You’re going to take a four and a half month old baby to the beach? Are you insane?
So no individual actually said those words to me, but the questions above crossed my mind more than once as my husband and I were planning our summer beach vacation. Nevertheless, we were going to make it work.
Now I have to brag on Eliza a little bit because she is an incredible tiny human. This baby rarely cries, sleeps well, eats well, is all around happy and content with her life. So how hard can an eight hour car ride be? Or nine nights of sleeping in her pack n’ play rather than her cozy crib? Or spending hours on a beach in ninety-five degree weather? What’s so hard about that? Well, it turns out with a few simple accommodations a summer beach vacation with a four and a half month old baby can still be extremely enjoyable.
So here are five things I would suggest considering when taking a baby to the beach:
- BABY’S SUN PROTECTION
According to our pediatrician (and many other online sources), babies under six months old should not wear sunscreen. Our pediatrician told us that this is because baby skin is so thin that the sunscreen can soak right through the skin and enter the blood stream. So we had to find another form of sunblock for our tiny human. We ordered this tent from Amazon, and it was a life saver. It was super easy to set up, however, much easier to fold up and pack away with an extra set of hands (according to my husband, being that he was the one in charge of tent set up/tear down). When it was folded up, it was very compact and easy to transport. It was spacious enough for me to sit inside with Eliza and nurse her, it kept her from getting sand everywhere, and most importantly it kept her from getting sunburnt everyday.
- CAR ENTERTAINMENT
Being in the carseat is not Eliza’s favorite thing, to say the least. So I was not looking forward to the eight hour car ride to get to our luxurious vacation location (has teleportation seriously not been successfully established yet?). In order to make the drive as enjoyable as possible, we decided to leave a day early to split our car ride into two shorter shifts. Thankfully, it just so happens that Trey’s mother lives right around the halfway mark on our route. Therefore, not only were we able to split our travels into two shifts, but we were also able to visit with Eliza’s grandma and grandpa. Bonus! We were able to coordinate our travels with Eliza’s regular nap times, and I would GREATLY suggest planning travels with a baby this way. On the Friday that we left, we were able to drive three of the four hours with Eliza sleeping! Do the math, and you will realize that that only left one hour of awake time in the carseat. For that one hour, we had plenty of things for Eliza to chew on, books for her to look at (she loves books and being read to – also for chewing!), and we had a secret weapon that we actually discovered during our travels. Eliza loves it when you sing her the ABC’s. When I say she loves it, I mean she loves it. Singing the ABC’s became our go-to fussy baby calmer. Seriously. Stopped any fussiness immediately. There were several times when Trey and I would sing the ABC’s repeatedly for about ten to fifteen minutes straight to lull Eliza to sleep in her carseat. Life. Saver.
- DON’T OVERPACK
Thankfully, we didn’t really have the option of overpacking because we drove our Prius. For those of you who don’t know, a Prius is not exactly an oversized motor vehicle. However, as I was packing, I found myself thinking about every single possible circumstance that could present itself and the items that I may or may not need for said circumstances. Granted, I came to my senses and realized that I was over thinking the packing process. I chose to focus my packing on the minimal items that would be necessary to make it through the week. The largest item we had to take with us was Eliza’s pack n’ play. This was helpful for her night time sleep, as well as some naps – the naps that she didn’t take on the beach in her tent, in mama’s arms, or snuggled up in our bed.
Now, I will say that there were a few items that I did overpack. Those items being baby blankets and diapers, although I would much rather overpack diapers than skimp on diapers… When it comes to all of Eliza Jane’s blankets, I don’t know why I thought I might need the amount that I brought. It was quite excessive.
- TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS/VIDEOS (BUT NOT TOO MANY)
The week will go by too fast, as all vacations do. Don’t forget to document your time in some way, shape, or form. However, DO NOT spend the whole week behind a lens! Make memories with your little by just being in the moment. For us, this was Eliza’s very first trip to the beach. That will never happen again, and I do not want to forget the times that we shared.
- HAVE FUN WITH YOUR HUMANS!
Now, this point kind of goes along with number four… In the hustle and bustle of making sure you have everything you need when and where you need it, trying to document your time so that you have some tangible memories (prints, obviously), don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Enjoy your spouse, enjoy your tiny human, and enjoy the time you get to spend together as a family. It’s the beach for crying out loud!
So here are a few shots from our lovely vacation at Kitty Hawk, NC!
Needless to say, we are looking forward to many family adventures in the future.