Top 8 Beach Essentials for Babies

You can feel the warmth in the air. The scent of saltwater and coconut tickles your nose. Summer has finally arrived.

Warm, breezy, summer days are tailor-made for the beach. If you’re a new parent ready for your first beach vacation with your little one, you probably have questions about what to bring to the shore to ensure a pleasant day for all.

From summer baby must-haves to beach essentials for baby (and mom), we’ve got you covered with our guide below.

Baby’s First Beach Day

Your phone is charged and ready to capture every moment of your baby’s first day at the beach. You can already picture their chubby little legs splashing in the water as they screech with delight. Before you get to the seaside, though, you must make sure you have everything you need for a perfect beach day.

#1: Sun Protection

The most important thing you can do for your baby at the beach is to protect their skin from the sun. Babies older than 6 months should use sunscreen that meets the following criteria:

  • Has an SPF of at least 30
  • Is broad-spectrum
  • Has water resistance
  • Contains zinc or titanium dioxide

It’s also helpful to keep your baby in the shade throughout the day as much as possible. A beach tent just might do the trick.

Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun entirely. Their tender baby skin contains little melanin, making it very susceptible to burning.

Your baby’s eyes also are sensitive to bright light and should be protected as well. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that babies aged 6 months and older wear baby sunglasses to keep their eyes safe.

Have a baby younger than 6 months? Make sure they wear a hat that effectively shades their eyes from the sun.

Dress you baby for comfort and style. Start shopping today!

#2: Swimsuit

Baby beach gear comes in many adorable prints and colors. However, the most important feature of your baby’s swimsuit is that it offers them protection from the sun’s rays. When shopping for a baby swimsuit, look for ones that:

  • Cover as much skin as possible
  • Are made from fabric with UPF protection
  • Can be removed easily for diaper changes

Fortunately, there are plenty of cute swimsuits to choose from that also help protect your baby’s skin from the sun.

#3: Hat

Regardless of your baby’s age, another beach must-have is a sun hat. Look for one that has a wide brim and shields your baby’s eyes and face from the sun. Many baby hats come with velcro straps so you can safely secure them to your baby’s head.

Hats should also be made of UPF-protecting fabric to provide additional sun protection.

#4: Hooded Towel

Even in the summer, your baby can still get chilly. If you wade into the cool water with your little one, they’ll need to warm-up when you come back to your sitting area. A regular beach towel can do the trick of drying your baby off, but it won’t keep them as warm as our organic hooded towel.

There are several benefits outside of extra warmth that a hooded towel offers, such as:

  • No-slip coverage
  • Better sun protection for your baby’s head
  • Easier to wrap your baby in
  • Too adorable to resist
  • Look for soft, organic cotton towels to avoid irritating your
  • little one’s sensitive skin.

#5: Mat

A large towel spread on the sand isn’t sufficient for your baby’s comfort, especially if they doze off while you’re at the beach. Instead, you should pack a foam mat that will offer more cushioning and protection from sand, rocks, and other beach debris. Opt for a mat with a cover that’s easy to wipe off for hassle-free cleaning.

#6: Toys

You want your little one to have fun at the beach, so you’ll need to keep them occupied. But don’t worry—you don’t need to bring an army of toys with you. Just a few essentials will do. However, you should be a little choosy about which toys you bring. Some do’s and don’ts of baby beach toys include:

  • Do bring a bucket and shovel for supervised sand play
  • Don’t bring soft toys that can get caked with sand
  • Do bring bath toys for easy cleaning
  • Don’t bring too many toys
  • Do bring a wagon or laundry basket to carry all of your essentials

Most little ones will happily spend their beach day playing in the sand and splashing their beach toy in the water, so don’t feel obligated to buy or bring expensive, fancy toys.

#7: Snacks

Depending on the age of your little one, you might also need to pack some tasty baby food to get through the afternoon. Some good choices include:

  • Fruit puree pouches
  • Dry cereal
  • Yogurt tubes
  • Fresh fruit

Just remember to bring a cooler to keep any perishable snacks cold.

#8: Packed Diaper Bag

Lastly, don’t forget to pack your baby beach bag with wipes, diapers, and any other necessities. You’ll want to bring a few extra diapers in case your little one gets wet from splashing in the water. You may even want to pack some baby PJ’s if you’re planning on staying late.

Mom’s Beach Essentials

When preparing for your first beach trip with baby, you might be so preoccupied with making sure your baby has everything they need that you forget your own beach day must-haves.

However, the day will be more enjoyable for everyone when you remember to take care of your own needs as well, so don’t forget to add the following essential items for yourself when you’re packing for the beach.

#1: Sun Protection

Like your baby, your skin and eyes need protection from the sun, too. You should always have the following items with you for a safe day at the beach:

  • Sunscreen – Your sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30. Look for varieties that are water-resistant, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours.
  • Sunglasses – Keep your eyes safe from the sun with a good pair of sunglasses. You should opt for glasses that provide protection from 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Sun Hat – Give your face a little extra sun protection with a wide-brimmed hat. It will also protect your hair from the drying effect of the sun.
  • Cover-up – The beach can get a little chilly, especially if you’re in and out of the water with your little one. Bringing a robe or another style of cover-up will help ward off those cooler breezes while you relax on your towel.
  • Umbrella – An umbrella that’s large enough to shade your entire towel area is an excellent way to keep you and your baby safe from the sun. It’ll also help you stay cool when the sun beats down from overhead.

#2: Snacks

Your little one isn’t the only one who needs snacks for the beach—you do too. The one key to beach snack success is portability. You want to bring snacks that are:

  • Easy to eat
  • Not super messy
  • Not going to spoil

Along with snacks, don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you to keep from dehydrating.

If it’s a particularly hot day and you’re sweating heavily, you may also want to bring an electrolyte-enhanced beverage with you to replace those lost electrolytes.

If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to bring even more fluids with you, as your breast milk is made of 90% water. This means you’re losing more fluids throughout the day, so rehydrating with water and electrolyte-enhancing beverages is a must.

#3: Book

Any quiet time to yourself is solid gold when you have a baby. If you’re planning on spending the afternoon at the beach, your little one will likely need to take a nap. This presents you with an opportunity to tackle your summer reading list.

Plus, reading a good book can help you relax and give your mind a much-needed vacation.

#4: Comfy Chair

The final thing you should bring to the beach is a comfy chair. You don’t want to sprawl out on the sand all afternoon, as it might cause your back to hurt. Instead, bring a beach chair that provides both comfort and support. The best options for beach chairs are:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Foldable
  • Made from an easy-to-clean material

You may also want a chair with armrests to help provide support when you’re holding your little one. Drink holders are also useful for holding your water bottle and your baby’s bottle.

Get Ready for Beach Day Fun with Monica + Andy

Going to the beach when you have a baby requires a bit more preparation. You have to pack plenty of beach items for baby and you to ensure that everyone has a fun time. Sun protection and an extra pair of summer baby clothes are a top must-have, followed closely by items that’ll keep you both comfortable while you enjoy the warm breeze and salty sea air.

Fortunately, Monica + Andy has everything you need to make your beach outing a success. Our baby swim collection will keep your little one protected from the sun, and you’ll love the adorable patterns and styles we carry, all made from UPF 50 fabric.

Check out our collection today for all of your baby beach essentials.


American Academy of Dermatology. Infant Sun Protection.

American Academy of Ophthalmology. How Old Do You Have to Be to Wear Sunglasses?

Skin Cancer Foundation. Sun Safe Babies.

American Academy of Dermatology. Sunscreen FAQs.

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. Assessing a Tool for Self-Monitoring Hydration Using Urine Color.