Saturday, July 26, 2014

Baby at the Beach!

As you may have seen in my previous post...Thank God for the beach, beer and Dorito fingers...we are beach lovers! And complete minimalists when it comes to beach gear. My two big boys are now 8 and almost 12 so all we have to do is slather on their sunscreen and send them out with their boards...which they carry themselves ;) Big Daddy and I rotate playing and lounging....it's heaven!! And, then we went and had another baby! Needless to say...our beach routine changed a bit. However, this is our 3rd round with a baby at the beach so I'd like to think we have learned a thing or two.  So here I present to you...How To Survive with your Baby at the Beach!!!
* Lower your expectations. This is probably the most important key to surviving the beach vaca with baby. No matter how "easy going" your baby is.....there will be messes, meltdowns and mixed up sleep schedules.  Just remember...you are on vacation!!! This is your time to relax and enjoy being with the ones you love the most!
* "Babyproof" your vaca quarters. Especially if you have a mover and a shaker. Easier said than done sometimes but even just moving that death trap of a coffee table can make the week a lot less stressful.
* Less is more!!!! I always pack too much....ALWAYS!! Baby had a full suitcase to himself and I think he wore 3 different onesies and a swim diaper all week.  But, we had blankets and pack and play sheets for days! You will need a lot of these....sand happens!
* Sand happens...a lot of sand happens! In the diaper, in the neck folds and in the mouth. Just try to keep them from ingesting complete mouthfulls and everyone should be good.
* If your baby is in the sitting or crawling around stage where the beach is a full buffet of all you can eat sand....buy a little blow up pool. They are less than $10 and it will be the best money you ever spent. It's a beach baby containment system. And, if you're feeling really generous, throw some ocean water in there for them to splash around.
* Clothing is completely optional on the beach. However, if your little one is fair skinned....clothing is a necessity! Swimshirt, hat, and swimmie diaper...or if you cloth diaper, use one of your "worn out" covers, without an insert - just designate that one cover as the swim diaper.
* Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!!! If baby is 6 mos or older...lather them up...often!! And, limit their time in the sun...their sweet little skin is still so new and they will burn quickly! The hours between 10 and 2 are the most brutal so be careful and make sure there is some shade if you are out during those times.  And, get that baby a hat!! The floppier the better...it will cover more :)
* Toys for the beach??? Completely unnecessary....did you forget about the "all you can eat sand buffet"? My little guy sat and crawled right at the edge of the water digging for days with his little hands!
* Toys for the vaca quarters? Fill a suitcase or they will drive you nuts!
* Food for baby??? Make sure you have all the gear you will need...breastfeeding? Boobies, pump and bottles. Formula??? Bottles, water for mixing and formula. Beginning food??? Pouches with spoon attachments are amazing! They saved our tails quite a few times. You should also consider packing all the utensils you will need for baby...spoons, bowls, sippy cups, etc....most places, even those with fully stocked kitchens, will not have these items. I make a lot of baby's food and I actually packed my Magic Bullet so I could grind up food for baby!  Eating out?? Get a high chair cover!! You can find one for under $20 and it will keep baby from gnawing on all those nasty restaurant high chairs...they will cover shopping carts, too!
* Sleep - consider your options with where you will be staying. Many hotels, large condo units and rental houses will have cribs available. Don't forget to pack bedding!!!  We always take our pack and play which doubles as a baby condo containment system ;)
* Transportation...and I'm not talking about how you are getting there!  Think about what activities you have planned while you are on vaca...you may not need the full stroller system. Many major attraction spots have stroller rentals. We brought ours and didn't really use it. We did use our Ergo baby carrier a ton, though!!!
* And above all...pack your sense of wonder and delight because that is exactly what you will experience with baby at the beach. Look out over the ocean with a fresh set of eyes....see the world as baby does. Amazing and big!! So many new sights, sounds and textures. A whole new world has opened up right before your little one and you are the one blessed enough to share this moment with them!
And....if your baby has entered the walking/running stage....don't bother with the beach chairs because you will not sit down the entire time!!!
Happy Travels!!!

55 comments:

  1. I hear ya! I have 5 kids and 2 years ago we decided to have another baby and this year has been really tough to do things with a toddler. We make it work though and he loves the water. =)

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    1. Whoah!! Go Momma!! :) Love a water baby!!!

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  2. It's been so long since I been to the beach. I miss the smell and the sounds and of course the water. It's so great to instill a love of water/swimming early. It's such a powerful exercise. You are building memories of a lifetime!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet words :) I'm so thankful that my children love the water and also have a healthy respect for the water. Love, love, love the ocean!!!

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  3. Great suggestions!! I am no longer in the baby stage, as my baby is now 13. But I do have a couple grandchildren I take to the pool or beach on occasion--- this was worth a second read before we go next time.

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    1. Thanks so much! It's taken me 3 kids but I must say...this was the smoothest beach trip yet :)

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  4. I have 2 chihuahuas and while some of you may not consider them children, I do. I live right by the beach in Ft. Lauderdale and honestly understand how difficult travelling with babies in the heat can be! The sand, oh my goodness, the sand that gets on everything when we get home!! I bring a little popup shelter and 2 frozen gallons of water that melt quickly. They LOVE their little baby pool, which you should consider bringing for your little one. (Mine is a blow-up, but you still have to bring a pump or your hubby will pass out blowing it up in the sun lol.

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    1. They are 100% your babies!! My first two babies were 100 lb labs :) True on the blow-up pool - I was cracking up listening to Big Daddy huff and puff his way through that ordeal the night before we hit the beach. Never mind the air pump I packed!! Hahaha!!

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  5. It is always so much work to bring a baby to the beach, but it is worth it. Amber N

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    1. Yes it is!!! A lot of work but tons of fun!!

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  6. This is great. I think the best thing is to relax. Beach=sand. Beach=salt. It's going to be everywhere. And relax-it's ok! lol

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  7. Great advice for going to the beach. I love the blow-up pool for the babies. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That blow up pool saved our tails! He loved it :)

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  8. I always pack way too much to whoever I go somewhere. I figure better safe than sorry!

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  9. I don't have any children, but these sound like great tips for taking your baby to the beach! It is true that sand is its own "super toy", and that there will be messes.

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    1. Lots of messes!! Once you're at the beach with a child, you remember how much fun digging in the sand really is :)

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  10. Really great advice. I chuckled at your description of the beach buffet (aka sand). My only problem is, where were you when my kids were younger? I definitely could have used you then!

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    1. Haha!! Now, you'll be an expert when you're a grandparent - many, many moons from now, right!?!?!

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  11. Aside from their beach toys, sunscreen, water, and rash guards are children's best friends when at the beach. If we adults find sunburns uncomfortable, what more with kids right? Beach Chairs are always handy for parents with kids who are already walking and love the water.

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    1. I have to admit - I never even had a great beach chair until my older boys were big enough to play in the surf by themselves. So, until my little guy is big enough to play with a little independence - my sweet little chair will lie in wait ;)

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  12. Wow I wanted really wanted to go before our critter is here but my husband kept saying it will be better if we go next year ya sure since he doesn't have to take care of the baby and it will be all on me >.<

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    1. haha!! If you have the chance before baby - go, go, go!!! The beach is so grounding. I loved being at the beach pregnant! Just take a good chair or do what I did - dig a hole big enough for your belly so you can lay down. It feels so awesome to be able to lay on your stomach and not "squish" baby ;)

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  13. LOL on not bringing a chair if you have a baby. That is the absolute truth. :)

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    1. Right!?!?! I don't think I sat down in a chair on the beach until my big boys were school age! And, even then - only in small spurts ;)

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  14. Glad this works for you! We live about 15 minutes from the beach, so we kind of take it for granted...these are great tips!

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    1. Lucky!!! We would love to live at the beach :)

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  15. Excellent tips and advice. I'm way past this stage in my life, but who knows; grandchildren could be in the future.... ~ Don Purdum

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    1. Thanks! You'll be an expert by the time the grands come along ;)

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  16. Nice tips!! I was once before with my daughter when she was a baby and had fun with her in the beach

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    1. Thanks! It can be so much fun to just be a kid again when you are at the beach with your babies :)

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  17. Your font looks nice. The tips are great, I haven't tried bringing my son at the beach. One of the most important thing is applying more sunscreen at the beach.

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    1. Thanks! I actually agonize over my font choices! Haha! And, yes - sunscreen, sunscreen, suncreen!! And, reapply often!

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  18. I too am a beach gear minimalist, no fun to haul all the stuff. But I do love bringing Corn starch to help get the sand off. No one likes sand in the cracks. lol

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    1. Oh - I completely forgot about corn starch! It does work wonders - especially in the cracks - hahaha!

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  19. I loved taking my kids to the beach when they were younger. They loved running in the sand, building sand castles and filling buckets with water.

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    1. So much fun playing with the kiddos at the beach! Makes me feel like a kid again :)

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  20. Great points! Lots of smart families rent strollers and such once they arrive at our vacation town. Brining and carrier, and then asking the front desk for stroller rental services is a smart idea!

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    1. Thanks! We totally could have left the stroller at home - I mainly used it to park baby in it with some snacks and toys while I cleaned up for dinner! haha!!

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  21. You did a great job teaching us about taking babies to the beach. Very detail and I like the way you write. I don't go to the beach, i saw Sharknado, I'm scared now.

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    1. Thanks so much! Hahaha! Sharknado!! My older boys love that movie ;)

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  22. Great tips!! I too have older kids 13 and 6 and thinking of adding a baby to the mix.

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    1. Our newest little man was a complete surprise! But, I can honestly say - I love that he has two much bigger brothers - they are amazing helpers and are completely smitten :)

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  23. do you have any advice for us cheetah owners who might want to take their cat on vacation?

    http://theinnercircle64.blogspot.com/2014/07/8-questions-withkaren-dumas-of-images.html

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    1. Well, the only experience I have taking cats anywhere was not pleasant ;) My cats hated going anywhere! Just pulling out the crates would set them to howling!

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  24. Isn't that the best part about having boys? Packing less? Well not the BEST thing. but a great thing!

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  25. In anywhere I go now, I tend to lower expectations as there are more reviews I see online and pictures which do not tell about reality. When on vacation, are you okay to survive and not cringe without wi-fi/Internet connection? :)

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    1. I hear ya! Once we find a place that works for us...we stick with it! And, the service is terrible there but we muddle through for the week ;)

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  26. wow those are some wonderful tips for any parents; although I don't have any kids myself, but I can relate because I see my sister's kids and my friends' kids; and the like. I once saw a little girl with her parents while we were on a vacation, who had her own little coffee/milk mug, which was shaped as a frog.. whoa!

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    1. Parents will go all out! We have definitely reduced the amount of junk we have with each kid :) Although a little froggy mug sounds pretty cute ;)

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  27. Now I HAVE to go to the beach! I have't been in so long.

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  28. I think the beach is a good place to take a baby or young child. My son use to love playing in the sand and running away from the water.

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