18 May 2023
Maybe you've been coming to the Outer Banks for years or maybe this is your first family vacation with your newborn. Whatever the case may be, bringing your baby to the beach for the first time is an exciting experience. Caring for a newborn is exhausting and you definitely deserve a vacation! Even better, this time you'll get to enjoy the beach with your baby. Planning for a vacation can be a lot to think about. From remembering what to pack to figuring out how to navigate traffic on the way here. Either way, you'll want to do everything you can to make your baby's first beach experience as fun and hassle-free as possible. Keep reading for all of our favorite suggestions and tip & tricks for visiting the Outer Banks with your newborn.
Things to Do with Your Newborn
While your little one won't necessarily be going surfing anytime soon, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy your trip to the Outer Banks in a way that makes memory for the whole family while stimulating your newborn's growth.
Trip to the Aquarium
Even though your little one may be too young to remember this trip, the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island is definitely a great spot to visit. Take plenty of pictures let your newborn gaze at the many different animals and lights throughout your visit. The jellyfish room will be really entertaining as the calming lights and beautiful jellies entrance your little one and make for awesome pics.
Stroll Through Elizabethan Gardens
If you're looking for something fun to do while getting out and about, take the stroller or the baby carrier to Elizabethan Gardens! Both you and your newborn will love the fresh air, bright, colorful flowers, and delightful statuary that is both calming and intriguing. Be sure to check out all the care and detail that went into making this garden including the way that the light filters in through the trees onto the walking path and the variety of different birds that visit the gardens throughout the year.
Family Photo Session
One of the best ways to make the most of your Outer Banks vacation is to get some adorable family photos with your newborn. These days feel long, but they go by so quickly. Don't let your favorite memories get away from you! And as a Seaside Vacations guest, you'll get a special rate for an hour-long portrait session with Brooke Mayo Photographers. They'll come right to your vacation rental so that you can get some unforgettable photos to capture those memories that will last a lifetime.
Go to the Beach
The highlight of any Outer Banks vacation is a trip to the beach and visiting with a newborn is no different. Your little one will be exposed to so many new and exciting scents, sounds, and sensations at the beach in what is sure to be an unforgettable visit. Let them dip their toes in the water or play around in the sand, if they're already sitting upright. They'll enjoy being with you, no matter what, while the crashing waves are a great way to help your nugget drift off when it's naptime.
Tips & Tricks for the Beach
A trip to the beach with a newborn is more than possible. It just requires a tiny bit of extra planning to help your entire family have the best beach experience possible. Here are some tips and tricks for enjoying a smooth trip to the beach with your newborn!
Limit the Length of the Trip
You won't want to stay too long so that you can keep your baby cool and comfortable. It's easy to get dehydrated or overheated at the beach, so starting off slowly will definitely help your little one get acclimated to the weater. You'll also want to plan around naps and the sun when determinng what time to leave, as the sun tends to be less harsh in the morning or late afternoon. Taking a few extra minutes to think about timing will help make your baby's first beach experience fun and comfortable.
Use Talc-Free Baby Powder or Corn Starch to Remove Sand
When you're at the beach, sand can get everywhere. One of the easiest ways to get sand off you and your baby is to use baby power or cornstarch. Simply dust the sand with one of these and you'll be able to brush it right off.
Keep a Spray Bottle of Water in the Cooler
It's important that you and your baby stay cool while you're at the beach. Consider keeping a spray bottle filled with cold water in the cool for an extra spritz to keep everyone cooled off. Keep a bottle prepared helps ensure that you won't get caught without it when it starts getting warm around midday.
Set a Timer for Feedings and/or Sunscreen Application
This one doesn't apply as much for newborns, but for the rest of the family and any other littles who may be with you, setting a timer to remind everyone to reapply sunscreen can be extremely helpful. It's easy to get caught up in the fun of the beach, so set reminders that will help ensure everyone stays readily applied with sunscreen and/or fed and hydrated.
Must-Haves for Taking a Newborn to the Beach
When going to the beach, there are definitely some must-have things that will make your trip a breeze. Here are some of our favroite must-have things to help you make your Outer Banks trip easy, fun, and memorable.
Lightweight swaddle or Blanket
When your little one is not curled up under the umbrella or safe in the tent, it's important to keep their skin covered and protected from the sun. An easy way to do that is to bring a thin, muslin swaddling blanket that's great for covering up your newborn, protecting them from the sun, and keeping off the chill from the breeze coming off the ocean. This Beach Ocean Starfish/Seashell Blanket comes with a cute little beanie to keep their head covered. Aden + Anais has packs of swaddling blankets that are comfortable, light, and great for your next trip to the beach.
You are definitely going to want to get a beach umbrella and/or a little baby beach tent for your newborn during your trip to the beach! This Sport-Brella Premiere XL is perfect for keeping out the sun and the sand while the Fisqueen 8FT Large Beach Umbrella is perfect if you're looking for a more traditional option. And since littles under 6 months old aren't really supposed to wear sunscreen, it might be a good idea to get a baby beach tent for them to be able to fully enjoy your time at the Outer Banks! This Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent has SPT 50+ fabric and it so easy to setup. The Gorich Beach Tent is great, too, and large enough for several family members, if you'd rather all sit together in the same spot. Don't forget a baby swim hat and a battery-operated fan to keep both you and the little cool during your trip.
You're absolutely going to want to look cute while you enjoy watching your little one splash in the waves or giggle when their toes hit the sand for the first time. One of the best ways to keep you comfortable and provide a little extra shade when you're snuggling with your newborn is a large straw hat with a wide brim! This one from Amazon is great and comes in a wide variety of colors. The wide brim is sure to keep the sun off your face while also protecting your baby's eyes when your cuddling under the umbrella or during feeding time.
If you're choosing to breastfeed or pump, your first trip to the beach with baby will be so much easier with a nursing swimsuit! You're going to want to look for something comfortable with expansive sizing and cozy fabric. And don't forget to pick something cute. This is is still your vacation, so treat yourself, momma! Find something with a fun print or a bright color that makes taking care of your little accessible and easy. Kindred Bravely carries a line of beautiful One Piece and Two Piece nursing-friendly suits that come in beautiful designs and lots of comfortable options. What To Expect has a full list of nursing bathing suits for all your needs, from the most stylish thing to the best cover-ups and plus size gear. This elegant Seraphine Materinity Takini & Swim Skirt Set is perfect for those Instagram-ready beachy photos with your newborn with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the background! Formula feeding? All of these suits are made with mom in mind, so you know they're going to be comfortable for a post-partum body. So be sure to think about yourself and pick a suit that's tailored for you! You more than deserve the chance to be comfortable while you experience your baby's first Outer Banks adventure.
Remember to Treat Mom
Bringing a new baby into the world is exciting for everyone! But it's also exhausting. Be sure to take care of yourself, momma, and do something special for yourself or you and your partner during your vacation.
Spend a Session in the Salt Cave
The Salt Cave is one of the Outer Banks' newest wellness spots and is an amazing spot for an afternoon of wellness that will stick with you long after your vacation is over. Halotherapy is the inhalation of dry pulverized salt particles that cling to the soft tissue of your respiratory system and help clear up congestion as well as supporting skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Plus, if you use the cave, it's a rejuvinating and relaxing experience that will have you feeling refreshed and ready to go. Plus, Seaside Vacations guests will receive $5 off of a cave session and a 10% discount on retail purchases over $50 through our Club Seaside Program.
Take a Spa Day
While we know you want to spend every minute you can with your precious newborn, it's essential to take some time for yourself. What better way to do this than treating mom to a spa day? Give the newborn and your partner some special bonding time and head to the Eden Day Spa & Salon in Corolla or AQUA Spa in Duck for a spa day experience with aromatherpay, massages, and ayurveda.
Get Something Sweet
A vacation is the perfect time to get a sweet treat for yourself. Relish a delicious dessert as you listen to the sound of the waves by the ocean or take in the cooling sensation of the breeze over the dunes. Head on over to The Spot for some yummy ice cream or an acai bowl or Surfin' Spoon for an ice cream sandwich like you won't get anywhere else. Booty Treats is an Outer Banks classic and was featured in a Scotty McCreery music video. If baked goods are more your thing, getting an Apple Ugly from Orange Bloosom Bakery is literally a life-changing experience while other bakeries on the beach offer spectacular donuts, cinnamon rolls, and more.
Make Some Memories on the OBX with Seaside Vacations!
Whether you're expecting, just had a baby, your babies are all grown up, or you've chosen fur babies, it's always a good time to book a family vacation with Seaside Vacations! Check out some of our available Outer Banks vacation rentals for families of all sizes. You're sure to find your perfect spot. Keep an eye on our specials and deals and book now before your dream Outer Banks beach house fills up for the summer. Give our wonderful Guest Services Team a call today at (866) 884-0267 or take a look at our available rentals to get started planning your next historic adventure to the Outer Banks. And don't forget about our layaway plan, which makes booking your dream vacation easier than ever. So don't wait. We're booking Outer Banks vacation rentals year round and we're excited to help you create memories to last a lifetime. We're here to help make your OBX vacation fun, exciting, and hassle-free. Give us a call today!
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We'll see you at the beach.
About the Author: Lauren is a mom, author, and travel enthusiast. An Outer Banks native, Lauren has a Masters in History from the University of Nebraska, which she earned after completing an undergraduate degree in History at UNC-Chapel Hill and serving a tour in the Coast Guard. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with a book and cup of tea in hand, planning her next travel adventure.