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There is nothing more I love than a sandy, beachy-bottomed baby. I mean it’s the best! We’ve been enjoying ourselves this month visiting family on an early spring break. Finally, three babies later, I have compiled a great list of the items I use on the beach. It’s easy to get carried away and buy everything you might need. Don’t do that. Here’s what you need, and what I use. I find that traveling light with the essentials makes me happier. If  I’m spending an hour packing the car and another hour unloading at the beach, my kids are asleep in the car seats before we even get there.  I don’t have as many photos as I’d like because I am so busy when we’re at the beach! I look away for a second, and I swear my children are raiding another kids’ sand castle or the baby just ate a mouthful of sand. It’s a whirlwind of fun in the sun, and here’s my list of what you need!

Here’s the Spring Break Beach Essentials List for Babies and Toddlers

Pop-Up Portable Beach Tent

This is a big deal for a baby. You need a safe place to put them out of the sun. I forgot this one day, and I was miserable. I had to keep putting him in the stroller to sit in a place that was shaded, but he couldn’t sit up very well, so he wasn’t happy for long at all! Have a safe, shaded place that they can lay and play in!

Backpacks with Leashes

These are fabulous because I can pack each a dry pair of clothes, snacks, and toys, and they feel so important carrying them all on their own. It helps me stay organized because they each have their packs, rather than everything stuffed in my backpack.

Baby Hat

This hat is everything. He wears it in the front pack, while strolling, and always on the beach. It covers his baby-soft blonde fuzz and keeps all the sun off his eyes. Ears are covered and full face shaded.


This has been great on the non-windy days. I found out the hard way that when it is very windy, you can’t have an umbrella up. On the days that weren’t so windy, it was great! I was able to create a large shaded area big enough for the toddler boys to nap under! We laid out the towels, and they napped in the shade, so our beach day wasn’t cut short because of naps.

Quick Drying Microfiber Towels

These are very helpful because they dry fast. I can’t stand hauling around wet, heavy towels. I can dry the boys off and lay these towels in the sun for a few minutes before we leave, and they are barely wet! I already have a lot to carry, so adding wet towels on top of everything just doesn’t work well for me.

Compact Blanket

This blanket is great for your main area on the sand. I love that it shrinks into the tiny package, so I can throw it in my backpack. The sand also slides off in one shake, which is very very helpful!

My Favorite Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen

This is my favorite sunscreen for babies. I had a bad experience with my oldest using another brand. He got a rash on his face, and he was fussy. It was terrible. This is very gentle, and it works great. My third baby is the fairest of all my children, and we haven’t had any burns being outside every day for hours in the sun!

Banana Boat Sunscreen Baby

This is a great sunscreen for toddlers, who are in and out of the water a lot. They tend to need a more active-friendly sunscreen all over, so this is the one I like for them.

Other Items You Need To Bring to the Beach

There are other items I always bring. Extra grocery bags. This is great for garbage from snacks, wet clothes, and other mishaps that might need to be tied up in a grocery bag.

The other thing you want to bring is a spray bottle with plain water. My boys get sand all over their faces and in their eyes. Wipes alone don’t work to get the sand off their faces. I spray them a bit with water, then wipe the sand away. You can also use the spray bottle to wipe down any items that get sandy. Sippy cups often gather sand in the lids, so I can spray them down and rinse them before the boys drink out of them.

Don’t forget a water bottle for yourself! Do you know how many times I’ve packed watered-down juice and sippy cups for my children, but not any liquid for myself? You must stay hydrated too, so you can enjoy the beach just as much as your little ones!

Last Beach Tip:

This is an extra tip that helps me. I often go to the beach without my husband while he’s working. I stay near a lifeguard station if there is one. You never know when you might need some extra help quickly if you’re outnumbered. Toddlers can be very fast when they want to be, and if you’re busy with one, and the other takes off, just flag the guard down! It’s a small tip, but for safety reasons, I feel so much better knowing there is a guard nearby who can help me!

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  1. Breezy Williams Reply

    These are such great tips!! I love the idea of packing the extra grocery bags. I always find I need more bags after leaving the beach than before. I also love the idea of staying near the lifeguard station. I used to take the four kids I nannied to the beach and I would get super stressed out if I had one going to my left and the other running to the right! Setting up next to a lifeguard would be very helpful in those situations! Thanks for sharing!

    • Katie Pickett Reply

      I’m glad they are helpful! The life guards are always so helpful if I have a ton of stuff to carry, or the umbrellas aren’t staying up! It helps to have an extra set of eyes, and that’s what they get paid for right? Have fun at the beach!

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