As you know we just got back from our family beach trip. It was our first time going to the beach with a baby. We didn't travel until Matilda was 2 1/2. Ha! With a little more experience under our belts we weren't as cautious this time with Phoebe. Baby girl had her sand in the toes at the wee age of 7 months. After asking you guys on facebook for some tips and then gathering my own thoughts during and after the trip, I wanted to share with you what we did and what worked or didn't. Please feel free to leave your own successes in the comments below! Would love to hear them.

As anyone with an infant knows... a bit more preparation and gear are necessary for travel. As much as I pride myself on being a low maintenance Mama, you just really need a big haul for a week long "vacation." Let's start with for the car:

  • diaper bag
  • three bottles filled with purified water (if you are nursing this obviously doesn't apply)
  • formula dispenser filled with 3 feedings worth - I packed OXO's version which was easy to open one-handed. 
  • wipes + diapers 
  • squeezy baby food
  • bib - we packed OXO's new travel bib that rolls up on itself to return to the diaper bag. Awesome!
  • toys
  • teethers (these are my favorite!)
  • aden + anais blanket - we don't go anywhere without these
  • change of clothes

We ended up stopping for lunch/change/bathroom break. We fed Phoebe in the car all of the other times. She did amazingly well, but didn't sleep much. Hard with all of the distractions. We did manage to get her to rest a bit by covering the car seat with a spare muslin blanket (see above). Those blankets are worth their weight in gold and perfect for the summer since they are lightweight and breathable.

As far as mealtime goes...

  • bib (shown on Phoebe above)
  • travel spoon with plastic case - great for restaurants too!
  • squeezy food for beach and jars for home
  • baby bowls
  • bumbo or other travel highchair
  • bottles (we brought three)
  • travel drying rack (pictured above) - best invention ever! fold out drying rack with bottle brush was so convenient since we were washing more bottles by hand. also love it for spoons and any other dishes.

Gear for the beach, sleeping + out and about...

  • we brought two pack and plays (crazy sounding I know!) we used 4moms Breeze for sleeping and our dear friends let us borrow their Baby Bjorn Travel Light for the beach. Both are amazing for different reasons. You could also use a baby tent for the beach but I didn't find many options.
  • bumbo with tray for Phoebe to sit in at the beach. we found that she kept putting sand on her hands and then rubbing her eyes making her miserable. this way she was able to sit and play with a toy.
  • large tent - we don't go to the beach without a tent. I am a redhead and I think for kids it's really nice to have a place to escape. The one we came down in got taken out by a beach tornado (true story) so we ended up having to buy another one (and then it rained every day!).
  • stoller - we attached Phil and Ted's Dot stroller to the top of our car. I like it for travel because it's slim and fully reclines.
  • I really love OXO's stroller hook (coming in August). It holds my huge bag and when not in use it's the perfect size for Matilda's hand to hold on to when crossing the street (Brilliant!)
  • An On-the-go wipes dispenser is lovely to have because you can access wipes for cleaning faces and hands in an instant.
  • A changing pad is obviously important for impromptu changes on the beach
  • I really love the Ergo travel Stowaway carrier for the summer because it's a really lightweight material, but still so comfortable because it's an Ergo. Can't say enough great things.
  • baby powder was recommended to me by several people for easy sand removal!
  • Toy tether - love this thing! I attach it to my carrier, stroller, car seat. It's awesome.

I hope I'm not forgetting anything! Other than that... 
  • plenty of clothes
  • a light sweater
  • sun hat
  • bathing suits
  • swim diapers (love these)
  • rash guard
  • sunscreen
  • whatever makes them feel comfy: lovies, pacies, blankets etc

Happy traveling! Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help. A special thank you to OXO tot for sponsoring this post - I only work with companies I really love and all thoughts + opinions are totally mine. You can enter here to win all of their products seen above. Good luck! 

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  1. oh gosh, I'm leaving for a little beach vacation on Sunday- this post couldn't have come at a better time! thanks for the tips!

  2. ps, you have the diaper bag I wanted ;)

    1. Where is the diaper bag from?? I love it myself and am in need of one!

    2. thank you! it was a gift so not sure, but it's marc jacobs.

  3. We have found traveling with Elem so much easier than everyone told us! She has already been to about 6 states at 9 months old! The first trip we took she was almost 4 months old and we drove to Cincinnati for a mid-century antiques show...I pumped in the back seat while Jeff drove. It was tricky and we took about a million empty bottles because there was extra milk to refrigerate. There's so much more to pack with kids, but we love taking her and she's become very flexible when traveling! Headed to Jekyll for a week in August, maybe I should start packing now :)

  4. As always, your tips are so helpful, Lesley! Will be coming back to this when we take our trip to the beach in August. And, I love seeing those two little baby teeth on Phoebe..such a cutie ;)

  5. Yes! So many successes with many of the products you mentioned! One thing on this last trip (Henry's second long road trip) was clips. Big art/office clips. I used them to construct a tent with swaddle blankets in the car and he actually got good, full naps. Then we got to where we were staying and had to setup his pack-n-play near a bright window... Used the clips to cover the window with bath towels. Just one of those random little things I will be packing from here on. And for Henry - favorite books are a must, and generally just being super, super organized to know where everything is and easy to grab when I need it. I'll definitely be looking back at this before our beach trip this November! Did you find the baby powder to work for sand?? I had heard that, too...

    1. clips! such a brilliant idea. definitely trying those out on our next adventure. thanks for sharing! i didn't actually try the baby powder because i kept her out of the sand most of the time. it kept getting in her eyes. sigh. next year i'll test it out!

  6. Honest diapers are good quality and don't leak. We tried expensive ones but they were constantly leaking. Cruisers are fine too but it is not worth spending the extra money.

  7. I really love your blog. That is awesome for me ! I think you should find cheap pack and play for your family


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