Taking babies and young children on holiday isn't always relaxing, but with a little preparation - and a few clever tricks up your sleeve – you'll have fun, spend lots of quality time together and return with memories you will cherish forever.
what you may need
- suncream for children
- uv sunsuits
- sun hats
- a lightweight fold-up stoller and parasol
- fold-up car sun blinds
- travel first aid kit
- wet wipes and disposable bibs
- a few little toys and books
- swimming nappies
- arm bands / floats and wetsuits
- towelling dressing gown / ponchos
- night light
- insulated spill cup / beaker
- food pots
- travel steriliser
- travel sickness tablets
- pop up beach sunshade
- lightweight rucksack or easy to carry change bag
- a framed back baby-carrier
Try to do a little research before you go, as every cot, pram and steriliser provided at your destination means one less thing for you to take with you. If there are laundry facilities you can take fewer clothes and if the hire car company provides car seats it means you won't have to. Do remember, however, that you cannot be sure of the quality of baby car seats from car hire companies so you may feel happier using your own.
making things easier
- if you're travelling by car take nursery rhyme and story CD's, a selection of distracting toys, and a supply of snacks to avert boredom. Plan frequent stops. An adult in the back often helps.
- be prepared for travel sickness, take suitable bags on the plane plus lots of wipes. Consider travel sickness tablets for older children or anti sickness pressure point wrist bands.
- if you're flying try to book aisle seats close to the loo, and pack small toys (bring them out one at a time) and snacks (to avoid ears popping). Take plenty of drinks, a change of clothes for baby (perhaps even a clean top for you).
- check whether you can buy nappies, wipes, formula milk and baby food at the resort - saves you having to take lots of supplies.
- if you're going overseas, make sure your baby has a passport.
- if you're pregnant your skin may be more sensitive to the sun, so up the SPF, drink plenty of water and stay in the shade whenever possible.
- small babies should be kept out of the sun altogether so take a pram parasol, or sun shade to provide cover. A pop-up beach play shade is useful for day time naps on the beach and for breastfeeding out of the sun.
- buy a high SPF for children and try to give them a good coating before they get dressed each morning (even if it looks cloudy - they can still burn). You can always top up on the beach and after swimming, UV sunsuits give great peace of mind and protection.
- show a good example by wearing a sun hat and insisting children wear hats too.
keep heads covered
a playshade can help