Toddler Beach Essentials

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If you are taking a family vacation on the beach and have young kids, this guide on toddler beach essentials will help you pack for your trip.

Our beach vacation is fast approaching and my excitement level is through the roof. I love the ocean and it seems that my son has my genes!

Ever since we went to Kauai when he was 1.5 years old and to Florida when he was 2 years old, he keeps asking when we will go back to the beach.

I don’t really need a reason to schedule a vacation to the beach, but having a mini-me to help convince my husband is a plus!

This time around my son is 3 years old and way more aware of his surroundings. He is also way more active and his daredevil behaviors are becoming more daring.

I am sure our needs this trip will be different than the last two times, but these beach products for toddlers are the essentials that made our previous trips enjoyable!

Tips for Saving Money While on Essentials for a Beach Vacation

If you are traveling by air, you won’t want to pack some items like towels or a beach tent. These items take too much space in the luggage.

If your accommodation doesn’t provide chairs, umbrellas and towels, you can find stores that rent them in most destinations.

However, the rental fees can be quite pricey (U$40/day for 2 chairs and an umbrella). So if you are traveling within the United States, the other option is to head to a wholesaler store and purchase these items locally.

It will pay for itself in a couple days and you can move them from beach to beach.

If you want to save even more money, you can also head to second hand store. You will find products that were used for only one week and donated by previous vacationers. In these stores, you will also be able to find products such as bodyboards, snorkeling masks and fins, and beach toys.

Toddler Beach Essentials (1 – 2yrs old)

I hope this list of toddler beach essentials helps you plan and pack for your beach vacation and decrease some of the pre-vacation stress.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and participant in other affiliate programs, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Most of these products are self-explanatory, so I will just add my notes below why I love them vs. the alternatives.

[1] Swimming wear

I prefer two-piece swimwear for R because I find them more versatile. They were easier to change diapers when he was younger and will make things a lot easier now that he is potty trained.

It is so hard to get a wet suit on or off a squirmy toddler and since R grows sooo fast, the two pieces also accommodate for growth better. I can pair different sizes for tops and bottoms to fit him just right.

I also prefer long sleeve rashgards with SPF. This protects toddlers’ skin from the sun, keeps them warm in the water and reduces the areas I need to apply sunscreen.

[2] Swim diapers

If your child loves the water, these swim diapers are awesome. They don’t soak up as much water than regular diapers, but provide protection against accidents.

One trick that I like to share with new parents is to rip the sides of the diaper when changing it, much easier than trying to pull them out.

[3] Sunscreen

Essential for any type of activity outdoors. I like this one by Aveeno because it’s mineral based, which means it doesn’t have harsh chemicals and is safe for kids over 6 months old.

[4] Dry clothes

Obviously if you are stopping in town or at a restaurant after the beach, you will want dry clothes to change the kids into. It is also good to change them before entering the car to keep the car seat fairly clean.

[5] Wet/Dry bag

You need a dedicated bag for wet suits or to keep documents/electronics dry and sand free.

[6] Hat and sunglasses

These hats are not the most stylish articles of clothing, but they are the best hats to keep toddlers’ necks, ears and face safe from the sun.

The sunglasses will also be great for full sun days.

[7] Beach shoes

We’ve tried different types of beach shoes, but the crocs are my son’s favorites.

He can put them on and take them off himself and it’s super easy to clean.

[8] Beach mat

Provides a sand-free place for all to sit, lay, play and take naps.

[9] Food

Even if your child is already eating solids, I recommend taking some food pouches and snacks with you.

My son had a dairy/soy intolerance until he was about 2.5 years old so I couldn’t rely on restaurants to have food for him.

Food pouches and dry snacks for the beach are easy to transport, require no refrigeration and toddlers can eat it without a mess.

In between meals, these veggie packed purees are awesome and filling.

[10] Water thermal cup

Great for keeping water or milk chilled.

[11] Beach pop-up tent

This item is great if you are going to a beach with no shade or chair service.

[12] Float

Some beaches have protected pools that kids can play in. The float can also be used in regular hotel pools.

[13] Toys

I only take a couple of toys on our trips, so multipurpose toys are my picks. The beach toys can be used in the bath as well and the multi-sensory toy can attach to most restaurant and airplane tables to keep him busy.

[14] Cornstarch baby powder

Cornstarch is great for rashes and to remove sand from tiny feet. Simply sprinkle it on the feet and rub off the sand. Works a lot better than water.

I hope this toddler beach essentials list is helpful to you when planning your next beach vacation!

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This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and participant in other affiliate programs, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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  1. April 22, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing the list and tips. I’m so excited for you guys to go to Hawaii together. Can’t wait to hear all about it and see some posts/pictures that captured your adventures. Enjoy the R&R, you deserve it!!!

    • Jana
      May 3, 2018 / 10:18 pm

      Thanks!! We are really enjoying our time together and R can’t get enough of the ocean!!!

  2. May 9, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    Great list! Will def refer to it! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jana
      May 11, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Glad you liked them!

  3. May 9, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    We will be going to the beach this summer for the first time since having kids and now have a 4 yo, 2 yo, and 1 yo! These are awesome suggestions and I am totally bookmarking this for later reference!

    • Jana
      May 11, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      How fun! Where are you headed to? One thing we ended up buying in Hawaii that I would also highly recommend is a beach tent. As it turned out where we were was really windy and sunny so we needed shade, but beach umbrellas kept beeing blown away. We bought ours at Costco. I loved it so much, I actually shipped it home. I hope you have fun on your trip! The kids will love it!

  4. May 10, 2018 / 1:56 am

    I cannot wait to go to the beach this summer so these were very timely tips for us! I love the dry bag.

    • Jana
      May 11, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Beach vacations are awesome! Where are you headed to? Please come back and share any tips you pick along the way!

  5. May 10, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Ahhh so exciting! Always wanted to make it to Hawaii – maybe for our 10 yr anni next year ???? Love all your picks! Hope itโ€™s an amazing trip ????

    • Jana
      May 11, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you! We had a lot of fun! Hawaii is an amazing place and if you do go, let me know, I have some tips!

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