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During spring break, Rob and I headed to the Caribbean to visit my parents at their house in St. John. We have visited this paradise for the past three years and just love the beautiful location, beaches, and family time.
This year, things were a bit different since we had Zoey with us. While we knew she would be fine on the plane (she is a seasoned traveler already), the constant Caribbean sun was a bit of a worry. Through everyone’s diligent efforts, the only person to get sunburned was me! (On the tops of my feet. Rookie mistake!)
A large part of what made out beach vacation with Zoey so successful was the items I have listed here. My parents had Zoey outfitted with crib mosquito netting, rubber pants, pack ‘n plays, tray seats, toys, and books. We would have been seriously underprepared without their foresight!
These are the baby must haves that we used multiple times every day of our seven day vacation.
Mosquito Netting – This mosquito netting was so helpful to keep Zoey comfortable while she slept and played outside in her pack ‘n play. We just put it over her crib, pulled down the sides, and she was bug free! You can also use this to cover a stroller.
Aveeno Baby Sunblock – Though we kept Zoey pretty covered in swim shirts and under umbrellas, we made sure to protect any of her exposed skin (hands, feet, and face). She didn’t like putting it on (just like her Dad), but it is scent free and did its job. Make sure you get the 3oz tube, otherwise you will not be allowed to take it on a plane!
Sun Protection Hat – One of my parents good friends on the island gifted Zoey this sun hat. Thank goodness because the one we brought was too small for her head and did not come so low in the back. Zoey lived in this hat while we were there whether she was swimming, in the stroller, or in the car. We loved being able to cinch it tighter to her head with that little yellow toggle in the back. Perfect for windy days!
Swimsuit Diaper (rubber pants). When my mom told me she had bought these for Zoey, I had no idea what she was talking about. They were awesome! You could avoid using a disposable diaper with these rubber pants as they hold in anything major, giving you enough time to get out of the water and clean up your little one without leaving anything behind in the water. The ruffles on the bottom are also adorable!
Long Sleeve Rash Guard with SPF – Do not skip this. Order two. Or three. Not only does this rash guard provide 50 SPF, but it dries super quickly. Zoey lived in her rash guard shirt while we were hyper vigilant about sunblocking her legs.
Baby Float With Canopy – I couldn’t find the exact one my parents picked up for Zoey, but this one got fantastic reviews. It was so freeing, for both Zoey and whoever was swimming with her, for her to be able to splash around on her own without having to be held the whole time. The sun shade provides that extra protection on your babies brand new skin. Just be sure that someone is right next to them the whole time!
Disposable Swim Diapers – If your rubber pants are wet, or you’re expecting some serious business from your little swimmer (ha! see what I did there?), disposable swim diapers are your friend. They are pricey, which is why I recommend the rubber pants, but having a pack on hand is a smart choice. If Zoey wasn’t in her rubber pants, or in the buff, she was in a rash guard and disposable swim diaper just in case.
Lightweight Backpack With Mesh Pockets – Forgo your usual one shoulder diaper bag and bring a backpack. You’ll most like be walking along the beach looking for the perfect spot and you want to be hands free for the baby, chairs, and umbrellas. Get a backpack that has some mesh pockets so you have a place for wet rash guards that won’t damage everything else.
Sun Umbrella with Sand Anchor – We didn’t have this umbrella while in the Caribbean, but my parents have it in New York and it is amazing! It creates a large, cozy space for the baby to play and move around. The sides fill with sand so it won’t blow over and an adult or two can fit underneath as well. It’s big and a bit cumbersome to carry, but so worth it!
RQ: What are some of your baby must haves when going on a beach vacation?