Friday, May 17, 2013

Beach, Baby!!! Top 5 things to Bring....and MORE!

Beach 2012
We just returned from a week of sun and sand, and I couldn't feel more refreshed. I had so much help on this trip, and needed it! Being 6 months pregnant and chasing a 20 month old around can be a handful. We are blessed that we have the opportunity to go to my in-laws condo in Orange Beach each year, and sometimes more than once. I'm not sure if I'd say that I'm a 'seasoned' beach-goer, but my mother-in-law certainly is. We've learned a few tricks of the trade over the years, and especially over the past 2 years having a child with us. I've been asked multiple times for a must-have list, and thought the best way to share it, would be here.

1. Blow-up pool -Don't get scared when I say blow-up pool. It's just a small pool to keep a little one confined. Whether it has water in it, or not, it's great for play time or nap time. We used this a lot last summer, before Ryder was 'toddling'. It was great!!!

Nap Time
Play Time

2. Paint Brush - Let me explain. My mother-in-law has found that this is a 'secret tool' to getting sand off of your legs, feet, arms, and anywhere else that sand coats to your body! Just a cheap one with soft bristles will do. She got a little crafty and painted my handle pink and put a ribbon around it, which is not necessary, but definitely adds some style!

3. Baby Powder - Just a travel size will do. This is another 'secret' that I am revealing to getting sand off. Just shake the baby powder on your sand-covered legs, and brush right off with your hands, and MAGICALLY, the sand is GONE!

4. Beach Toys - These are important, yet there are not specific 'must haves'! I would say, just from experience, a bucket, a couple of shovels,  something to throw (sometimes you just need to stand and get some sun on your backside....especially if you're pregnant!), something that floats (like a boat or rubber ducky) for the blow-up pool, or those spots on the beach where the water forms a puddle (GREAT spot for little ones).

Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade 
5. Pop-up Tent - Okay, now this is a GREAT item to have, especially for the infant worked wonderfully last year! Nap time on the beach was AWESOME, so we didn't have to have someone go up to the room on a perfectly good beach day! We had a different one last year, that ended up breaking, but we saw a TON of the Coleman Beach Shade Tent's this year. You need something that will provide shade, and that has a floor mat, to prevent sand invasion.

We will probably purchase this one, or something similar for our next trip, as we will have a newborn. These are GREAT for nap-time, we laid some towels in there, and we were good to go. They are also great for providing privacy for diaper changing, nursing, or similar private moments.

6. Pack and Play - We have a large closet at our condo, where a pack and play will fit. This is where Ryder sleeps when we go to the beach. 

It works for us.... We don't close the door all of the way, leaving it cracked for air. He is completely content with this...we bring our monitor and his noise maker and we are all set. This may not be for you, but it works for us!

A few more suggestions that worked great for us are:

-Umbrella Stroller - especially when you're short on hands.
-Hat - They won't always keep it on, but at least you tried.
-Sunglasses - See above.
-Camera - Make sure you have this to capture the memories!
-Snacks - Snacks for baby, snacks for kids, snacks for mama! Just nothing that will melt!
-Drinks - Make sure to drink plenty of WATER, but bring something else (in addition), whatever your drink of choice is.
-Extra Hands - This trip was very relaxing to me, as I had extra hands. If you're able to, it's nice to have an extra set of hands, but if not, you find ways to 'make do'! :)

I'll add more if I think of other things. But, this should be a good list to get you started!

Enjoy the sand and sun!