head up.

Looking for the best water safety jacket? Check out the puddle jumper.

Hat: Boston Red Sox 47 Brand

Last year I had an iPlay hat to list but now Tommy won’t keep anything on his head especially if it is tied under his neck. Now, he wears a Red Sox hat that I try to get him to keep on his head. It lasts only a short while.

Snacks In Individual Bags

Don’t risk your child putting a hand covered in sand into a freshly opened bag of Cape Cod potato chips. Bring little bags of snacks like Pirate’s Booty or Veggie Straws. Make sure you bring extra too in case other kids want some or yours dumps it out into the sand. I learned this trick from my sister. For me, I’ll bring a bag of almonds because they don’t melt like a protein bar and don’t get soggy like a sandwich if you don’t eat it right away.


Not Necessary but fun:

Shovel and Bucket (Tommy’s old school favorites)

Beach Pool with Shade

My friend Anne Marie got this for Tommy for his birthday and all the kids loved it at the beach. Tommy really liked playing in it which I was kind of surprised about! Nick was even able to fold it rather painlessly. It’s great for kids that are younger than 6 months who might not be able to wear sunscreen yet but can sit up.

Beach Pool with Shade

-Extra clean diapers to change into for car ride home!

-Baby powder to help get sand off your feet if you don’t have a place to rinse them off.

A positive attitude! If you don’t want to go home for nap time, you can always bring your stroller if your little one will nap in that! We have done this before. We walk Tommy around the beach neighborhood in his stroller and then once he has fallen asleep, carry him in the stroller down to our tent and put the stroller in the shade. Works every time!

If you have a question, leave it down below!

Toddler Beach Packing List

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