Beach With Baby Like A Boss
Full disclosure: this post is birthed completely out of doing this 100% the WRONG way. My husband and I were gifted a Laguna Beach vacation this past weekend and it was AWESOME – but went slightly awry when we showed up at the actual beach totally unprepared.
Now granted, we have been to the beach nearby where we live with Kaiden before – so we weren’t expecting total smooth sailing (that’s impossible when you throw sand into the mix – it gets EVERYWHERE). But going to a beach at home is a bit different than beaching with baby on vacation. For one – at home it’s usually not a full day trip and you can leave whenever things get mucky. Beaching on vacation is typically an all-day thing and you don’t necessarily have the luxury to go back and forth from the hotel – where you probably didn’t bring much to save the day anyway. REGARDLESS of how you’re beaching with baby though – this guide has got you covered!
Now – we’ll go with the must-haves I so easily forgot FIRST. Then the standard packing list later.
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If you take 1 thing away from this article it would be: DO NOT GO TO BEACH WITH BABY WITHOUT SOME FORM OF SHADE. Otherwise – all parties will be miserable in this endeavor. In my case, it took about 3 minutes to realize this was a major FAIL.
Now depending on your style & situation, we have a couple options for shade:
- My favorite aspect of this Schylling UV Play Shade is that is folds up like your favorite tote – aka super easy to carry with you wherever you go. It also completely protects your little one from the sun at SPF 50+ and pops up to full assembly in seconds.
- The Texsport Calypso Quick Cabana is a great option for breastfeeding that need some shelter from the onlookers while beaching. It fits a family – not just a baby – so all members can enjoy the beloved shade. This one is a bit more of a process to set up but it does fold up into a carrying case and protects from both sand and sun.
- The ultimate in outdoor family pop-ups is the OutdoorMaster Pop Up Beach Tent. It can fit a family of four and then some. Not to mention, it can be set up in under a minute. You can also fully enclose yourself and your family for privacy to change out of those swimsuits or even take just take a nap in peace. This also eliminates the need for an additional beach blanket or tarp (item #3 on this list) because there’s not only vertical space but a lot more horizontal area to lay and play on the sand (without actually being in the sand).
- If your baby is extremely mobile and likes putting fistfuls of said in his/her mouth like Christine’s kiddo, then this Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard is the way to go. It’s sooo worth it! And it’s very versatile. You can also use it in the backyard or take off the canopy and have a larger playpen in your home!
Note: there are a ton of options that are geared mostly, if not solely, towards infants and minimal toddler play. However – here at the newlymoms we always lean in the direction of versatility and the many needs of growing families. So if you’re looking for infant-specific gear, check out the Pacific Play Tents Lil’ Nursery Tent, the KidCo PeaPod, or the Baby Nook Travel Bed & Beach Tent.
2. BABY CARRIER
Lugging a stroller down stairs and across sand is no bueno. Neither is free-carrying a baby to and from the car parked a mile up the hill away from the beach. SOLUTION: baby carrier. I highly recommend going with one that is moisture-wicking and breathable, as many out there today are made of super tough fabric that will make you sweat, sweat and sweat some more. Also – if you get one specifically designed for the water – you and baby can take a dip without clinging to each other for dear life. Not to mention it will dry MUCH faster than taking a durable canvas version in there.
- Biubee Water Sling Baby Wrap Carrier – This one is BY FAR my favorite because it is both comfortable and fashionable – it’s also crazy affordable. And we all know, as moms, we need to figure out creative ways to Jazz Up Our Style every once in a while.
- This Beachfront Baby Wrap is also super cute too – slightly higher in price point and quality.
- If you and your family tend towards the long walks on the beach – I would recommend something with a little more support, but is still breathable and moisture-wicking. Enter the Gemini Performance Baby Carrier by Beco. You’re able to carry baby (or toddler – up to 35 lbs) in 4 different positions, and it’s one of the easiest carriers to adjust. Whether you’re hiking, beaching or walking the pup – this carrier is sure to fit your needs.
- We also LOVE this Mesh ErgoBaby Carrier. Just like Beco above, it is a multi-position carrier but this one can take you all the way to when baby reaches 45 lbs. AND there’s an extra-large zippered pocket for all your essentials.
3. A LARGER THAN NORMAL SURFACE FOR YOU AND BABY TO LAY & PLAY
A beach blanket is a must, especially if you like to tan and you have an older baby! I hate to break it to you, but a towel is not going to do the trick for a family. Beach towels can be used to dry off and cover up, but extended time on sand warrants a beach blanket.
- This Wild Horn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket is going to do the trick no matter your need. It is a 9’x7’ blanket that folds up to 6”x7” and comes equipped with built-in sand anchors and zippered pockets for your valuables. And the best part? Sand can’t stick to it! So just shake it off at the end of the day and you’re back to “like-new” status.
- The Songmics Outdoor Waterproof Beach Blanket is a great choice for a mat that doesn’t allow sand to stick on one side but helps you dry off on the other. There’s a cushion in between these layers that also adds a layer of comfortability. It folds up nicely into an easy-to-carry tote – my only qualm is that I’m not too pumped about laying on fleece at the beach.
- The Camco Handy Mat is definitely your best budget option. Just like your above options, its folds up into an easy-to-carry tote of sorts. It’s also extremely durable and mildew-resistant – aka super easy to clean.
4. A BEACH-SPECIFIC DIAPER BAG
(aka a Mesh Bag) like this one. They’re inexpensive enough and the sanity it will save you for simply not having to clean out your standard diaper bag from sand is worth it.
BEACH LIKE A BOSS PACKING LIST*
- Baby Sunscreen – ThinkBaby is hands-down the best
- Swim Diaper/ Baby Swimsuit
- Baby Sun/Swim Hat
- Beach Toys (or normal toys that you’re asurrendering to sand & salt water)
- Cooler w/ Water/Snacks for You & Baby. This cooler is pretty awesome!
- Towels—these microfiber towels are great for travel because their lightweight, compact and fast drying.
- Baby Powder – this is a crazy, awesome trick to get sand off baby’s skin without rubbing or scrubbing
- Disposable Diaper Sacks – a must if you’re traveling anywhere that doesn’t come equipped with a smell-proof diaper pail (aka everywhere outside of your home)
- Wet/dry Bags like THESE
*Note: This packing list does not include standard items that should be in your diaper bag at all times – including, but not limited to, diapers, wipes, changing pad & an extra change of clothes.
Right there with ya,
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