We just got back from our week spent in Charleston and already looking forward to another beach trip next weekend - every year my side of the family rents a house in the Outer Banks. From devouring daily donuts to watching Faire and her cousins play in the pool, it's every bit of relaxing, family fun & we can't wait!

Last week, we got our first taste in how different beach dates go with a toddler. When Faire was more immobile, there was actually an opportunity to bring a beach chair for mama to sit and watch baby play at my feet. Now, Faire charges the water at full speed (so thankful for a kid who loves the water) and she's in constant motion. We enjoy spending our time at the beach during early mornings or late afternoons/early evenings, when the sun isn't at peak heat and there's more ample shade. And usually the beach is less crowded during these times, which is a win. But the best part, I've quickly realized I don't need to pack as many things to enjoy our beach days as I once thought.

Here's a few of our favorite tips and essentials for spending beach days with a toddler:



A coverup is a great addition to a swimsuit, and bonus if it's cute and terrycloth material to help with water absporption. This striped coverup by Cat & Jack is a winner - quick to throw on and has a hood for added protection. 

For shoes, we either bring our Native slip-ons or Salt Waters, both easy options to take on and off. Of course, Faire typically goes barefoot once we get down by the water, but both are super water-friendly, too. The Natives are so great for rocky beaches or when the shore is overpopulated with seashells.

This sun bonnet is a new style by one of our favorite small label brands, Petite Soul. It is a well-structured hat with the perfect amount of coverage. The linen fabric is lightweight and I love how the front brim can be folded up, without falling down. We are loving all of their warm, neutral shades.



Our whole family has fallen in love with the Supergoop brand for sunscreen protection. I was an avid fan of their sunscreen oil years ago, but now we are using their mousse version on repeat. I can honestly say my 22-month-old LOVES putting on this sunscreen given its fun, whipped texture. I also love their skin soothing mineral version, 2-in-1 lip shield, and their basic everyday sunscreen.

TIP: Apply sunscreen before putting on your child's swimsuit. I've found it is so much easier to do indoors or before your little one takes off running in the sand.


We've been tagging along our Gathre maxi to the beach these days, due to the large size for maximum seating. It's no secret, this leather bonded mat holds up great against dry sand, but even on wet sand it was still a breeze for cleaning.

TIP: Spray the mat off with water when you get home from the beach and let dry outside in the sun (which helps get rid of the wrinkles).



Surprisingly, I didn't go too overboard with stocking up on swimwear for Faire. From splurge to save options, here's our brand picks for the season.

From left to right:
Minnow Swim rash guard & bikini. We love the rash guard option for those days where extra protection from the sun might be necessary. Also, each suit ships in these cute reusable bag - perfect for throwing in a wet suit when you leave, or for storing your phone, keys and wallet.

Rylee & Cru. Another small label fave. We found this suit when they launched their SS17 line and the circus print & ruffles give mama all the heart eyes. Darling Clementine is currently running 40% off Rylee & Cru (including some swimwear!) with no code necessary.

H&M. I love all the swim options at H&M, and this rash guard option was under $15! It is the easiest suit to slip on and off, great for quick trips. (This style not available online, but tons of cute options here.)

TIP: Rash guards are perfect for days where the sun might be extra strong. Also, they help save time with reapplying sunscreen.



Swim diapers are a necessity for your water babies. We're in our second year of using the reusable swim diaper by i play and have nothing but amazing things to say. It provides a great snug fit ensuring no leaks and the reusable factor makes it easy for those back to back beach days. For a disposable option, we really like the color-changing swim pants by Babyganics. These are great for keeping extras in the diaper bag or car for those spontaneous beach or splash pad trips. They provide extra UPF protection and don't puff up when wet.


Don't forget to pack water for the family - of course to stay hydrated in the heat, but also for washing sand off those little bums when you change them out of their wet diapers. I always bring my Swell bottle and bring this one for Faire, both of which allow water to stay cool for hours.


The beach is the ultimate playground for a toddler, so you really don't need much to entertain your littles. This 4-piece sand play set by Green Toys is lightweight and the only thing Faire needed for fun.

Mamas of toddlers, would love to hear any additional tips for beach days with littles?