Get ready for summer and sunshine!

Packing for the beach with a baby can quickly seem like Mission Impossible, but there’s no need to sweat. As long as you’ve got the essentials, you should be in for a nice day with quality time for you and your little one.

A trip to the beach with your baby can be a great sensory experience for them. The sand, the water, and the shells can open a whole new world of fascinating play for your little one; let their imagination go crazy while we worry about the practical stuff: From sunscreen and swim pants to floaties, let’s get a grip on some of the practical things you should bring with you for a day at the beach:

1. Baby Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must at the beach, especially with a baby or toddler. Their skin is very sensitive and extra prone to sunburn and sun damage, so it’s important to bring a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF factor, like our Bambo Nature Sunscreen in SPF’s 30 and 50. The sunscreen is ecolabeled and dermatologically tested suitable for even the most sensitive skin – and crucially, protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Sunscreen is usually not recommended for babies under 6 months (read on for other ways to protect your baby against UV-rays), but it’s important to remember a tube for older babies, toddlers, kids, and of course yourself.

2. Baby Swim Pants

It’s important for your baby to wear nappies to keep the water clean and hygienic for all the visitors at the beach, but you can’t just use normal nappies – swim nappies and swim pants are specially designed to use in the water with a core that will not absorb liquids and swell like a normal nappy. Instead, they are primarily designed to keep messy accidents contained until you can get out of the water and change.

We’re loving the easy-tear sides on our ecolabeled Bambo Nature Swim Pants – they make changing a wet nappy pant a breeze! Plus, the pants are completely free of perfume and chlorine bleaching for your child’s skin safety.

3. Nappy Sacks

A nappy change or two at the beach will probably be inevitable, so remember to bring some nappy sacks or plastic bags. But pack a few extra bags; they can also be used for wet clothes, sandy shoes, trash, or anything else you want to separate from your other belongings.

4. UV beach tent or parasol

Remember to bring some shade with you to the beach! It’s generally recommended to keep young babies under 6 months in the shade as much as possible, and older babies and toddlers should also stay in the shade when the midday sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm. Make sure to choose a parasol or pop-up tent with UV protection, as UV-rays can penetrate clothes and fabric.

5. UV Swimsuit and sun hat

Besides sunscreen, one of the most important ways you can protect your baby’s sensitive skin is by covering them up with clothes. When they’re not in the water, dress your baby in tightly woven clothes made of breathable cotton or viscose that will help regulate their body temperature. In the water, use UV-protective body swimsuits. And always remember to dress your baby in a wide-brimmed sunhat that will protect their face, neck, and chest from the sun.

6. Water shoes or beach shoes

The sand at the beach can be very hot to walk on for sensitive little feet, and there can be shells, stones and other sharp objects in the water. Remember to pack a pair of water shoes or beach sandals for your baby so you can keep their feet protected.

7. Floaties

Floaties come in many shapes and sizes, and with a small baby or child, it’s always a good idea to bring some options. For the smallest babies, you can get floaties with leg holes and shades; these floaties keep little ones a bit more contained as they splash and explore the water, while shielding them from the sun. For walking babies and toddlers, arm floats and swim belts will allow them to splash around safely.

Remember to always watch your children when they are playing in or near water, and always hold on to floats in the ocean, as the wind and waves can carry them far away from the shore.

8. Beach toys

The beach is a perfect opportunity for some new and exciting sensory play. Bring a few beach toys, but don’t overdo it – you'd be surprised how much fun babies and toddlers can have with very few means. A shovel, a bucket, and some sand molds will take you a long way. The water, sand, and shells will provide lots of free entertainment.

9. Snacks and fluids

And finally, one of the most important things to bring in your beach bag: food, fluid and snacks! When you spend time in the sun and heat, it’s important for both you and your baby to get enough fluids and food. If your baby is still only breastfed, remember to keep your own hydration levels up. For older babies, plenty of water is important. You can also give them fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber that have large amounts of water in them. And sometimes, a nice popsicle is just what’s needed.

Tip: Pre-freeze some smoothie bags, and you’ll have a delicious cooling slushie treat for your baby at the beach.

10. And an honorable mention: Wet Wipes

Most parents with small children already bring wet wipes with them everywhere, but they’re especially handy at the beach. Clean up after nappy changes, wash sticky fingers and mouths after ice cream, remove sand from fingers and toes before getting in the car... the possibilities are endless! Also, freeze some wipes before heading to the beach, and you’ll have a nice cool cloth to wipe on your baby to keep their body temperature regulated. Did someone say lifehack?