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Looking for the best baby beach tent? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re lucky to get a few weeks off work, a summer trip to the beach can create some great family memories.
Adults can relax with frosty beverages and take in the ocean views while kids play freely in the sand and water.
The beach is one of those places where children can literally roam free, mingle with new friends, and cool off in the ocean….Of course the lifeguards will keep a close eye on them!
But what if you have a newborn? Babies require a little more thought and preparation for the beach than young kids because they can’t share how they feel or what they want.
Taking precautions to keep them out of the sun should be a priority. In this article we’ll take a look at 9 reasons you should use a baby beach tent and share a few of the best baby beach tents available.
Youth Under the Sun and Lessons Learned
As an adult I often look back at my childhood and remember long summer days spent at the beach. Although I can’t remember my time as an infant, I do remember building sandcastles with my grandfather and playing in the sun.
As a child it was had to tell when I was getting too much sun. Somehow I always managed to get sunburned even though I was able communicate with an adult.
If I needed a break in the shade I’d simply tell someone then go find a place. My family always brought an umbrella to the beach, however it was so small that only one or two people could sit under it at a time.
The problem with infants and young children at the beach is they can’t communicate if they’ve had too much sun or if they’ve been injured by something in the sand.
Even worse, they’re at risk for being hurt by other activities on the beach. This is why a small baby beach tent, or baby shade tent is a logical idea for young kids.
These days beach tents are a common site at the beach. I know what you’re thinking, “It will take way too long to set up a beach tent”. Don’t worry, baby beach tents are usually “pop-up” style so they unfold ready for use!
Related: Best Pop Up Beach Tent for Families
9 Reasons To Buy An Infant Beach Tent
No. 1 Sun
Understandably, sun is the number one concern for babies at the beach. Sun exposure during childhood can drastically increase the possibility of skin cancer later in life.
Babies have sensitive skin that’s still adjusting to life out of the womb and lack the full amount of melanin – a pigment that helps protect from the skin – they have when they get older. As a result, all races of babies are at risk from sun damage.
For an adult, about 20 minutes of sun exposure will be fine, then our skin begins to burn. For babies it only takes a few minutes under the warm sun. The result can be a nasty sunburn.
It’s a shame infants can’t stand up and walk to shade – they’re helpless. Doctors recommend that parents should shield infants from the sun for the first 6 months of their life.
More importantly, direct sunlight should be avoided when the strongest ultraviolet rays are present, from 10am-4pm.
You might be wondering, “What if we use sunscreen?” Well, because infant skin is still developing doctors suggest that it’s best to avoid unnatural lotions and sunscreens whenever possible (skincaner.org).
One problem is that if parents apply sunscreen to babies, they might think it’s ok for them to stay in the sun for longer amount of time. Baby skin just isn’t strong so it’s best to avoid sunscreen and try a combination of hats, long sleeves, umbrellas and/or tents.
No. 2 Chemicals
Whether it’s in lotions, clothes, or plastic toys, chemicals scare parents because their long-term effects are unknown. Although chemical-based sunscreens are effective for sun protection, some chemicals have been found in adult urine weeks after applying to skin (ewg.org).
Doctors know that chemicals are absorbed by the skin but don’t know the long-term implications, if any. If there are potential harmful effects of chemical sunscreen on adults, then it will likely children to a greater degree (skincancer.org).
If sunscreen is absolutely necessary, check out our review for natural sunscreens below.
No. 3 Heat
When at the beach families are aware of the sun but sometimes overlook the ambient temperature. When the weather heats up the sand in the summer, we definitely feel it on the bottoms of our feet. The heat also radiates off the pavement, our keys, our car, and sunglasses.
The temperature alone can be problematic for an infant and a baby beach tent can help. Pop-up beach tents and baby shade tents usually have wide openings and windows for ventilation.
This is important to allow airflow and lower the temperature under the tent. Hopefully a coastal breeze can also help lower the heat in the shade.
Light colored tents and umbrellas will also help decrease the heat. Lighter colors reflect the sun, while dark colors absorb the sun and increase heat.
No. 4 Sand
Most parents wouldn’t think sand is a reason for concern, however infants like to put things in their mouth. A little sand wouldn’t hurt an infant but a handful of sand could cause more serious problems like choking.
If a baby has sensitive skin (which most do), the rough texture of sand might cause irritation. A shade tent will definitely help reduce sand by keeping the baby up, off the ground.
Sand tip: One of our beach hacks that we recommend for ice chests, also works for a baby sun tent. If the temperature is high and the sand is hot, dig a few inches into the sand before setting up the tent. A few inches under the surface will have much cooler sand that your baby will appreciate.
Related: Taking a Newborn to the Beach
No. 5 Pests and Bugs
This reason really depends on what beach your family is visiting. Some beaches have crabs, and hermits roaming the beaches. If a baby isn’t moving the crabs may approach to investigate.
Seagulls are a big annoyance on the West Coast and always try to steal food. Sometimes seagulls mistakingly take glasses or hats because they think it’s food. I wouldn’t put it past a seagull to peck a baby if it isn’t moving (that would be awful).
Lastly, the pest I hate most are flies. Flies are common at the beach and will roam around looking for food.
They commonly land on our face, arms, and legs. While adults can easily swat a fly, infants can’t and flies might bother them. Therefore, a tent would help a lot!
No. 6 Kids Playing On The Beach
During the summer, kids are all over the beach. When I walk the shoreline, it’s sometimes difficult to avoid them as they run to and from the sand and the ocean. Some are filling buckets of water, while others are throwing a football. Either way, they’re enjoying themselves and sometimes don’t pay attention.
Even if an infant is close to parents, another child might not see them. A tent can act as a safety buffer because it will cover the infant from running kids and errant football throws. It’s also easy to see.
Related: 25 Beach Items You Need This Year
No. 7 Dogs
We love dogs but they aren’t always a good idea around babies – especially big dogs! Dogs are another potential issue for a baby at the beach. Some beaches allow them and some don’t.
At most beaches that permit dogs, leashes are mandatory however I always see unleashed dogs running on the beach and into the water. It’s fun to watch dogs at the beach but I wouldn’t be excited about an unleashed dog if I had an infant.
If a dog runs over and licks your baby, it might be cute, but if the dog is chasing its favorite toy and runs over your baby, it might ruin the day. A tent for babies would help solve this problem and provide some protection.
No. 8 Noise and Distraction
Summer beaches are full of tourists young and old, looking to have a good time. Some beaches are quiet and serene while others can get a bit rowdy with music and drinking.
If you’re on vacation with a small child, naps are an important part of the daily routine. A tent provides a quiet place for kids to rest and charge their battery. Throw a towel over the top of the pop-up beach tent and reduce light inside so your baby can sleep easier.
No. 9 A Baby Tent For the Beach Is Perfect For Food and Gear
A pop up tent for kids is the perfect place to store your family’s beach gear. I’ve always had the problem of going to the beach and not feeling comfortable about where I put my belongings.
Valuables like a wallet or keys, even hats, sandals, and snorkels are always left in the sun.
A kids beach tent helps solve that problem. Although they are small, a pop-up beach tent will provide enough room to store other things too. Out of sight, it will also discourage thieves from stealing. I know I’d feel lot more comfortable going for a swim if I had a place to store my gear.
Related: Beach Essentials for Women
The Best Baby Beach Tent for Infants and Young Kids
Below we’ve chosen the best baby beach tents to help keep your newborn safe from beach hazards. We ranked them according to design, reviews, and affordability. Our last tent is a large tent for the whole family – it may be a better option for multiple children.
No. 1 Schylling UV Baby Sun Tent – Ultra Portable
Schylling is based out of Boston and has specialized in toys for 40 years. They may not appear to be a household name but they certainly are.
They make products for fast food restaurants, Fisher-Price, Terrablock, and Curious George among many others. If you want to support a solid American company this is the beach tent to get.
Schylling makes a portable play shade perfect for the beach. It features a colorful design with dark blue and yellow. I really wish the blue color was light blue because a darker color can make the tent hot inside but it has a ventilation window that makes up for it.
UPDATE: I’ve learned the darker the color fabric, the better the UV protection so I believe that’s why Schylling chose this color – nice to know! The Schylling pop-up tent has a 50+ ultra violet protection rating and makes for a perfect kids beach tent.
- Measures 31 x 51 x 39 inches
- SPF 50+
- Includes bag, tie down pegs and sand pockets
- Works great for parks, beaches, and backyards
- Opens in seconds
- Made of waterproof polyester
- 87 lbs
This beach sun shade could fit two small babies inside. It has airflow flaps that can be used if needed. Reviewers like the airflow, the easy open and close design and the fact that its compact to fit perfectly in the back of the car.
We like the fact that it doesn’t break the bank either! We recommend Schylling as our best baby beach tent.
No. 2 iCorer Automatic Pop Up Beach Tent Sun Shade
The iCorer is one of our best baby beach tent and comes at a great price. Although it only comes in 1 color (blue) it looks great and comes with its own case with shoulder strap.
It features an open design that allows plenty of airflow. It also has a mat that folds out from the tent, providing a larger surface area for babies to play on. I like the fact it has a nylon fabric with a rating of 50+ ultra violet protection.
- 2 lbs
- Blue color
- Opens in 1 second, broken down in 3 seconds
- Includes stakes and carrying bag with strap
- 65 x 59 x 43.5 inches
Reviewers like it and state that they use it not only for the beach but also the park and backyard. Some comments mention the ease of use and how it’s useful anywhere outdoors. We like this product and the price.
No. 3 MonoBeach Baby Beach Tent – Pop Up Shade w/ Pool
MonoBeach is a Chinese Product that is under the brand name of Shenzhen Qianhai Company. They make sofas, tents, pack bags, among others and sell a lot on amazon This another great option for parents with a baby.
It’s made specifically for the beach and has a depression area on the floor to put water – just dig the sand out below and add water on top and you’ve created a tiny pool.
Similar to the other pop up beach tents it folds up quickly. There’s a mesh window on the back that can be opened or kept closed.
- 5 x 47.5 x 27.5 inches
- 8 lbs
- Babies under 3
- Includes baby pool tent, carry bag, and pegs
- Uses mesh, Velcro, and has a storage pocket
- Ultra violet protection 50+
A few customers have had a hard time closing it but most are satisfied with the sun protection it provides. In the reviews there are a lot of happy baby pictures at the beach.
I like that it has the mini-pool built into the sunshade. It’s a great idea and water can be added in the backyard as well as the beach.
No. 4 MonoBeach Baby Beach Tent Automatic Pop Up Shelter
We just reviewed a Monobeach product above and we’ve got another option for you. This pop up beach tent for babies is slightly larger and has more coverage.
Similar to another one of our best baby tents, it has extra surface area that extends out from the tent. It works for 2-3 people (only one of those adults).
- 65 x 59 x 43.5
- 2 lbs
- Recommended for parks, beaches, sporting events
- Silver coated fabric provides more UV protection
- Blue color
- Includes carry bag, pegs, instructions
- UPF 50+
When packed it’s approximately 18-24 inches round in diameter and 2 inches thick. Reviewers give it good ratings and like the sturdy fabric and larger size than the smaller version (No. 3).
Other reviewers mention it’s a little hard to fold up – in fact, most negative comments were because they had difficulty folding it up for storage.
Best Beach Tent for Families
In addition to the baby beach tents we wanted to share an alternative for the beach. This may or may not be a good recommendation for you based on the size of your family.
For large families with both young and older children, you’ll want more room for everyone. While baby beach tents above are perfect for 1 child, they won’t help other members of the family who want to stay out of the sun too.
Pacific Breeze Easy Up Tent
The Pacific Breeze Easy Up Tent measures 87 x 47 x 49 inches. Its height gives it an open feel with lots of space.
It uses a lightweight fiberglass frame and features a waterproof floor. There are pockets and windows on the side for ventilation. I like the light blue color that matches the ocean.
- 87 x 47 x 49
- Fiberglass frame
- 1 year warranty
- Includes carrying case, sand pockets, and stakes
- 45 lbs
Reviewers mention it takes less than a minute to take out of the bag and set up. It takes about the same to break down and put in the carrying bag.
People like that it’s durable and lightweight. Some reviewers wrote that they also use it at festivals. All-in-all this is a great tent with a high customer satisfaction rate.
We just gave you 9 reasons you need a beach tent for babies. While some of the reasons might not be essential, others, like the sun and heat are important considerations for your newborn baby.
Thankfully, there are great options for a baby beach tents that are small enough to break down and carry with your beach chair. They require little effort to set up and in most cases simply pop up.
If you’ve got a larger family consider a full size beach tent that others can enjoy too.
The early years of sun exposure are extremely important for your baby’s health. Their skin is still developing protection mechanisms so chemicals aren’t a good idea, but neither is staying indoors! Get out and enjoy the sun safely. Thanks for reading an be sure to check out more beach-related articles at Beach Life Expert!
Note: Beach Life Expert does not provide medical recommendations. Use of sunscreens and lotions should be discussed with a doctor to ensure your baby’s safety. Further, sun exposure from the beach or other outdoor activities should also be planned with the advice of your doctor.