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What to bring to the beach, a packing list for vacation with a toddler

Related post topics, things to bring on vacation and beach vacation checklist

When we took our son to the beach for the first time he was 8 months old and I remember scouting every site I could to make sure we were completely prepared. I’m a checklist kind of girl, I like to have ALL the bases covered, especially when it comes to kids. I wanted to make sure we visited a beach that was kid-friendly and had plenty of amenities nearby. Whilst looking for amenities, I came across sites like which offer beach bike rentals. The baby could sit in various bike accessories and even rent one of their helmets too, ensuring safety, but he could get to see the whole beach from his eye level, not ours when we picked him up. I thought that was pretty cool. I’ve always been this way though when it comes to planning days out or even vacations. I like to know that I’m fully prepared just in case something doesn’t go to plan. When we take a flight I look at flight checklist articles written by businesses like Lapeira and when it comes to any event in the year I scour the internet looking for the best checklist so I can be prepared no matter what. Now that my little one has transitioned from baby to busy toddler our vacation checklist has changed a bit. If we were going to a beach pretty far away, say to Iceland, I think our checklist would be different there too. Plus we’d have to check out an iceland car rental because I am not navigating those roads with our car, as I don’t think it would come back in one piece. I guess what I’m saying is, times change and so do checklists. Don’t forget to check when the best time is to go, as you won’t want to go during a season you can’t have some fun! Go onto websites like to see when the best time is.

Having these things onboard makes our beach day go a little smoother and keeps me a little calmer just in case a situation arises. With toddlers you have to always be on guard for a situation, they have a knack for finding them. There are all the basics of course, but a few extras that will make it easier for you to relax a little and keep your kiddo content.

What to Bring to the Beach for Vacation With a Toddler Beach Packing List @forkidsandmoms

What To Bring to the Beach — Vacation With a Toddler

  • Sunscreen – I keep sunscreen everywhere during the summer. I have a bottle at home, a bottle in the car and a stick I keep in my purse. Apply sunscreen before you leave the house, before you get him dressed. That way it has time to settle in and also so you get all the little corners and spots. I love the Babyganics Spray and also their stick SPF.
  • Rashguard – A rashguard is that double check so you don’t have to worry so much about the sunscreen. It will keep your little one covered and also protect from sand rubs and pool scrapes a little better. My favorite rashguards are the ones from i Play that have built in SPF.
  • Baby Powder– The worst thing ever is trying to get sand off a sweaty, sticky toddler without rubbing him raw. Sprinkle baby powder on first and it will come right off.
  • Sun Shade– If you are planning on being out on the beach for longer than a couple of hours definitely bring a shade. The new ones pop out quickly and are great for when your toddler wants to take a nap or just needs a little break. Mine is from Coleman
  • Outdoor Blanket – I love our outdoor blanket. It folds up small and I keep it in the car. We’ve used it for picnics, playing in the grass, watching the fireworks, and it’s been on every beach trip. I love this one by JJ Cole.
  • Mesh Beach Bag– So you can leave the sand at the beach. Here a few popular ones
  • Snacks + Water- Because nothing will spoil a day like a hangry toddler. I pack a freezable cooler bag with a big bottle of frozen water (works as an ice pack and you can drink it) and some goldfish, apples, grapes, cheese sticks, raisins and a few sandwiches or wraps in case it’s a long day and we don’t make it back for lunch.
  • Wet Dry Bags- Great for sticking wet swimsuits in to keep separate from the dry stuff. Mine are these cute owl print ones.
  • Beach Toys – This is where it all depends on what your child loves and where the beach is. If you can only pack a few small toys then I would suggest a bucket, a shovel and a ball. I learned the ball part the hard way after a trip where my son was absolutely entranced by kids throwing a ball and threw a tantrum over it. We had to move out of view of them to keep him from running to steal it over and over. Now i always bring something to toss just in case. Here are a few of our favorite beach toys:
    • This 15 piece beach set has all the basics
    • Melissa and Doug Sunnyside Sand Baking Set – Fun for making a sand cake! A whisk, bowl and some cute sand molds will keep your child happy all afternoon.
    • Sandhole Corn Hole game – My son loves to play cornhole! This fun sandhole version is always a good time on the beach for kids and adults.
    • Intex Jumbo Beach BallKids go bananas over this giant beach ball. It’s great for entertaining a group of littles or if you just want to run around and play with your toddler. Also great for working off energy when you want to wear them down for naptime.
    • John Deer Sandbox Truck 2 Pack Vehicles – Truck obsessed toddlers will love these!
    • Another fun one from Melissa and Doug – The Sunny Patch Seaside Sand Cookie Set is so much fun, with cookie molds and pans for a busy afternoon of baking.
  • Mini First Aid Kit– I keep this small basic first aid kit in our bag. It’s got all the basics for taking care of a cut or scrape and more. Like a whistle, something so simple that can really come in handy if it’s just you and your child and something happens where you need to get help from others quick without leaving him alone. Scissors, bandages, tape, sting relief pads…
  • Waterproof Sandproof Phone Case- will make your life so much easier! Get it! Then you don’t have to worry about dropping your phone when your trying to take pics, or try to dig it out of the bag every you put it away for protection.

Now that you’ve got a packing list of what to bring to the beach you should go make yourself a margarita and pat yourself on the back for being a prepared mommy, ready to rock this years beach vacation! Hope you have a blast and I’d love to hear any other tips for making vacationing with a toddler a little less stressful. Share them in the comments of on our Facebook page.

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What to Bring to the Beach Toddler Vacation Checklist

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