What to do with a baby at the beach

I had never taken an 8 month old to the beach before. Certainly not one that had just started sitting up and was starting to think about crawling. My oldest was 5 months old on his first trip to Hawaii. He pretty much stayed wherever I put him; slept anywhere too. Not my youngest. No he wanted to be everywhere all of the time.

So what to do with an 8 month old baby boy that was full of energy, but didn’t want to play in the water, while we were on the beaches of Kauai?

Simple. Stick him in a pool.


I can’t claim to have thought of this idea first, although after the looks we got at the beach I think we may be one of the few who had done it. When we flew into Lihue, the rental car agent told me she had heard of people buying a $5 baby pool to let the baby play in at the beach. I was skeptical. It just seemed so silly. Why would I spend all that money on a pool (no way could it really be under $10!) to use for two weeks and then toss it when we had to leave? I let the idea fall to the back of my mind as we pulled away ready to start our Hawaiian adventure.

On our way to the east side we popped into Walmart to reload on food and essentials. Low and behold, there was a pool just waiting for us. A bright pink, green and yellow kiddie pool you could blow up and stick in your yard, or in my case, on the beach next to our towels and under an umbrella. It was $5.99. I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least give the idea a try.


We broke the silly thing out on the far north side of the island at Ke’e Beach. My husband blew it up, I laid a towel down so it would be more comfortable and plopped my 8-month-old son right in. He was in heaven. He had toys, a safe place to play, and a new space to explore. I was excited because I had a cheap and easy way to keep Ty from  stuffing handfuls of sand down his throat. I’m all for teething toys, but that much grit going into his system would not be much fun coming back out.

Tip: Buy a cheap, blow up baby pool to sit your baby in at the beach.

This tiny pool that no toddler would fit in was the perfect solution to our beach needs. What started out as a silly idea became my godsend. It afforded my husband and I more relaxation, and the flexibility to play with our oldest in the sand, but still know that our youngest was safe and having a bit of fun on his own terms.

I later found the same pool on Amazon.com that we could order for beach trips closer to home. Check it out!

Sunset Glow Baby Pool


WARNING: If you give this crazy idea a try remember to stay with your child. It is tempting to think they are safe and sound in their little nest, but be warned, my youngest figured out that he could throw himself on his belly and chew the sides, or if he really flung himself good, he could get his hands into that sand. Babies still need to be supervised even if they are in a semi-protected space. As with all things baby, you are still responsible for their safety, not the contraption you put them in. Suffocation is also a real risk, so please, watch your children!

What creative ways have you come up with to let your baby play safely at the beach?

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12 thoughts on “What to do with a baby at the beach”

  1. Nicole at Arrows Sent Forth

    Works great at campsites too!

    1. © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

      Good to know Nicole!

  2. Jen

    So cute and such a great idea!

  3. Average Traveller

    That’s brilliant! I’ve seen play tents on the beach but the kiddie pool gives you better visibility and much more access.

  4. Malaysian Meanders

    I’ve seen people use pop-up play tents on the beach so that the little one is shaded.

  5. Ashley Steel

    We bring a tent! Same idea as a pool but baby can’t escape. Plenty of shade if the tent fly is on. Parents can zip inside to nurse or change (or nap). take off the tent fly and you have a big screened in porch 🙂 @travel @kids

    1. © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

      Love it!

  6. Cam @ Traveling Canucks

    Great idea!

  7. Kate

    Such a great idea, and you can’t beat the price! I wonder how Bergen would have handled it in his “younger” days…we tried his blow-up crib, and he was NOT having it…but maybe with the increased visibility in the pool, he’d have been more content.

  8. Jessica

    That’s one smart traveling momma!

  9. budget jan

    This is a great idea – Love it. I will tell it to people I know with babies, and I will save it and claim it as my own for when I get grandchildren!

  10. Hilarye Fuller

    This is just awesome Keryn! I wish I had known this last month when we were in Aruba! May try this in Myrtle Beach in a few months!

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