We took the baby to the beach.
Actually, to clarify, my parents took the baby to the beach. This vacation was our Christmas present and we definitely lived it up this past week on the shores of North Carolina.
It was a slice of heaven with a side of crab-legs, and much to our surprise (we expected the worst), Waylon took to the beach like a fish to water. Within the first 30 seconds on the sand, he bee-lined to the ocean and clapped his hands with glee.
That’s my boy.
If you’re wondering, the trip took a total of 9 hours each way. We left at 10pm and drove straight through until morning. There was no other way to do it with a one year old in tow. He slept most of the time and screamed a little too, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Now that I’ve done it, I’ve been asked for some vacationing with baby tips, which I find very sweet since I know almost nothing about parenting.
Here’s what I came up with.
#1: Take your parents.
Or your partner’s parents, or somebody’s parents to help you with your kid. Otherwise it is no vacation, no vacation at all.
#2: Take Your Food
We ate out exactly once. The rest of the time we took turns making meals and stocked up on lunch supplies from the local grocery store. There are a lot of advantages to this, but most of all it helps you and your baby’s schedule stay flexible.
#3: Stay Close By
Sometimes you don’t have a choice, but if at all possible–STAY CLOSE TO THE BEACH. Our house rental was right on the shoreline, allowing us to take Waylon in for naps, snacks, or shade any time of the day. If you’re staying 10 blocks away–this becomes an issue. I was probably in and out of our house every hour, grabbing sunscreen, water, another diaper, or another towel. Staying close makes all the difference.
#4: Bring Fresh Water
My friend Kim gave me this tip and I’m so glad she did. Even though Waylon didn’t spend a ton of time in his baby pool, it was great to have fresh, un-salty water to splash on his face and hands after playing in the sand. By the end of the week we left the pool on the porch and simply brought a 5 gallon bucket filled with tap water.
#5: Get Sand In Your Bathing Suit
Vacationing with a one year old is not going to be the same as vacationing with your college friends. Once I came to terms with this, our time together became infinitely better.
What about you? Have you vacationed with a one year old? What are your tips for taking toddlers and babies to the beach?