It is that fantastic time of year again when we are all excited as we probably have a summer holiday planned. Whether you are having a staycation or flying abroad,…
It is that fantastic time of year again when we are all excited as we probably have a summer holiday planned. Whether you are having a staycation or flying abroad, I’m going to share with you my top 5 toddler summer holiday essentials for a stress free holiday.
Instantly cooling to the touch, this blanket has been our number one summer holiday must have. It has been so versatile, from lying it in the pram to using it as a beach mat. One of my biggest concerns with going abroad with a toddler was “will the heat be too much?” Mole struggled badly with the UK heat last year as a newborn, so when I laid eyes on this product as a baby show, I had to have it. The cooling mat must have been so refreshing to lie on in the heat. She never showed signs of being too hot once. (It’s also super light weight for your luggage too.
This stroller cover was perfect for naps. The shade cover blocks 99% of UV rays and makes the inside of the stroller nice and dark making outdoor naps a whole lot easier. The shade cover has a universal fit for most strollers and prams and only takes a few seconds to apply to the stroller.
The stroller has a light weight frame making it easy for travelling. When travelling the amount of times you have to fold up and down the stroller is crazy.
My experience from visiting European holiday destinations has been that not all destinations are pram friendly, with having lot’s of steps to access places. Taking our usual heavy two piece pram was not convenient. This stroller folds up or down in just a click, you can even do it one handed.
There is an adjustable seat which was great for naps times as she could lie back and be comfortable and the huge UV protective hood accompanied with the Snooze Shade blocked the sun.
If you’re anything like me on holiday, a big part of that time will be spent dining at restaurants. We usually order Mole’s food from the children’s menu, but to keep costs down we also like to share the food myself and Jay orders with her. This super handy travel plate rolled up in her lunch bag and came with us to every restaurant. I didn’t have to worry about her trying to throw it off the table as its made of silicone and has a good grip against the table. We had the rubber duck design of course.
I am extremely fussy when it comes to choosing a good suncream. I can say that I have tried and tested various creams and this one is by far my all time favourite for babies and toddlers.
What I love about this suncream is, the consistency is thick so I feel at ease when I am applying it, like I am really giving her skin protection. I can feel and see exactly where I put it on her body. The cream is non greasy has the sand does not stick to it so I can have the cream fully applied in no time. Mole has very sensitive skin too, this cream has been the only one out of the many we have tried that does not make her break out into rashes.
For her hair, I used the Malibu SPF 50 Scalp Protector. (I also used this on my head too!) its very easy to use, with it being clear, you can directly spray it onto your head and hair for full protection.
Travelling with a one year old is not going to be easy. If your one year old is anything like my little Mole, they will not entertain being strapped in…
Travelling with a one year old is not going to be easy. If your one year old is anything like my little Mole, they will not entertain being strapped in for a long period of time. So whether you are travelling by a car or by a plane you have a challenge on your hands.
What can you do?
Firstly, really have a think about your current one year olds development. All toddlers develop at different rates so one thing that works for one may not work for another.
How do you keep a one year old entertained on a flight?
I had a good think about what Mole currently loves to do. Reading, stickers, dancing and playing with my things like sunglasses. I focused her toys for around that, rather than something like stacking cups or teddies which she is not fully into just yet.
Toys and Books
I went shopping before the trip so specifically to find her some new activity books and toys. Although not cost friendly, this was great as she was fully interested in what the new toy did.
We also had a cheap pair of baby sunglasses for her to play with putting them on and off and I wasn’t worried if they got broke (which they did) but so worth it to pass the time.
Downloading TV Programmes
One piece of advice I was told time and time again was to download something for her to watch. We did, but this did not answer our prayers when she was playing up. Mole only watched something for around 6 minutes and then she lost interest. Which to be fair, is exactly what she does when she is watching something at home too. It was great to have the option readily available.
We also entertained her with the “Peppa Pig App”. There is a painting section where you can swipe your fingers all over the phone screen to create pictures. (Easier on a tablet/iPad). This was far more suited for Mole as she was busy moving her hands.
Snacks are another great way to pass the time. Although not the healthiest option, Mole had crisps. I cant actually believe how well they entertained her. She loved trying to take one out of the packet. We did the same with raisins. Basically any snacks that take a while to eat. Avoid chocolate, chocolate gets very messy on a warm plane.
Tips for a child who does not like staying still?
This is Mole all over. On the first flight I felt like I had to be strict with her, making sure she was sat still on my knee, constantly occupied with one of her toys or books. It did not work. In fact, fighting against her wanting to move around just made matters worse. The tantrums were next level and being pregnant with a one year old having a full blown tantrum on my knee was no fun. Here is what I did instead:
For the flight home, we travelled early evening instead of mid day. The day of the flight, I let her crawl/walk everywhere. We were in the hotel lobby for some time watching her crawl around. I then made sure she had a nappy. Just a short one to prevent her being over tired. Then I did the same thing at the airport, let her crawl around everywhere (where it was safe and easy to do so). She was absolutely filthy but worn out.
On the flight, she would stand on my knees and peek her head over the top of the chairs to get attention off the other passengers. I let her do it for the sake of three easy hours of no tantrums.
I even let her sit on my seat whilst I sat in the footwell just so she did not feel as restricted.
Being calmer myself, seemed to have a big impact on her. I didn’t fuss over her once like I did going out. I didn’t keep handing her a toy until she really wanted it and the same for her snacks. I think toddlers can play up on your emotions.
What to do for the take off?
I packed a bottle of milk to help reassure her and to help with her ears popping. She actually got really excited when the plane was taking off, turning around and giving the biggest smile ever like she was on the ride of her life.
When the air pressure changed, I tried to give her a dummy but she wasn’t interested so we just stuck with the bottle of milk.
What did you pack in your hand luggage?
I had one hand luggage for the plane which was my straw beach bag. I had nothing for myself except for my phone. Everything was for Mole, her lunchbox with snacks, water cup, milk, Calpol, 3 books (picture, touch and feel, and a sticker book) and any other toys. I also packed her favourite blanket but it was so hot on both flights we didn’t bother getting it out.
You can take as liquid for your child as you need to. At security I just placed all her liquids in a tray and that was that.
I highly recommend it! Very easy to put up and down, all one piece and light weight. No issues at all using it the whole holiday.
The reason I got a stroller is because our current pram was very expensive, heavy and not as easy to manoeuvre as a stroller. We did take this pram with us on holiday when Mole was a newborn and it was better suited.
What did you do about a car seat travelling abroad?
We mainly used the car seat for the taxi in the UK. I wanted to decrease the time Mole spent on my knee when I knew she was going to be on my knee for three hours on the plane.
In Portugal, they had their own safety regulations with car seats and our private transfer wanted to use their own. Some transfers stated that you need to bring a car seat or you can not travel with them
On the shuttle bus to the beach Mole sat on my knee.
What clothes did you take for your toddler on holiday?
I recorded a YouTube Video showing you all the clothes I took for my toddler.
I would recommend planning outfits for day time and evening on each day with a few spares so you know not to over or under pack.
What did you do about taking swim nappies, nappies and formula?
Mole is on whole cows milk. As I was unsure when the next time I would be able to pick up a fresh bottle, I opted to pack a couple of these ready made formula bottles.
This was super easy for when we arrived as I felt like I didn’t have to race out to find a shop for milk.
When Mole turned one I stopped sterilising her bottles. You can now buy portable sterilisers if you need one.
The duration of our holiday was 7 days. I packed 18 nappies and ran out pretty quickly as she hated wearing a wet swim nappy and the first few days being in a wet swim nappy was making her sore.
If you can pack more in your suitcase or order them to be delivered from Boots in the airport. We ended up having to buy a pack of nappies out there for $25.00 and they may as well have been made out of tissue paper.
My final advice will be you can not control to an extent what is going to happen so please do not stress about it. On the flight out Mole was horrendous. She screamed the whole time and she has toys, snacks, Calpol, milk…everything.
You will never see the people on your flight again so if they turn around and give you evils (which we had a lot of) do not care. At the end of the day you can only do your best and toddlers are very strong willed.
The flight home was the opposite. Mole was a dream, giggling the whole way. I was dreading that flight to the point where I was feeling so sick, as the first flight was so bad and now I think back and it was all over nothing as she was fine.
Give yourself plenty of time in getting there and try to take turns with your partner if you can.
When I first heard about a carrycot style car seat I was rather skeptical. How could this possibly be safe? How does this work? My vision was so wrong. I’m…
When I first heard about a carrycot style car seat I was rather skeptical.
How could this possibly be safe? How does this work?
My vision was so wrong. I’m almost ashamed of how daft my preconceived idea of this was. Especially after doing more research and finding out it is actually safer than most car seats on the market today.
Maxi-Cosi Jade Carrycot Carseat
The Maxi-Cosi Jade is the first lie-flat car carrycot certified to the new i-Size car seat law.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Jade Carrycot Car Seat safe?
I’m jumping in straight to the safety regulations. I feel thats the most important part of a car seat.
The Jade offers proved head and neck protection and slide impact protection. There is a unique Slide & Go installation on the ISOFIX base. This makes it easy to install the Jade car carrycot correctly and safely as it does not rely on guiding seatbelts.
You can see and hear the confirmation that you have installed the Jade car carrycot correctly too as there is light and sound feedback.
Your baby will also be secure inside the carrycot as there is padding and straps to fasten your little one in safely.
The car seats position will be facing sideways across your back seat, so your baby’s head will be closest to the middle. This way, your baby will have greater protection against side-impact crashes.
Unboxing the Jade I was pleased to see I was not going to be building anything. The quality of the product is amazing. Squishing my hands down inside to test the comfort I was happy to find that it was so comfortable and soft to touch, with an extra inlay added for even more comfort.
I wanted to climb in myself and go for a nap!
There is a hood attached too which provides sun protection and is great to have down when baby is sleeping.
What is best for newborn babies?
In your standard car seats, babies sit in an upright position or on a slight tilt. Because of this, it is recommended that babies can not be in their car seat for longer than two hours at a time because their breathing might be compromised.
You may be thinking “I won’t be in a car for two hours”, but this rule also stands for babies in car seats attached to their pram.
The Jade lie-flat carrycot car seat avoids your baby’s air flow from being restricted as they can lie flat and are not sitting upright trying to sleep scrunched.
So, if you’re travelling for longer than two hours or plan to use the car seat attached to the pram, this may be for you. I plan to use my Maxi-Cosi Lila pram.
Newborn babies need a lot of sleep. The carrycot car seat will be a comfortable sleep for them and as the car seat can be attached to a pram as a travel system, your baby will not be disturbed and can stay soundly asleep.
The Jade costs £199
Maxi-Cosi 3WayFix Base costs £199
The car seat will need to be changed when your baby reaches 9kg.
Safe and easy ISOFIX installation in the car
Slide & Go installation to the base
Washable cover Comfort
Comfortable soft touch newborn inlay for added comfort
Previously on Pink Mole we talked about how to travel with your baby on a plane, and included advice such as making sure you always have your baby’s milk on…
Previously on Pink Mole we talked about how to travel with your baby on a plane, and included advice such as making sure you always have your baby’s milk on hand, and that you’ve packed enough soothers for your little one. A day out is much simpler (and much more common), especially if you’ve already planned ahead. If you have no idea what to bring on a family picnic or are unsure how to travel around the capital with a baby, here’s a checklist you can follow:
The best places in London to see with your baby
Many London attractions are for young children and adults. If you have a baby, parks are probably your best option. St James’s Park in Westminster is great for all ages as it has sand pits and swings. Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury is also wonderful with its beautiful landscapes and variety of playgrounds.
London is also very baby and mother friendly. Visit London reports its perfectly legal and widely accepted to publicly breastfeed babies anywhere in the city. There are also baby-changing facilities in almost all shopping centres, museums, and major galleries. This means you can enjoy a day out and not be constrained by your baby’s feeding habits.
The baby bag
What you need to pack in your baby bag largely depends on where you and your little ones are going. However, there are a few essential items that should always be in your bag. Nappies are the most important—one for every couple of hours you stay out. Baby Centre also suggests that you bring an extra change of clothes for your baby and even a spare clean shirt for yourself. You also need to pack wipes, a bottle of hand sanitiser, a few changing pads and burp cloths, as well as some plastic bags for when you need to store dirty nappies or wet clothes. Bring some snacks for you and your baby too. The Bump adds that you should bring a small first aid kit with some medicine, along with some bandages and Benadryl.
Getting around hassle free
If you’re going to a park, a portable playpen or travel cot will certainly come in handy. For those travelling with more than one child, bring a really lightweight buggy or pushchair, as it’s the easiest way to get around without hurting your back or tiring out your children. iCandy lists the many advantages that come with buying a tandem pushchair, which includes being the same width as a regular buggy. This makes them convenient for public transport. Just make sure you download a tube map so you know where the designated areas are for buggies. Don’t travel during peak hours, either, as it may be difficult for you to get around with your baby bag and buggy (this is especially true of London rush hour). Bring some of your children’s favourite toys to keep them busy while they’re on public transport. Also note that children under five travel for free on all London public transport.
This Blog post is part of a paid collaboration with Intu Potteries (AD) Deciding on what to do for the day as a family can be challenging. We don’t exactly…
This Blog post is part of a paid collaboration with Intu Potteries (AD)
Deciding on what to do for the day as a family can be challenging. We don’t exactly live in a country that is blessed for good weather and we are not all made of money. It can be a challenge finding a day out for the whole family that does not cost an arm and a leg and all family members can have fun.
Intu Potteries have hit the nail on the head when it comes to fun, free, family activities
Intu Potteries have hit the nail on the head when it comes to fun, free, family activities. I thought my shopping days were long gone since becoming a mum. I tend to have a browse online when I get a quick 10 minutes. No way did I think I could take my toddler around a shopping centre for the day without a few tantrums.
Why is Intu Potteries different?
Apart from over 80 shops, 6 restaurants and a 9 screen cinema, Intu Potteries understand exactly what I need as a mum:
Parent and Baby room
Parent and Baby parking
Fixed £1.50 Parking rate on Sundays
Affordable lunch locations with Kids Meal Deals
Fun buggy rides
Safe Hands scheme
Soft play in the middle of the mall is a perfect place to let Mole out of the pram and let her stretch her legs before hitting the shops again. Giving us both the perfect reset.
You can see by the look on her face and the sound of her cheerful laughter that she is having the best time. It is always nice to see other mums there too, as you can have a good natter whilst watching the children.
Soft play has been purpose built. It is a free 30 metre square play area, with room to jump, move equipment around and play games. You can also see your child where ever they crawl or run off to inside the play area, giving you peace of mind.
Fun Buggy Ride
You can hire a fun buggy from as little as £2 at the customer service desk on the upper floor. There are plenty to choose from but I am sure your child will choose for you like ours did.
Honestly, at first I was a little hesitant to put Mole in the buggy. I thought she would try and climb out. She hates the pram too and I assumed that she would behave the same way. I was wrong. Both Mole and Oscar were as good as gold in the buggy. There was a real sweetheart moment from Oscar when he had his arm around Mole whilst cruising and tooting their squeaky horn!
From a Mums perspective, they were actually really easy to control and drive around. I found that Intu Potteries had plenty of room in the shops for fun buggies, pushchairs and wheelchairs.
There was a real sweetheart moment from Oscar when he had his arm around Mole whilst cruising and tooting their squeaky horn!
I love a good cafe lunch when out with my family or friends. Debenhams Restaurant was affordable with hot meals at around £5 and it had a fantastic kids meal deal where you could choose 5 products. (As a mum, this is heaven).
You will know that having 5 different options of food for your child to have a good munch on not only keeps them entertained whilst you dine, but also, if they are in a fussy eating mood, you have other options to fall back on.)
Parent and Baby Room
Not to exaggerate here, my first thought when entering the parent and baby room was “oh wow!”.
Clean, calm, spacious. I have never been in a parent and baby room before where they would be my 3 words to describe it.
My first thought when entering the parent and baby room was “oh wow!”
I loved the fact that Jay could come in the changing room with me to give me a helping hand and he even said he would feel comfortable and confident enough to change her in there himself. A God-send really because usually I have to do it as changing facilities are usually squashed in the female toilets.
In the baby room, there was a fully equipped station to feed your baby, nappy dispenser (we have all been there i’m sure when we accidentally forget a spare nappy!) and a private nursing room complete with a super comfy nursing chair.
I can not actually wait to take Mole to Intu Potteries again. We have had a lovely day out on a friendly budget. If you are in the Staffordshire area, I would highly recommend you check Intu Potteries out for a great, affordable, family day out.
Get your holiday off to a stress free start when travelling on a plane with a baby! You have to first admit to yourself that travelling with a baby…
Get your holiday off to a stress free start when travelling on a plane with a baby!
You have to first admit to yourself that travelling with a baby is going to be harder than travelling solo. You can not predict or control everything that is going to happen.
What you can do is make what you can control easier on yourself by being prepared. Preparation is key.
The one time it is not okay to be fashionably late. Especially with a baby I can tell you from experience arriving at the very last minute adds more stress than you thought possible to the whole process.
I was frantically running from check in then to specialist luggage to drop the car seat off and then to security whilst holding a bottle feeding my baby and pushing the pram. Give yourself plenty of time. You will be able to change your babies nappy, grab a drink and walk casually to your gate rather than sprinting like its the finish line.
Make sure you have all of your baby’s milk to hand. If you are not breastfeeding you can prepare your bottles before you board the flight. I got ready made formula bottles ready as soon as we hit the airport. You can order your formula at the airport from Boots so you can avoid taking up more space in your luggage. You don’t need to worry if you can take your baby’s bottles through security. Anything for a baby can be allowed through, from my experience.
Take any soothers your baby loves with you in your hand luggage so you can grab them straight away. A dummy is great for when the air pressure changes on the plane and can make your baby cry. It is like us chewing gum 🙂 .
Mole loves her favourite pink blanket. As soon as the fabric touches her cheeks she settles straight away. You could try their favourite blanket or teddy if your baby doesn’t take to a dummy.
This one goes with out saying, long plane journeys are boring for us so obviously a baby will become bored and need entertaining. Pack their favourite toy in your hand luggage to keep them occupied.
You could even try wrapping up toys and your baby has to unwrap them. We know how much babies like to play with paper right? The extra time a baby takes to unwrap their toy, will buy you some quiet time 🙂
Planes are very uncomfortable. It is hard to make your baby comfortable in such a small space. I took a travel pillow on board with the intentions of myself using it however, I soon ended up placing Mole on it so she had somewhere comfortable to lay down.
Book your seats
Booking your seats will ensure that whoever you are travelling with can sit together. This makes it ten times easier to keep your baby and even you settled as you can take turns in holding your baby giving you a little break too. It helps when you want to reach for something in your bag or order food or a drink.
Take your pram on board
I check my car seat in at the specials luggage check in so I do not have to carry it around. Then I keep the pram with me right up until we board the plane. This is fantastic as you probably have your own luggage to carry around and it will make it ten times harder to do that whilst holding your baby, unless you prefer a sling.
Pack extra nappies and a cosy outfit
You want your baby when travelling on a plane to be comfortable. Make sure before you board the plane you have changed their nappy so they feel fresh. I always put Mole in a cosy sleep suit so she is very warm on the air conditioned plane.
Dressing your baby in a sleep suit helps to save time when you are changing their nappy as you do not have a complicated outfit to undress and then put back on them.
Don’t be afraid to walk up and down the plane
Walking up and down with your baby on a plane when they are unsettled will help to give them a change of scenery and distract them. Walking will give you a chance to stretch your legs a bit too.
Preparation is Key
If you prepare and have everything to have in your hand luggage your journey will be easier. Remember that if you do have a really bad journey, they are only babies and you won’t have to come across the people on your flight ever again 🙂
We have just spent an amazing 7 days in Majorca on our first Summer family holiday. The Hipotels Hipocampo Palace Hotel & Spa 5*. The hotel served Breakfast and…
We have just spent an amazing 7 days in Majorca on our first Summer family holiday.
The Hipotels Hipocampo Palace Hotel & Spa 5*.
The hotel served Breakfast and Dinner at a buffet and provided a good range and quality of food from pancakes to a full english. There was a snack bar at the pool for us to grab dinner and have a break from the sun. The location was incredible, just a five minute walk from the beach, shops and bars. There certainly was no need for a hire car.
As you can see from the picture below, the pool area was very spacious. There was so many deck chairs to choose from no matter what time of day and they all came with a parasol so we could place Molly in the shade. I felt more at ease that there was so much space around everyone so no screams could wake Molly up and when Molly would cry ready for her milk it wouldn’t bother anyone else.
How I felt about out first Summer Holiday
It goes without saying that the first summer holiday with a baby was going to be a little different than holidays just as a couple.
I was really apprehensive at first, I had so many different thoughts running through my head. “Will it be too hot for Molly?”, “will I have fun in the evenings like I use to?”, “Will places be pram friendly?” Etc.
My advice to myself next time will be not to worry as much. We arrived and everything was perfect, the beach even had the pathways to push the pram across the sand and the hotel was equipped for a baby, they provided us with a travel cot.
As for Molly not getting too hot, I made sure she was in the shade at all times, had regular breaks from the sun, especially when the sun is at its strongest. She was fully covered in a high protective suncream and she had a UV suit with a hat. The key to cooling her down I believe was to take her swimming in the pool. She absolutely loved it! We just made sure not to over do it.
The evenings were not that much different to what I was use to on holidays before Molly. We went for Tapas out in beach restaurants and ice cream and cocktails after.
So what was different to going on holiday with a baby than as just a couple?
Well, I feel like the only difference was earlier nights and not as many alcoholic drinks. Which I really didn’t mind as Molly still feeds regularly through the night so I was glad of the hours sleep I could get haha. And a holiday with no hangovers? AMAZING.
I loved spending time altogether making memories that it didn’t even come into my mind me and my boyfriend wouldn’t get much alone time.
Our daily routine was waking up for breakfast in the hotel, then we hit the pool. The hotel was great for providing enough sun loungers and parasols for everyone we didn’t need to worry about getting to the pool first.
Molly would have her morning nap, then it was pool time ? . We had lunch in the hotels snack bar, very convenient for getting a baby ready for dinner quickly, few more hours at the pool or we would take Molly back to the hotel room to have another nap in the air con, giving us a break from the sun too.
Evenings we could get all dressed up, walk along the beach then get some food and Molly would be back in bed no later than 9pm to stick to some sort of routine.
Already thinking of going on our next holiday whilst I can have the time off work on maternity leave ? .