Are you planning a trip to Hawaii with a baby and trying to sort out your Hawaii packing list? Keep scrolling for the best beach essentials for babies that will save your sanity!
This post about Hawaii beach essentials for babies was written by Hawaii travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
I’ve taken both my boys to kid-friendly beaches in Hawaii since they were babies. Each time, I’ve remembered (and forgotten) to pack the right beach gear for babies.
Many people think you don’t need much to entertain your baby at the beach. I tend to agree with that.
But, when it comes to the health and safety of my kids, I’d rather be prepared.
The tricky thing about packing baby gear for the beach in Hawaii is that you don’t want to over-pack. But you also don’t want to forget something important.
Now, there are many things you can buy in Hawaii (like baby beach toys) that you don’t need to lug from home and waste suitcase space. That’s not what this baby beach essentials list is about.
Below is a list of items that are worth buying ahead of time and adding to your Hawaii packing list.
Keep scrolling to find out what to bring to the beach with a baby in Hawaii!
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17 Helpful Hawaii Beach Essentials for Babies
Here are some of the top baby essentials for your beach vacation. These are also great baby summer essentials to have on hand too!
This list includes all the beach stuff for babies that I use and try to pack each time we went to Hawaii. I did not include baby beach items that were too big or not worth fitting into your luggage (like baby beach toys, a baby beach chair, an umbrella, a small baby beach pool, etc.)
This is the best baby gear for the beach to make your beach day successful for the entire family!
1. Waterproof Beach Bag
When you’re hauling around baby gear in Hawaii, you’ll want to keep it protected from getting wet. That could be from the ocean or when it starts pouring down rain (which does happen.)
Now, you can use this as your diaper bag in Hawaii or keep it a dedicated beach/pool bag if that’s your main activity for your trip.
While I normally use a backpack as my day bag in Hawaii, I prefer to use tote bag styles for my baby beach bag because it’s a lot easier for me to find things and stash larger beach items.
You might also like a mesh beach bag to keep all the sand out as well. There are plenty of great options to ensure you have a family beach bag that you all love. Check out the latest prices and more details.
2. Wet/Dry Bags
I only discovered wet/dry bags when my oldest was a baby, and now I think they are one of the smartest baby essentials for the beach.
It’s helpful to bring two of them when going to the beach with a baby.
One is for putting your wet clothes and swimsuits inside to keep the rest of your bag dry. Make sure it’s large enough for everyone’s swimsuits. Find the best prices here.
The other one is to keep your diapers and anything else dry. You might accidentally leave your bag open, or it gets knocked over, and things spill out and get wet.
A wet bag is one of the best baby beach vacation essentials to have on hand! Plus, they are very small and easy to pack.
3. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
As of 2021, the only sunscreen allowed in Hawaii is reef-safe sunscreen. Luckily, many baby-safe sunscreen is already reef-proof.
I do want to mention that sunscreen is just for babies 6 months and older. Infants younger than 6 months old shouldn’t wear sunscreen. Instead, plan on keeping them in the shade. Find the best prices here.
This is definitely one of the most important infant beach essentials to have. Here are some of the best baby sunscreen I’ve found to keep my baby’s skin protected.
4. Pop Up Beach Tents for Babies
Before I had kids, I thought it seemed like an “over-kill” when I saw families set up baby tents on the beach.
But now, I think it’s genius beach gear for baby, especially if you’re taking an infant to the beach in Hawaii. Check out the latest prices and more details.
There are a lot of beaches in Hawaii that don’t have any shade. And it’s important that babies don’t spend too much time in the sun, even if they are wearing sunscreen to protect your baby’s sensitive skin.
It’s really handy to set up a tent to provide beach shade for babies. Then, they have a nice place to nap or crawl around.
If you’re wondering what to take to the beach for a baby, this is the best baby beach gear to bring!
5. Sand Proof Beach Blanket
One thing that I noticed when my kids were babies was that they were really sensitive to the feel of the sand, especially hot sand.
While they liked playing in the sand, they didn’t like it when the sand was on their toes. So, I added this to my baby beach packing list.
I used to just use beach towels, but those get really sandy, and it can be really hard to shake all the sand off.
So, I started using sand-proof beach blankets and beach mats, and they worked like a dream and added to my infant beach gear to always bring. Find the best prices here.
6. SPF Swimsuit and Rash Guard
There are one-piece and two-piece options available for babies. The two-piece is kind of nice because it’s easier to change diapers. I consider that as the best baby swim gear, but the one-piece is also pretty handy. And you can even get family-matching swimsuits!
It is better to have an SPF swimsuit as your baby beach outfit to keep your baby cool and safe as much as possible.
If you are planning on hitting the pool or beach every day, you’ll want to pack at least 2 swimsuits so they will have time to fully dry after each use.
7. Beach Hats for Babies
One of the best ways to protect your baby from the sun is having them wear a sun hat for babies. It protects their eyes, faces, ears, scalp, and sometimes even their shoulders.
And when it gets really warm, you can get the hat wet to provide an extra cooling element. Find the best prices here.
Because babies can be really particular, it’s helpful to buy a couple of baby sun hats ahead of time to see which one they will actually keep on their heads. It is a crucial newborn beach gear you don’t want to forget!
8. Baby Sunglasses
The sunshine in Hawaii is super bright. Baby sunglasses are another great way to protect your baby on the beach. Check out the latest prices and more details.
The trick is to find the right pair that will stay on your baby’s head. I find that the flexible ones seem to have a longer life than the harder ones.
I admit, I think infant sunglasses are so cute (and helpful) that I usually include them in baby shower gifts! They are some great beach essentials for infants and the entire family!
9. Beach Towel
If you plan on taking your baby into the water, you’re going to want to bring a towel to dry them off. Find the best prices here.
There are several different ways you can go with these beach items for baby.
Some parents love bringing hooded beach towels for babies. These are super cute and make for adorable beach photos.
Others prefer to bring along a compact microfiber towel to save space in their beach bag.
10. Water Ring Sling
If you’ve ever held a wet baby, you know how slippery they can be. Now imagine them also slathered in sunscreen.
One of the best ways to put your mind at ease when bringing a baby to the beach or in a swimming pool is to carry them in a water ring sling. Trust me; this is definitely one of the beach necessities for babies you need to bring with you. Check out the latest prices and more details.
You will feel relieved having an extra layer of safety, and your baby will feel secure and comfortable being close to you.
This also works well for rinsing off at the beach showers to get the saltwater off before changing clothes.
All in all, a mesh baby carrier is perfect for all types of beach outings!
11. Baby Swim Float
Another fun baby beach gear item is an inflatable float. The ones for babies have little leg holes so they can get their feet wet. See the top-rated baby swim float here.
It’s helpful to find one that has some sort of shade, or you should have your baby wear a hat.
My boys always preferred the baby pool floaties that had steering wheels or something to hold onto or play with, but any baby float will do for your beach day.
I think these inflatables are some of the best swimming essentials for babies and definitely another baby beach must haves.
12. Swim Diapers
Another one of the baby beach necessities are swim diapers.
While most parents know their baby needs to wear a swim diaper to use the pool at their hotel or resort, many don’t realize they are also super helpful at the beach.
It’s the best way to contain any potential blowouts in the water and keep others safe from bacteria. Find the best prices here.
You’ll want to pack enough swim diapers that you can put a fresh one on each time your baby goes into the water.
Swim diapers don’t puff up as regular diapers do in the water, which is a big difference. They also don’t protect from pee leakage, so don’t use them as regular diapers.
You can use disposable swim diapers or reusable swim diapers.
If your baby is on formula, you’ll definitely want to pack formula and clean bottles. It’s helpful to pack at least 2 bottles so you know you’ll have a clean one.
Bottles are newborn beach essentials you don’t want to forget, or else you will have an angry baby or have to leave the beach earlier than you want to.
Babies can also drink a little bit of water, so if you’re worried your baby might get dehydrated, you can also let them have a few sips of water. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Some beach essentials for a 1-year-old will definitely be more food and snack items. You might want to bring a beach cooler bag to keep everything nice and cool from the hot sun.
14. Baby Powder
No, this isn’t to use during diaper changes!
It’s actually a beach hack I learned several years ago. Baby powder is a magical way to get sand off of the skin. Now it is one of the beach must-haves for baby I never forget to bring! Find the best prices here.
Just shake it on your baby’s feet, legs, hands, etc., and dust it off. The sand will wipe away just like the powder does.
15. Infant Travel Bed
Sometimes, a portable baby bassinet would be helpful during your beach day, especially if you are with little ones. Your baby will want to sleep, and having an infant travel bed will help them to sleep better and safer.
While they can sleep on you, you and your newborn might get overheated, so if you can, I would suggest bringing a portable baby bassinet that folds up nicely and can fit under your shaded beach tent. Find the best prices here.
16. Baby Fan
Let’s face it; you are going to be hot being outside all day at the beach, which means, so will your baby. Bringing a portable baby fan will help so much!
If you can find a misting fan, that would be even better and help the entire family stay cool, especially your little one. Find the best prices here.
17. Folding Beach Wagon
This might not be necessary and not one of the most important baby beach essentials unless you have multiple kids. A folding beach wagon is so helpful in bringing all your beach gear and keeping it in one place.
Plus, it can be a lifesaver throughout the airport too!
You’ll find some that are foldable with heavy-duty wheels and even one side popping down for ease of access to all your baby beach items.
You can even get a kid beach wagon that has a UV canopy for extra sun protection, and it has seat belts to keep your baby safe. Find the best prices here.
Hawaii with a Baby FAQs
You can go to the beach with a baby anytime you like! Taking a newborn to the beach is a tiny bit trickier than older babies, mainly because they need to stay in the shade. Newborns are too young for sunscreen, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant to keep their sensitive skin protected from UV rays.
Toddler items are a bit different than beach accessories for babies. You’ll definitely want sand toys, water shoes, a Puddle Jumper (or another floatation device), and more snacks/drinks than you can imagine!
If you don’t have a baby pop-up tent, beach umbrellas for babies are the next best thing. I didn’t include them on my list of travel essentials for babies because they are too cumbersome for a Hawaii packing list. But you can always buy or rent a beach umbrella in Hawaii to use during your trip. It’s not one of the beach necessities for baby that I personally recommend, as I prefer a baby beach tent instead.
Of course, you’ll want to bring these beach items for babies: a baby sun hat or other sun protection, baby swim gear, swim diapers, a water bottle or sippy cup, and a few other items mentioned above as some of the best beach gear for babies!
There is no standard age to take a newborn to the beach. Younger babies will need to be protected from the sun and won’t go in the water. As your baby gets older and they can keep their head up and can wear sunscreen is usually the best time for their first beach trip!
You can prepare your baby for their next beach trip by taking them out regularly in the sun and introducing them to water and sand if possible. This will help them to be used to the beach elements and will enjoy the experience of their beach vacation a lot better.
It is so crucial to keep your baby cool at the beach so they don’t get overheated. One of the best ways to do this is to have a portable fan as one of your baby beach supplies. If you get one that is also a misting fan, that would be even better!
Beach Essentials for Baby Wrap-Up
Now you know exactly what to take to the beach with a baby! Since you have so little room to pack all the stuff you need, be sure to just pack these beach baby essentials and nothing else.
These baby beach items will keep your baby safe and are essential beach supplies for baby you don’t want to forget so the whole family can enjoy your beach trip!