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We just got back from our first nearly week-long vacation since Little Man was born, and boy did we need it! I love getting away with my little family to reconnect and relax. If I had my way I would gladly live at the beach full-time, but you know, we have to have jobs and families and what-not. This was our third beach vacation with a baby, though the previous two trips were quick weekend trips. Now that we’ve made the trip a couple of times, I feel like we finally have a good idea of what to expect when we go. And more importantly, what we need to make sure to pack.
The first time we took him to the beach he was not quite 3 weeks old. I’m embarrassed to say we had a full van for that weekend trip. Though as new parents, the fact that we over-packed was not a huge surprise. Now, however, we’ve gotten it down to an art.
Little Man is an anomaly, I know, but he is rarely able to fall asleep in the car. Because of this, we have to time out our car ride for right after he wakes up from his naps. Hubbaloo and I gathered everything we needed packed up before he went down for a nap and then spent his nap time putting those things into the car. Having a checklist to make sure we don’t miss anything has been critical to our successful beach vacations with a baby.
In order to plan for our excursion, we make sure to have a variety of items with the little guy in mind including:
I love this swimsuit. It’s easy to slip on, with a zipper in the back. The material is light and breathable, but the SPF coverage helps momma feel secure with a little bit of sun exposure. A swimsuit is, after all, a necessity for any successful beach vacation with a baby.
We got a package of swim diapers while Little Man was taking swim lessons and we’re still working our way through those. They seem to be really efficient and we have not had any leakage issues using these along with the plastic diaper covers. Ultimately, I’d like to transition to reusable diapers, but these have been great in the interim.
Plastic Diaper Covers
We had to get these covers for swim lessons, but I intend to continue to use them as long as we’re using disposable diapers. They are inexpensive and give some piece of mind in the event of a blow-out.
Baby Pool and Pump
Our little guy loves the water, but the ocean can be a little overwhelming, and sometimes too rough and/or cold.
A pool allows the boy to play in the water without the concerns that can sometimes come with being in the presence of the ocean.
I especially love that this brand offers pools that have built in covers. Little Man gets to play in the water and cool off without being constantly baking in the sun.
Tent and/or Umbrella
An umbrella has the benefit of being fairly easy to maneuver underneath, so multiple people can move their chairs/towels under the shade.
A tent, however, gives you the benefit of being able to have a little more privacy. I love having a tent because it lets me feel like I’m still enjoying the beach, but the tent allows me some privacy when breastfeeding. A tent would also be a great place for a baby nap, if your kiddo is willing and able to sleep in pubic.
A towel could do the trick, but with a baby I like having a blanket. A towel is easy to kick up around the edges, but a blanket keeps a bit cleaner – in my experience.
I love this sunscreen. It’s a mineral sunscreen with better ingredients than most other sunscreens. Unlike many other “cleaner” sunscreens, it goes on smoothly and doesn’t give you a pasty white coat. It comes as 50+ SPF and, despite being very fair skinned, Little Man does not seem to have gotten any color using this. Which is exactly what I want!
At his age, Little Man doesn’t need much in the way of beach toys. However, if I didn’t bring anything then he would be eating sand the whole time. True, beach toys don’t prevent that (sorry — its inevitable), but they provide a nice distraction!
Sun Protection Hat
Our little guy wears this hat most days when he goes outside for any extended period of time. He doesn’t love wearing it, but he’s gotten used to it. And it gives me piece of mind to know that he’s well covered.
A successful beach vacation with a baby, at least one in which he is allowed to get wet, kind of requires a towel. I think a lot of times parents are talked into buying “novelty” items simply because they have a baby. A bath towel or sharing yours will do just fine, but I do like having a towel with a head cover to dry him well.
Beach Chair for Mom and Dad
Let’s face it, Mom and/or Dad is definitely going to spend some time holding onto baby at the beach. Whether your kiddo sleeps in your arms, just wants to snuggle, or wants to play on your lap, having a comfortable beach chair for yourself is as important as having items exclusively for your baby.
I love this fan because it actually produces a pretty good breeze, all things considered. It also has well spaced openings on the cover, so a kiddo’s fingers shouldn’t be able to get to the blades of the fan. I like to hang ours inside the tent.