12 Beach Essentials for Toddlers: What to Bring to The Beach With a Toddler

Ray Cahoy
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To protect your little beach party from sunburn, be sure to bring sunscreen. Look for at least an SPF 30 with some UVA and UVB protection. You should apply sunscreen liberally any time you plan to be in the sun for more than 15 minutes per hour.

A kids’ sunscreen is especially important because they’re more sensitive to the sun than adults are. Even when putting sunscreen on them, you need to cover yourselves as well in order to reapply it to the parts that missed the first time around. If you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, go ahead and use SPF 15 or higher on yourselves too. That way you won’t have to reapply it as often.

Sun hat

Sun Hats are great for multiple reasons.

First, they protect sensitive skin and prevent sun burns and skin cancer.

Second, they prevent damage to delicate hair. Not to mention the sun can be harmful to your child’s hair color and cause premature graying.

Third, they will keep your toddler shaded and protected from the glaring sun. The sun in bright and can hurt the eyes, which is why it’s important to keep your child protected from it at all times.

Protect your hair, skin, and eyes and get your child a sun hat that stays on and provides excellent shade.


Sun is brighter at the beach, so your cherub will need her shades. There’s nothing worse for a child than sand in the eyes at the beach, so look for shades that offer UV protection. They’ll keep eyes not only from sand, but also from wind, UV rays, and other debris.

Beach time is too much fun to ruin your child’s eyesight.

Swim diapers

Swim diapers are available in both disposable and reusable varieties. While disposables are less expensive, reusable swim diapers are better for the environment and you don’t have to replace them. There are great brands of reusable swim diapers on the market. One popular brand is Blueberry Swim. As a bonus, they are super cute and come in a wide variety of patterns.

If you’re wondering about the effectiveness of reusable swim diapers, rest assured that experts agree that they work just as well as disposable swim diapers.

The Blueberry Swim swim diapers are made of a soft fabric and fasten behind your baby’s back with a Velcro’like closure. They are designed to fit most babies that weigh at least four pounds. The size one is designed for babies from 9-21 pounds. The size two is designed for babies from 15-35 pounds. They fit both boys and girls.

Water shoes

It is easy to forget this item, but it’s so important. When you have to walk long distances on the hot sand, you need something to protect your feet.

In the ocean or in the waves, the best thing for your toddler’s feet is to wear water shoes (to prevent and possibly treat cuts and scrapes).

If possible, choose water shoes that are made of neoprene for the best protection. Kids love to play with the shoes in the water, so make sure you take them off before entering the water.

Swim Armbands/vest

Keep your kid safe, and especially if your toddler is very active, it is important to have a waterproof armband in case he or she decides to run away for the water without your permission. Be sure that the armband is designed for children and is ultrasonically welded and sturdy. You want to avoid armbands that are held together with Velcro. Velcro can come off and your child could choke on the strap.

Beach towel

For obvious reasons, this is probably the most important item on this list. Make sure to bring a towel that is big enough to cover the child and not too heavy when wet.

It is always best to wash beach towels right away so sand is not brought back with you to the car, the bathroom, the rest of the house, and your clean clothes.

Bug spray

In case anyone forgot to mention it, bugs hate being sprayed.

Wearable shoe covers: Flip flops have no business on the beach. Let’s all keep our toes long please?

A Good Book: Beach reads are as much a staple to the beach as a good umbrella.

A beach ball (or two): Okay, so it’s not actually at the beach, but they’re great for when you’re in the hotel, or on a road trip … or anywhere.

A sunny day: ah, this is an obvious one, but we had to say it.

Fresh water sprinkler: These are great because they’re small and can easily hook up to a beach umbrella’s pole.

A tent (with couch): So the beach isn’t the coziest place for today’s toddler, especially when he wants to eat all the sand.

A huge bucket: You’re supposed to keep the sand out of the hotel room, so having a bucket is a must.

Drinks: Sand-free drinks are incredibly important.

Baby powder

The beach can be very hot and uncomfortable for toddlers, so you’ll want to keep them cool and comfortable. Combine corn starch and baby powder for a quick way to keep beach sand from sticking to your child. Mix a small amount of baby powder or cornstarch with a small amount of water to form a thick paste, then apply to your child’s feet and hands. It will soak up sweat and cut down on the discomfort of hot sand.

Travel potty

Travel potty available on Amazon:

“We bought a travel potty for the car (which has a lid), but the grandparents bought a padded seat on eBay so they could use the one they already had at home (so they did not have to lug the potty in and out of the car). My daughter loves sitting on it and it is also handy if you are travelling and staying in hotels and you have a pants-on toilet, as she will happily sit and play in it. They are sturdy enough to take off and take with you when you are out, too.”

Beach tent or umbrella

There is nothing better than having your own shade at the beach. You can hide from the hot sun and keep your toddler cool and shaded at the same time. One of the essential things you need to bring to a beach trip with a toddler is a beach tent or an umbrella.

If you risk going to the beach without one, you will regret it. You will get burned and you will never enjoy the ocean as much as you should. However, there is not much more you have to do than to pick the right beach umbrella or the right beach tent.

There are multiple factors that you have to consider before buying a beach umbrella. Size is just one of them. You need to find one that fits all of your family members and can be used in a range of places. The material should be resistant to salt, sun, and water.

The tent poles should be sturdy and made of durable materials. Finally, it should have a nice design that makes it impressive but practical.

Inflatable swimming pool

This is one of the essential beach items for toddlers. These inflatable ring can be filled with water, which will make them last longer than air-filled rings. Once they have been filled with water, they will be more firm and stay put. So you can relax while your toddlers enjoy a swim.

A step up from the classic inflatable pool rings are the pool rings that are big enough for your toddler to sit on. These will keep your toddler out of the water for a bit.

When the air inside the pool ring is inflated, it will not stay as firm as when the air is removed for storage. But it will still be able to keep your toddlers safe from the water at the edge of the beach.