(I may earn a small commission on the products mentioned in this post.)
A trip to the beach with babies or toddlers requires a lot of planning. There are logistical concerns with having the right gear for your baby and safety concerns to protect your baby from the sun, wind, and sand.
A common question that I hear from families is “can I take a baby stroller to the beach”. The answer is yes, however it won’t be easy and it may be a hassle and prevent you and your family from enjoying time at the beach. In fact, a stroller can be a real headache.
In this article we’ll share the important things to consider when taking a baby stroller to the beach. As you read think about the type of beach you are going to and ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a busy beach with lots of people?
- Is there a boardwalk?
- Are there lifeguard towers to leave the stroller?
- How strong/wide are my stroller wheels?
- How far is the parking lot from the beach?
Can I Take A Baby Stroller To The Beach
#1 Baby Strollers Are Perfect For The Boardwalk
It’s important to mention that some beaches are perfect for strollers. If your beach has a boardwalk you’re in luck. Sometimes beach boardwalks stretch for miles, offering hours of walking or running with your baby.
Using the boardwalk, however, won’t get you on the sand and won’t provide time to sleep on the beach.
If you want to get outside and exercise then the boardwalk is the perfect place to go. Baby strollers are allowed and there are areas on the boardwalk marked for walkers and runners.
Although most boardwalks are paved, a baby stroller (runner) with large rubber tires make it much easier to push.
#2 Be Prepared To Carry The Stroller
If you’ll be spending a weekend at the beach then you’ll definitely want to walk on the sand. Once you leave the boardwalk pushing the stroller will be laborious and often impossible.
Every beach has a different type of sand. Some beaches have thick powdering sand while others have coarse compacted sand. Most tourist beaches have the former.
You’ll need the stroller to get from the car to the sand, but then you’ll have to pick up the stroller and carry it to your spot on the beach.
If you’re strong this won’t be a problem but your stroller will probably be packed with diapers, food, and other necessities for the day.
Your best bet is to park in a convenient location, close to your spot on the beach. This means getting to the beach early before all the other beachgoers arrive.
If you arrive before 10 am in the summer tourist season you should have your choice of parking spots. A good parking spot means you can leave the stroller at the car (more tips for a baby beach day)!
#3 Size Matters: Wheel Size
When it comes to strollers every mom will agree, wheel size matters! 20 years ago strollers were all similar and equipped with small plastic wheels.
Now there are oversized wheels that require a pump to operate!
As a general rule, thin tires don’t do well on sand (includes bike tires). If you want a stroller that does well on sand opt for wide wheels which will provide more surface area on an uneven beach.
Also, don’t expect to run or walk with your stroller on the sand. Wet sand near the water is usually best for running but I don’t think it’s firm enough for a stroller (prove me wrong!).
Although there aren’t a lot of wide-wheeled strollers, there are a few beach carts and beach wagons that would carry a baby (here are the beach wagons on Amazon). A beach wagon doesn’t have a shade cover for your baby but it will help you get your baby and gear to a great spot on the beach.
#4 Expect Sand To Stay In The Stroller For Months
You arrived at the beach. Now you’ve got to hold your baby and hoist the stroller up on your back as you walk across the sand. It’s hard work being a parent!
Strangely, the mere act of taking a stroller to the beach will involve sand getting everywhere. Never mind the fact that you didn’t roll the baby stroller across the sand. In fact, you took extra precaution to make sure the wheels weren’t in contact with the sand.
But it doesn’t matter. Sand has a way of getting everywhere and randomly appearing for months afterward (every time I clean my backpack I find loads of sand and I don’t think I’ve ever taken my bag to the beach!).
If your baby stroller is high quality I’d recommend not taking it near the sand. Sand can get in bearings and cause problems in wheels.
#5 Be Weary Of Leaving The Baby Strollers Unwatched
If you’ve used the stroller to arrive at the beach your first thought will be “where can I leave the stroller while we walk on the beach”. I’ve thought the same thing many times. Before you leave the stroller near the beach do a mental checklist:
- Is the beach busy?
- Can I keep an eye on the stroller?
- Is there a place I can “hide” it
- Do I have a bike lock so I can lock it to a secure place?
- Is there a lifeguard tower nearby that I can park it?
If you’re at a busy beach there will be plenty of foot traffic walking by your unattended stroller – this isn’t a good thing especially if your stroller is nice.
It’s still possible to leave your stroller as long as you can keep an eye on it while you’re resting or walking on the beach. In this case, find a spot on the beach that’s only a 50-100 feet from the stroller. You’ll have less walking and you don’t have to worry about your stroller going missing.
If you have an extra bike lock it’s perfect for this situation. You can leave the stroller next to a pole or bike rack and forget about it until you come back. Few people would cut a bike lock to take a stroller!
Your last option is to look for a lifeguard tower and leave you stroller next to it. Lifeguards are the authority on a beach and leaving items there will be better protected than out in the open. You can also ask the lifeguard if it’s permitted to leave your stroller there.
#6 Make Sure The Stroller Has A Shade Cover
The good thing about taking a stroller to the beach is that most strollers have shade. If you’re spending a day at the beach your little one will certainly need some shade.
If the only shade you’ve brought comes with the stroller then you’ll have to bring it with you on the sand. Pop up beach tents work great for babies and toddlers. I prefer a small baby beach tent to a stroller!
#7 How Far Away Is Parking
As I mentioned earlier, where you park will matter. If you can arrive before 10 am you should be able to secure a parking spot that is close to the beach.
The closer you get the less distance you’ll have to walk – ideally, you won’t even need to take the stroller.
In summer season, arriving at mid-day means full parking lots and driving in circles until other people leave. If you have a baby or toddler you’ll want the parking process to be easy!
#8 Use The Stroller To Carry Other Things
If you do take a baby stroller it will carry other items like a towel, snacks, sunscreen, and glasses (beach food ideas). A stroller can reduce what you have to carry, even if you have to carry the stroller itself once you start the trek on sand.
Taking a stroller to the beach is fine, however, you’ll want to make sure there’s a place to put it and if it’s worth carrying on the sand. At most beaches there are lifeguard towers and bike racks where you can lock up the stroller while you walk on the beach. If it’s a busy beach you might be better off leaving the stroller in the car.
If the beach you’re visiting has a boardwalk, it’s perfect for running or walking (sometimes many miles). But taking a stroller onto the sand makes things much more difficult.
Make sure to arrive early and find a parking spot close to the shore. The closer you can park the less need you’ll have for taking your stroller to the beach. Best of luck!