My little family of 3 recently went on our first family vacation (to the beach)! With our son being just 6 months old, I wanted to make sure we were as prepared as possible in order to help make our beach travels (and air plane experience) a little easier. Air travel, especially with an infant, can seem nerve-wracking the very first time.
If you’re like me, you might be reading this blog because you researched “baby travel tips”, “going to beach with baby”, or “baby beach must haves”… Those were some of the exact things I researched a couple months before our first travel experience with our son.
Since our son was born in the fall, he did not have any summer items. I knew that we would need to invest in some summer items for him, as well as travel items for him, too.
Our first travel experience with our 6 month old son is what inspired this post! After having a successful first vacation, I definitely attribute half of the success from being well-prepared! I also found VERY helpful info from other sources, and I will link and give credit to those resources as well!
If you are traveling with your baby soon, especially for the first time, have fun on your upcoming trip and I hope you find this post helpful! ♥
CLICK ANY PICTURE FOR A DIRECT LINK TO THAT ITEM!
#1 Stroller + Car Seat Bag
Without a doubt, you are most likely going to need your car seat and stroller when you travel! If you didn’t know, one stroller and one car seat are allowed on the plane- free of charge! You can check them at the gate which is super convenient, too. At check in, you will receive a tag with your info, to place on your stroller and car seat, so make sure to attach those tags directly to it!
There are SO many different styles of car seat and stroller bags, some more padded than others.. I would highly suggest you use whatever stroller and car seat your little one is used to being in. I had thoguht about purchasing a seperate car seat and stroller to use specifically for travel (because I was afraid things would get damaged!), but my sister in law advised me to just use what we already have! I am really glad I did that because I for one, didn’t have to buy anything (money saver) and two, our son naps great in his car seat and stroller, so I knew he wouldn’t have any issues when he needed to take a snooze.
Before purchasing one yourself, make sure you measure! I ended up buying both of these bags as shown above, and I’m so happy I did!
We actually ended up using the car seat bag to carry all of our stuff at the beach too! We had a long walk from the car to the beach, so with this back pack style bag, it made my husbands job of carrying all of our beach stuff ALOT easier, instead of lugging around a cart or having to awkwardly try to carry everything!
#2 Baby Carrier
If you have a baby carrier, definitely use it! It made navigating the airport very easy. If your baby is not used to being in a carrier, you might want to get them used to being in one as far in advance as you can, so that way they can get used to hanging out in it. I’ve been baby-wearing my son since he was about a month old so he is used to being in it. Sometimes you just need to be hands-free but also want to be close to your baby, so using a carrier is very helpful!
*PICTURE BELOW OF ME USING CARRIER AT STARBUCKS lol
#3 Portable Sound Machine
This sound machine is small, but VERY mighty! I swear the charge on this things lasts like 3 weeks! I rarely need to charge it. If you are a parent in today’s society, I can almost guarantee that 99.9% of us use sound machines for our little ones, lol.
We have this exact sound machine hanging from our sons car seat majority of the time, but during our travels, we used it on the airplane, on walks, in the crib for naps, and at the beach to help drown out any outside noise. My son took a 2 hour nap on both the plane ride to and from Florida, and I swear this sound machine is the reason he took such long naps. Although airplanes almost have built in white noise, this little portable sound machine was nice to have to drown out all of the captains announcements.
Picture below using the sound machine at an outdoor restaurant 🙂
#4 Inflatable Baby Tub
You’re definitely going to want to give your little one a bath while on your travels, and this inflatable tub is the perfect thing for doing so! It’s a great size, and is easy and lightweight to pack! I also love that it’s safe and sanitary for baby to use! Whether staying at an airbnb or hotel, tubs harbor alot of germs so this made me feel good about giving our son a bath the few times that we did. These are recommended for ages 6m and up, or when your little one starts to sit unassisted. Picture below of us using it during our travels! 🙂
#5 Travel Size Bottle Drying Rack
For anyone those whose babies drink from a bottle, this mini drying rack is SUPER convenient! It’s sanitary and compact, and even includes a bottle brush! Picture below to show it being used while on our travels 🙂 For the small size, it sure holds alot!
**Make sure the hotel or airbnb has dish soap! If not, make sure to bring your own.
#6 Travel Fan
If you’re going to be traveling somewhere warm, a fan is a must for keeping baby cool! I actually used this at the hospital when I was giving birth, and now that it’s summer, this little fan will be going with us everywhere! It wraps so nicely around pretty much any surface and the legs are nice and sturdy for it to stand up, too. We used this on the car seat, the stroller, at the pool and at the beach while our little guy took a nap!
Picture below of the fan in action 🙂
#7 Pop Up Tent
This small pop up tent worked great for keeping baby covered from the hot sun. It is compact and was able to be packed right in to our checked bag! Iff you want a covered area for your little one to nap in, too. The back is open which allows for air flow. I can see us using this for years to come. We even use this outside on the grass at home, as I don’t want my sons fair skin to be soaking in the sun all day. *I would highly suggest you practice opening this up and putting it away before going to the beach. I watched YouTube videos prior to our travels on how to close this thing, because believe it or not it’s kinda tricky! So I am very glad I practiced this ahead of time, so I could save myself from any embarrassment at the beach lol.
Picture below of our beach set up with the tent! 🙂
**I brought an old fitted sheet we have at home to use as our beach blanket, and it was great for containing the sand (for the most part anyway lol)! I saw this idea on Pinterest and always wanted to try it and we glad I did! Just make sure if you do want to do this, that you have 4 “heavy” items to put in each of the corners of the sheet or this hack will not work!
#8 Travel Formula Container
If your baby is drinking formula, having a travel size container to hold it in is very helpful. We keep this container in our diaper bag normally, and it was also useful during our travels. It has it’s own scooper and leveler inside making it easy to prepare a bottle on the go. Another very convenient way to prepare formula on the plane is using ready to go single serve packets. I found these on amazon (prior to this current formula shortage) and it made it so easy to make a quick bottle during take off and landing while on the airplane. (picture below)
#9 Baby Beach Gear
Besides the obvious of needing a swim suit for your little one, here are 6 other accessories you will want for your little one while at the beach:
BEACH HAT – I really like the baby beach hats that have neck coverage. All babies skin is so delicate, that I like covering as much of our son’s skin as we can!
SUNGLASSES – You might not think sun glasses are a necessity, but babies eyes are very sensitive, so having eye protection is essential!
WATER SHOES – The water shoes are great for protecting your little ones feet from the hot sand.
WET BAG – We found the water bag helpful, because before we left the beach, we changed our son into dry clothes so he wasn’t sitting in his car seat wet and uncomfortable, so putting his wet and sandy beach gear into this bag kept everything else dry and we just threw it right into the beach bag with everything else!
KIDS TOWEL – A fun kids towel is definitely a necessity, because I mean, who wouldn’t want to see their little one wrapped up in a cute shark towel!!? 🙂 Seriously though, I like that kids towels have a head covering part, because going from water to the sandy breeze can be cold for little ones, and having a part to cover and protect their little heads is nice!
SWIM DIAPERS – There are two kinds of swim diapers, washable ones and then disposable ones. We got both kinds, but I ended up liking the reusable ones best because the didn’t leak like the disposable ones. Our son did not have a poopy in at all while he was wearing either one, so I cannot say whether they kept the poop contained, however, when he peed in the disposable one, it leaked. And with the reusable ones, those did not leak! *TIP* I waited to purchase the disposable diapers until we got to our destination, because it was one less thing to have to pack and take up room!
*PICTURE BELOW FOR RFERENCE
#10 2-Gallon Ziploc Bags
A friend of mine shared this idea with me and I loved it and found it useful, so I wanted to be sure to add it to the list! These 2-gallon ziploc bags were so nice to have for lots of reasons! We used them for separating items in our luggage that had the potential of leaking (lotion, formula, hygiene products, etc). We also used them for putting any dirty clothes in. They were great for holding all of the small toys and teethers we brought for our son, as well as his food items, and other random items like chargers, etc. We also used a few bags for holding clothes that we threw into the stroller bag at the airport last minute! We over-packed, which caused our one checked bag to be a little overweight, so a tip for anyone traveling, add whatever you want to these ziploc bags, throw them into your stroller bag before you check it at the gate, and since stroller and car seats are free of charge, you can easily throw a few extra items into your stroller bag without anyone knowing, hehe.
*PICTURES BELOW OF HOW I USED THEM
#11 Pacifier Clips + Pacifier Wipes
If your child uses a pacifier, pacifier clips are essential for keeping them from falling. We use the ones in the picture above, and I personally love them because they are soft and safe (no choking hazards because of the material). And I like the neutral colors because they match any outfit.
I also added pacifier wipes to this because not only will you want to clean your child’s pacifier often, but you can also use for other things. I used for them cleaning off our sons spoons when we were out to eat, I cleaned some of his toys off with them too, as well as parts of his bottles.
#12 Baby Sun Screen
No matter where you are traveling, as long as there is going to be sunshine, you will NEED sunscreen. It is recommended that babies don’t use sunscreen until 6 months. My husband and I use the adult version of Sun Bum, so we got the baby version to use for our little guy. It has cleaner ingredients than some of the popular name brands, but sun screen is all personal preference! I would highly recommend using a face stick if possible, because it just makes it a lot easier when applying it on your baby’s face!!
#13 Baby Changing Pad
You will definitely want a changing pad if you don’t have one already! Our diaper bag actually comes with a changing pad, but we also have this one and I like it because it has a place for holding diapers, wipes, and the pad all in one! It has a handle with a button so it can be hooked onto anything. If public changing tables make you nervous with all the germs, you’ll really like this because of how large it is. I felt more comfortable changing our son on this.
#14 Laundry Detergent
I saw Jessica Haizman share this on Instagram and I really liked the idea! If you will be staying somewhere on vacation that has a washer and dryer, then bringing baby-safe laundry detergent might be a good idea! There are so many harmful ingredients in laundry detergents, so be watchful! I am going to slowly be transitioning all of our detergent to free and clear for this reason (I just want to use up what we have first!) The pods are a perfect option for travel because they are easy to pop into a ziploc bag and throw into your luggage!! I loved this idea and I will definitely be using it anytime we travel!
#15 Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Last but not least are these Purell hand sanitizing wipes. I love having a good ol’ hand sanitizer with me at all times, but there’s just something about wiping off the germs that always makes me feel a little bit cleaner!
I purchased these hand sanitizing wipes pack on amazon, and used the wipes on everything! I used them on the airplane to wipe down our seats, and also on changing tables or at restaurants, and obviously we used them for our hands, too!
TRAVEL TIPS AND HACKS
That’s it for my TOP 15! Next I want to share just a few random tips that I either learned from someone else, or ended up discovering randomly on my own!
1 – CAR SEATS
If you are taking a car seat that is usually clicked into a car seat base, it should have the option of also being used in a car without the base! Just check the side of the car seat for instructions on doing so, or check your car seats manual! Since we brought our sons car seat that he regularly uses every day, we easily used it during our travels too.
PICTURE BELOW of car seat being used in the rear-facing position, without the base!
2 – PLAY TIME
All kiddos love their play time! While packing for our trip, I made sure to gather some of our sons toys that were small and easy to pack. Our AirBnB did not have carpet (which our son is used to playing on safely), so we made a makeshift “rug” using extra sheets and blankets that our AirBnB had. He loved freely playing on the floor like he does at home!
3 – FORMULA/FEEDING
While packing, I brought a freshly opened can of formula, as well as the single serve formula packets! This entire can lasted the whole week of our travels. Once we got to our destination, we bought purified water and then used the bottled water to make his bottles. We set up a little area for his bottles so they were easy to make all week!
4 – COMPACT BABY LEARNING TOYS
I purchased these crinkle toys for our son a couple months ago, and not only are these easy to pack because of their small size, they are so great for introducing easy to learn words/pictures. They are about 8×8 in size, and fold up like shown above in order to show one picture at a time! A great portable learning toy for interacting with your little one!
5 – BABY MONITOR
While this isn’t a must-have for everyone, for us it was! We do have a travel audio monitor that we usually use when our son naps at other peoples houses, but last minute my husband wanted to throw our every day monitor into our luggage and I’m glad we did! It was great to be able to see him. I’ve heard of other people using facetime as a “monitor” but honestly, packing his camera took all of 2 minutes and took up barely any room in our suitcase. We just had to use a makeshift stand to prop up the camera on once it came time to setting it up! **Make sure your travel destination has a crib, it makes it a lot easier for you so you don’t have to bring one or rent one. Whatever option you do though, you may want to also bring extra crib sheets as well.
6 – BABY CHANGING AREA
If possible, use an extra bedroom or other space as the baby’s “get ready” room. We laid all of our sons clothes out and set up a diaper changing area for him using an extra bedroom in our AirBnB. This made it nice as he had we had our own space to get him ready in each day!
7 – BABY’S 1st FLIGHT
If it’s your baby’s first flight, make sure to ask for a first flight souvenir card! I actually didn’t even know this was a thing, until the nice flight attendant came over to us and asked us if it was our sons first flight. She then shortly walked back over and handed us this! I love this kind of stuff so I had to share!! 🙂
This post was filled with ALOT of information and I hope you found at least one idea you like!
Being prepared is the best thing you can do for a successful trip (especially that first one with baby!) However, the key to a really successful trip is in your attitude! Be flexible, have fun, and make lots of memories! 🙂