Traveling anywhere with kids takes a little extra planning and packing, especially when your children are young.

Beach vacations can be a lot of fun with babies and toddlers. They have an endless sandbox, water to play in, and a new environment to explore. What is not to love about the beach?

If you’re planning a trip to the beach, or any tropical destination, here are a few things to bring with you.Parenthood and Passports - Beach basics with a baby

Beach Basics for Babies and Toddlers

  • Sunscreen

    This is a no-brainer. If you’re going to a sunny place, you need to pack the sunscreen. This is especially important for a baby or toddler’s sensitive skin. Babies can burn much easier than adults. I lather up our daughter at least once every two hours using an SPF of at least 50. We reapply every time our little one gets out of the water, as well. We use Neutrogena Pure and Free¬†sunscreen on our daughter. It works well, it is SPF 60, which is higher than most we’ve found, and it’s specially formulated for an infant’s delicate skin. I lather our baby everywhere before we get her dressed. I put the sunscreen on her chest, tummy and her back even though those areas will be covered by her bathing suit. Also, don’t forget the ears, bottoms of the feet, palms of the hands, and the scalp.

  • Sun hat

    Once again, it’s all about sun protection. Even if your baby has a head full of hair to protect her delicate scalp, a sun hat is still a beach basic. It will help keep her cool and protects her from getting a sunburn on her scalp (especially where her hair parts). Plus come on, how cute is baby in a sun hat?!Parenthood and Passports - RIU Guanacaste

  • Sunglasses

    Don’t forget about baby’s eyes! Particularly during the first year of life, a baby’s eyes are extremely sensitive to the sun. Even into their toddler years, it’s a good idea to protect your child’s eyes from the sun. Personally, our daughter hates the sunglasses with the strap around the back but loves traditional sunglasses. This brand is my favorite. They are inexpensive, come in a lot of fun colors and include a convenient, protective carrying case.

  • Swim diaper & swim suit

    Most swimming pools require a swim diaper. You can buy disposable ones or reusable ones. Swim diapers are a beach basic to be worn under a swim suit or alone. They do not absorb urine, but do catch any solids, in the event that your little one has a bowel movement.

  • Water shoes

    If your little one is already toddling around, you may want to buy a pair of water shoes to be worn on the beach. This will protect your toddler’s feet from the hot sand or from rocks and anything else that might not feel so good if stepped on.

  • Mosquito repellent

    Water and warm weather are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, so you will want to bring a spray to protect your little one from being bitten. Doctors do not recommend using DEET on children under six months old, so I would recommend this mosquito spray. If you want something a bit more natural, we used a homemade blend of essential oils when we went to Costa Rica.

  • Water carrier

    Parenthood and Passports - RIU GuanacasteThis will come in so handy if you want to go into the swimming pool or even in the ocean. (Shallow area only, of course). This water wrap is made out of jersey material, so it’s thin and breathable. It’s intended to be worn into water and will dry quickly. If you’ve ever worn your baby in a wrap, you put this one on the exact same way as a Moby, Boba, or Tula Wrap.

Don’t forget these beach basics, too!

Parenthood and Passports - trip with a babyBesides the items mentioned above, don’t forget these other beach basics when you are out in the sun. These include extra fluids (water, milk, or formula), a towel, shade umbrella, dry clothing to change into afterward, and a water resistant beach tote to carry it all!

When it comes to a beach vacation with the family, this water bottle is worth the splurge. It keeps fluids cool for up to 24 hours. So even if you are out in the hot sun all day, your drink will stay refreshingly cool! For this reason, I consider it one of my beach basics! I know many people won’t, so I’m putting it here instead of including it in my main list.

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