Taking Baby To The Beach

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.

Five Rules To Make Your Life Easier

#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?




  1. Aww, I love the pictures :) And we haven’t taken our one year old anywhere. We are thinking of going to Disney World in February with him; by then he’ll be a 20-month old…it’ll be interesting.

  2. You shut your mouth with all that cute bunting. It looks like it was amazing. Also, that picture of you and WT standing in the water looks just like The Birth of Venus. You always get the best photos.

  3. You nailed it, family along MAkES the vaca. One more, beach umbrella, my boys took two hour naps under the beach umbrella everyday. Leaving mom an dad for some mp3/surf time….what kids?

  4. Are you kidding me with this beach birthday party? Waylon is one lucky one year old. Beautiful pictures.

    My beach tip: Take the diaper off on the beach to avoid a bad rash.

  5. I love your posts because you are real and are not full of yourself. Some bloggers are annoying because they almost seem to be talking down to you. But you admit to not knowing anything about parenting, which I feel the same way.

  6. Yes to bringing family. It looked perfect. And that picture of hubs and little man? absolutely divine.
    It looks like his birthday was a hit. bunting-check. beautiful cake-check. adorable baby-triple check.
    memories were had. :)

  7. Um WHAT with that Martha Stewart Pinterist Bday Hoedown that you don’t mention AT ALL in your write up but then casually toss in the photos for us to drool over. Did you MAKE that cake?? Fess up. I have a lot of questions.

  8. this looks awesome. and YES YES YES to the ‘STAY CLOSE TO THE BEACH’ tip. we weren’t. it was less cool. and i said to steve at some point: “so, i’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that my days of falling asleep on the beach or reading a book are over, right?”


    anyway, great pics as always.

  9. So I was randomly clicking on blogs and found this–it makes me happy and homesick at the same time. Aren’t the Carolinas so beautiful? My family vacations in South Carolina every year (not this year, waitin’ on my little one to make an appearance!) and I can’t wait for my baby to come with us! Your tips are going to be really helpful–I remember when all of us cousins were little getting saltwater in our eyes and then getting all red and puffy. I will definitely keep some fresh water with me.

  10. I love that you not only celebrated, but also decorated for Waylon’s first birthday! Absolutely adorable.

    Last summer, Behr was not quite mobile, which I am certain made going to the beach easier. We shall see how it fares this summer. That being said, here is my two cents on traveling with a tot (more focused on plane travel)

    Traveling with a Baby

  11. Looks like you had such an amazing time!!

    Happy 1st Birthday to Waylon! You did such an awesome job with his cake.

    Great tip with #4. I would never have thought of that, but because of your tip we’re going to do that for our trip to Hilton Head in August. We’re also planning on driving through the night. Hoping our two sleep on the way, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    Happy Summer!!! Great post.

  12. We drive to Georgia every year with 3 kids (Now 8,5 and 2). Before we leave we have dinner and get into PJs. I pack a bag full of books, videos and snacks, they bring their pillows and blankets. We try to leave around 7 at night and drive all night with only a couple bathroom stops. We let them watch a movie and then it is “lights out”. We stop and do the potty thing and prop everyone up with their pillows. They sleep the whole way down.

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