I shared some pictures of Aiden's first beach trip last week, and since that first beach trip we've taken another day trip down the shore. (I know, it's a weird Philly thing to say "going down the shore" to mean "headed for the beach," haha!). Here's what worked for us in those two times we went:
1. Bring something for shade. In our case, we borrowed the world's first pop-up tent that my parents used to use for my younger siblings at my outdoor soccer games when I was a kid! Whatever you bring should be lightweight and easy to fold up. On the second trip, I stuck the flattened tent in my folded up beach chair so it was one less thing to carry! This one is similar to what I had.
2. Rent a beach house, or visit a friend who has one! Both times we went, it was so convenient to have a "home base" (read: a friend's beach house) to drop off the car seat and get Aiden in his swimsuit. Though bath houses are great for using the bathroom on a beach day, it's SO nice to have a midpoint between your car and actually going onto the beach. Hence, a beach house. If that's not an option, park as close as you can to the beach :)
3. Have a friend/spouse come with you. It makes all the difference to have another set of hands when you're trying to set up and take down your Shade-Creating Object. My friends on both trips were SO helpful with holding Aiden as I got his tent set up and when I went back to the beach house to use the bathroom.
4. THIS RING SLING, MEANT FOR THE WATER! It's AMAZING. It dries so quickly because it's mesh, it's less than $20, and it's so fun to be in the ocean and be (nearly) hands-free! Aiden loved being snuggled up to me when we went in the water, and he actually fell asleep in the sling while in the ocean, TWICE. (I also use it at the pool and it's great!) I wish this company were paying me to say all this. They're not, but they should be. I LOVE this sling.
5. Bring a ton of water, or refill your bottle frequently. You need to stay hydrated, but so does your baby. That means that if your nursing, you need to be drinking extra extra water.
(5a. Nurse alot so the baby doesn't get dehydrated either.)
6. For a day spent on the shore (as opposed to the boardwalk), make sure to bring lots of food. PB&Js, granola bars, apples...
7. Carry as few items as possible. How can you do this when bringing diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks, towels, a Shade-Creating Object, beach chair, etc.???? Combine itmes!! What I did was get a beach chair that had zip pockets on the back (which held sunscreen + food), and the beach chair had backpack straps. I also put that collapsed tent in the folded chair. That went on my back. Next, was a big old beach bag which I slung over my shoulder. Then, I held Aiden. Between a loaded up beach chair and my beach bag, I was pretty weighed down but it was totally doable!
If you're looking for more tips and tricks for life with a baby, check these out:
Are you a beach person? What do you bring to the beach to be extra prepared?? :)