When Camp was three months old we ventured out on our first family beach vacation. I won't lie to you, it wasn't
great. I soon realized heat + sand + humidity + baby = disaster. At that age babies can't regulate their internal temperature so I was constantly worried he was over heating, having too much breeze from the fan stuck in his face, or going to be sick to his stomach from the milk souring on his stomach. All in all, in a six day period he went to the beach for approximately one hour. 👎
Since that time, we have taken him four more times and leaving tomorrow for the fifth! For each trip I have either over packed or under packed, but finally, I think I have gotten into my "Beachin' with Baby" groove! Check out pictures from our beach vacations below.
So, here's my list of tips and must have items to make your experience at the beach enjoyable and hopefully you can skip some of the anxiety I felt!
Must Have Items:
☆ A fan! It's so important if for an infant and super helpful for a toddler (when you can get them to sit still), and it's not too shabby for Mom either 😉 I recommend this one, we use it in the car, strolls, etc.
☆ Sandless Beach Mat! Okay, so this one doesn't stay completely sand free, but it comes close, and for the price point you can't do better (we have the medium size). My husband, who hates the sand, swears this is the greatest product ever invented. We use it to lay on, let Camp play on, etc. It's such an easier clean up than sand flying off of towels.
☆ Sunscreen! Duh, right? WRONG! It's so easy to forget in all the hooplah of other things. I personally use Think Baby for Camp, it has less chemicals and hasn't bothered his skin one time! Don't forgot yours too!
☆ HAT! Be sure to slather your little ones head down with sunscreen and then pop a hat on.
☆ Rash Guard Shirt! I am obsessed with these, Camp literally has about 10, both short and long sleeve. They are great for at keeping sand and what not off their sensitive skin, and provide another layer of protection against the sun!
☆ Swim Diapers. Don't fall for the trick of using normal diapers, unless of course you don't plan on getting them wet...at all! Be sure to take a pack of wipes too!
☆ Beach Umbrella. Again, SO important to help protect them from the sun and helps them cool off. We try to position our beach mat half under the umbrella, half out, so he can play on each side.
☆ Life jacket!
☆ and finally, a Wagon (preferably with beach wheels). Beaching requires a LOT! Having a wagon helps tow it all, and even better, you can throw your little on in there as well!
Tips for a smooth day:
★ First of all, Relax! There is no time when you're on beach time. The first few trips I felt like I had to rush to get there, why? That's silly. Take your time getting everything ready, go and enjoy.
★ Take a cooler with water, milk, juice boxes and fresh fruit for snacks. Being outside is exhausting and swimming makes you hungry! Opt for easy snacks like fruit that's already cut up, baby food in squeeze packets, gold fish, granola bars, etc. Make sure your little one is drinking every 30 minutes to avoid dehydration.
★ One shovel and one bucket is literally ALL you need! I was so excited for the first few trips on the beach when Camp was mobile so I basically took every beach toy known to man. That. Was. Dumb. I forgot the simple fact kids are, kids and typically prefer a box over a toy. It's no different at the beach. They are easily amused with sand, a stick, a bucket and shovel.
★ Be sure your phone is charged or you have a camera! Soak it all in, we'll blink and they'll just be bratty teenagers who would rather take selfies on the beach.
★ Finally, Don't have high expectations. If you're someone who likes to spend ALL DAY at the beach, realize that won't be happening. Try to stay on your normal schedule and make sure they have their naps -- vacations are so much more enjoyable when they aren't little demons running around! If they don't like it the first time, try again. Enjoy the time you have, soak up the vitamin D and laugh as they consume ridiculous amounts of sand...that too will be ok!
Did any of these items or tips help you? What do you HAVE TO HAVE when you beach with your little?
< First Trip to the beach at 3 months old.
Last trip to the beach at 1 year, 10 months >