This momma's Beach Vacation Guide
I know at least 3 of my mommy first time mommy friends with small babies are heading to the beach soon... so I wanted to share a few things that may make your trip a little easier, and fuel the economy.
The very best thing I did... was prepare. I did some online goggling and asked around to my friends. They gave me so ideas and let me borrow their stuff. Like, did you know that baby powder takes the sand off skin? or that babies under the age of 1 can't regulate their body temperature like we can? A little work upfront might make your trip a little easier.
Baby Sun Tent
We borrowed this one from bestie and it worked out awesome. If you google "baby beach tent" there are about a million options.... some are big enough for the entire family, but we liked that this one was small, and it folds into a pouch about the size of a frisby. We would usually position our beach umbrella over our site as well, so when he was playing/awake he was still covered. This one is cute with the little bug screens... from One Step Ahead. $50.
Pool FloatWe borrowed this from bestie too! The outside blows up, and the inside is mesh... like the bottom of a jumper seat. Holds him up and lets him float with you! The beast part is the shade canopy... since our pool was in full sun the entire day. Amazon $20.
We bought this right before D was born and used it in the hospital and to record fun stuff around the house. It was SO FUN to have at the beach to take pool pictures/underwater video and not worry about it getting ruined because it's waterproof! Amazon. $90 I also read that you can get a waterproof case for your iphone. Lifeproof. $79. I'd be interested to know if any of you have one?!
Battery Operated Fan
We didn't buy this specifically for the beach, but it is a little fan that clips on the stroller. We used it at the beach and on his stroller while we were there... sometimes it is just SO HOT and the air can be kinda stale. I know not a necessity, but it did give me peace of mind. Target. $19.99
Bring a Pillowcase & Sound machine
If you have a high maintenance napper, like me, you will do ANYTHING to keep your kids routine in place so he'll nap. For us, this meant bringing his sound machine (which usually plugs into the wall, but can also run on batteries) to the beach. I also brought a pillow case to lay over the dry towel in his tent because I got a tip from another mom that said her baby wouldn't sleep on a scratchy beach towel. Worked like a charm for us.
The beach is less than a 5 minute walk from the condo that we stay at... which is awesome. But toting chairs, umbrella, bags, towels, tent, cooler, AND a baby... not so much. We bought this beach cart and it was perfect! Chris and I said several times "I don't know what we would do without this cart!". We got ours at Costco for $50, but if you don't have a Costco membership you can still find it online at Amazon.
Bring some of their Toys
Don't underestimate the amount of time you will spend inside. The afternoons were super HOT, way too hot for us to feel comfortable having D outside so we would nap in the house in the hottest part of the day then hit the pool in the afternoon. We also brought his stroller, and would take walks around the condo and down to the beach for sunset.
Put teethers in the cooler
Baby D was/is teething hard core... but having some teethers in the cooler made for some quick relief on the beach if they started bothering him.
This is who we forgot at home... we went to the beach just the three of us. I think that next time we should bring some grandparents or/and friends. There is still things to be done and a baby to take care of... bottles to wash, diapers to change, bags to pack, sand to clean up...
What people don't tell you is that vacation is different now. For us it used to be about sleeping in past 10am and laying on the beach all day. Going out to dinner every night and doing whatever we wanted. Now it is about watching our sweet baby splash in the pool for the first time, getting so proud of him for sitting on the uneven sand at the beach, worrying about him getting sunburned, washing lots more laundry, sweet snuggles before every nap time, and baby monitor on the back porch while we eat dinner at the condo. It's better than it was before, yes, it's a lot more work, but it is so rewarding.
Have fun at the beach this summer!