Before having kids, I remember ambling to the beach with just a few simple items tossed in my beach bag. As long as I had sunscreen and a beach read, I knew I was set. But after having a baby, planning a beach excursion suddenly felt like the ultimate packing challenge. By the time my daughter was several months old, I felt pretty confident in my ability to pack a diaper bag, but a beach bag? That was unchartered territory. I wondered what to bring to the beach for a 6 month old so that I felt prepared for anything, but didn't look like I had packed my entire apartment in the process.
Fortunately, with a handful of the right products, you don't actually have to bring a caravan worth of stuff. The key is investing in some smart baby beach essentials, like the ones below, that give you peace of mind that your infant will be safe and comfortable, no matter what unexpected situation arises. Blowout swim diaper? No problem!
And while packing for baby is probably your number one concern, don't forget to think about your needs too. If you're breastfeeding, it's even easier to get dehydrated in the heat, according to Livestrong, so make sure you're packing plenty of water for yourself.
1. Beach Bag
Investing in a baby beach bag is the only way to go. Trust me, it's just not worth trying to cram everything in your diaper bag. This large, durable bag has eight pockets for easy organization. Plus, it's mesh so you can easily shake out the sand when you're headed for the car.
I love this natural Australian sunscreen because it's mineral-based and water resistant. It's easy to rub in and it's designed for sensitive skin. Plus, your baby will love the bottle, which turns color in harmful UV sunlight.
3. Sun Shelter
Protecting your baby's sensitive skin from the harsh rays of the sun is especially important when you're at the beach. This pop-up tent has a UPF of 50+, and since it comes with a little built-in splash pool, your baby can have fun staying cool. It conveniently folds up into a compact disc for easy carrying.
4. Beach Hat
5. Beach Blanket
As a baby-toting beach goer, you need a good beach blanket to make your home base. This lightweight spread, which appeared on Shark Tank, is made from durable nylon, so it's super easy to clean, and it folds up into a tiny little pouch. You can breastfeed on it or your baby can sit and crawl on it.
6. Swim Diaper
7. Breathable Baby Carrier
8. Rash Guard
9. Fast-Drying Towel
Keeping you baby's eyes safe from the sun is important, but keeping sunglasses on can feel like an impossible task. These shades stay put, thanks to the adjustable straps, and they're made from shatterproof polycarbonate so they're almost impossible to break, too.