As followers of my Instagram feed will know, we recently returned from our first summer holiday abroad; visiting my big bro and his gaggle of kids in the sweltering heat of the Cayman Islands (it’s a tough life, I know).
Ignoring the nightmarish 14 hour flight over there (hell on earth…but I’ll save reliving that experience for a later post), we had an incredible time, in large part thanks to all the brilliant baby kit that we (somehow) managed to cram into our bulging suitcases.
With that in mind, as the summer holiday season fast approaches, I thought it would be helpful to share with you a list of the specialist baby kit that we found most useful while we were away, to help any other new parents who are making plans for their own first holiday in the sun with a new baby.
Each item on the list was worth its weight in gold and helped us enjoy a (relatively) stress free break, at the same time as ensuring that Teddy’s routine remained intact, all the while that we were away.
So here they are, with more details on each item, including where you can buy them. I hope you find it useful!
If you’re planning on taking your little one for their first dip in a swimming pool or the sea while you’re away, we can highly recommend the whole range of specialist baby swimwear from Splash About.
They offer everything from swim nappies and disposable inserts (which prevent unwanted leaks in the pool) to full wetsuits and swim wraps to maintain your baby’s core temperature while they’re in the water, at the same time as protecting them from harmful UV rays.
It’s no coincidence that their products are the top choice among 95% of UK swim schools and recommended by British Standard guidelines for Baby Swimming. Suitable from birth to 2-3 years, our top pick is their Vintage Moby range…guaranteed to make your kid the cutest baba on the beach this summer.
Of all the baby skincare products on the market today, we’re big fans of the Childs Farm range, in particular their 50+ spf sun cream and after sun lotion (they do bubble bath, shampoo and bath wash too, which is also top notch).
What makes this baby suncream so good is how easy it is to apply. It’s not oily, so is really quick and easy to slap on in a rush, and it’s water resistant too, making it perfect for kids who are in and out of the pool. What’s more, it’s designed to keep your baby’s skin moisturised and hydrated in the sunshine and it’s dermatologist approved for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. A great product all round!
A well travelled friend suggested we get an anti-UV tent for our first holiday with the baby and we’re seriously pleased that we did. We ordered this one from Babymoov (last minute from Amazon), which folds down into next to nothing, fitting neatly into your suitcase. Once you get to the beach, it then pops up in a matter of seconds, either to act as a UV-protective play area or an impromptu travel cot for daytime naps.
Once set up (it comes with four pegs to keep it grounded) it’s surprisingly large inside, and includes a ventilation net to encourage air flow through the tent (keeping it cool) as well as a mosquito net to protect your little one from unwanted bug attacks. Win win.
Ultimately anything that allows you to get a couple of extra hours of uninterrupted cocktail time on the beach gets a big thumbs up from me.
A good friend recommended this innovative pram cover to us for our first holiday and it was an absolute godsend.
The Bo Peep Adventure pram cover fits over any pram, creating a cocooned environment to encourage your little one to sleep (and stay cool) while protecting them from the elements when you’re out sightseeing, on the beach or by the pool.
It not only reflects heat and light away from your baby, but also protects against UV rays and has a ventilation window to promote airflow around your baby. Ours was in constant use during our Cayman trip (as well as ever since, when out and about in London) and will definitely be coming with us on every family holiday for the foreseeable future.
We actually got our Baa Baby 100% natural lambskin pram liner long before we even started planning our holiday, as it’s such a versatile product that enhances your baby’s pram experience all year round.
You see, sheepskin is naturally thermostatic, which means that in the colder months it provides warmth as the fibres capture and retain heat created naturally by your baby. But then, during the summer, the same wool magically provides the entirely opposite effect, allowing for air to flow around your baby’s body while absorbing moisture, thereby keeping your kiddo cool and comfortable, whatever the climate.
We used ours in the stroller every day during our holiday (in temperatures topping 30 degree centigrade) and he absolutely loved it, having many a long nap in the buggy despite the heat. What’s more, this all-style liner from Baa Baby in particular is designed to fit all makes of car seats, strollers and bassinets (with pre-cut holes for the shoulder and harness straps), so can literally be used anywhere and everywhere you could possibly need it. A great buy and great value considering how often you’ll use it…
So, for baby’s first holiday you’re obviously going to need a shed load of little T-shirts, vests and shorts…that’s a given. But if, like us, you’re a fan of more traditional baby styling, you’re guaranteed to love this new collection of classic, vintage inspired summer outfits from Mothercare’s new Heritage range.
There are so many classic babywear designs to choose from in the collection, which are perfect for holidays in a swanky resort, summer parties or special family occasions; and unlike anything else you can find on the high street today.
We bought this gingham cotton playsuit for Teddy, who looks like a proper little gent whenever he’s in it, earning the attention of any red blooded lady in his vicinity while putting his dad’s questionable summer attire to shame. Well worth a look…
Teddy’s still a long way off walking, but when it comes to standing, he’s an absolute pro. Which means at last we could warrant getting him his first pair of TOMS (basically all his mother and I wear during the summer…on our feet…we do wear clothes too).
And they don’t come any cuter than these limited edition Panda embroidered TOMS, which have been created in support of WildAid, with a percentage of each sale going to conservation programmes dedicated to the giant panda.
Plus, as you probably already know, with every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need (One for One®), so not only do they look great, you also get loads of positive karma too…
We have a few sun hats for Teddy of varying quality, but this one from Little Hotdog Watson really takes the biscuit.
It’s not only the coolest design, it’s also the most innovative, made from luxury cotton (guaranteed to keep little heads cool in the sun) while offering UPF 50+ Sun Protection and in built mosquito repellent.
The Adventurer sun hat from Little Hotdog Watson also comes in a range of really cool designs that kids will love, with sizes ranging from newborn all the way up to 10 years old. Guaranteed to become every kid’s favourite hat…
Last but by no means least, is the holiday outfit everyone forgets about…the cosy PJs for the flight. While as adults we might be judged by our fellow air passengers for donning our favourite flannel pyjamas at the airport, nothing sets a baby up for a long haul flight (and, hopefully, a long haul sleep) like a fresh pair of comfortable PJs.
We love this two piece set from Boots’ Mini Club for baby boys with its Stars and Stripes design; especially perfect if, like us, you are flying to/via the US. Guaranteed to get American customs officials and cabin crew to give you extra special service (and extra G&Ts) throughout your journey.
Just make sure you buy two sets though – one for your baba to wear on the plane and another to stuff in your hand luggage. The likelihood that you’ll need to change outfits mid-flight, after a bout of projectile vomiting or an unplanned poo explosion, is nigh on inevitable.
I hope you’ve found today’s summer holiday essentials list useful! We can thoroughly recommend each and every item, which proved invaluable during our first trip abroad with Teddy.
But is there anything I’ve missed?! Have you recently taken the plunge too and can recommend any core summer items that new parents simply must pack? If so, please do share your ideas and recommendations in the comments section below.