Toddler Beach Essentials

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Our vacation to Hawaii is fast approaching and my excitement level is through the roof! I mean, Hawaii!!! Am I right?

We’ve been to Hawaii a few times, but never with our son. I can’t wait to create memories with Roark – some of my best memories growing up took place by the ocean.

I also can’t wait to see what he will think of the beach now that he is a toddler. I am sure he will want to eat sand and run into the ocean and that I will spend a lot of time chasing a busy toddler, but I think he will love it, so it will be worth it!

While I am busy planning what to pack and what to do while on vacation, I wanted to share with you my Toddler Beach Essentials.

Since we are traveling by air, these essentials don’t cover things like towels, chairs and umbrellas because we will either not be using them or using the ones provided at the hotel. We splurged this time with a nice luxury hotel, because it’s close to Mother’s Day, my birthday and because this mama needs some R&R! No housework, no cooking and a little help in the toddler chasing department. It sounds so nice, I may have a hard time coming back!

Our last beach vacation was in Brazil for my brother’s wedding last year. Roark was 6 months old then, but we packed similar things and it worked out great!

And even though I made this list of my Toddler Beach Essentials so I would stay organized and not forget things, I am also hoping that it will help some other mamas out there, because planning for a vacation can be stressful, no matter how many times you’ve done it.

Toddler Beach Essentials

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-pieces swimwear for R because I find them more versatile and easier to change diapers. 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. The bottoms often come with a string feature, which allows me to buy a bigger size that will last him for months.

[2] Swim diapers- R loves the water, so while on the ocean or the pool, 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.

[4] Dry clothes – we love to go with the flow on vacation and we are pretty casual. Often we will stop at a nearby town or restaurant and have food before going back to the hotel, so having dry, clean clothes are a must to avoid having to eat in wet suits.

[5] Dry bag – I love having a dedicated bag for wet suits. When we go back to the hotel, I can dump them all at the sink, give it a quick wash and hang them to dry for the next day. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot a wet article of clothing in the car overnight, and how horrible it smelled the next day.

[6] Hat and sunglasses – the only time my son actually leaves these on is when we are in full sun. Good thing since he that when he needs it.

[7] Flip flops- this will be a new thing for us this year, but we are trying it out at home. He will need flip flops when walking in different terrain on the beach.

[8] Picnic blanket- some of the beaches we will visit will have no chairs available, so this blanket will provide a sand-free place for all of us to sit, lay, play and take naps.

[9] Food – I love food pouches and dry snacks for the beach because they are easy to transport, require no refrigeration and can be given to R for self-feeding. In between meals, these veggie packed puree are awesome and filling.

[10] Water thermal cup – R will need plenty of water and it’s nice to have it chilled before we leave the hotel, so throughout the day he has fresh tasting water. These are great also for keeping milk chilled.

[11] Pool – this is a luxury item for a toddler, but since R loves the water and I know I will probably need to chase after him to keep him from going into the sea, it’s a necessity for me. This one comes with a built-in shade feature and it’s shallow enough that he can get in and out by himself. He will be supervised of course, but it will be easier to keep him contained in the pool vs. the ocean!

[12] Float – some beaches in Hawaii have protected pools that he can go in with us. He will also use this at the pool a lot. Again, I like the shade feature and that it dries quickly.

[13] Toys- I plan on only taking a couple of toys on this trip, so multipurpose toys are my picks. These beach toys can be used in the bath and the multi-sensory will keep him busy in restaurants as well.

[14] Cornstarch baby powder – I recently fell in love with cornstarch when dealing with a bad rash R had. This stuff is gold! It will keep his bum dried and healthy. In addition, when we are ready to leave the beach, it will help remove the sand from tiny feet.

I created this collection to be super easy to shop. All of these items can be found at Target and you can buy them by clicking on the images*.

I hope this Toddler Beach Essentials list is helpful to you when planning your next vacation! If you would like to follow our vacation, check out our Instagram accounts (here and here) and subscribe to my channel on YouTube. I am thinking of going live on the channel if I get some free time- maybe do a Q&A? Tweet me if you want to see that.



*Affiliate links were used, meaning that if you buy these products using my link, I may receive a small commission. If you are thinking about buying these products, please consider using my links to support this blog and future posts like these. Thank you!




  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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