A vacation with a baby can involve a lot of planning, but the effort can be well worth the pleasure of a new experience. Think of it this way — once you get to the seashore, you’ll be able to relax (which parents of babies rarely get to do), introduce your baby to new things, and have some fun together as well.
Whether you plan to travel to an exotic beach overseas or go to a local beach, here are some of the things you need to be prepared for ahead of a beach vacation with your baby and tips on what to pack too!
Expert tip: Looking for fun vacation ideas for families with a baby? You’re in just the right place! We’ve got some cool vacation ideas for families with kids too.
Sunscreen is a must when heading to the beach with children as this can help prevent sunburn and sun damage. This is even more necessary with babies because their skin is extra sensitive and needs to be protected. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from where SPF is concerned, including brands that offer sunscreen just for babies.
Swim diapers are highly recommended for the beach when spending the day there with your baby. Ahead of your beach day, you’ll have the options of disposable swim diapers or reusable ones, and at the end of the day, that decision is entirely up to you. Regardless of which option you go with, pack a few more than you think you’re going to need, you just might be glad you did later.
Good to know: It is generally recommended that parents wait until their baby is at least 2 months old before taking them swimming in the ocean, a lake, or pool.
Diaper bags are one of those things parents can’t do without when going out with a baby. As diaper changes will absolutely be necessary, these will come in handy during a beach day. Diaper bags can even be useful for storing small items, wet swimsuits, or things you need to throw away as you make your way from the beach to home or back to your resort.
There are many adorable options of baby sun hats that you can choose from for your baby’s day at the beach. The purpose of a sun hat will be to protect your baby’s skin from the sun, especially sensitive areas like their nose and cheeks. When selecting baby sun hats, generally, the wider the better as the best options not only protect a baby’s face but their ears and neck as well.
Cover-ups and rash guards come in handy on the beach to protect your baby’s skin from the sun. This can serve as added protection to sunscreen since, even when it’s carefully applied, some spots can be missed. In addition to keeping your baby’s skin safe, cover-ups and rash guards can help keep sand off your baby’s skin as well.
Water, baby milk, or formula are some of the things you won’t want to leave behind on a beach day with your baby. You’ll need to ensure you have a well-thought-out supply to keep your baby adequately fed and hydrated as you and your family enjoy a day on the beach together. Bring plenty of water as being on the beach can build up a thirst. Water can come in handy if you run out of milk for your baby, and for other members of the family as well.
A cooler bag is a beach vacation must, and parents will know this all too well. If you’ll be going to the beach with a baby, you can use your beach cooler bag to store essentials like baby milk and water, both of which will need to be kept cool. The cooler bag will help you store these items and keep them at the right temperature until you need to use them.
A baby shade tent will come in handy on beaches where there isn’t much shade. These can also be useful when you need to do diaper changes, or even lay your baby down for a nap. Most parents find this item to be beneficial and generally easy to set up, particularly with a pop-up-style tent. Most baby beach tents have UV protection built in, but this is something you’ll want to double-check before making a purchase.
Bringing baby beach toys to the beach is a great idea to keep your baby entertained. From beach buckets that you can fill with a small amount of water for splashing to sand molds and animal toys, your baby will be kept well occupied as they get used to the beach environment. For babies, waterproof bath toys can also be a great option as these can easily be washed off afterward. Take a look at our top picks of toddler toys for a beach vacation, some of which babies will love as well.
A portable baby bassinet will be one of those things you’ll be supremely happy you brought along, especially if you’ll be going to the beach with your baby for the first time. This item comes in handy if you want to lay baby down in the shade for a bit, and also for nap time. Your baby will be safe and sound in their portable bassinet, and you’ll be able to place it easily into a beach tent or under an umbrella where you can keep a close eye on your precious little one.
A spray bottle is a simple item you can bring along to the beach to help cool your baby down as you spend some time outdoors. All you’ll need to do is fill your spray bottle with cool water and spritz when necessary. You can use it for baby and for yourself as well, and you can even store it in your beach cooler, so the water stays chilled.
Let your baby get in on the beachside relaxation with their own baby beach chair. This option is perfect for babies that are old enough to sit up, and it will be a great way to let your baby enjoy the beach views and atmosphere while keeping them from crawling away. An alternative to a baby beach chair can be a bath chair which can be easy to wash the sand from when it’s time to go.
A baby float works great in calm, shallow waters under the supervision of parents or guardians on the beach. With your baby beach float, you can treat your baby to a new experience in the water as you paddle along, allowing them to be a bit more independent while still being close to you. 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.
The sand on the beach can be extra hot, and not great for sensitive baby feet. Sand can be scratchy as well if it gets between little toes. It is best to keep your baby’s feet well protected. Beach or sand shoes can be a great option for this, even if your baby isn’t a walker yet. These will help keep your baby’s feet sand-free, especially if they want to crawl or sit in the sand.
Your baby can rock some cool sunglasses on the beach that’ll not only protect their eyes from strong sunlight but also allow them to make a fun fashion statement too. As it can be difficult to keep infant sunglasses in place, you can get options with a strap, so they don’t fall off while your baby is moving around on the sand or splashing about near the water.
You definitely won’t want to forget beach blankets or towels when heading to the beach with your kids, and definitely not if you’re bringing along a baby. Blankets come in handy to lay out on the beach to keep your baby off the hot sand, and you’ll need towels to dry off just in case you decide to go with the baby for a dip. You’ll be able to use blankets or towels under tents or umbrellas at the beach as well, which can help keep your baby cool and as sand free as possible.
Good to know: Waterproof beach blankets are a great option for the beach as these can easily be kept dry.
A waterproof carrier wrap might just become your favorite baby beach item after a single use. This item is perfect for taking a baby for a quick dip in the ocean, or for a stroll along the seashore as they drift off to sleep. With a waterproof beach carrier, you’ll be able to keep your precious baby close without having to lug along a baby carrier seat, or even a stroller.
Sometimes strollers are necessary for the beach, but it is important to note that not all strollers are created equal. Ahead of a beach encounter, take some time to do some research and invest in a beach stroller that can help make it easier to navigate the sands with your little one. When looking for a beach stroller, you’ll want to make sure it has sun protection, proper ventilation, and good maneuverability. You’ll also want to be sure it is appropriate for your child’s age.
A baby beach bag is a must everywhere you go, but it’ll be extra important to have a fully stocked one for a day out on the beach. It is even worth having a separate baby beach bag for the beach so you don’t get your everyday diaper bag wet or sandy. Invest in a large baby beach bag (or a regular bag) with compartments or pockets as this will give you plenty of room for all the essentials, and even to store wet items.
Expert tip: Thinking about traveling to the Caribbean with your family? Ocho Rios, Jamaica’s all-inclusive resorts are great for families looking to enjoy amazing beach days, great service, and quality inclusions.
When heading out to the beach with your baby, your mind will likely be preoccupied with making sure you have everything your little one could possibly need. Don’t forget to pack things for yourself as well, like sunscreen, sunglasses, a swimsuit, towels, lip balm, and whatever you’ll need to be comfortable out at the seashore.
You might not even have considered this one, but it is worth having a timer to help you remember when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. Your sunscreen bottle will tell you how often you’ll need to reapply, and you can set the timer accordingly. A simple timer on a phone or watch will do, and it’ll work wonders in helping keep you and your baby safe from the sun.
A spray bottle with cool water is worth bringing along to the beach too. You can store this in a beach cooler amid your stash of milk and water and use it to help keep you and your baby cool.
Expert tip: Considering heading on a family vacation to Jamaica? There are lots of things to do in Jamaica with kids, including visiting the most popular Negril resorts some of which have their own waterparks.
Popsicles are always a hit on the beach as are snacks that are pre-frozen for babies. Ahead of your beach day, you can freeze some pouches of baby food so that by the time you get to the beach, your baby will have something cool and slushy to munch on. If you’re staying at a resort and are not able to freeze baby food pouches and the like, consider getting some popsicles, which can be a great way to keep your baby hydrated.
Baby powder or cornstarch is useful for much more than you might think. Out on the beach, you might be able to use these to clean your baby’s sandy feet and even your own, which can be a lot easier than using towels or making multiple trips back to the ocean with a bucket. These products soak up the water from the sand making it easy to brush the sand off, which you’ll definitely appreciate during a family beach day.
It is important to plan the timing of your beach day carefully when going with a baby. If you go too early in the afternoon, you might find yourself out on the beach at a time when the sun is at its hottest. Earlier in the day or late afternoon can work best when going to the beach with your baby, as the sun tends to be a little milder then. Consider also planning your beach day around nap and feeding times, which can help make things run more smoothly overall.
If you’re planning a beach day with family, don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Doing so can lead to you scrambling around to find things on the day and even packing things you don’t need. Get around this by preparing a packing list in advance and using it to get things in order in the days leading up to your outing. A packing list can help ensure that you don’t overpack as well.
The beach is the perfect place for some sensory play if you’ll be spending the day there with your baby. Things like the sand, shells, rocks, and all the other textures and colors that can be found on the beach will be a source of fascination for your baby. Be sure to pay careful attention to whatever your baby is playing with by making sure shells aren’t too sharp and rocks aren’t small enough to be a choking hazard.
Expert tip: Place some sand in a bucket and let your baby feel the sand when it is wet versus when it is dry. This can be a great sensory experience.
Beach selection can help shape your day on the beach with your baby. While parents will need to supervise babies and kids at all times no matter which beach they choose, it makes sense to choose a family-friendly beach with calm, shallow water that can help parents feel more at ease. Beaches with shallow water will make it easy for you to take your baby for that first dip in the swallows, even if it's just their toes!
Expert tip: Planning a beach vacation in Jamaica? Here are some of the best beaches in Jamaica that you can explore with your family.
The most important thing to remember when spending a beach day with your family is to relax. Everyone, baby included, is at the beach to have a good time, and that should be the ultimate focus. Plus, when you’re calm and cool, chances are your little one will be too.
Expert tip: Just about ready to head out on your vacation? Have a look at our family vacation checklist to be super sure you have all you need!
There are mucho benefits to vacationing at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, and these increase leaps and bounds when you’re traveling with a baby. For one thing, everything you need will be in one place, so you won’t be scrambling around at any point to find anything, including restaurants, entertainment, and even professional childcare, which is offered to guests of Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean.
Plus, if you’re traveling with more than one child, you can go to one of the Caribbean resorts with waterparks where kids can stay occupied and have fun, while parents can get some relaxation in as well. In addition to water parks, Beaches Resorts provide guests with day and night entertainment and include Kids Camps, an Xbox Play Lounge, multiple pools, and more, all of which can be great if you’re looking for a beach vacation, and not just a one-day trip to the beach!
Expert tip: Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean are right on the beach, so your baby can have fun at the beach and in the waterpark too! Surprise your family with an awesome trip using one of these fun ways to reveal a surprise beach vacation.
Now that you have the best tips on beach gear and other baby beach ideas, you’re well set to hit the beach with your little one. Whether you decide to go to a local beach or travel to the Caribbean where you can experience all-inclusive vacations at family-friendly beach resorts, you’ll definitely be headed into your beach experience with baby stress-free!
Expert tip: Got a beach vacation overseas in mind? Check out these incredible Turks and Caicos all-inclusive resorts that are family oriented as well!