A Baby and a Beach

Updated on June 24, 2008
M.C. asks from Pekin, IN
57 answers

We are going on vacation to the beach. This will be the first big family vacation since my husband and I have had children. We have a 3 3/4 year old boy, a just turned 2 year old girl and a 3 month old baby girl. We could use some advice on the best way to keep a 3 month old baby on the beach. Also, we could use some tips on how to better enjoy the beach with 3 children 3 and under. Thanks for taking the time to respond to this request!

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V.Z.

answers from Greensboro on

When my child was about 3 1/2 months old we broth him to the beach, and we had great time. His doctor recommended me that is mandatory to use sunscreen lotion what does not contain EDTA /forgot what exactly that mean/...there is such in the market even in Wal-Mart.It is also important that all of you should not stay outside after 11 am, you can go back on the beach after 3 pm.The older kids will have great time there, get them a bag with toys for the beach.
Have a wonderful vacation.

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N.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

Remember that the little ones will want to hold and throw the sand. Be prepared with a few essential items:
1)lots of bottled water to rinse out eyes and keep hydrated
2)baby sunblock
3)hats, sunglasses, extra towels
4)pails and shovels

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B.D.

answers from Fayetteville on

Bring a covered portable play-yard. (We had one from Fisher price that was about 3ft round half covered in mesh netting, the other full coverage.), and a portable fan to keep the play-yard from getting too hot. Then we brought a 7 ft canopy for shade, a cooler full of juice boxes and water, a sheet, an inflatable baby pool, a bunch of sand toys (including a bucket for rinsing), sunscreen, hats, 2 towels per kid, diapers, extra clothes, and grocery bags for trash. It is a production to set up, and to leave, but it makes it much easier while you are there! Good luck!!

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J.B.

answers from Wheeling on

Ah the fun you will have! Always make sure that the little ones have plenty of sun screen, and keep little hats on their heads, a bonnet or sun hat. The 3 month old you will have to be very careful with, as they can burn very easily.
Keep her in a shaded area at all times, like a playpen with an umbrella to avoid getting any sun on her. She may be too little for sun screen just yet, but ask your doctor before you go. Now the ocean can be pretty rough with the waves coming in and out so pay close attention and always have a hand on your little ones! You'll want to have little buckets and shovels, little ones love to play in the sand. Keep them away from the tide, as they can get swept out. Enjoy your selves and have a good vacation!

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J.G.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi M.-We have made many trips to the beach over the years with my now 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl. I have found two things useful: Use a bucket filled with water, sitting on a level surface, such as a boogie board to wash hands and faces before and after snacking when you are actually on the beach. The boogie board is also a great place for the two older kids to sit and snack-up out of the sand, and a level surface lets you stand up drink boxes. Also, the hard surface allows you to easily wipe off any sand that may get on the board-it can also be carried into the ocean, dunked and brought back to you sand free.Use the bucket filled again with water once you are in the parking lot and trying to figure out how to get all the sandy bodies into your car-if you park in a lot with a spigot, you can dunk hands, feet and toys into fresh water. If you have to send your hubby back to the beach for salt water, it will still be better than sand all over the car. Another great tip for getting sand off of wet hands and feet is to pour baby powder on them and rub and the sand comes right off. Okay, so maybe I have more than two tips! As far as the youngest child, I would bring a couple of sheets, they are cooler than blankets, and put one on the floor of a little pop up tent, or wagon. I like a wagon better than a stroller-the wheels are bigger, and they don't turn around in the sand and get stuck.The reason I like the wagon is this, one with big rubber wheels works the best-you can haul all of your beach stuff to the beach in it, then clean it out and put the sheet down inside,lay them inside, out of the sun for a nap, put the handle up against the side and make a tent out of another sheet to let air flow but block the sun. The best part about a wagon is when they get fussy, you can wheel them around or take a walk on the beach to calm them down. Both of my kids still love to ride in our wagon, pulling them in it is such a huge workout for me, too. I have not mentioned the obv. things, sunscreen, surf shirts and hats, water shoes are a must. My husband and I got married on the beach, we love it and try to go a couple of times /year. With a little planning, it is definitely a very fun vacation. Good Luck!!

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S.J.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi M.,

When my kids were young, we took a shower curtain liner (they're cheap and fold up small), dug a swim area under the umbrella and filled it with water for the little one to sit in. On the last day, we threw it away.It was a lot easier than dealing with a blow up pool on the beach.

Also, wear the same sunblock as your kids. (you're going to be covered in it anyway.) We put the sunblock on the kids before we leave the room and then get the spray (aerosol) for on-the-beach touch-ups. You don't have to rub it in and the kids don't mind it as much.

Get the kids the stretchy water shoes that they don't have to take off (so no one's feet get burned and no cuts from shells). They have them at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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K.A.

answers from Hickory on

Hi. I took my 3 yr old and my almost one to the beach three years ago. The website below has neat little tents for babies (they fold up nicely)...they even have one for the whole family...click the link below.

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/thumbnail.jsp?siteId=...

I just kept mine in a light weight material / white long sleeve shirt...and of course, Sunscreen. We always had an umbrella. I hope you have a great time!

K.

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L.W.

answers from Johnson City on

We went to the beach last year with our, then 3 year old and 9 mo. old. We went together with our best friends and rented a beach house. They have a daughter, then in Kindergarten.

The was our first vacation since children and it went very well, so well we are going again this year.

The house allowed flexibility with down time and some cartoons for the kids. They also had the space to play, not being in a hotel room, or having to stay at the beach too long for everyone. We had a private pool and so the kids were able to swim there if they were tired of the sand. We were very flexible with our activities to allow the baby to nap and pretty much he stayed on his home schedule and did well.

The house was only a few yards walk to the actual beach and it made it easy for everyone to be comfortable. We didn't have to worry about one child not getting to have fun if one was tired, etc.

Having the house also saved money and sanity on eating out. We had two night meals out, I think. We bought groceries and cooked and so parents are more relaxed than having to deal with crowds.

The baby actually had some of his morning naps on the beach. I have a small tent, graco, maybe. You can find them online. It folds up into a small bag, easily carried and then pops out quickly.

We had a great time and the kids did, too.

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K.R.

answers from Clarksville on

It just so happens that I lived in Gulf Shores for five years. I saw lots of moms with babies, in fact I had one myself on the beach some. I would suggest renting a large beach umbrella and putting a big floppy hat on the baby. Make sure you use a very high SPF sunscreen on everybody. The sun is a little different there then it is here. You don't realize that it's getting you but then you get home and your burned. I didn't get to take my baby to the beach much because a few months after he was born, Ivan destroyed Gulf Shores and by the time it was rebuilt, he was already walking. We bought a beach umbrella but gave it away when we transferred back up here. Just reapply the sunscreen more often than you would here and keep the little one in the shade as much as possible.

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D.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi M.,
We got one of those sun/beach tents for my little one last year when we went to the beach. They are enclosed with a zipper front, and are UV protected. Also, I would keep a hat and UV protected clothing all other times. I think Target sells these little beach/pool outfits with matching hats. Just make sure you keep sunscreen a-coming. Nothing can ruin a beach trip faster than a bad sunburn on a kid!
As for things to do, I would google out beach games and see what you can find. My son loves to beach comb. We take the shells he finds home and put them on display out on our deck. He loves picking the shells up at home exploring them all over again. Also, you can't go wrong with a bucket and some shovels. Good luck!

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C.V.

answers from Charlotte on

Growing up on the coast, we would do all of our trips, errands, etc in the morning when everyone was fresh and happy. Have a nice lunch, go home nap then hit the beach about 3 and stay until the sun goes down. Feed the little ones, then you and you husband eat or hire a sitter and go out.

You will need lots of sunscreen, an unbrella or canopy, a cooler full of juice and fresh cut up fruit, a boucy seat for baby, hats, music, buckets and shovels and balls! You and you husband can take turns up with the 2 toddlers and someone can sit in the shade with baby! Baby powder is the best way to get sand off little hands and feet.

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D.L.

answers from Chattanooga on

Glad to here you are able to go on vacation. buy plenty of sunblock for the kiddies. Re-apply every 2 hours. Get hats with brims as well to keep the sun off their faces. Use a beach umbrella to keep the 3 month old in the shade. have the older babies sit in the shade from time to time as well. make sure they drink plenty of water too. have fun and be safe.

Regards,
D.

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S.M.

answers from Greensboro on

I'm the mother of triplets, and although they are 6 now, I remember those early beach trips when they were babies! First of all, resign yourself to the fact that you probably won't be on the beach longer than 2-3 hours, and forget about taking a book or magazine because you will be on the move constantly! It is a lot of work to get set up on the beach for what is such a short stay! Maybe you will get lucky and the little ones will nap on the beach. We put a hitch-haul trailer on the back of our van and a luggage carrier on the top just to be able to take all the stuff we needed to make it through a week. Some beach houses have cribs and high chairs, and some hotels have portable cribs. Check for those. It will cut down on what you have to take with you (bouncers / pack-n-plays). We took our kids Radio Flyer wagon the first year. Ours didn't have the big wheels, so it was hard to push in the sand but thankfully, there were always friendly people around who were more than glad to help, so you may only want to take a wagon if it has the big wheels. A better option is a beach cart. They sell them at most all of the shops at the beach. I think ours cost $50, but you may be able to find one cheaper on Craigs List or ebay. It works really great for loading in a lot of stuff, and it is collapsable. I have gotten additional use out of mine this year by taking it to consignment sales. For the baby & two year old, you will will want to take a beach cabana - check www.campmor.com, or ebay. They fold down really small, so it too is easy to transport. It makes for a really nice resting spot for sleepy heads! (Take a couple of lightweight baby blankets for them to lay on and to cover them - they will sleep longer, and won't get chilled by the ocean breeze - a baby blanket also folds down smaller, and dries quicker than a beach towel - it will cut down on the number of beach towels you need to pack - those take up most of the space! We always take a beach umbrella, and make sure you get the umbrella stand that screws down into the sand or your umbrella will blow away! I like to use bamboo beach mats under the umbrella because they shake out easier than towels. If you will have a refrigerator/freezer where you are staying, freeze juice / water pouches (I like to take the flavored water pouches to prevent dehydration) - (don't use boxes because they will fall apart in the cooler when they thaw). (If your kids like, and you know they will eat grapes, you can freeze those too.) Once you are set up, pull out the drink pouches, and set them out so that they will be thawed by the time your little ones are ready for a drink. Cheese Nips, pretzels, and snack crackers work well for snacks on the beach. Sun safety: a loose fitting white t-shirt and "wee shades" - look for them at "One Step More" website. They have velco straps that will keep the shades on the kids' heads. If they absolutely won't wear them (many kids won't), make sure you take wide brimed sun bonets, or buy those hats with the flaps in the back (kids necks, backs and shoulders get burned quickly and easily), and a wide enough brim in the front that will shade the eyes and nose. Get some rubber beach sandals/shoes like Crocs that will protect their feet from the hot sand, but can still be rinsed off under the water spicket when you leave the beach. (We've used the water shoes before, but they are hard to get on sandy feet, they take a long time to dry, and it is difficult to get the sand out of them!) Sunscreen: Apply before putting the bathing suit on the children. I like the "BullFrog Kids UV Defender "Surfer Gel". My kids have sensitive skin, and break out to other brands. This gel has worked the best for us. It stays on great, has UVA/UVB protection and is non-irritating (but I still NEVER put sunblock on their hands because they will rub their eyes - and that makes for a very bad scene! - Do get the tops of the feet really well because they will sunburn easily. (you may also want to look for a spray bottle of sunblock to reapply coverage to target areas - it's hard and yucky to try to reapply lotion or gel to sandy skin.) That being said, make sure to pack a bottle of fresh water put some paper towels in a plastic baggie. You may need these to wash lotion or salt water from eyes, or even hands before a snack. Toys! Get a BIG bucket, as well as, some smaller ones or you and your husband will be making endless trips back to the ocean to get water for those sand castles! (Your older child can probably be in charge of carrying this.) My kids like the tower toy too. It has a wheel that turns when you pour water in it. Take some little rubber accessory items like sharks, dragons, fish, mermaids, etc. or plastic toy trucks. This will keep their imagination longer as they build a castle with a mote, a fort, or whatever their thing is! My girls love to pick up seashells! Unfortunately, most of the shells on the beaches where we go are all broken! Take a bag to put those shells in because however ugly they are, the kids will want them. (If you like seashells - the outer banks are the best spot to get the ones that aren't broken into pieces.) A camera is a must too; maybe you can start a vacation scrap book when you get home. I picked up take-out menus, chopsticks, or other things like that everywhere we went on vacation so that we could hopefully put them all in a scrap book (someday :)) Keep a journal of what you do each day, and of anything that was cute or funny because you may not remember when you get home. Taking little ones on vacation is great for them - but a lot of work for the parents! Work or not, it's better than being at home with the same old chores and laundry!! Have fun!

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K.M.

answers from Knoxville on

Wow! That takes a lot of courage. I personally would not choose the beach because it seems so dangerous--drowning, crowds, sun damage, but maybe I am being paranoid. I would make sure that you are going to a fairly unpopulated spot, that there is a pair of eyes to follow each child around--even small tides can pull little children off their feet quickly so be wary at all times, life jackets seem like a good idea, and lots of baby safe sunscreen. Otherwise buckets, shovels, dumptruck, sifter, water shoes, and a covered area so the baby can be kept out of the sun. Plenty of water. Food in many small packages so that if one set gets too sandy you can move to the next one. They also have sunscreen tshirts that block a lot of sun. Nothing worse than a sunburned baby with a diaper rash!

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D.K.

answers from Knoxville on

Well sounds like you have your hands full! :)
Well I would first suggest that you just try to relax and have some fun. They are kiddos and not everything is going to go as planned on vacation! I would say for your 3 mth old; make sure you have an umberella, blanket and a bouncy seat or any seat she is comfy in. You will have two very busy toddlers so be sure to take some beach toys and plenty of snacks. Don't forget plenty fo sunscreen.......sunburned babies = cranky babies! Have fun and Try to enjoy!

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A.M.

answers from Asheville on

Hi M. - I agree with all of the recommendations you've received regarding baby pools and tents and keeping the kids covered up with SPF rash guards, etc... All the stuff I would have said. I can highly recommend a great sunscreen - Blue Lizard. It's fantastic. It's non-greasy and really works. It contains both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, 10% and 5% respectively - more than any other brand out there. Both are physical barriers, which means they work immediately. It's Australian and is held to their sun protection standards, which are much more rigorous than ours. You can get it at CVS Drugstores or online at www.coolibar.com or www.drugstore.com
Have a great time!!

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

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M.M.

answers from Nashville on

I just returned from Cocoa Beach and would recommend lathering them up with sunscreen before you arrive and possibly having them wear a loose shirt for skin coverage. Ideally I would rent a cabanna or a tent to protect them from the sun or go later in the day. Bring lots of pails, and other fun toys and let them get dirty digging in the sun and picking up shells. For the three month old you will need to just keep her covered up or sometimes there are some shady spots. As always it would be fun to take a long stroller ride down the beach with three year old flying a kite. Try not to make it to long of a day.

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T.K.

answers from Fayetteville on

Okay, let me first say - I don't even really like the beach myself, but I go with the rest of my family because they do. Having said that - I took our youngest to the beach when he was only a month old - and I pretty much kept him comfy the same way I keep myself comfy at the beach. We paid for one of the umbrella and chair sets at the beach for the day and then added our own beach mat and soft blankets and sheets for the baby to roll around on. If I remember correctly, I just took a really loose lightweight cover the whole body outfit for him to wear for sun protection. Baby powder in the diaper will help prevent potential irritation from the sand as well. For the older two - maximize their sun protection - and have LOTS of digging and sand toys. We tried to time our beach time to miss the hottest part of the day also - we go out early in the morning - came in from say noon to about 3 or even a little later and then headed back out in the late afternoon. Also, I didn't even bother taking the stroller or the infant carrier to the beach - there is no need to get it all sandy if you don't need to. Hope this helps. Have a great time at the beach.

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M.W.

answers from Nashville on

Goodness, thats a handful there. I strongly recomend you take some help first of all,like a nanny. second, all three little ones should be equipped with life jackets, and water wings. Also make sure you coat them really good with some extra good sunblock and make ssure to apply it every thirty minutes, the beach with the sun beating down and reflecting from the water can cause them to burn twice as fast. take plenty of water to drink too. and by all means haaaave fun
M.

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M.L.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi M.,

I am SAHM with three girls 3 years apart and we have been going to the beach with the girls since our first born. After years of do's and don'ts with babies - I believe we have found the formula;

A covered tent is essential for the little one to rest in - one with netting surronding the full tent makes all the difference! Many are sold with only one side netted which will cause your little one to sweat, sweat, sweat! Be sure there is plenty of ventilation on all sides of the tent. Roll down flaps to cover the netting on windy days is helpful as well. We used a larger umbrella to place over the tent for sun protection. A towel underneth the tent and inside will help with the discomfort of sand. The last "must have" is a small baby pool. Filling it with "fresh water" from the rinse spiget was fun for the siblings (anything involving water usually is;)). don't feel you have to overdue these two items in size - the smaller the better. If the wading pool is too big - the bigger siblings want to get in and dirty it all up. You can find a small pool at the dollar store and discard at the end of the trip. The bigger tents are tough to carry up and down to the beach and the bigger the tent the more the older kids want to join the baby for rest time (which we all know never works).

Hope this helps and enjoy your well deserved vacation!
M.

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L.S.

answers from Wilmington on

My family is at Wrightsville Beach every weekend. The sunscreen, rash guard (or swim shirt) and umbrella are the three essentials--the older kids can also play and dig under the cover of the umbrella. For the baby, I also used sunblock sparingly on legs, arms, cheeks, nose, chest, and back from about 3 months of age on. I would cover as much as I could with SPF clothing and a hat, then cover the rest with sunblock.

My family is also a huge fan of the early morning at the beach--before the sun gets too hot. In fact, in the heat of summer, we wake up, pack breakfast to go (raisin bread, fruit, granola bars, yogurt, juice) and are out playing at the beach around 7:30 a.m.! Plus, my husband and I can take turns getting in a little surfing before the water gets too crowded with swimmers. It's a beautiful, quiet time at the beach, and not too uncomfortable for the kids. The other nice time of day at the beach is dinner time--sometimes we head back out for a picnic dinner and evening swim--the one downer is sometimes that's a buggy time depending on the time of year.

For entertainment for your older kids--shovels, buckets--toy construction trucks to "bulldoze" the sand--a kite--we bring a little table that rolls up into a bag and drape a towel over it--cool fort for the kids to hide under and keep cool.

BTW--we always look like we're moving in when we arrive on the beach!!--but we like having what we need to keep everyone happy for several hours.

HTH. L.

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J.S.

answers from Greensboro on

I have taken my three children to the beach since day one. You will need to get a good sunblock with Titanium Oxide. The recommendation is for 6 months and older, but I have used it on legs and arms only on my 3 month old. Try a small area first for any reaction. A tent of some sort is a must too. We found one that zips around all sides to keep the sand out, but is very breathable. I also like to use a jogging stroller on the beach. It navigates well in the sand, provides shade, and is a great place for naps! As for your older children, I would suggest bathing suits that contain UV protection. Have fun in the sun!

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A.M.

answers from Charlotte on

M.,

I have been to the beach with a 1 and 3 year old. We bought a small blow up pool and filled it with buckets everyday. That way the could play in the water and stay right there with us. Sometimes the ocean is a little scare for the little ones. As far as the baby I have seen in a few mail order magazines these things that almost look like beach bassinets with ways to keep them out of the sun and some even had nets that zipped over them for the sand. Hope this helps.

A.

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A.M.

answers from Raleigh on

the most important thing is to have umbrellas and plenty of sunscreen. we just moved from the beach so i have a little experience. hats and uv protection clothing will also be important. the kids will make their own fun but they won't have any fun if they are sunburned. know when to take breaks from the heat and sun.

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V.R.

answers from Lexington on

Mostly just use good ol' common sense...especially about the sun. The kids' skin will be sensitive to the wind, salt water and the abrasive sand, too...so be extra vigilant.

I would definitely take some old shoes for your toddlers and let them wear them in and out of the water. Better to ruin shoes than have your little ones steip on sharp,broken shells or jelly fish.

Sunscreen, lots of bottled water, and wet wipes are all a MUST. But, even then, I would try to avoid the mid afternoon sun, if I were you.

My kids used to spend hours with plastic spoons and hotel disposable hotel drinking cups...I wouldn't worry about trying to pack and keep up with a lot of fancy beach toys.

Have fun!

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J.H.

answers from Lexington on

I took my 4 under 4 to the beach. Plenty of toys, bottled water, camera, beach umbrella, big thick blanket for baby (thick so sand won't come up through as bad). As always, something to snack on. Tons of sunscreen, I use the spray on lotion, worth the price, nothing worse than a sunburned toddler! I wouldn't plan on staying the day. Usually a couple of hours ends up being long enough for everyone. Also, may want to go early in the morning to work around naps.
Have Fun!!!

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J.E.

answers from Memphis on

I did this same trip a few years ago. The kids were those exact ages. I was the nanny for a family who was going to the beach and I went too. The baby actually did great at the beach. He slept the whole time in a thing that they make for the beach. It's got a flat bottom and the top comes up around it and has a zip up screen part so the sand doesn't blow all over him. We just left him in that practically, with an umbrella over it of course. The sound of the ocean will make your baby sleep all day, probably. Now the older two, it depends... Some little kids are scared of the sand and waves. Others love it. So it will depend. Hopefully the place you are going will have a pool too because most little kids like that better. I would just plan on spending short trips to the ocean and try to keep them on their feeding/nap schedule. That was the only bad part about it for me was getting off schedule and they would get really cranky.

Good luck.

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C.S.

answers from Charlotte on

I would definitely invest in a little sun tent for your baby. That way she can stay out on the beach with you all, but out of the sun since you can't put suncreen on a baby that young. They make some great ones with plenty of ventilation... One Step Ahead has some on their website/catalog. But I have also seen a ton on e-bay. You can get a better deal there. I would also recommend getting up and out to the beach early in the morning, finding something indoors to do during the height of the sun and then heading back out to the beach for some playtime at sunset. Take turns with your husband manning naptime so that you each get a little free time for yourselves to relax. Have a great time! Your kiddos will LOVE the beach.

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C.C.

answers from Knoxville on

The most important thing for the baby will be SHADE. Bring a BIG blanket to lay her on and a BIG umbrella. Even better is a pack and play but that is hard to carry. Also, have LOTS of water and/or juice for the kids. And of course sun screen. Remember that the waves may scare the kids at first, so make sure that you are with them when they first go into the water. One game most kids like is "jumping the waves" - you hold them and swing them up as the waves come in. Bring pails and shovels for digging in the sand.
Take them to look for sea shells. If there are tide pools, let them play in them. And above all, don't stress and have fun! I grew up at the beach and ALL of my families vacations have been at the beach. My kids are 20 and 24 now and they LOVE the beach! Your kids are lucky they are getting to have this experience!

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C.G.

answers from Nashville on

Take a tent with you - doesn't have to be elaborate, they sell ones that pop up quickly and have stakes you drive into the sand. You want the kind that have screened sides that can open, to let the wind through. Without that, it will be too stifling. The idea is that it will provide a place out of the sun that is quieter for the kids to rest, you can put blankets/towels in there and they can relax, the 3 month old can sleep in there, etc.

Good luck and have fun!!

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D.W.

answers from Charlotte on

I recommend taking a portible play pen. They even make them for the beach. You can go to a consignment shop and buy one real cheap. My son is 10 now so he is a lot easier on the Beach. It's keeping him out of the waves sometimes that is a challange now. He [email protected]____.com first trip to the beach. He wasn't crawling yet so we put him on a blanket with new toys and he had a great time. We always put on sunscreen and a hat. I know little toddlers love to play with water so take several buckets and shovels and let them have fun where you are sitting. I liked to keep one bucket of clean water so when they get sand in their mouth or all over them I can wash them off. Hope you have a great trip.
D. W.

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P.B.

answers from Raleigh on

When my daughter was 2 months old we went to the beach. I had the grayco travel system stroller that had a little bassinet feature, I kept her in that and covered the open part with light weight baby blankets to keep out wind/sun/sand.

It is a pain to push it in the soft sand, but once you get to your spot it was nice to have a place to lay the baby that was protected. It pushed ok in the hard, wet sand.

Check out different slings too! We loved our Mayawrap!

http://www.mayawrap.com/

Have Fun!

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

I would not take a 3 mo old out on the beach- just me I guess.
You can probably rent a canopy, but it is just too much sand and sun. Take turns taking the kids to play on the sand while one of you keeps baby in the AC. Very young children are happy with so little, like, a sand pile near your door where they can dig.
If you could take a nanny, that would be ideal. Good luck.

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A.C.

answers from Fayetteville on

the best advice i can give to bring lots of baby powder. When you get ready to leave you can sprinkle the powder on everyone and the sand will fall right off.

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S.M.

answers from Jackson on

I too went to the beach with 3 under the age of 3....and my youngest was 3 months...what we learned not to even mess with swimmy diapers b/c they don't get in the water....they go in as far as their ankles (at least that's all we let them do b/c it was a little cold when we went) but buy plenty of sand toys....basically they love to sit and play in the sand.....take a big umbrella and chair you and the kids to sit in/under if the sun gets too hot....go earlier in the AM or late evening to avoid sunburn...and pack a cooler with plenty of snacks....they'll get sand it that too...so take your own if you don't want to be eating sand.......before you go to the beach make sure to put lots of sunscreen on them and let it soak in good...that way all the sand doesn't stick to them as badly.....but there will be sand in every crack and cranny just be prepared for that.....we took extra clean towels and clothes for the kids and left them in the car....and after the beach we stripped them down at the outside showers...rinsed them and redressed them in the back of the Ford Explorer away from all the sand.....good luck....(oh and take your camera in a ziploc so it doesn't get all sandy too....but you'll love the pictute opportunities

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M.K.

answers from Charlotte on

Pack up your towels, etc in a big laundry basket, and when you unpack you can use it for the baby to lay down/play/nap in. it's so much easier than having a pack n play & it does double duty. for the older kids, give them some shovels, buckets, etc, and a favoritetoy (my 4 year old son will bury his trains in the sand ALL DAY) and they're set. have fun!

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

When our children were little we bought one of those tents with no sides. We would set it up on the beach and let the children play under it. We also bought the highest SPF sunscreen we could find. We would put it on them before we went to the beach and let it dry before we got out in the sun and then we would reapply when we went in for lunch. With the first child we used one of those pack and play baby beds for the baby at the beach. For the second child we used a big blanket. By the last child we used a big beach towel and rolled the baby back over if they rolled onto the sand. I really enjoy the restaurant at the beach, but it is next to impossible to eat out with three little ones. So, we would make the children "kid food" and my husband would order "take out" from the best restaurants at the beach for us.

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A.M.

answers from Nashville on

M.--I used to live in Florida and frequently took my son to the beach as a baby/toddler. First I have to say the obvious, sunscreen and a beach umbrella are a must and don't forget to reaply the sunscreen often (check with your ped. on sunscreen for the 3month old as some do not recommend it). Also make sure all the kids have a hat to protect them from the sun as well. I used to take my son's bouncy seat and set it on a towel on the sand so he was able to watch what was going on around him. We would stay out for a few hours at a time and then go in for a bit just to make sure he wasn't getting to much sun/heat. As he got bigger I just made sure to have lots of buckets and shovels -- your basic cheap sand toys. Kites can be alot of fun on the beach since you usually have a good breeze coming off the water and searching for "treasures" like shells or shark teeth is always exciting for the kids when they find something really cool. Having lots of beverages on hand is a good idea also, although you may have to interrupt their play to get them to drink!
Hope some of this helps---Have fun!!!!

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L.L.

answers from Memphis on

this is big....... make sure the sunscreen you use is tear free! i didn't know that and when my daughter rubbed her face and the sunscreen got into her eyes it burned! also take a damp washcloth maybe it a ziplock bag in your cooler down to the beach just to wipe the faces off if they rub their eyes with sand on them. take long sleeve thin shirts and soft knit pants for them to wear too to keep the sun off as much as possible! don't forget plenty of liquids, a cooler full of juice boxes or whatever they drink and don't wait for them to ask, constantly offer them a sip here and there. lastly, find out if where you are staying has a dvd player or vhs player and bring your own movies your kids like to watch! also have them bath after every beach trip, get all the sand and chlorine off them if they get in the pool. sunglasses for all of them! my daughter wore hers from 13 months on and still does, also hats!
God Bless and Protect You!
L.

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L.V.

answers from Charlotte on

Alcohol of choice, & valium....
Just kidding!!
:o)
I hope yall have a great time!!

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A.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

We took our 3 month old twins to the beach last year. We went with my husband's family, so we had some extra help. It was work, but we had a good time. We put up a tent (picnic type - top only, no sides)on the beach. Since we rented a house we were able to leave it up all week. When we took the twins out, we had another little beach tent (Babies R Us) that we set up under the larger tent.

It sounds like a lot of trouble but it worked great. We fed them and they napped on the beach. The ocean waves were better than their sound machine.....

We didn't stay out all day, but were able to go out for a couple of hours every day. I'll let others advise on the older children - I have no experience :)

Good luck!!

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A.W.

answers from Charlotte on

My daughter was afraid of the enclosed tent so I had to get a big umbrella and a large beach blanket. You can get them with plastic so they don't get so sandy or wet. Toys, water (to play with and drink!) sunscreen and your set!

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D.C.

answers from Memphis on

Hi there! Congrats on your upcoming vacation!! The best thing we ever did in regards to a vacation was to take my mom with us. If you took someone with you, even a trusted babysitter, you could leave the baby behind while you guys were free to enjoy the beach and/or pool more often. I know last year for us, we went to Disney, a first for us. My kids were 7 and 3 and they enjoyed the pool at the condo more than the parks. We let them have more say-so in what we did and were able to get away for grownup time alone because my mom was with us. Another thing I would suggest is don't plan too much in one day. Go to the pool when you first get up (or beach) then come back to the condo and rest a while, have lunch, take naps, then go back out, maybe even out to eat one evening, visit a park one afternoon between naps. (You didn't say where you were going or what facilities you are staying in so I;m just guessing here.) Anyway, take some favorite toys and books (we carry a toy bag for the car as well as DVDs etc.) We also have a backpack for each son with snacks and new little things(think dollar store) to play with in the car. (Yours may be too young for that yet.) Oh and buy as much before hand to take with you like beach toys, sunscreen batteries, even food so you don't have to do it when you get there. HTH!

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A.S.

answers from Clarksville on

Hi M.. I lived in Florida for many years and raised 6 children. The one tip I can give you is a playpen with an umbrella! Lots of sunscreen and water! I always bought those dollar store bucket and shovel kits and they had a ball. You just can't stay out in it too long because of the sun. They get burned so easy. The playpen saved us all! They loved the beach air and I always got a mesh one so they could see out the sides. Also, they have little chairs with little umbrellas on them that are nice too. HAve a wonderful time! Debbie

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

When my daughter was 10 weeks old we all went down to the beach with the family. We had a tent that we set up each day at the beach. I made sure she was covered with a hat, though you can not use baby suntan lotion on her at this age, must at least 6 months old or older to use it. I also put her in our baby sling to help carry her to the beach. We wouldn't stay long, maybe an hour. We went usually in the early morning or late afternoon when it wasn't quite as hot. It all depends on when you will be traveling, and which beach you are going to. As far as your other two, have lots of games and things for them to play with - sand toys, balls etc. Use that tent to your advantage for them too. We also brought one of those big red wagons with us to the beach last summer and put our daughter in it with her toys and pulled that to the beach. That might help with your 3 and 2 year olds which you carry your 3 month old. Good luck!!
A.

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S.T.

answers from Nashville on

go to Goodwill or someplace like that and get an old baby playpen. You just drap a sheer blanket over it to protect from the sun, but still allowing the breeze to keep them becoming over heated. You can even set it at the waters edge where they might get splashed once in a while. But, it keeps them out of the sand!!

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K.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Okay most of the other responses cover all of the safety issues (sunscreen, lots of water, etc.) so I guess I will give some idea for the way I 'beached' with my kids.
I am a mother of six, #7 due in September. I grew up on the beach in Southern California, so 'beaching' is something very important for me to do with my kids. So, here are a few ideas of how we kept the kids entertained and happy.
1) Find a family-friendly beach. We go to Destin, FL. This beach is not only beautiful with white sand and emerald water, but it is a short beach, so you don't have to worry about long walks to the water with young ones. The water is warm, shallow and clear.
2) For the 2 & 3 year old: my husband and I dig a big hole in the sand, not too deep so that you have to worry about the sides caving in on them, but wide. Put it where it can be shaded by an umbrella and give them plenty of buckets and beach toys. Every time you take them to the water, fill up the buckets for them to take back to their hole.
3) For the baby: I bring a large, hip-hugging laundry hamper. It can carry toys and towels to the beach and then the baby can sit, play and nap in it. It is easier to move than a playpen and fits well next to the beach umbrella.
4)I also want to issue a couple warnings: Never let your little ones farther than ten steps away from you. You need to have them close so that you can see if they are 'pinking' from the sun, getting sand in their eyes, or getting too close to strangers. (Not that everyone at the beach should be seen as a threat, but some people don't like kids near them, blocking their 'sun', tossing sand on them, etc.)
One thing that I didn't see in any of the other posts was a warning about seagulls. Some may disagree with me, but I think they are nothing more than ocean-rats. They are dirty, disease-carrying, opportunists. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS FEED THEM!!! They will circle you for a long time and creep up to take food from small children. Not to mention the worst part...they will poop on you!!! Yuck!
I hope that some of my ideas help and you have an enjoyable trip with the family. Best regards!

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P.B.

answers from Memphis on

Last summer we were with another family that had an infant with them. They had no problem. THey carted a lot of stuff to the beach daily, blow up pool, umbrella, cooler, wipes, etc. They had a sort of tent too, to get completely out of the sun, but it seemed too hot to me. I don't think you can use sunscreen on a child under 6 mos though. May want to check with your dr. One of the parents could go back to the house with the baby while the other watched the older kids.

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L.H.

answers from Louisville on

I have never taken a baby to a beach, but a friend of mine showed me a trick to help keep the baby a little cooler. We were at the zoo and she was putting those gel freezer packs underneath the blanket her baby was lying on in the stroller. Good Luck and have fun!

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

I would suggest getting a beach tent. You can look online or maybe get one when you get there. That way the sun stays off of the baby and the other little ones can sit under there as well. It really helps with getting too hot and not wanting sun. Bring plenty of sunscreen that is at least 45 and reapply a lot. Bring a large blanket that you can all fit on and your 2 year old has room to move around. Bring a couple of beach chairs, beach toys, so they can play at your blanket. We went to the beach on the am and when it got really hot, we went back to our condo and ate lunch then napped. Then, after the hot part of the day passed, we went back to the beach or the pool late afternoon. Bring many swim diapers and extra clothes. BRING HATS for all kids and flip flops or those water slippers. The water slippers sometimes get sand in them and hurt their feet.....Get the kind of hats that hook below their chins so the two little ones can't take them off and they don't fall off. You can even bring a pack and play if it is worth your time setting it up, and cover it with a blanket so the little one can lay in there and play or nap without getting sun. Or, you can bring a bouncy seat and put it under the tent.

Have fun!

W. M. M'boro, TN

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S.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Be sure to pack Avon's Kids Disappearing Color Sunscreen lotion SPF 40. It's specailly formulated for childeren's delicate skin and it has disappearing color to show where it has been applied. Check it out at www.youravon.com/stellapayne or give me a call at ###-###-####.
-S.

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D.J.

answers from Greensboro on

IF it's not too hot, (not sure where you're going or what time of year) have you tried the baby slings? there are a lot of websites that have slings where baby can sit in 5 or 6 different ways. Since you have two you will need to be mobile for, and the 3 month old won't be moving so much, I would recommend the sling for any parent with multiple kids on trips ANYWHERE. You could dip the thin cloth in the water to keep baby cool, too. I know my second born loved being sung next to mommy for most of the day (and still be able to see all around him at the same time) while my hands were free to assist my oldest (two y/o at the time). I really think the baby will do just fine, it's the older two that will likely keep you moving. :) I loved my sling as they got older, too; there is a position to put the baby on your hip without killing every muscle in your arm; really takes a lot of the weight off that side of your body. good luck, sounds like CRAZY FUN for mom and dad :) when you get home, you'll need a vacation from your vacation :)

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K.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

they make little baby tents that look like bassenet baskets with mesh domes on top. also at walmart they make half tents just for the beach. and those r big enough for everyone.

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J.D.

answers from Greenville on

Hi M.

What a challenge you have ahead of you. First make sure you have a lot of sun screen and have a pack n play for your little one. A beach umbrella is a good idea as well. Have pails and shovels so they can play Just have fun children love the beach. Good luck enjoy yourself!!! pack a picnic lunc and lots to drink!

J.

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T.R.

answers from Clarksville on

I took my little one to the beach when he was three months. I purchased a little pop up tent that I put him in to keep him out of the sun. It blocked the UV rays and he kept most of the sand out. I put all my beach stuff in it to weigh it down, but I was able to stay a little longer and he really enjoyed being there too. I kept the tent (Lil Nursery)and now he plays with it indoors on rainy days. He is 2 and it has held up great! Have a great time!

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J.S.

answers from Charlotte on

For your 3 month old, take a small inflatable pool down to the beach, and fill it with toys, etc. OR many places sell very small, portable tents for babies at the beach. Good luck!

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