My family has been vacationing on the beautiful island of Hilton Head for about 15 years. We have basically grown up going every year, so it was only fitting to take our sweet babies this year.
What we love about Hilton Head is first off, how beautiful and serene the beaches are, and how it doesn’t feel crowded, even though it is a popular vacation spot. There are lots of yummy restaurants and some great shopping…it really is a great spot to vacation!
Normally when we head to Hilton Head each year, I look forward to sitting at the beach or pool, soaking up the sun, sipping my Diet Coke, and reading a great mystery (with my man, James Patterson)…not so much this year. I think my sister’s exact words were “This is the first beach trip where I am going home paler than when I got here…”
I don’t know how many of you mamas have vacationed with babies under 3 months, but I thought I would offer some tips, tricks, and things I learned!
I was fortunate enough to have my sister there with her little boy, who is 5 weeks younger than Andie, so we were both going through the same thing! Side note – can I just say that I LOVE that my sis and I had babies so close together? It really has been such a blessing to be able to call and text each other DAILY to make sure the other is spitting up and pooping just as much as our own is…and to know that we aren’t the only ones calling the doctor weekly to make sure excessive hiccups are okay…
Ok back to vacationing…
#1 Pack more than you think you need. In general, babies can go through several outfits a day, depending on how messy they are. But when you are at the beach, you add in sand and hot days…and you’ve got a potential recipe for even more outfit changes.
#2 Know that your down time will look very different. Like I said earlier, I love going to the beach to sit back and relax, but a baby makes that a little harder. My mom and Lauren’s mother-in-law were kind enough to watch the babies pretty often so we could catch a few rays at the pool (let’s be honest, they were begging us to go sit at the pool so they could steal some baby snuggles…;-)), but you are definitely on a time crunch.
#3 Get a pop-up tent before you go. My dad was adamant about finding one of these before we left (at Kmart of all places…like, who still shops at Kmart??), and I am so glad he did! While the babies only made it to the beach a couple of times, it was so nice to have a shady spot for them to nap for a little bit while we were out there.
#4 Bring your baby monitor. Andie slept in her pack-n-play in our room, which meant that is where she would also be napping. It was so nice to be able to leave her in there to nap while we were at the pool or somewhere else in the house and not have to keep checking on her. We brought her sound machine as well to make it feel a lot like home, so if your baby uses a sound machine, I would recommend bringing that too.
#5 Make a designated changing station. We decided to bring our changing pad with us at the last minute, and I am so glad we did! We ended up creating a changing station on the dresser in our room, and it made our life so much easier. Plus, it was easy for anyone to go in there and change a diaper for us if they offered, and we welcomed those offers daily :-).
#6 Stick to their routine…as much as you can. It is vacation after all, but if you have a bedtime routine of a bath, book, bottle or boob (oopsie), bed by 9 (whoa alliteration!) etc…try and stick with that each night if you can! Since we were with family, there were obviously going to be more snuggles and rocking and that is okay! But as much as you can, keep them in their normal routine.
#7 Be flexible! But all you mamas know this isn’t just a vacation tip…this is our new norm! Flexibility is especially key when vacationing. We did a lot more shopping than we usually do (I can’t complain), just because the babies love being in their strollers. My sister and I also tried to walk in the mornings some too, because Hilton Head has some of the best walking and biking trails…and since we are talking about biking, that is something Lauren and I did NOT get to do this year…but after birthing a child, I am not so sure that we were quite ready for that style of physical activity anyways…
#8 Have fun! This one is easy. Your baby is only going to be little for so long, so be sure to enjoy this sweet time with them! I know next time we go to the beach, Andie will probably be running around…and I will have a whole new list of tips to keep up with her…
Here are some pictures from our trip! Aren’t they the sweetest babies you have ever seen?!
What are your vacation tips when traveling with a baby?
Do yourself a favor and go to Hilton Head! You won’t regret it…
Until next time!