Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baby…Vacation…Beach…What was I thinking?



Ok, I know what the title says, but our vacation really wasn’t that bad! My hubby and I journeyed on night (yes, I said night!) to Panama City Beach, Florida, to vacation with his family. We all stayed in the same house, which was an adventure…eight adults, three kids, and a baby…what could be more fun??!!! It actually worked better than I expected…I am such a pessimist…but that does mean I’m pleasantly surprised when I’m wrong!

I was mainly concerned (Ok, about having a panic attack!) taking our three month old on this trip. I scoured the internet looking for tips on traveling with babies and babies on the beach. (Did I mention we were across the street from the beach?!!!) I was pretty nervous about baby and beach. But everyone came back sans-sunburn or any other malady of any sorts! YAY! Score one for mommy!


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So here are a few tips for next time you (or I) vacation with a baby to the beach.



  • Travel at night. Seriously, if you can, drive at night. We left at 11pm, and we had to wake our little man up after 8.5 hours of driving to eat (I was DYING!!!) or he would have slept longer. Ours is a great sleeper, anyway, and he loves car rides.

  • Don’t over pack. Our car was a little crammed, so this would be a definite change I would make! There is no need to bring the kitchen sink, or every little toy you might think you need. Especially with one this young! We took a play mat, bathtub, bumbo, tons of towels, boppy, etc. If I thought I might use it, I took it. Pick a few things, and don’t overwhelm yourself with a bunch of stuff/junk/non-necessities. One tip I read was bring enough diapers for the road, then buy however much you need when you get there. (We didn’t do this, b/c I hate buying diapers!)

  • Don’t get burned!!! This was the major stressor for me. I wanted to enjoy the beach, but I was so afraid of my little man getting burned!


    • Get a tent. The shade of a UV tent is great! However, don’t leave it out on the public beach! DSCF1052

    • Invest in good clothes. Rash guards, swim trunks (so cute!), sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat are all great investments at the beach.

    • Don’t be too afraid of sunscreen! There used to be warnings about infants younger than six months not wearing it period. However, pediatricians now say it is ok to put sunscreen on babies in moderation where clothes do not cover them (hands, feet, etc…) My little guy did not have any adverse reactions to the sunscreen. And the sunburn would be way worse!





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  • Bath Tub! Our little man loves the water. We didn’t want him to feel left out when we swam, so we brought the tub, filled it with ocean water, and let him splash to his heart’s content! (We did take him out in the water a couple of times, but he didn’t like that quite as much…plus, we could keep him in the shade in the tub.) We also put him in it just to sleep (without water in it). This was so much more convenient than taking a pack and play all the way out there each time, clean up was easy, and it still kept him off of the sand. (I used regular diapers…) Also, one comment cautioned against leaving the baby alone...we always had an adult beside him when he was in the tub, with or without water. I am too paranoid not to!


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  • Prepare for rain! Obviously, it’s Florida! Keep an umbrella with you at all times…and bring your stroller with the cover. Board games are a necessity! You never know when your afternoon is ruined when the skies open up!

  • By a travel fan! Our little guy is so hot natured! We had to go to Wal-Mart to get a battery-powered fan…there are some that go on strollers.

  • Restaurants:


    • Be prepared to wait an hour or longer if you go out to eat! This means at least one feeding to go out! I’d invest in good covers if you breast feed or make sure to pump before you go out. (Or make another family member to wait in line and get there when it’s time to be seated.)

    • Be prepared to eat out of doors! This is why we bought the portable fan. Our little man was so hot! It was miserable for all of us!


  • Tips I learned for breastfeeding babies:


    • In the heat, feed as often as possible. I don’t adhere to any schedule, anyways. I feed my little man when he’s hungry, and I’ve never had a problem with him sleeping at least five to six hours every night. So, for us this was not a problem. This keeps your baby hydrated in the heat. (Also, remember to keep yourself hydrated!) I’d feed every hour to two hours while we were there. (I think he went through a growth spurt while we were there, too!)

    • Cover-em-up! Ok, I’m not usually brave enough to feed in public. I’m so paranoid that I’ll show too much. I have a nursing cover, but it’s kind of awkward to use, at least for me. I found that blankets are great, as are beach towels! That is, by far, my favorite cover up! Also, the blanket they sent home from the hospital, with the little feet on them. My first feed in public was on the beach, with the beach towel. Second was in the movies. Again, my little man is really hot natured, so he doesn’t like covering when he eats (he sweats like crazy!!!), so I have also fed him in the car with the a/c on (also allows for a bit of privacy). My craziest on this trip was in the bathroom stall standing up. He was hot, tired, and got in a mood where he didn’t want to eat in the usual position. Since I didn’t have room (or privacy) to change positions sitting down, I had to stand up. But it worked! (This position works a good amount of time when he’s sleepy…the football hold is also one of his favorites…he’s such a boy!) You will try anything if you are crazy desperate enough!
      *Edit* I know a lot of people are not thrilled about this tip. I still nurse my now 18 month old, and I still cover up. This is my personal preference, as it is my husband's preference. My husband is a little jealous of my body, and does not want anybody else to see my boobs. That includes when I am feeding my son. So, to respect his wishes, and to not cause anybody to think anything improper about me and my body, I cover up. Yes, I still use the bathroom stalls, and my son doesn't seem to mind. We have recently moved to Portugal, where they have family rooms where I can nurse when needed, although my son doesn't need to nurse while we are out and about now. If you choose not to cover up, that is your choice. But I choose to cover my ta-tas.




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  • Baby Powder Gets Sand Off! Enough said.

  • Enjoy Yourself! Don’t stress. Most people understand a crying baby. We even got a free desert from our waitress because she liked our baby so much (he was fussing a little…I think she felt sorry for us!) Remember you’re on vacation!




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36 comments :

  1. Great tips! Bringing a baby tub is a good idea.

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  2. Why is "cover them up" a tip? If ever there was a time to nurse uncovered it'd be in the middle of summer in Florida. If you feel uncomfortable nursing uncovered then do what you must but giving advice like pumping, sitting in the car, and standing in a bathroom stall seems rather silly. If anything the tip should be: don't be afraid to nurse in public, its going to be hot and no one wants to eat with a towel over their face in 100+ degree weather. It's your legal right to feed your baby.

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    1. Boy you're supportive...

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    2. Calm down. Her advice is aimed at people who feel the way she feels and therefore face the same struggles. What is silly is that you think everyone shares your outlook on breastfeeding in public.

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    3. I really appreciated her comment about how to cover up. I would much rather not have any awkward "dude it's boob" or "gross lady cover up" stories when I get home. *Not that those reactions are appropriate but lets be honest they happen*. I actually found the best cover ever was a sheet cut in half. You can tie it around yourself so you are all covered, and its lite and cool. Its how I nursed at parades, family functions, and pool parties (I'm from and hour away from Death Valley, staying cool is a goal).

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    4. that comment is ridiculous. i've breastfed on the beach before before and if u are holding a baby on the beach people stare and smile, u know trying to be friendly, and then it's awkward for everyone when they realize the baby is actually sucking on your booby. whoops sorry buddy!

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    5. Oh come on Lady, get over yourself. It's not an issue of "rights", it's an issue of comfortability and/or courtesy to others. No one enjoys watching a random baby suck on a boob in public and even if there were some sick-o's who did, there is such a thing as modesty and not wanting weirdos to stare at your lady parts. And I especially wouldn't want my young teenage/preteen boys seeing that crap either. Oh yeah, did I mention that it's rude to flop your booby out in public? Rude.

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    6. I LOVED this last comment! I had some lady say that I had "mental issues" because I said that women should use a nursing cover to preserve their modesty. I get it...breastfeeding is natural. But this whole "lactivist" thing about whipping your boob out in public just because it's your right is just ridiculous. I applaud the author for breastfeeding AND choosing to do it modestly :-)

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    7. I don't understand why y'all all are on her back. I agree with her. Never would I ever feed my baby in a bathroom. Would YOU want to eat in a bathroom? Its not about it being her "right" or not. That baby will be burning up covered up nursing like that. And as far as the comment about not wanting your son to see it, maybe teach them not to stare at people. Dang y'all. Come on.

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    8. I breastfeed and really wish I could just whip it out and not care, but after 33 years of being told that IT'S INDECENT EXPOSURE to flash your boobs in public, it's a little hard to train myself that it's ok now. It's a woman's right to breastfeed how she feels omfortable, and to feel whatever emotions she may feel towards it.

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    9. the advice specific to breastfeeding is obviously aimed at women who DONT feel comfortable nursing in public. She gave advice on that bc obviously that was her experience. All women choose to cover themselves in different ways. It is a woman's right to breastfeed in public if she chooses; however, most do not and thats ok too. It is their choice. Her advice in my opinion was spot on.

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    10. I understand it can be tricky getting used to breastfeeding your first baby (at 3 months), but it's well worth the practise to get used to nursing in public comfortably. I was 20 with my first, and I found it totally natural to breastfeed him in public - no face-covering or boob-flashing involved! All you have to do is lift your shirt up enough for him/her to latch on, but no further. Use your free hand to hold the shirt down if your baby tries to push it up (or if it rides up). Your other arm (that the baby is resting on) blocks the "view" from the side (baby's arm can help too). Loose or flowy shirts are best. Tight-fitting shirts may expose a bit of your lower back but if you wear two layers you can pull the top shirt up and the undershirt down and stay covered. Or , better yet, wear an open-fronted jacket or cardigan over your top (it'll cover your back and side). You'll need a different strategy if you wear a dress or a belted shirt, and it does get trickier when they get older and squirmier (or stubborn and want to push your shirt up). Also, it can be awkward in quiet settings if the baby is nursing noisily, but otherwise I've had no problems nursing my three babies like this in airports, restaurants, movie theaters, the beach, malls, grocery stores, standing up, sitting down, around men, women, teens and children. I've never had any weird looks or negative comments, only people commenting on how great it is that I breastfeed - or, more often, people have no idea my baby is even feeding. I've been breastfeeding for seven years with only a one-year break from it between my first and second babies.

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    11. Yeah, the need to cover yourself is YOUR issue. That shouldn't be a tip. Ridiculous. Poor baby being covered in the heat. Horrible advice as it not necessary. Women need to just nurse where needed so it becomes norm. And nursing in a bathroom; I'm just horrified.

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    12. I love the comment 2 up from mine about different clothes you can wear and ways to breast feed. I am also a 20 year old mom and I breast feed in all of those ways, plus I own a nursing cover made of a thin bedsheet-like material that has a thin strap around my neck. My son is not too hot in it. My favorite solution is wearing a tank top under a shirt. I can pull the tank down off of my breast and lay the shirt over any exposed parts. However, if someone wanted to breastfeed uncovered, I would smile and accept it. Covering is my personal preference but I don't think my way is the only way.

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    13. I don't know how this moved from tips for the beach to whether you should or should not nurse in public. I don't see anywhere in the article where she is telling you to not nurse in public. She is only telling you how she feels and what she did about it. So explain this to me . . . all of you who support your right to nurse in public, your right to nurse uncovered in public, are saying that she does not have the right to voice her feelings on the matter. Give me a break!!!

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    14. I don't know if they still exist but there is a giant brimmed hat for baby that's a nursing cover. baby wears it and it's big enough to hide mama's ninny :) it's made for hot summer, beach breast feeding...

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    15. My God, leave this woman alone. You chose to read her blog so you can also choose to keep your mouth shut.

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    16. My God, leave this woman alone. You chose to read her blog so you can also choose to keep your mouth shut.

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  3. The Aden & Anais muslin blankets are great for the beach - very light weight if you feel you need to cover up a bit & you can even dip them in water to cool off. They dry super fast, just hang up on your umbrella!

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    1. Loved our Aden and Anais blankets! My babies also loved to be swaddled in them when they were little.

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  4. I came across your blog on a pinterest post. You had so many great ideas, but you may want to consider changing the font you are using because it is pretty hard to read.

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  5. Thanks so much for the tips! We are planning a beach trip this summer and our baby girl will be 9 months so hoping it makes things a little easier (but who knows! I've never had a 9 month old!)
    *And to those who criticize, oh my word. Get a life...and don't read the blog if you don't agree with it. If I want to feed my baby standing up in a public bathroom stall, which I have done a few times because I'm not good at feeding while covered up, I'm gonna do it. Trust me, the baby is not gonna know the difference! Ya do what ya gotta do.

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  6. I have found that if you nurse with large t-shirt on and cover yourself & the mouth of your baby people are less likely to notice you are nursing (or be offended by it). I typically cover up but there are times when a hot baby will not allow that. Nurse however YOU feel comfortable. I also stare right back at the onlookers who lets be honest stare and act weird if you cover or not. I think people are so unfamiliar with the natural way to feed a baby that they don't know how to act. Don't blame them meet them half way. BTW Great beach tips LOL

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  7. I am SO glad I found these tips! We are going to a beach wedding when our little one will be about 2.5 months old and I am so stressed about it... Thanks!!!

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  8. Love the idea of bringing the baby bathtub to the beach! Would never have thought of that- ingenious!

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  9. Brilliant idea to take the tub so he can still play in the shade.
    Another idea to keep modest, but not too sweaty while nursing is to just lean your own wide brimmed hat over baby and your chest. I had to do that in the car a rest stops on a trip down south, and it was the coolest way to stay covered.

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  10. Thanks for the tips! I havent been stressing about our upcoming beach trip but I definitley want to be prepared. A lot of these I have already been planning on doing. Like driving through the night and getting a UV tent. We're going to Destin in May and our little girl will be 5 months. I thought the bathtub idea was great. I wasnt planning on taking ours because of it taking up space in the car and having to haul it to the beach but I can see her really enjoying it if we filled it with ocean water! The fan on the stroller tip is a good idea too, I didnt think of that. I really appreciate your advice! =)

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  11. Great tips. I will be venturing to the beach when my little one is 6 months old. Oh, and, GOOD GRIEF some of these comments! It's my right to shove my flabby butt into a thong swim-suit, too, but I prefer not to be gawked at. Oh, and I happen to enjoy eating in the bathroom, what's it to ya?! LOL

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  12. great tips!!! when are women going to get it? whatever it is or however it is that you like to feed, pump, or even .. dare i say it- feed with formula is what works for you. the only thing women need to do is stick together and SUPPORT. stop all the hating, its a waste of time and it makes you look about as unevolved as it gets

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  13. Great tips, but id be careful putting your baby in the bathtub unattended. It only takes a couple seconds and a little bit of water for your baby to drown.

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  14. Thank you for your blog post, going on a beach trip in 2 weeks with my 4 1/2 month old... first long family vacation for him! Love your ideas, thanks again! And thanks for mentioning about how you nursed while at the beach, I too, cover up, so sure appreciate your post!

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  15. Breastfeed whenever,wherever...covered or uncovered. I don't care!!! A baby is eating, that is it!

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  16. So glad I came your site! We are getting ready to take my 4mth old baby girl to the beach. I've been torn about the sunscreen, our pediatrician told me not to put any on her. (She has been sensitive to some lotions so yeah) I bought her some light fabric long sleeves, but she is very hot natured like her momma! What kind of sunscreen did you use, I'm just curious. And I love the idea of the bathtub, and was going to do the same thing. (great minds think alike) I was given an awesome inflatable duck tub, so I will be using it for her bath as well as at the beach. :) Space saver!

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    1. I use Waterbabies on my kids...and on myself! It's what my mom used on me, so I guess it's what I am used to! My daughter has sensitive skin, and it hasn't affected her. (She just turned 4 months...) I looked on a website, and they suggested Aveeno babies (http://pediatrics.about.com/od/sunscreen/a/best_sunscreen.htm).
      Have fun!

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  17. Thank you! tips on how to stay modest are becoming more and more difficult to find. i support being able to breastfeed openly wherever and whenever you need to, yay! for the women who feel comfortable enough to do that, but as much as i would love the convenience of not fighting with a cover i personally cant bring myself to expose myself in front of anyone other than my hubby. i was sexually abused my entire childhood and teenage years as a result just the thought of someone seeing my body and having inappropriate thoughts of me makes my skin crawl. so please don't judge a woman if she feels comfortable and SAFE feeding her baby in a restroom stall, because she may have VERY personal reasons for doing so, and trust me i would definitely feed my baby openly and conveniently if i knew people weren't going to be TOTALLY RUDE and stare at me.

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