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Beach vacations with newborn baby -- is this stupid?

Beach vacations with newborn baby -- is this stupid?

Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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Beach vacations with newborn baby -- is this stupid?

Hey all -- I've read all the posts on Provo being great for babies with the absence of surf and soft sand which all sound wonderful. However, our baby is 8 wks old and can't even hold his head up yet so he won't be sitting on the beach or slashing in the water. I'm wondering whether it makes sense to take such a young infant on a beach vacation? We carry him around in a sling and I'm thinking we could lay him on a blanket when we are under an umbrella or he can lay on top of one of us. We figure we can carry him in a sling and keep him covered from the sun when we are walking around, and keep him in the sling when we are dining in restaurants. Does this sound unreasonable?

We were considering going to Barcelona instead but the husband thought the beach vacation might be easier with respect to diaper changes, feedings/pumping, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, we are feeling a bit clueless about what we need to consider with our new addition.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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Our options for Provo lodging are currently a junior suite studio courtyard at Ocean Beach West or a 2 br at Reef Residences -- both are roughly $2400 for 8 nights. I liked the look of Stone's Throw villa which was a little cheaper but not sure I can get award tix for their availability -- this one didn't appear to be on Grace Beach?

I believe Ocean Beach West is walking distance to a well-stocked grocery store -- we'd love organic groceries for breakfasts and a few lunches. The baby still doesn't sleep through the night so getting ready to go and eat can often take us awhile.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 05:00 AM
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I personally don't feel like going on vacation with a baby is a vacation at all But I'm a crazy structured person! I'm not sure about the different places, but I think a 2b would definitely be awesome. Let the baby sleep when it sleeps and you can have a little down time!

A beach vacation would definitely be more casual though then sightseeing at Barcelona. You definitely need casual with a baby. Good luck! I'm still here on the island and it's gorgeous!
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 06:26 AM
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I wouldn't take such a young infant on a beach vacation. I'm a retired Pediatric nurse, and have seen blistering sunburns on very young infants, who were under umbrellas while on the beach. Their skin is just so vulnerable.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 07:15 AM
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I'd go even further than JeanH - unless there is a real compelling need, such as taking your baby to see his father for the first time because he is stationed overseas, I wouldn't even consider going on any vacation with an 8 week old child. It's not going to be a vacation for you as you'll be tending to the child's needs almost every waking moment of the day. Wait until the child is a bit older (say 6 months) to consider taking a trip and then, if you decide on a beach vacation make sure you are prepared to protect the baby from the strong sun.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Only you can decide if taking an 8-week-old on vacation is a good idea. If the answer is yes I'd certainly opt for the beach vacation rather than an active vacation such as you would have in Barcelona.

Provo is indeed a good choice with children. It's generally easy to reach and there are lots of condos so you have a kitchen/living room with a separate bedroom. There's also a large, modern grocery store close to the resort area.

Please do be very careful in the sun with your little one. Personally, I have to be careful in the sun and I have a large wardrobe of SPF clothing. One of the companies I purchase from offers infant-sized clothing and accessories. I still apply sunscreen and sit under an umbrella and I'm usually covered up as well. That combination works for me and for a newborn you need to be extra careful. Try to find a palapa with a solid wood cover rather than an umbrella for better sun protection. Here's a resource for clothes for your son:


Good luck. I think you're brave even considering a vacation at this time.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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I agree with JeanH as far as taking an infant on a beach vacation. You can not use sunscreen on a child that young and even under an umbrella and fully clothed, they can get a sunburn. I would wait until the child is at least six months old before even thinking of taking them to the beach!
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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Thx for replies! I discussed the trip with my pediatrician who greenlighted the idea but he was focused more on the baby getting his first round of vaccinations. (he felt risk of infection was low after this).

Does a baby's skin sensitivity change dramatically between 10 weeks and 6 months? We would have the baby clothed in SPF protected clothing -- (thanks Sharon for the link, the infant romper and hat look perfect!) I will definitely bring this up with the pediatrician on Monday.

We are definitely set on taking a vacation (grandma got shingles which is why we're not going to see them and now have 10 days off...) but the issue is where and what kind of trip. He's a wonderful baby and doesn't fuss at all and with how much he sleeps we figure there's no better time for him to fly. I was wary, however, of a 9 hr flight to BCN in coach. (perhaps more for my own sake than the baby... ; )

I appreciate all this input, helps a lot.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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Apart from weekends away by train or car we didn't fly/vacation with our 2 children until they were at least 6 months old. First beach vacation was @9months and wasn't a highlight as my son hated the sand and salt water
Babies can be crotchety if they're too hot or out of sorts because of changes in their routine.

If you were taking along a nanny, babysitter, other relative to give you and your husband a break then maybe this would work.
I wouldn't take a baby to the beach in the Caribbean between 11am -3pm regardless of the amount of shade you think they will be in.

I'd recommend waiting a few months or a very slow paced to Barcelona instead. Walks in the parks, casual meals and down time back at the hotel for the most part.
They love babies over there so I don't think the diaper changes etc would be a problem (the Spanish do take their own babies out!).

Good luck and enjoy your little one!
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Bear in mind the spf romper looks cute but might not be so comfortable when your baby gets hot and sticky!
I frequently jump in the water when wearing those sunprotection clothes just to cool off.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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OH, I forgot.. at 6 months of age there are some infant sunscreens available but they're not recommended for younger babies!
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 12:23 PM
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I'm sure it changes somewhat, but the bigger issue is at six months, you can apply sunscreen to a child.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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You can put sunscreen on a baby. Ive got three kids and they were fine.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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I'm going to buy this infant UV play tent for additional sun protection:


I will also get a second opinion today with a pediatrician regarding the trip.

In the meantime, could I get some advice about lodging? My husband *loves* to bike and walk everywhere so we will not be renting a car for the entire week, just a couple of days. I want easy access to a beach and a full kitchen.

Ocean Beach West sold out. We are left with the following options at this point:

Ocean Beach East 1 br pool: $2200 total (not thrilled with location nor having to take shuttle to Ocean Beach West to access groceries and restaurants. they have free bikes, though)
Vele 1 br: $2870 total (no immediate access to food but sounds like places might be within 5 min walk?)

If anyone else thinks Barcelona is a better idea, I'm still open to that idea too. However, we would have one stop-over on the departure and two stops on the return flights which sounds exhausting.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 06:45 AM
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No, you really shouldn't put sunscreen on infants younger than six months.

Their skin is so thin, it absorbs more of the chemicals in the sunscreen.

Here's a link from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Barcelona, re the stopovers, probably not a deal breaker for the baby but just how you'd feel. Might be too tiring if you're still breast feeding and if hubby doesn't do everything for you!

We had one of those play tents when my daughter was a toddler and it worked well to keep the sun off her plus on breezy days the tent was a refuge from the sand blowing about.

However, we only used it at local beaches (NE) and usually temps were in the 70's (up to 80F) I think. I might get too warm inside for Caribbean use.
Be careful to close the flaps to keep the baby fully shaded or face the opening away from the sun

Accommodation wise, I try to avoid a shuttle as you'd end up waiting around in the sun.. less convenient.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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In Caribbean, temps are usually in the high 80s. There is a chance of dehydration which will kill a baby quickly.

Barcelona has time changes, food changes, cultural changes. Truly not a vacation with a 2 month old.

I'm sure you're anzy and want to get away, but just go out of town to change atmosphere. Too much can go wrong when so little.

Caribbean hospitals are good, not great. Some emergencies require medivacs to the States.

TCI has a nice hospital, some great doctors. But dehydration at that age will kill. The poor baby can't even keep his head up yet.

I know both destinations extremely well. I've been to many Caribbean islands many times, and my family is from Spain and I grew up there.

I know you didn't come on hear to get lectured. But we are travel experienced, and think with just a little patience you'll get to travel and have a healthy baby.

I waited until my daughter was 6 months old, now she goes everywhere.

This is really a case of 6 months doesn't make a difference for a vacation but could mean a healthy baby or not.

Still up to you, and you seem determined. Good luck
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 03:56 PM
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Hmm, so fodors consensus clearly seems to be -- "Yes, this is stupid." LOL.

Certainly gives me pause as consensus can be kinda rare amongst fodorites! The 2nd pediatrician today said keep him out of direct sunlight and make sure he doesn't get too warm. I asked if he thought I should cancel and he said he thought it would be fine. Nonetheless, I take your advice seriously as it's sounding rather unanimous.

While there are clearly babies born in the Caribbean, I guess you're saying that

A. they don't spend time outdoors, or if they do
B. they're used to it and can tolerate the conditions without distress.

WIth regards to Barcelona, how do the changes in food, culture, etc impact a breast-fed baby? Is it that he detects my stress and fatigue? He's not on much of a schedule so I don't think the jet lag will hit him too much given that he sleeps most of the time anyway but perhaps I'm wrong on that.

Sigh, will talk to the husband and see what he thinks. My pediatricians are on the younger side -- do you think the protocol has changed or something? I do know that if my mother knew I was planning a vacation, she would freak out as she'd rather me not go outside at all for the first few months.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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A small bout of Dengue is going to keep us away since the adorable baby will not be subjected to bug repellent.


Any interesting warm weather U.S. destinations with good food and culture? Otherwise, may venture over to the Europe site to quickly pull BCN together....

thanks everyone.
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 04:05 AM
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My daughter went to Barbados a few years back with her best friend + her baby who was only 6 weeks old at the time. Baby was fine. I took my daughter abroad on beach holidays for the first time when she was 3 months old (south of France during the summer) and the second time when she was 7 months old (Cyprus). If I took heed of everything on this forum I would have to stay at home.
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