Bring on summertime and family beach vacations!

Attempting summer beach vacay with your baby for the first time? If yes, you might already be on a “baby beach packing list” preparation mission. Aligning heat, sand, naps, feedings, a baby who doesn’t walk yet and still trying to enjoy vacation can definitely be tricky, but it’s totally doable. I way overanalyzed packing for our week-long trip with our 8-month-old and quickly learned that some items are a life-saver and others are more of a nice-to-have that we could have survived without.

If you’re headed for some fun in the sun with a baby in tow, here are some baby beach packing list recommendations to make your trip easier.

Top Recommendations

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat(s)
  • Shade (beach tent and/or umbrella)
  • Water
  • Baby powder (magically gets sand off limbs)

Nice-to-Have Additions

  • All-terrain foldable wagon (to tote items down from your condo… not the greatest on the actual sand)
  • Baby pool (to put toys in and play under the shade… we preferred the inflatable kind for packing convenience)
  • Battery-powered fan (to keep cool during naps)
  • Sand-free blanket or playmat (to sit on)
  • Beach toys (if they’re old enough)

Optional Items (Could Do Without)

  • Seating / Bumbo (for feedings inside… can take this to the beach too)
  • Mesh baby side sling (for water carrying support… the waves were still a bit too rough for us to hang out in the ocean, though)
  • Baby pool float (used this in the condo pool, but only minimally)
  • Life jacket (we went on a boat, so we needed an infant-approved version)
  • Stroller (we didn’t really venture out and about, so this was just extra for us)

Then there are all the other regular beach and baby packing items per your normal: beach towel, swim diapers, wipes, white noise machine, feeding supplies, sippy cups or bottles, pack-n-play, swimsuit, sunglasses (that my child will not wear), etc.

Note: We were able to do beach naps under a beach tent with a fan vs. bringing down a pack-n-play or always having to go inside. Everyone seems to do it a little differently, and not all beach trips are created equal, so there are a lot of options out there. The key to planning overall – buying any essentials you might need but not an entirely new collection of baby gear just for the beach. Some stuff you may already have. For other items, borrow what you can. We drove and had plenty of room to pack, but you can also shop locally once at your destination where you can decide what you really need.

The most important item we had – friends and family for back-up babysitting support 🙂

Any life-saver items you’ve used for a baby beach vacation in the past?


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