Earlier on in the week we had a free afternoon and decided to have a little trip to the beach. We live pretty close so it wasn’t a big task to pick Roo up from preschool and head on out. We had so much fun! It got me thinking about beach trips and what to take with you, because quite often you end up taking so much, or nothing at all and then having to buy it (like buckets and spades… there is always a que at those shops right?!) I thought I’d put together a little list of what we take on out trips to the beach, and just as importantly what we bring back!
To the beach we go!
- Towels and swimwear. This is pretty much a given isn’t it? Even if (like me) you probably won’t get into your swimwear and will keep your shorts and top on, its wise to have. When you choose swimwear for kiddos you really want something that is going to protect them from the sun, the beach is often the most common place for people to suffer burns because it isn’t as warm as inland, and it is windy so people tend to forget the extra protection assuming they will be ok! We use Sunuva swimwear (which the boys are wearing) because it has long UV protection sleeves and the boys don’t suffer burns.
- A change of clothes for everyone. Everyone. I always take a change of clothes for the boys but forget them for me! The last time we went Toby fell over in the sea and got a bit of a surprise as a wave crashed over him! He insisted on being carried for at least 20 minutes… imagine how much fun that was in my only pair of shorts and top! A wet drive home ensued!
- Toys. Don’t be one of the people queuing at the beach for toys, the kids will only get frustrated, not to mention they are always double the price! Most supermarkets sell normal beach toys etc, or if you want something that will last forever and is absolutely awesome with so many different functions then I can personally recommend Quut beach toys, they are awesome and we had so much fun digging, scooping, building, knocking down. You get the idea!
- Change (cash in coins). This is something I always forget but change is good to have for public toilets, ice cream, water and parking. It’s less frustrating than trying to find change too.
- Snacks. Yes they are going to get sandy. Yes that is gross, but at 3 years old Reuben didn’t mind the sandy cocktail sausages, he just wanted something to keep him going. I would recommend things like mini cheddars, weetbix biscuits, cocktail sausages or chicken bites, and pre cut fruit. Things like bananas are great for the journey home, but unfortunately too many times the boys have been distracted and put half a banana down, only to find it is inedible when they want it later!
- Water. One of those massive 5 litre bottles. We take it for topping up our drinks bottle, but also for washing off all of the sand when we get to the car. That way we don’t have to be uncomfortable until we get home for a shower!
- Your mobile phone. For emergencies as well as for pictures. There is a great app called Amber alert that stores all of your child’s details and a recent picture of them. It is suppose to be really difficult to recall simple information like hair and eye colour in moments of stress so this is great to have just in case your child wanders off and gets lost.
So you’ve had your fun, now what to bring home:
Beaches are havens of treats for art projects and the like, I honestly can’t recommend foraging for goodies enough! We never leave the beach empty handed and always take a little bag along with us for storing our goodies until we get home.
- Stones and pebbles. These are awesome fun not only can you add them to rockeries or fairy gardens (see my post here) but you can enjoy painting them and then use them to decorate the house!
- Shells. There is no limit to what you can do with shells. Make jewellery, add the to art work, use them to paint with, use them as templates, add them to a rockery or fairy garden OR you could even make a terrarium when you get home to commemorate your beach trip!
- Coral from the beach. You can’t legally take coral from the open sea in most places, and morally, you never should as it’s a vital part of the sea’s ecosystem, that being said any broken bits you find on the shore are fair game and so beautiful! I have some coral that my husband and I found on the beach on our honeymoon in our bathroom. It is beautiful and although it is essentially only fragments that I have bunched together it looks lovely and reminds us of a time when we could actually sleep more than 4 hours in a row!
That’s it really, you can bring other things like bits of wood or fossils if you find them, just make sure they aren’t sharp or rotten!
I hope you get to enjoy at least one beach day this year, we had so much fun and hopefully we’ll get to go a few more times in the not too distant future!
This is one of those perfect summer activities for toddlers & preschoolers that can be done using pretty much anything in your home – especially the old pots and pans, empty bottles and other brick a brack that you have lying around and don’t want littering the garden. Not only does it work out to be so much fun for them, but it is also a great way to get them exploring sounds and how to make music.
What you will need:
- Some kind of board or palette
- A drill or screwdriver
- Various different bottles, pots, pans etc
- A wooden spoon, drumsticks, basting stick etc
First things first, make sure that your board or the part that you are fitting your bits and bobs to is really secure and sting enough to hold these things, plus take a bit of a beating.
From there screw your utensils to the board, depending on how you want your board to look. Try not to have them touching because that will distort sound, but do try to choose a variety of things to make different noises. Don’t use anything that is easily smashed or broken, i.e stick to wooden salad bowls, metal pans, metal cooling racks etc. To secure them using a screwdriver, or drill, with nails that won’t stick out the back.
I also added to mine a couple of plastic bottles filled with various things. I pushed the nail through to make a hole, which I then widened to get the nail head through. Once I had done that I flipped the bottle over and hammered the nail into place, so the bottle was secure. Then I filled each bottle with different things!
I also added some old plastic jelly moulds which I hooked onto a nail so they swivel back and forth. Underneath I painted a little block of colour for fun. They loved pulled back to moulds to see which colour was underneath.
Here is some inspiration for other sensory boards that I have found on pinterest:
The sky is the limit and you can add whatever you want to the board. Once you are happy that the pieces are secure you can bring out the wooden spoons, drumsticks, metal spoons etc for using as tools to tap the music board with.
I really struggle in summer to find a decent pair of shoes for Reuben. He has very broad feet, so usually he can’t fit in most high street brands shoes unless they are adjustable, but when they are adjustable the buckle often rubs on his foot because he also has a higher arch! The suggestion of crocs seems like a lifesaver and I rushed out to get a pair the second I could prior to our holiday abroad last year. Unfortunately, my child seems to have the only feet in the world that blister in crocs. No, really, he blisters so bad in them that he was practically bare foot 90% of our holiday and can’t even wear them for two or three hours at school! So what to do?
As ou can imagine I have been searching high and low for something that will a.) for his chubby tooties and b.) look reasonably stylish or even passable as not homemade using duct tape Orange is the New Black style. Eureka I have found them!
Birkenstock are a well known brand, however I had never had any dealing with them until my husband and I went shopping for some shoes for him to take on our holiday. As soon as we got in the shop Roo asked to take his shoes off because his feet were so hot and the assistant looked at us quizzically (I’m pretty sure he was thinking, ‘What are they thinking, socks and proper shoes in this weather?’) so I explained our issue. He suggested we try Birkenstock. So we did! We gave it a few days for his foot to heal from the last dalliance he had with Crocs at preschool and then tried them out. Not a tear in sight. No blisters and no tell tale lines of over tight straps. Hooray!
You can find the many styles of Birkenstock sandals for kids (unisex, boys and girls) at their website here.
How adorable are these mini suitcases from Mini Labo? They are so cute!
I have to say these would make the perfect decorative piece for a little ones room to store all of the nik-naks that they don’t want to get rid off or that have sentimental value – things like their first cinema ticket stubbs etc.
Maybe these could be the suitcases for their favourite dolls for them to play holidays?
Either way these are just a touch too cute and I love them!
Check them out from Smallable here.
When we first took the boys on holiday Toby was only 6 months old and still being breastfed. I have to say I felt so at ease with feeding him at that point that I really wasn’t concerned at all, but a friend of mine who was also feeding at the time was concerned. Did she need a cover? Would she be well received and so on.
All silly worries, but genuine nonetheless, so I thought I would put together a list of what you need to take on holiday as a breastfeeder and a few top tips too. I also felt that while this is a much easier list to do than a bottle feeding list I didn’t want to share a bottle feeding list and leave out breastfeeding!
What to take on holiday if you are breastfeeding:
- A cover – only if you are nervous about feeding in public or usually prefer a cover. Please remember breastfeeding is a normal thing and you do not have to use a cover. I would also like to point out that when you are on holiday it is incredibly hot, so if you do choose to take a cover, I would recommend something that is made from muslin and is totally breathable. Big, thick covers (especially in black) are a no go for hot countries. Also it’s worth remembering that if you want to use a cover then why not use a sarong that you have taken for the beach? Saves you taking two pieces of cloth!
- Breast pads (enough to see you through the holiday and travel either side) – I don’t know if it is the places that I have visited but breastpads seems few and far between and when I did find them they weren’t the brand I wanted or liked. I honestly found it much easier to just take my own, they take hardly any space and weigh next to nothing.
- Nipple cream – it can get very dry in hot countries and I would always recommend that to avoid soreness you take nipple cream. This can also double as a dry lip remedy, and if you are using Lansinoh this can be used as nappy cream!
- Nursing bras/sleep bras – this one is a little obvious, because you will no doubt be taking bras with you and if you are breastfeeding then you will be taking nursing bras, but just in case you were thinking of only taking bikinis or swimwear I really would recommend nursing bras incase your breasts become sore or there is any change in your body.
- Easy to nurse in swimwear – this is again a bit obvious and I apologise, however I do have a friend who bought herself a beautiful swimsuit to celebrate her getting back into shape after baby, unfortunately she was breastfeeding and the swimsuit was a high neck halter with a keyhole. It was the least worn swimsuit in her suitcase!
My top tips for breastfeeding on holiday:
- Find somewhere shaded to feed baby. It is tempting to enjoy that wonderful sun I’m sure, but the problem is it isn’t always great for baby and they may well fall asleep before they have finished their feed, or worse over heat which could be very dangerous for them.
- Find somewhere a bit quieter to feed baby/toddler if they are prone to distraction. Toby was so easily distracted by everything when he got a bit older, if you are feeding a toddler it might be an idea to sit a bit further back than that toddler play pool!
- Be conscious of where you are feeding. But don’t ever feel afraid. In some countries there are certain laws that prohibit discrimination of breastfeeding mamas, but in some there are not. Potentially being discrete would be a good idea if you are unsure of where you are feeding. That being said I have found that it is a complete misconception that certain areas will treat you badly or differently for breastfeeding, specifically european countries. I can’t express how supportive and welcoming the majority of places I have been have been.
- Drink plenty of water. One of the most important things for keeping breast milk supply up is drinking plenty of water. I can’t stress enough how you need to keep drinking water, and if you are indulging in the odd all inclusive cocktail then remember that dehydrates and you need to replace the water!
- Make sure you eat well. When I was on holiday with a breastfeeding Toby I would often find myself indulging in snacks. I say often, but everyday Reuben and I would head up to the snack bar and get a plate full of chips, chicken nuggets and other terribly bad for you treats to share with our clan. While this is fine because you are on holiday it’s important to remember to eat proper meals as well, not masses, but consistent meals to keep your energy and supply up.
- For the plane: Feed baby to stop any ear ache during take off and landing. I know I have mentioned this elsewhere, but I think that it is really useful to know, regardless of breast or bottle feeding. Feeding baby stops their ears poppy (which can be very painful) and helps to soothe them during this time.
The main thing to remember when being on holiday is to keep calm and roll with it. Enjoy your holiday!
Bottle feeding on holiday can be really daunting. What do I need to take, how much of it should I take, will I be able to do this? The list goes on and on. Throughout the years I have know so many parents who have physically put off going on holiday with little ones because they are worried about the flight, worried about bottle feeding and worried about having to take too much stuff. It honestly doesn’t have to be that scary! I am in such a fortunate position to be able to advise parents on both bottle feeding (Reuben was exclusively bottle fed) and breast feeding (Toby was exclusively breastfed). So I have put together a top tips for bottle feeding on holiday, my guide to what to take and some things that I found out on my journey through bottle feeding abroad.
What to take:
Bottle feeding does require a few more things than breastfeeding, it has to be said. My best advice before you run off to pack the suitcase is that you figure out exactly what facilities will be in your hotel or apartment. Will there be a bottle warmer or steriliser? In most hotels the answer is no, though they will warm a bottle for you. Ask and then pack accordingly.
- Bottles. Duh. Don’t go mad and try to pack 60 pre made bottles of your favourite formula, this may sound like common sense but I can’t tell you how many mamas have asked me in the past if they should take the shop bought pre made bottles for ease. They are heavy. They will go off. Don’t do it.
- Your brand of formula. At least one large jar. Most places now have the same availability for formula powder as they do for nappies, but the branded stuff is often just as expensive as the nappies. Be warned! Also, don’t forget the scoop you use – these always come in the tin, but I have know people who take them out and wash/sterilise them and leave them on the side to dry. You can’t measure the formula without the scoop!
- Powder dispensers. It doesn’t matter if you choose to pre make your bottles in the morning and keep them in the fridge or your bag at home, if you are going somewhere hot then a pre made bottle is a big no no. It will sour. You will feel awful and it will all spoil the day. Trust me, I remember.
- A travel steriliser. Oh yes. If you are still in the sterilising phase of things then do not assume there will be facilities at the hotel. 99.9% of the hotels do not have sterilisers (excluding UK and USA although it is pretty darn rare that they have them too!). Don’t try to take your big steriliser, it’s too big and if it’s microwavable the chances are you won’t be able to use it. The travel sterilisers are small and easy to pack, they will sterilise your bottles and you can go on your way. You can even keep one in your bag incase baby opts for an impromptu feed.
- A travel bottle warmer. If you feed your baby warmed formula then don’t forget one of these, you will almost never be turned down a glass of hot water to heat your bottle but for that last feed of the evening and first thing in the morning, plus through the night this is an essential.
- Bottle brushes. Don’t forget your brush you will need it to clean those bottles!
- Colic medicine. If you use anything like infacol or colief don’t forget to take it with you, it’s not as easy to get as other essentials are and it is only small in your hand luggage.
Top tips for bottle feeding on holiday:
- Bottled water all the way. If you are bottle feeding the general rule has to be what you wouldn’t drink, don’t wash, sterilise or make up your bottles with (excluding rum and vodka – you may drink that, but don’t use it for the bottles!). If you are in a country where the health recommendation is not to drink the local tap water then don’t use it for any part of your bottle making procedure.
- Once you have sterilised a bottle, fill it up with bottled water ready. That way you won’t end up needing a bottle and finding that you have no bottled water to hand.
- Keep your sterilised bottles filled with water in the mini bar fridge. If you have one, use it. It keeps the bottles cool and guarantees they won’t be knocked onto the floor or anything.
- For the plane you CAN take a ready made bottle. Formula and baby food is exempt from the 100ml liquid limit on a plane. Take a bottle with you on board, even if it is just a pre made disposable one. Feed baby during take off and landing, again even if this is only water it will help stop their ears hurting!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need a bottle heating when you are out, don’t be afraid to ask at a cafe or bar for some hot water. Most tourist resorts are happy to help and most people love to see a baby being fed!
- Keep bottles out of the sun. Even though you won’t add the powder to the bottle until right before the feed, keep them out of the sun as much as possible.
And that’s it! Do you have any top tips for bottle feeding or any experiences that you would like to share. It really isn’t as daunting as you think and should put you off travelling with a very young baby.
Have a wonderful holiday!
I haven’t really experienced that pregnancy glow in this pregnancy, not yet anyway. A few friends seem to think I’m glowing, but I honestly think they are being more generous than truthful. I don’t know if it is because it’s summer and everyone seems to be getting that delightful sun kissed glow while I seem to be staying pale and pasty!
The thing is that whatever you put on your body is absorbed into the skin and then into the bloodstream which means that it makes it’s way to baby. So what you can actually use on your skin is pretty limited and unfortunately the majority of self tans are filled with chemicals that could be harmful to baby.
That’s when I found out about the fabulous organic self tan from Green People.
It is 89% certified organic and is absolutely divine! What I really loved about the product was that it was easy to apply, didn’t streak and smelt lovely. I didn’t have to boil myself (or baby) in the sun and I didn’t have to worry about being burnt (which is a common problem during pregnancy!)
The tanning comes from DHA which is derived from sugar so is totally natural, not only that this self tan doesn’t dry your skin but leads your skin feeling super soft without the chemical smell.
If you are looking for a self tan during pregnancy, or want a fantastic non streak version that smells wonderful and has no chemicals, then this is the one for you to get that summer glow!
You can treat yourself (or a loved one!) by visiting the wonderful Green People site here.
I think this brand really seems to emphasise boho fashion for summer and is the perfect style for special occasions for toddlers or young children throughout the hotter months.
The clothes are designed to be traditional but with a contemporary twist and are definitely full of romantic vibes and spanish luxury!
Check out the range over at Larrana here.
I think there is a lot to be said for traditional games, or in some cases really ancient games that are totally stripped back, without any gizmos or gadgets.
Tangram, if you don’t because I bet you will have played it as a child, is a brilliant ancient game from China which involves seven pieces of card, cut into triangles, that can be used to make limitless shapes and patterns. Remember it now? I have fond memories of my Granddad cutting up bits of paper like this and showing me how to make a swan, or a girl etc. It was wonderful and so much fun for both of us.
In their usual style Mon Petit Art (one of my favourite brands for kids art supplies and design led toys) have taken the game and given it a beautiful modern design to freshen it up. The cards for this game are double sided and come in two colours, with a sheet of over 200 designs to make and follow.
This is a great game for taking travelling with you, on a plane, ferry or even a car with a tray on the child’s lap – it provides hours of entertainment and can’t ever really get boring!
Check it out at my favourite online toy store Toyella.
Tis the season to be HOT! It’s finally summer and over here in the UK we are getting a heatwave *happy dance time*. It’s interspersed with rain showers, but we can let that go for now.
One thing that really seems to be flying off the shelves (other than sun cream) are the most beautiful little dresses for babies and toddlers… the problem is most dresses now don’t come with the adorable bloomers of old and they are so sweet now to mention practical. Let’s be honest, little girls are no different to little boys they play the same, roll around and their dresses ride up, so little bloomers are a great way to get them used to the concept of underwear – even at a young age – and to cover up the nappy!
These baby bloomers from Bonnet à Pompon are BEYOND adorable. They are the cutest thing to come along since those pictures of Orlando Bloom baby carrying (you know which ones I mean). Bonnet à Pompon are a wonderful Spanish brand who are renowned for their sleek and stylish clothes for kids that are sophisticated and cute!
You can find them over at the lovely Lace & Ribbons boutique, which I think is a haven for summer steals and super cute buys.
I have been giving some serious thought lately to what we really need to take on holiday when we are travelling with babies and kids. I think it’s mainly been playing on my mind because we are heading off on our main yearly holiday in a few weeks, but also because I have been getting quite a few emails from people asking me for tips and advice about what to take, how to cope on the plane, how to schedule naps etc (all really genuine and valid concerns that we have as parents, because let’s face it – we’ve spent all this money we want to feel de-stressed not more stressed and we want our kids to come away from the whole thing with a positive memory of travel and holidays).
So I decided that I would put together a new series to help people cope with travelling with children at various stages and what I recommend taking on holiday with you (for the plane but also for actual holiday too). Travelling with babies and kids really isn’t as bad as people make you think (we all have those parent friends who have never been further than wales but insist that travelling on a plane is a terror right?).
Holidays with babies: Infants and Babies up to a year:
This is probably the stage where you need to take the most, but it still isn’t as much as you think.
For the plane:
- Nappies – best advice take more nappies that you expect to need on the plane. If you usually would take 4 nappies with you on a day trip, take 8. This guarantees that if you are stuck overnight somewhere or delayed and you have checked your luggage in your have enough. The problem is if you are flying through the night and the shops are closed there will be few places to replenish. Don’t go mad though!
- Lansinoh nipple cream or vaseline – for little ones lips. Planes are drying places, and this can be really helpful – if you are breast feeding the chances are you will need to carry something like this in your bag anyway, so just apply it every couple of hours. This can also replace your usual nappy cream. No more than that but remember it needs to be under 100ml.
- A beaker for water – You will always be given water on a plane but they don’t have bottles and beakers readily available not every flight, so the best thing to do is take your baby’s preferred pre-sterilised beaker and ask for it to be filled with water.
- Pre-made bottles for bottle fed babies – If you are travelling with a bottle fed baby then you are allowed to take pre-made baby formula. While liquids are restricted this doesn’t include what you need for your infant on a plane journey so expressed breast milk, formula, cow’s milk and water in a bottle to make a feed are all exempt from the restrictions. I would honestly recommend the disposable pre-made bottles, that way you aren’t carrying lots of things in transfers etc you can just throw them away. If you want to make your own bottles the cabin crew are obliged to heat/warm a bottle for you, or provide you with boiled water, however this can be a little dangerous if you have baby on your knee. A little tip too: When you are taking off, feed baby.
- Baby food – Again the restrictions placed on airlines taking food and liquids onto planes doesn’t apply here hooray! I took all of Toby’s baby food with us on holiday when he was 6 months old because I didn’t know what would be out there and didn’t want to risk it. I always, always recommend pouches over jars, even if you have to take two. They are lighter, they are less likely to leak and they are more readily disposed of.
- A change of clothes for baby and you – make it something really simple, like a bodysuit and shorts for baby, or a sleep suit, but keep it simple. Again for you something that folds small and is easy to take on and off – maybe a maxi dress or slip dress. Don’t go crazy. This is just for emergencies in case baby is sick or spills something on you.
- Muslin squares - At least two or three. They are amazing things really, the act as blankets, bibs, burp cloths, wipes… pretty much everything!
- Wipes – I don’t need to explain that one do I?
- Portable change mat – This really only applies if you tend to use a portable change mat when you change your baby out and about. If not don’t bother, but they are hardly big so I wouldn’t worry about taking one if you need to.
- Simple toys or tech – see my post here for more advice on this one. Babies under 1 really don’t need much if anything.
- A sleep bag – you know the gro bags that you can get pretty much anywhere? One of those is a fab idea when travelling with a baby. Planes can be cold so this will guarantee to keep them warm while affording a comfort of home.
- Colic medicine – if you carry something like infacol then do make sure you have it to hand on the plane, especially if baby is due to feed.
For the holiday:
- Nappies – yes, you do need to take nappies, not 1000′s but at least one of the larger packets. I can honestly say that when I took Toby on holiday for the first time at 6 months old I had had bad experiences with switching up his brand of nappies, so I didn’t want to take the risk of having to use several different brands. I filled the bottom of my suitcase with exactly 70 nappies. Yes, 70. That saw us through 6 nappy changes every day for the 10 day holiday, plus 2 days either side. Did I need them all? Nope. The first thing sold in the store opposite our complex was pampers nappies. They were however 25€ for a small pack so in a way I saved us a small fortune. Nappies are light and if you will feel less stressed pack them in your case – 6 per day is the rule, although you will use less because of swim nappies.
- Swim nappies – again you can get them in pretty much every tourist place in the world, however they are costly! A few packs will see you through most of the holiday (young babies may need more).
- Swimwear – I know for babies you quite frequently have the in just a nappy on holiday however it really does depend on where you are going to be sat and what you are doing. If you are by the pool in the sun you genuinely do need a rash vet or body suit. Sunuva are one of my favourite brands and start their sets from 6-12 months, however if you are looking for a younger child you can find from birth sets from most places including my favourite Splash about. These sets protect your baby from the UV rays of the sun and you can’t do without.
- Sun hat – you cant get these in every corner of the world, but if you take one with you, you are well prepared.
- Sunglasses – when we took Toby on holiday for the first time people laughed and thought it was hilarious that this baby had sunglasses on, however babies are just as likely (if not more likely) to get a headache or eye damage from exposure to the sun. For small babies I love Baby Banz, they strap around the back of baby’s head and cover the whole eye are to keep them well protected. Once Toby got used to having them on, he really wasn’t fussed at all!
- Clothes – don’t go mad with clothes! Baby won’t be in them that often, usually preferring swimwear or just a nappy especially if you are going somewhere hot. Try taking 3-4 little outfits for each week you are away. Sleepwear is another one I get asked about all of the time. For young babies take a sleep suit and leave off the body suit depending on the temperature of the room, for older babies the same kind of PJ’s you would use at home during summer. 2-3 pairs is more than enough. Always take a cardigan for evenings, travelling and returning home.
- A pushchair or baby carrier – I always take a pushchair with me, always. I also don’t check it in but use it as my extra free item (which most airlines give you) for travelling with baby. If you are a frequent user of baby carriers and slings you might prefer to take that instead, I really don’t see the need for taking both! You can also rent pushchairs from most resorts now, although you might not want to risk it if you want a specific style or if you are hygiene concerned.
- Floats, pool toys and beach toys – Floats are something that people seem to get really panicked about – you don’t need to! If you want to take a baby seat then do so, though you can buy them at every resort I’ve ever known, so don’t panic if you can’t get it in the case, or if you forget. You do not need armbands if you have a baby seat. Pool and beach toys are great fun too, though again for an infant you can buy them at your resort.
- Sun canopy – do you need one? No. Will a crawler stay under one when they are awake? No. However they are very useful if you want to sit in the sun and baby drops off and you want them to be shaded. If you have a baby that isn’t crawling then it may be useful but I would suggest putting it in the category of ‘Might take one but we don’t need it’.
- A medi-kit – I have written a separate post about medi-kits and holidays because I am a bit obsessive about medi-kits. You can take a look at the post here. Essentially each child is different, but you need to make sure that you take whatever your baby needs or may need so that includes things like nappy cream, diyoralyte for infants, calpol/ibuprofen (3months+) teething gels or powders and any relevant medication your child has been prescribed by a doctor i.e asthma inhalers etc.
- Baby food – If you have a young baby who is new to weaning you may not be confident that your hotel, complex or resort will have the kind of food they will eat. Most places do sell baby food, however if it would make you feel better there are so many ways to take your own food. Firstly, baby is classed as a passenger on a flight so gets their own luggage allowance, you can pack food pouches and cereals in a relatively small suitcase, or if you don’t want to go to the hassle of doing that you can use boots online service that will send out however much baby food you require to wherever you require in the world. When we went away I did think I was probably being a touch neurotic taking a suitcase of baby food (I had 108 pouches) however, when we go to the hotel there was no bananas to mash, no option of pureed food and no baby food on site. There was a shop opposite but again it was very expensive to get the standard brand we are used to in the UK and US. Go with your comfort level and trust your knowledge of your baby.
That’s it! Those are my top tips and are what we take on holiday when we travelled with Toby as a really small baby. If you have any tips you would like to share or experiences that you want to tell me about then please do, I’d love to hear from you!
I am a little bit obsessive when it comes to medi kits, just a touch of course, but I do tend to pack a rather large one when I go on holiday and I even have a pretty darn decent one in the car! I can’t help it, I like to be prepared for every eventuality.
I do have to make 1 million percent sure though that every single one of you knows that I am not a doctor or health expert of any kind and I am just saying what I have in my medi kits, especially for holiday. Most things in my holiday packs are non-prescription meds and I have specifically left off the specific prescription meds I do take because it isn’t relevant to everyone. What I will say is that you must always read the labels and consult doctors before you or any member of your family take anything at all.
So now I’ve done the tedious disclaimer that you didn’t need here goes:
What I take in my Medi kit on holiday (and it’s also useful to have in the car or on big day trips/weekend trips):
- Pain killers: Paracetamol, ibuprofen (for the grown ups)
- Calpol or paracetamol suspension for children
- Calprofen/Neurofen for children or other ibuprofen suspension for children
- Teething gel/powder
- Thermometer. We use a forehead scan thermometer or an ear thermometer (don’t forget the covers if you use the ear type!)
- Dioralyte or other child friendly diarrhoea and dehydration aids
- Imodium (for the grown ups)
- Anti allergy tablets for adults and anti allergy suspension for the kids
- Nappy cream (my favourites are metanium and bepanthen)
- Insect repellant after sun
- Insect bite sooth cream (nappy cream also works for this)
- Inspect bite relief click it (these can be found in Boots, and they are great for those horrible itchy bites)
- Antiseptic cream such as savlon
- Constipation relief (for grown ups, I believe children have to be prescribed and I find that eating lots of fruit or cereals like weetabix and drinking water is a much better relief than medication for my boys)
- Travel sickness sweets
- Earplugs for the boys while swimming
- Cold and cough medicine for adults and for kids
- Cold relief vapour (I prefer Karvol or Olbas oil but something that provides a vapour – though remember this isn’t suitable for all ages)
- Indigestion relief (this is so important while I’m pregnant! I prefer Gaviscon)
- Bandages with tape
- Cotton wool
- Bump soother pad
- Any prescription medication (Toby has an inhaler so this kind of thing can’t be forgotten, even though he only needs it during bouts of severe chesty coughs)
- Relief for UTI’s (which are commonly caught in pools) – again for the grown ups.
- Tweezers for splinters
- My EHIC cards – though these are only for european citizens and are proving to be less than useful on holiday in some areas they are still good to have with you.
- A copy of my travel insurance. I know, neurotic. I keep a copy of travel insurance in my in flight hand luggage and one with my passports locked away too…
Enough to make the average pharmacist jealous right? I haven’t included sun cream as I don’t count it as part of my medi kit but as a totally separate and extremely important part to our holiday list. As I said before, this is just what we take but you may have other things that you use, or you may have had a problem with a certain type of product – for example, though I take ibuprofen based products for the boys, Toby has a much more sensitive stomach than Reuben and ibuprofen isn’t a great drug, it does cause stomach upset, so unless he had such an extreme temperature that he required dual use, I wouldn’t give him that he would have paracetamol. If you are ever unsure then you really should talk to your doctor about what to take, or the local nurses office where they offer vaccines.
I hope this helps you keep prepared for every eventuality, I have to say I have never really needed to use anything other than a bump pad and calpol for the boys, however just knowing that I am prepared makes me feel so much happier.
P.s – MASSIVELY IMPORTANT REMINDER: NEVER be afraid to call for the doctor. Ever. Doctors, no matter where you are are vitally important if you or your children are unwell. Yes you can deal with the majority of incidents yourself with medication that you use at home, but for anything more severe, do call for a doctor or visit the hospital
These are delicious!
I have been making them for a while and they always go down a total treat whether it is with the kiddos or the grown ups. Usually for the boys I make a little patty style burger (about the size of a golf ball flattened out) or sometimes I make these into meatballs for them, but the last time I made them Reuben asked to have a big boy burger like Daddy… He’s growing so fast!
These don’t take long to make at all, especially if you have pre-minced chicken and you make the mixture in the morning or the night before.
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large 0r 2 small apples, grated Granny Smith are best but if you don’t have them any apples are fine
- 500g of chicken mince or two chicken breasts, minced in a food processor
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled up
- 2 slices of bread, made into breadcrumbs (which you can do in a food processor or blender)
- salt & pepper to season
- plain flour for coating
- oil for frying
Optional suggestions for making this a grown up burger:
- Burger bun
- tomato slices
First things first, take your finely chopped onions and fry them until they are translucent (usually about 2-3 minutes) then place them in a large bowl.
Add to that your parsley, basil, chicken mince, crumbled stock cube, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs.
Take the grated apple and squeeze out any excess liquid (if you do this into a jug you can use the excess liquid in a marinade for pork with a bit of sugar and cider. Yum.)
Add the apple to the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly (quick tip: kids love to do this, it’s messy and squelchy so let them have a go if you are brave enough!).
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have the time, but if not just take handfuls of the mixture and make into burgers. If you are making balls you don’t want them to be any bigger than a golf ball and you can just roll them into the right shape.
Coat in the plain flour on either side of the burgers (or roll the balls in it).
Fry in the oil for roughly 8 minutes for the burgers or 5 minutes for the really small patty style burgers and mini balls. Each side should be gold brown when fried.
Check these are cooked through by slicing through the middle.
Serve by themselves or use any of the suggested options for making this into a more grown up burger. Reuben just has a bun with his, my husband has some lettuce, ketchup and tomato slices and I tend to have lettuce, cheese, jalepenos, mayonnaise and tomato slices. You can add anything to these burgers because they are so tasty and they make the perfect healthy BBQ alternative to the usual burger for summer, this is definitely something that we always have on the go at family BBQs!
Brownies are something that everyone loves and everyone can make, but this is without a doubt our favourite brownie recipe. I made these brownies for the treats table at Toby’s Christening and we do make them at home on a regular basis (which my waistline can attest to!)
The other thing I love about this is that all of the ingredients are measured out by cups (the american way I believe) and this makes it really easy with no fuss at all – plus extra easy to do with the boys!
What you need:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups of dark chocoalte
- 1 cup of dark, milk or white chocolate for the chunks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium eggs
- 3/4 cup of plain (all-purpose) flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 baking soda
- As an optional extra I make these with Irish cream on occasion (obviously I keep them separate from the others!) and they are lovely – you can add any alcohol or favouring you like – no more than 5 tbsps though or you will knock off the consistency and remember if you are adding flavourings they are really strong and you probably only want a teaspoon or few drops.
Pre heat your oven to Gas mark 4, 325C.
Combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
In a saucepan mix the water, sugar and butter and allow to simmer on a low heat. Don’t over heat it as the sugar will be ruined. If you are doing this with kids I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to be super careful near the hot sugar solution because of the high temperatures of sugar (but I’m going to anyway, because I’m a mama!)
Once the sugar has dissolved add the 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate, vanilla and other flavourings you have chosen to use.
Set aside to cool for a few minutes – or to speed that up you can fill your sink with a bit of cold water and sit your hot saucepan in the water while stirring the mixture, just be sure not to get any water in the pan!
Once the mixture is a bit cooler and smooth add one egg at a time and beat in.
Add to the flour mixture and mix to a runny batter. Add 1/2 of the cup of chocolate chips.
Add to a greased 8 x 8 inch tin, sprinkle on the rest of the chips and bake for 35 minutes.
Slice in the tin and remove bit by bit.
Devour at least two slices before the kids do!
P.s – This makes a great quick dessert on a busy weekday, just add some ice cream to a brownie that has been warmed in the oven.
This is such a cool idea, and one that I really think should be implemented in every school or home garden. Kids love to plant and grow veg, flowers… pretty much anything they can get their little mittens on.
The problem is, while the kids LOVE planting those carrots, it’s a long time (for them) between planting and seeing an end result, and they really have to take your word for it about what is going on. With Root Vue Farm that problem is solved because they can watch the seeds they have planted grow into vegetables or plants through the glass panel. So much fun!
Here is what the kit comes with:
- Root Vue Unit High impact styrene light shield to keep plants growing at the window
- Bio Power Grow Mix Tablets
- Plant Identification Labels
- Carrot, Radish and Onion Seeds
- “Root Race”Markers and
- Growing Chart 2-sided Poster with “If Plants Could Talk”on one side and Tested Experiments and Instructions on the other.
So you are all set up and don’t even need to worry about buying the seeds! I think that next year I will definitely be getting one of these along with some extra fun seeds from In the Koop (which you can read about here) so my mini gardeners can garden and cook veg to their hearts content!
You can get hold of one of these awesome planters here.
I do love a bit of Skip*Hop, they are such a wonderful brand, and what I love even more is that we are now seeing them cropping up left, right and centre in high street retailers and the such so everyone can enjoy some of their magic.
One of their current range products that I think is ingenious is the Moby Bath Kneeler. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how delightful your bath mat is or how quickly you wash the kids in the bath, you always end up with either wet knees from kneeling on the wet patch, or sore knees from kneeling too long. It’s no fun.
That won’t happen with a moby bath kneeler though. Firstly it is made from wetsuit material so you won’t have to keep washing it and you won’t end up with wet knees if your child has stood on it or splashed, secondly it is ultra padded and cushioned for keeping those knees comfy. Perfect.
Like I said, I love a bit of Skip*Hop! You can visit their site and see why I love them so much here.
Speedo have clearly been rethinking those awesome swim caps that we used to get as kids… do you remember? Your options were solid colours or some kind of mix that looked like the plastic has stretched and strained.
These are nothing like that. These your kids will actually want to wear!
If you do a lot of swimming as a family, or you are going on holiday you may want a swim cap, they are perfect for keeping hair dry and more importantly if you are worried about an ear infection they keep those ear plugs in place and the sun/cholorine off your child’s head and hair.
There is no PVC or latex in these swim caps so they are safe for your kids, and come in a variety of fun and funky styles and patterns.
I think this is a fab idea!
A friend of mine who is a passionate photographer, had her first camera at the age of around 9 and has grown in enthusiasm to everything from Lomography to underwater photography and I honestly think that it is because her parents saw her passion for the art form and encouraged it! She would take pictures of everything, from her friends (which we hated) to her animals and so on and so forth. Constantly. As she got older she saved up for all sorts of camera lenses and camera equipment. Now she is a professional photographer!
My point with this story is that children can do a lot more than we think, and when introduced to a variety of different things they grow and grow… so for the budding photographer this is a great product to explore a different style of photography that they maybe can’t do using their current camera.
Lomography is a traditon style of photography (so analogue instead of the modern digital) and is something that can be so enjoyable and educational for kids… just think where were we all those years ago when there was no instant snap shot… not a selfie in sight! What makes this camera for kids even more special is the fisheye lens which means that the pictures look super cool!
The fact that it is bright and small means that it is perfect for taking on holiday and carrying around on various trips out. While the little kids are enjoying the traditional beach play, your older kids can be taking snapshots to remember the time!
You can get one of these awesome cameras for your summer fun (or even a holiday) at Alex&Alexa here.
If you are like me, you will spend a lot of time on the laptop. It can get pretty tedious at times typing away on all those boring keys right? Well I have found these fab keyboard decals from Kidecals and I can’t get enough of them! How cool! You can totally redesign your laptop and have a really funky look, just from these decals which cover your keypad. Make typing a little bit more fun in your house this summer and show your keypad a bit of love!
Find Kidecal here.
I have to admit I never used amber necklaces for my boys when they were little and teething, however I’ve known so many who have and amber is such a beautiful, natural product.
Initially I thought it a bit strange that people were using amber necklaces and bracelets for kids, what purpose did they have? So I did a little bit of research and I think I may give it a go if baby number 3 struggles with teething.
So how does it work? Well, amber isn’t actually worn to minimise the pain in the teeth, but rather the swelling and inflammation in the body during times of teething. Essentially the heat from the baby/child’s body activates the active ingredient in baltic amber known as succinic acid, which has been scientifically prevent to have a positive effect on the body… surely if this works it’s better than dosing up on ibuprofen to minimise the inflammation, as that can cause all manner of problems (which I have been unlucky enough to discover with Toby who gets terrible tummy ache with ibuprofen!).
I have found so many retailers of amber teething jewellery for babies and toddlers, but I absolutely love these piece from Amber Baby, which you can find on Etsy. Each piece is fitted with a clasp that opens when there is undue tension and the beads are all individually knotted for extra safety.
Have you ever used amber teething jewellery? How have you found them?