Summer is right around the corner, which means a vacation to the beach may be in your near future. And if you and your toddler are going there soon, then we have just the beach packing list you need.
As a parent traveling with a toddler, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the planning and packing. There’s a lot to think about, and book, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long stay. And if it’s a beach vacation, then there are certain items you can’t forget.
Here’s a helpful beach packing checklist (approved by moms) to make planning so much easier for your time in the sun with your toddler.
Toddler Beach Hacks
First, have fun, and let your toddler take the lead.
Taking a vacation with your toddler gives you a unique opportunity. Let your toddler take the lead with your activities. You can enjoy building a sand castle or walk the beach finding unique shells together. Watch the wonder in your little one’s eyes and enjoy every minute exploring.
Pack a sand-free sippy cup with water.
Help your toddler stay hydrated. You can do this by ensuring they have their sippy cup filled with water on the beach. Look for sippy cups with flip-top spill-free straws. They’re great for keeping the pesky sand out.
Don’t forget mess-free snacks.
Just like any other trip away from the house, snacks are essential wherever you go with your toddler– beach included. Take a couple of easy ones that won’t melt or get messy in the sun. Even on the beach, your toddler will get hungry and need a little bite to eat.
Remember an on-the-go changing mat.
Having an on-the-go changing mat is essential for those diaper changes anywhere. Our Kibou on-the-go changing mat is a detachable changing pad that unfolds from the back flap of our fanny pack diaper bags. It’s so easy when you need somewhere soft to change your little one, and it’s great for the beach too.
Take extra plastic bags for dirty diapers.
Undoubtedly, you’ll have some dirty diapers on the beach with your toddler. That’s where plastic bags come in handy for those moments when you need to seal up one until you can dispose of it later.
Pack a first-aid kit just in case.
With little ones, you never know when you’ll need a band-aid or antiseptic wipes. Our Bou-Bou Bag is great to include in your Kibou or another small diaper bag at the beach. Keep it handy for any emergency where you need first-aid supplies.
Packing List with Toddler Beach Essentials
When you’re out in the sun, be sure your toddler’s skin is protected with sunscreen. A sunscreen stick can work nicely for your toddler’s face. Just apply it evenly (and don’t forget their nose). You can use creams and spray forms of sunscreen as well. The critical part is making sure it’s a high SPF to keep their young skin protected.
Pro-Mom Tip: Apply the sunscreen in your hotel room BEFORE you’re on the beach to avoid getting sand mixed in with the sunscreen. Also, remember to re-apply after an hour or so after being in the water.
Sunhat with a strap
A sunhat for the beach is an added precaution to protect your toddler’s face from too much sun. It is important to ensure it has some kind of strap to keep it on your toddler’s head. Sunhats without the strap tend to fall off more easily with ocean breezes.
You can’t forget your toddler’s sunglasses. If you can get the type with a string attached, it comes in handy for helping them stay on (similar to their sunhat) when you’re having fun in the sun.
Packing extra swim diapers is a must. Unlike regular diapers, these types won’t swell up after they’ve been in the water. Take a couple extra so you don’t need to change your little one in a pinch without one. The Kibou stores them well with moist wet wipes, too.
Puddle jumper or life-jacket
You need to think about safety before your toddler is around the water. Before leaving for your beach trip, ensure they have the appropriate puddle jumper or life jacket size. You will feel a little more at ease knowing they have a flotation device around them while adventuring close to the water’s edge.
With your toddler, look for swimwear that covers most of their skin to protect them from the sun. Try to opt for swimsuits with sleeves and look for labels on the tags that confirm having UV protection.
Having a light and airy cover-up for your toddler is never a bad idea. It can be a fun poncho or long-sleeve material that’s breathable. If they wear a swimsuit showing more of their shoulders and back, a cover-up can help shield them from unnecessary sun exposure.
Change of clothes
Some toddlers don’t like being wet for long, so if that’s your little one, you may want to take an extra change of clothes out on the beach with you. Extra dry clothes can allow them to get out of their wet swimsuit and perhaps feel more comfortable when they want to rest.
Fun beach toys
Shovels, buckets, and little diggers are fun beach toys your toddler will love. Anything that lets them hold the sand, pile it high, and carry water will surely be a hit.
Pro-Mom Tip: If you have to travel by plane and want to limit what you take, consider buying your beach toys at your destination. That way, you free up space in your luggage and can leave them behind for other children if necessary.
Toddler water shoes are a good idea to take. The sand can get hot after hours in the sun. Shells and other debris can also be jagged and pointy on the beach. Having water shoes your toddler can wear will protect their little toes.
Toddler beach chair
If you like to take beach chairs, don’t forget a beach chair for your toddler. It gives them a place to sit out of the sand, and there’s something about those tiny chairs they love. They’re so cute too!
Yep, you read that right! Haven’t seen this hack yet? Sprinkle baby powder on sandy, sticky feet, legs, or hands, and the sand wipes right off. No scratchy battles or sandy feet indoors. Definitely a win!
Beach Vacation Checklist Items
If the beach you are visiting allows for an umbrella or canopy, it’s not a bad idea to take it if you plan on spending much time on the beach. This shade coverage gives you a nice place to rest out of the sun for a little while. With really little ones, those beach tents are a great gift and there are many out there to choose from (from tiny tent spots for one to family tents that are move-in ready).
As with any event with water, you don’t want to forget your beach towels. You can take extra long ones or buy special ones that dry quickly. Just make sure you have them handy to wrap up and dry off.
You want to ensure you’re taking a durable and water-proof beach bag to store your keys, phone, cash, and other small essentials. Our Kibou fanny-pack diaper bag is an excellent bag for the beach, and it also has the space for wipes, a changing mat, diapers, and snacks for your toddler. Not to mention, it’s made of vegan leather, making it easy to wipe off when you’re back in your room.
Consider taking a sand-free mat if you have the carrying capacity. Laying down a mat on the sand helps keep your towels less sandy and gives you a tidier space to lay down all your beach things.
I’m sure you’ve seen them before, but some hotels and condos have beach wagons available to help you haul your stuff out to the beach. Especially if you have larger items like an umbrella or cooler, a beach wagon may help you condense what you have to carry.
After-sun aloe gels and cream
It’s always a good idea to pack some kind of aloe gel or cream to help with those red sunburns. Hopefully, your burns will be minimal, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pack an after-sun cream if you need some relief after a day at the beach.