Morning everyone, today we would have been gearing up for our next beach trip with friends, but the recent hurricane forced us to cancel our plans. So we’ll just have to reminisce on our last beach vacation at the Hilton Sandestin! We stayed there last month as a family plus my sister who came along to hang out and help us with Beck. We had the most wonderful time laying out on the beach each day with Beck and sitting right along the water in our beach chair set up provided by Hilton Sandestin. I love the fact that they offer *chairs, umbrellas and even towels so that we didn’t have to drag all of that onto the beach ourselves along with a baby.
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We’re used to staying at our family beach condo where we have to do everything ourselves so it was a nice change of pace getting to enjoy all of the amenities at the Hilton Sandestin like their Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill right by the pool. After we finished up on the beach each day, we would sit outside by the pool for lunch at the grill or grab a snack from the Picnix Poolside Market. We also loved getting to enjoy the Hadashi Sushi Bar each night after Beck went to sleep since we had a sitter.
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We also made sure to hit up the Coffee Shop every morning for Starbucks® coffee and pastries. Out of all the amenities, I would have to say the best was getting a massage at Serenity by the sea spa, which is the Hilton Sandestin spa. Blake and I both got massages and took advantage of the whirlpools, sauna, steam rooms and cozy plush robes.
Check out more of their restaurants, services and amenities here—> Hilton Sandestin
As for what we packed for the beach, check out all of the style boards below.
Everything You Need for a Beach Vacation with a Baby:
The Doona is an absolute must! We have the Nuna and Uppababy strollers and love them, but our friends let us borrow their Doona for our trip and it was a game changer! It made everything so much easier when it came to rolling Beck around the hotel. Plus it was less to pack because it’s car seat and stroller all in one, which is super ideal when it comes to traveling because our car was completely packed.
This beach set up at the Hilton Sandestin was so amazing because we were front row right on the water and we didn’t have to lug our own chairs and umbrella down or even towels either. They even had food and drink service down on the beach too.
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1. Mam Teether | 2. Baby Sun Hat | 3. Baby Boy Swimsuit | 4. Pacifiers | 5. Baby Carrier | 6. Sunscreen | 7. Beach Towel | 8. Baby Floatie | 9. Sunglasses | 10. Swim Diapers | 11. Beach Bag | 12. Beach Tent (we also love this mini baby tent too) ** wagon
1. Mam Teether | Throw this teether in your cooler with your drinks and pull it out for him to suck or check on at the beach.
2. Baby Sun Hat | I felt so bad that we forgot to pack Beck’s hat this past trip. We ended up just having to keep him under the umbrella the whole time.
3. Baby Boy Swimsuit | We love this swimsuit because it has UPV 50+ built in sun protection!
4. Pacifiers | You never pack enough pacifiers when traveling. They’re essential for making it through long car rides.
5. Baby Carrier | The baby carrier allows you to be hands-free, which is nice when you have tons of other items you have carry down to the beach with you.
6. Sunscreen | We have this baby SPF, but we mostly rely on his swimsuit, hat and tent to provide protection. I’m always nervous that the SPF is going to cause a skin reaction.
7. Beach Towel | The Hilton San Destin provided one for us, but we always have to pack them for our condo.
8. Baby Floatie | This float is great little babies in the pool.
9. Sunglasses | These are the most adorable baby sunglasses. Beck looks so cute in them!
10. Swim Diapers | These are obviously a must if you plan on putting your baby in the water, but just know that they don’t hold wet diapers so don’t keep them in the swim diaper long after you bring them back up to the room or inside. You have to change them back into a regular diaper because pee will just leak right out.
11. Beach Bag | This waterproof bag was perfect for carrying all of the items that we wanted to keep dry down on the beach.
Bonus Item: If you can fit a wagon in your car, it’s nice to have to wheel all your stuff down to the beach.
| Shop Beck’s Overnight Bag |
1. Grooming Kit | 2. Honest Baby Wash | 3. Pacifiers | 4. Baby Bath | 5. Magic Merlin | 6. Swaddle Up | 7. Dock-a-tot | 8. Seventh Generation | 9. Boppy Pillow | 10. Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym | 11. YL-Calm | 12. YL-Tummygize | 13. YL-Sleepyize | 14. YL-Diffuser (we also like this diffuser) | 15. Pack N’ Play | 16. Blue Colorblock Large Sutton
2. Honest Baby Wash| We either pack this one or the Seedlings lavender body wash that always use on him at home.
3. Pacifiers| We love these specific pacifiers for Beck because they in his mouth the best. They’re also great for long car rides and helping him go back to sleep.
4. Baby Bath | It might seem excessive to pack a bathtub for a baby, but we like to keep his nighttime routine as close to normal as possible. So if we have room, we like to bring it along and we have never regretted packing it because we always use it. Beck loves his bath time!
5. Magic Merlin | The Magic Merlin has worked amazingly for us! We transitioned him out of the swaddle around three months and into the sleep suit and he absolutely loves it and so do we.
8. Seventh Generation | It might seem silly to pack your own detergent, but we’ve never used anything else on Beck’s clothes and I would hate for him to have a reaction while traveling so we just put a few of these in a zip lock pack if we’re staying somewhere with a washer and dryer.
10. Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym | This play gym is probably Beck’s favorite toy and it’s so easy to pack so we alway bring it when we leave town or go to a friend’s house for a long time.
15. Pack N’ Play | We actually keep our Pack n’ Play at the condo, but it folds up really small and compact for convenience while traveling. It also comes with a removable changing station and turns into the perfect contained play area when they can sit up.
| Shop Beck’s Baby Bag |
1. Baby Bibs | 2. Onesies | 3.Soothie (we use these pacifiers now) | 4. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment | 5. Baby Boys’ Organic Cotton Socks | 6. Burp Cloths | 7. Baby Wipes | 8. Swaddle Blankets | 9. On The Go Gray Bag Dispenser| 10. Dr. Brown’s BPA Natural Flow Bottle | 11. Soundspa On-The-Go | 12. Colorblock Large Sutton | 13. Tote Savvy | 14. Nuna MIXX™ Stroller | 15. Nuna PIPA™ Car Seat | 16. Baby Backseat Mirror for Car
1. Baby Bibs | Bibs will save him some clothes especially if you don’t have access to a washer and dryer while you’re traveling.
2. Onesies | You can never pack enough onesies for changes throughout the day when it comes to spit up and diaper exlposions.
3. Soothie | Pacifiers are a must for long road trips. We don’t use the pacifier too often at home. We usually only use it around nap time if he’s fussy. He tends to get a little fussy after sitting in his carseat for a long time too.
4. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment | I never go anywhere without aquaphor for myself so I do the same for Beck because we can use it soothe diaper rash, scratches from his nails and dry skin on his face.
6. Burp Cloths | We keep burp clothes all over our house for surprise spit ups from Beck so the same goes for traveling. We keep some in his diaper bag and on his carseat so he never has to sit uncomfortable with spit up on his clothes and same for our clothes too.
9. On The Go Gray Bag Dispenser | This little bag dispenser is a life saver when it comes to dirty diapers on-the-go. They’re easily accessible on the side of the diaper bag and they’re lavender scented too to help conceal the smell.
10. Dr. Brown’s BPA Natural Flow Bottle | I still exclusively breastfeed, but this time brought a bottle for him in the car as backup when we can’t stop in traffic and he’s screaming crying. Also, we still use slow flow nipples on bottles when we give him one so that he won’t get lazy with breastfeeding since bottles are so much easier. Just a tip— from personal experience, we hold him upright while we feed him bottles to slow the flow even more and prevent him spitting it all up after he’s done.
11. Soundspa On-The-Go | He sleeps with a sound machine at home so we packed it for him to sleep at night at the condo, but it’s also nice to have attached to his carseat to calm him and sleep easier in the car for long rides.
16. Baby Backseat Mirror for Car | I love having this mirror in our backseat so I can easily check on him using the rearview mirror. He also likes to look at himself in the mirror too.
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The whole reason I got this @tiare_hawaii maxi dress is because it reminded me of the perfect beach sunset and I thought it would look amaze for our family photo!
How to Get The Perfect Family Beach Photo (when you don’t have a professional photographer!):
- Designate a specific time during your trip so everyone is prepared & you can even coordinate outfits! I suggest sunset because the light is best then. Or take a more candid approach & snap one while you’re already hanging out on the beach. Pro tip: take the photo as soon as you get settled instead of waiting & forgetting. Plus, this way, you can enjoy the rest of your time by being present in the moment.
- Make it easy for the “photographer” by lining up the exact angle you want & showing them where to stand. Pick a spot where the light is shining on you instead of behind you or beside you to prevent harsh shadows. If the person has time, have them snap one & check it before taking anymore to make sure you like it.
- Don’t spend any longer than 5ish minutes trying to get the “perfect” photo or you’ll just end up with a bunch awkward forced smiles by the end. Instead, have your friend/family member snap as many as they can within a few minutes using different angles as you change up poses.
- If you ask a stranger to take your photo, kindly request that they just snap a FEW pictures as opposed to just one. Pro tip: practice taking the photo on your family first to make sure everything looks good before asking a stranger to take it!
- If you’re having trouble getting your family to cooperate (aka distracted kids or annoyed husband), just ask everyone to laugh & smile at each other to capture a sweet family moment instead. Pro tip: It helps if you actually whisper something funny!
P.S. In case you’re wondering, my sister took this photo of us & she has zero photography skills so anyone can do it! Also, these are just a few of my tips, but I have a ton more if you’re interested in me doing a blog post on it! Just comment below to let me know!
**Disclosure: Outdoor seating has been adjusted to provide the required six feet of distance between tables, and indoor service is operating at just 50% capacity, as mandated by the Florida Governor’s Executive Order.
A huge thank you to the Hilton Sandestin for having us. We had the most amazing family beach trip.