How to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

Posted June 23, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, Sponsored, TopPosts / 42 Comments

This post is sponsored by Gerber but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Last weekend I took my toddler to the beach for the very first time. I joined a friend and her family on a visit to Galveston for an enjoyable afternoon mini beach vacation full of sand and ocean (two of my favorite things). I admit I was a bit nervous for my first beach trip with a toddler, and I wanted to have all my bases covered with taking care of his needs (and my sanity). Since the beach is about and hour and a half ride from my house, I had to have everything we may need ready in the car. I didn’t want to overdo it, but I also needed to be thorough. The story of mom life, right? Today I’m sharing my essential tips for packing for a beach vacation with a toddler.

How to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

Packing List for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

Beach with Toddler Packing List
Below is an ultimate packing list for your first beach trip with your toddler.

  • Swimsuit and also a shirt that covers his shoulders. Didn’t want to risk any sunburns.
  • Baby sunblock.
  • Swim diapersto wear under the suit.
  • Regular diapers. Wipes. Regular diaper bag essentials.
  • A change of clothes. Ok, I packed several changes of clothes.
  • A hat. Very important of course, and I love his “Texas makes me happy” hat.
  • Sunglasses, though he didn’t use them. One day I’ll get him to wear them.
  • Umbrella for shade. It is HOT now in Texas, so shade was necessary.
  • Drinks. I melted down some Pedialyte pops and mixed them with water in his sippy cups, so I knew he would have extra hydration. And then I brought extra water.
  • Snacks. I did well on this one. I packed some Gerber Lil’ Beanies since I know he loves them (and I am a fan of their nutritional value) as well as crackers and some squeeze packages.
  • Beach toys, though he didn’t touch them.
  • Sandals.
  • Towel and wrap to lay on.
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Beach with Toddler snack time yum lil beanies

Obviously, I had to pack for myself, too, so I ended up with two bags total, plus the cooler (crackers and Gerber snacks for the toddler, water, and a sandwich and fruit for me) and umbrella. Yea my hands were full.

How did we do in our preparation for the beach day?

I’m happy to report I did quite well in my planning and didn’t end up wishing I had something with me that I had forgotten. I almost forgot a pair of sunglasses for myself but remembered at the last minute. That would not have been good, as I don’t want to use my prescription sunglasses where they can get scratched or broken – those stay in the car for driving only.

The little guy loved the ocean. He loved to splash and run around the beach, and made the cutest faces if he tasted the salt water as it sprayed him. He didn’t care for the sand, though. I put a handful in his open palms, and he gave it back to me, and that was that. Maybe he’ll play with buckets and build sand castles another time.

I was so pleased that I grabbed the Gerber Lil’ Beanies (the White Cheddar and Broccoli flavor) at Walmart (in the baby isle) before our trip. My original reasoning to bring these was the nutritional value (the snack is made from beans so contains protein and fiber in each serving) and the ease of feeding (since he can easily feed himself without my help and without making a mess). Baby H ended up devouring an entire container after his first time playing in the ocean. I couldn’t get it out of his hands without him getting all upset! But that worked well since it helped him sit still for a long time – he even sat quietly snacking on the bench while I cleaned up and changed! That was a total mom win!

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Beach with Toddler snack time

Have you tried the Gerber Lil’ Beanies with your Toddler? They come in two flavors, the White Cheddar and Broccoli that I prefer, and the Original. Pick them up at your local Walmart for your next summer outing with your tot.

Be sure to share your beach packing tips with me and let me know if I left something out, so I’ll be even better prepared next time.


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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
I can be found blogging at Fab Working Mom Life and Chapter Break, and hanging out on social media: Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

42 responses to “How to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

  1. I have a simular post. I like how you told us how it went. My daughter loves those snacks. Thanks for sharing this on Seasonal Blog Joy Group!

  2. Those are really great snacks to take on the go, we love the squeeze packs too! My toddler loves swimming and going on trips, although she hates the car.

  3. What a fun trip for you and your baby. I love the beach and just moved very close to one. Actually, not to brag, but about a 4 minute walk. So perfect. Thank you for linking up to Tips and Tricks. Hope to see you again this week.

  4. Great tips! The hat & sunshirt are a must with toddlers – easy way to help protect them from the sun and less area to have to worry getting the sunblock on! We also enjoy the Lil’ Beanies. 🙂

  5. We just got back from a 2 week vacation at the beach and the best thing we invested in was one of those canvas wagons with the big wheels that you can get at Costco! It fit all the essentials so no one had to carry a thing and pulled through the sand with ease. My kids are a little older so there’s some things that aren’t needed…I bring snacks but they are so busy playing that they never say “I’m hungry”. It’s amazing. Thanks for linking with #momsterslink :))

  6. Great suggestions! We don’t have a lot of beaches around here but these suggestions for any summer outing are great. I have this great weighted picnic blanket which is great for outings like these too.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  7. Nice to know I’m not alone in struggling to get sunglasses on a toddler – we have Finding Nemo ones but that hasn’t helped and he takes them off within seconds of them being put on. Good list too I have to say that I’m usually good at remembering things for my toddler but I’m not so good at remembering things for myself – I recently went on holiday without my hairbrush! #weekendblogshare

    • I can barely keep his hat on haha.
      Oh no! No hairbrush? At least that’s an easy thing to pick up at a store if needed, but still not fun to forget.

  8. I have fond memories of visiting the beach with my kids when they were little. These are great tips. Thanks for sharing at this week’s Friday Free for All link party!

  9. Hi Julie,
    Yep, that looks like just about how we pack with our toddler for beach trips! We have UV shirts for our boy, and they’re quick-dry which is a bonus. My son is soooo picky now with food, but I think he likes the White Cheddar/Broccoli Beanies a bit – at least he’s tried them. It also looks like you have the Baby Banz sunglasses? They’re so cute when they have them on! Looks like it was a good time!

    • He refuses to wear those sunglasses. I forget the brand, but they wrap around and stay on his head supposedly, he’s never worn them hah.

    • Aww no beach by you? That’s sad, but honestly I haven’t been to the beach in forever. Since way before we moved into this current house and had the kiddo heh. The hat I actually bought at a yard sale and I love it oh so much!!

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