Previously published May 14, 2016 but updated with new information
Are you heading to Kauai with a baby? If so, congratulations! You’re going to have such a fun trip! My Mom lives on Kauai, so when my oldest was 9 months old, he made his first visit over there. Now that I have two little boys, we’ve made several more trips to Kauai. I’ve compiled my top ways to explore Kauai with an infant and still have an amazing Hawaiian vacation.
Where to PLAY on Kauai:
For those who are staying on the North Shore, this is my top recommendation for a baby-friendly beach on Kauai. It’s know for its calm and shallow water. It’s a great spot to watch kite surfers or to watch the free range chickens and roosters! There are rest rooms available here. And then, let you baby nap while you drive up to the end of the road in Ha`ena.
SALT POND BEACH PARK
No matter where you stay, Salt Pond Beach Park in Hanapepe is worth the drive. It’s a huge beach park that’s ideal for families. They have public restrooms and outdoor showers. Across the street is a little market where you can pick up lunch and shave ice to eat at the beach. Last time we were there, my kids saw a sea turtle on the beach! Plus, it makes a great stop after driving up to Waimea Canyon!
A lesser known spot on the South Shore is Baby Beach in Poipu. It’s a small cove with really calm water. Usually there is only one or two other families (if it isn’t completely empty.)
KILOHANA PLANTATION + LUAU KALAMAKU
A trip to Hawaii isn’t complete without attending a luau. I brought my 10-month-old to Kilohana Plantation last year. I was impressed at how much he ate at the luau dinner. Plus the show was so mesmerizing that my son stayed awake the entire time! Of all the luaus, this is my pick on Kauai with a baby. Get my full recap of Kilohana Plantation Railway and Luau Kalamaku here.
Where to EAT on Kauai:
THE FRESH SHAVE
I’m a bit of a shave ice connoisseur. Not only do know the difference between snow cones are real shave ice, but I’m also particular about the flavor. The Fresh Shave is the real deal! They have the cutest picnic tables set up (including a little kid table) so you can let babies get as messy as they want. Plus, their straws have cut out mustaches on them. My youngest had the best time playing with the straw while we enjoyed our shave ice. Read my full review of The Fresh Shave here.
Did you know that Kauai has one of the best burgers ever? Find out for yourself at Kickshaws gourmet food truck. The menu rotates frequently, but the 100% Awesome Burger (yes that’s the official name) is always on the menu. He also has tater tots smothered in pepper jack cheese if you don’t want to share your burger with your baby. Read more about my thoughts on Kickshaw’s here.
My kids and I know good food and we especially love Hawaiian food! Mark’s Place in Puhi is great for babies because they have outdoor seating or you can take your food straight to the beach. And they offer great plate lunches that feature rice and macaroni salad. We stop here every single trip to Kauai!
KALAHEO CAFE & COFFEE COMPANY
If you are looking for a satisfying breakfast, the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company should be first on your list. They have an array of coffee beverages to give you the energy to explore Kauai with a baby in tow. Their bakery has items perfect to grab and go. Or, you can sit down and fill your bellies with hearty food. I like to order a side of fruit for my kids and share my plate of pancakes. Plus, the restaurant was recently renovated, too!
Where to SHOP on Kauai:
Located in Lawai on the South Shore of Kauai, Warehouse 3540 is the ultimate spot for families on Kauai with a baby. Not only is it place for local designers to create and sell boutique items, but they also have art nights and children story times. On our last trip, we found baby blocks, the cutest baby swim suits, adorable burp cloths, yummy smelling soaps, and lots of clothing perfect for new moms. Plus, they have the best food trucks! I love Warehouse 3540 so much that I wrote a whole blog post about it.
KAUAI KOOKIE COMPANY
I’ve been eating Kauai Kookies since I was a kid. My grandma used to bring them back to Seattle after her visits to Kauai. While you can find them at Long Drugs, Foodland, or Safeway, it’s worth the trip to the factory store in Hanapepe. That’s where you can find cookie flavors you have only dreamed of! They also sell other made on Kauai products. Grab a few boxes to eat during your trip and a few more to pack home. Plus, Hanapepe is “Kauai’s biggest little town” and has fun boutiques to wander around. And they have a pretty cool art walk.
If you are looking for the cutest baby items, a trip to Sand People is a must. It’s an island boutique that started on Kauai, but has since expanded to Oahu and Maui. Anytime my mom sends a package to my boys, it’s usually from Sand People. If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out their Sand Kids Instagram. They have a full range of island made baby products perfect to use on your trip or bring home as presents.
Final Tips for Kauai with a Baby
WHAT TO BRING ON THE AIRPLANE
I like to bring a baby carrier in my carry on luggage so I can wear my baby during the flight. If you have purchased a seat for your baby, bring their car seat on board for naps. Otherwise, I gate check my stroller and car seat. Remember to bring lots of snacks for the flight. If your baby is 12 months or older, buy a bottle of milk at the airport and bring a bottle/sippy cup to pour it into. For my full list: My Top Tips for Flying with a Baby.
WHAT TO PACK IN CHECKED LUGGAGE
Bring twice as many diapers as you think you’ll need. Between swimming pools and beaches, you may change your baby more frequently than at home. Pack swim diapers as well. I like to bring 2 swim suits so that one is always clean and dry. Wriggling a wet swim suit on a baby is not fun! I also pack food pouches, extra formula, and extra bottles in my checked luggage. If space is an issue, you can purchase things at Costco or Walmart on Kauai.
WHAT TO RENT
If you are staying in a condo or Airbnb, you may want to rent a Pack N Play or crib. We did this on our first trip to Kauai with a baby. My mom has a condo in Kapa`a, so she rented through a company called Kauai Baby Gear. It was such a great move because it was there before we arrived! I loved not having to worry about finding stuff when I got there. They also rent strollers, exersaucers, baby bath tubs, baby swings, toys and more!
NAP TIME HACKS
Remember the stroller and baby carrier I suggested you bring? They will be your best friend come nap time. And the traffic on Kauai might work to your favor. Plan on visiting one part of the island in the morning then let your baby sleep in their car seat as you drive to another part of the island for the afternoon. I like to listen to soothing Hawaiian music in the car and my boys are out like lights.
If you’re planning on staying closer to your hotel during your family vacation to Kauai with a baby, find a place with a great lanai. That way, your baby can sleep in the room and you can sit on the lanai and enjoy a bit of peace.
Additional Posts About Hawaii
Warehouse 3540 on Kauai is a Millennial Mom’s Paradise
Kauai’s Only Luau with a Train Ride
What I Pack in my Carry On Backpack When Traveling to Hawaii with Kids
A Week in Maui: Tips & Itinerary for Families
Maui Ocean Center Tips & Review
Honua Kai Resort Maui Review
Four Winds Maui Family Snorkel Trip
10 Tips for Traveling Solo to Maui with a Toddler