Tips For Taking Your Toddler To The Beach + What We Packed



We recently took Piper on her first real beach trip so I thought I’d share a few tips! We stayed right on the beach with my in-laws and having the comfort of a changing area and shade a few steps away was really wonderful luxury for us.

Sunscreen before you put on bathing suits.

I learned this the hard way. It’s much easier to lather up on sunscreen, let it soak in for a few minutes and then put on bathing suits. Always be sure to let sunscreen dry completely before going out into the sun or water. Piper was surprisingly really good about letting me put on her sunscreen. She loved being outside by “the ocean” so I would just tell her we had to put it on before she went outside and she’d patiently let me do so.

Get a rashguard!

A long-sleeved rash guard will save you a lot of worry and time re-applying sunscreen. Piper wore one about 75% of the time and I wish I had another one for her. This one is adorable and Piper’s is from Minnow Swim.

Our water diaper solution.

We found reusable water diapers to be really helpful for this beach trip. In case you don’t know water diapers are only made to hold in poop, so if your child pees and isn’t in the water it just comes out. (Which happened to me with Piper in her car seat last summer). Piper was never submerged in the water and it wasn’t until the 4th or 5th day that she really wanted to venture near the water too far but she did get sandy and wet. We had her wear a regular diaper and then put a reusable water diaper on top. This worked really well!  We never had any leaks or accidents. I found the double diapers were a little tight with her swimsuits so on days we did this she just wore a swim shirt or tee shirt.  We purchased this diaper on Amazon last year and I got a 24 month size this year – they do seem to run small but they need to be snug to function properly!

You don’t need a ton of toys.

I generally like Piper to experience the different environments we bring her too without a ton of toys from home — so I kept this in mind and we only had 2 sand buckets and a shovel for her to play with. She loved them and it kept her so entertained, along with collecting shells of course! I love this set.

Make a plan for shade.

If you aren’t staying close to the beach be sure you bring umbrellas or a beach tent for your little one to cool down. I always thought these little tents were cute!

The best water bottle for the beach.

We picked up this water bottle for Piper before our trip (it was actually in her Easter basket!) and it worked so well. It doesn’t leak at all and the straw securely closes to avoid getting sand in it. I filled it with mostly ice and a little water and it stayed cool for a while!

Don’t forget a beach chair.

Piper loved sitting on a beach chair when she didn’t want to be in the sand and luckily my sister-in-law had one for her to use that was low enough for her to get into herself. It was just like this one and works perfectly for her age (21 months) and up. It’s actually how she started to get acclimated with the water and liked to sit there while the waves came up and got her wet!

Baby pools are fun.

I wish we would have been able to bring a baby pool for Piper but since we flew to the beach it wasn’t an option. A friend suggested this and I think Piper would have loved playing in the water, and it saves trips filling up buckets of water!

Other beach gear we packed:

Water shoes or sandals

Adult size beach towels (ideal for wrapping up a tiny, wet toddler)

Beach hat that ties (the one we love)




Tips For Taking Your Toddler To The Beach + What We Packed


  1. Ashley Anderson says:

    Hi Caitlin! The links in the post aren’t working. I checked my browser, and I don’t think it’s me. Thank you!

  2. […] Since moving to Playa Del Carmen, we spend a lot of time at the beach. As you could imagine, our 2-year-old is more obsessed with the sand than the water, so the beach is all about playing in the sand. If this is your first time taking your toddler to the beach, here are a few tips. […]

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