Our (not so) little family just got home from our first official vacation as a family of 5. We did a split stay between Ocean City, MD and Wildwood, NJ. We’ve been vacationing to Wildwood (almost) every year and stay at a friend’s beach house, so there are certain conveniences we take for granted that are going to be there (example: dish soap!). This year, however, we decided to add on a few days in a hotel in Ocean City. This meant we were going to experience taking a 9-week old on vacation and had to pack accordingly.
Of course I knew if we forgot anything we could always run to the grocery store or a Walgreens, but I was really trying to not spend money on things we could bring from home. All-in-all the only thing we ended up stopping to buy were some batteries for the stroller fan.
Because it’s been 4 years since we’ve had a baby on vacation, I really researched exactly what we needed (and what we didn’t need) to take. I am all about maximizing space in the car and luggage. No one wants to lug around big, heavy baby items you don’t end up using. The only thing that I invested in that was not needed was a cute little bathing suit for the little man. But I mean really, who can pass up 3 month shark swim trunks? Exactly. No one. Cutest $10 I spent.
Anyway, below are the items that are absolutely necessary to take to the beach if you have a baby. Some of these are even great for toddler and older children, like the stroller fan. And of course, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from any qualifying purchase. Now, on to the good stuff.
Travel Bassinet. This was one of the (many) things we didn’t have for the other kids. We always toted around our pack-and-play, which was great, but heavy and cumbersome to get around in small rooms. This travel bassinet was perfect, and is actually what we use for Cam at home too. It folds completely flat so packing it in the car is a breeze!
Fisher Price On-The-Go Dome. Seriously, this is my favorite baby purchase, and one of the best things I’ve ever invested in. I tried to find it used on Facebook marketplace, but literally people were snatching them up in seconds after posting. Normally I would have skipped it, but the reviews were so fantastic I splurged on it and let me tell you – it is worth its weight in gold! Cam was comfortable and sand-free all week. It folds up easily with a little carrying handle and is pretty light for the walk down to the sand. Now that we’re home, I’m totally going to use it at our pool!
Stroller Fan. I’ve seen these at Disney on almost every trip, but since our girls are older, they have the misting fans so there’s never been a reason to buy them. I ordered an inexpensive one and not only clipped it to the stroller, but I also clipped it to the dome at the beach every day. It definitely kept him cooler and much happier in the 90 degree heat. We will certainly be bringing this to Disney in the fall!
Tent. We used three different kinds of tents on this vacation (not at the same time) and this one by far was my favorite. It provided the most amount of shade and was big enough for us all to sit under when we needed time out of the sun. It’s also great because you don’t have to move it, or your stuff, for the sun. Definitely necessary when traveling with kids!
Owlet. Just because we are traveling, doesn’t mean we don’t use the same things we have at home. Our Owlet is one of my favorite baby necessities and it is great to have on vacation too – especially after a long, hot day at the beach. That peace of mind that it will alert you if something is wrong is priceless.
Baby Monitor. This probably isn’t really necessary if you’re staying in a hotel where you are all in the same room, but we were staying at a friend’s house and got a lot of use out of it! We don’t use a monitor at home, so I just found a cheaper, second hand one to take with us since I knew that they use individual room air conditioners and hearing the baby cry from the deck wasn’t likely. It was perfect and now we plan to use it while we are on the deck or in the pool at home too!
There are so many other little things we appreciate at the beach, like baby powder to remove sand, and good sunblock for the older girls, but those six items are the big ones that made our vacation so much easier. The third time (or kid!) is definitely a charm when it comes to choosing the perfect baby beach gear!
What are your favorite baby essentials for traveling?