The summer holidays are here and many of us are working out the logistics of family trips away, packing for sunshine (we hope!) with bulging suitcases, trying to work out what is indeed ‘essential’ and what can be left at home. These are a few products that I have discovered this year, that we won’t be leaving home without!
First up on my ‘essentials’ list has to be a travel cot – we rarely go on a trip without one! We have been roadtesting the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light this summer and I have to admit that I love this cot. First and foremost it is sturdy, and it scored extra points for managing to contain our little man (who is a real climber!) Unlike other travel cots we have used in the past, this comes with a lovely mattress too, meaning our little man didn’t pop awake the second we laid him down to sleep on it – huge bonus points for this! It is designed to last from 0-3 years, so also lots of peace of mind in knowing that this won’t have been grown out of by next summer. It is also pretty simple to put up and take down, and on holiday ease of use is a must – its meant to be a time to relax after all.
Second up, we also never go anywhere in the summer, home or abroad, without thinking about sun protection. Essentials HAVE to include appropriate sunscreen for all the family (remember to check the UVA rating and not just the factor) and hats for everyone. This year we also discovered the benefit of sun canopies which are brilliant when your baby is resting/sleeping in their buggy. A recent study has suggested that it can be dangerous to cover your baby in a buggy with a muslin cloth or similar to keep the sun out, as what happens is that the temperature in the buggy raises to dangerously high levels (with no ventilation for it to escape) putting baby at risk from over-heating. So with that in mind, we have been testing two sun safety products for buggies this summer.
Firstly, we have been getting a lot of use out of our Stokke Summer Kit which has a fantastic ‘sun sail’ canopy with ventilation both sides and under the hood – keeping the sun off baby, but them nice and cool. It also offers Factor SPS 50 protection from harmful UVA rays. It comes in several designs, and includes a matching parasol and fleece seat liner to keep baby comfortable.
We have also been trying out the Shade Maker from Diono which is a really clever product as it fits pretty much any buggy and creates a large canopy meaning your baby is kept safely in the shade. It is really easy to attach to any pushchair and also offers Factor 50 protection from UVA. At a cost of around £12.99 this is a really cost effective way of keeping your little one out of the sun.
Third up, if you are going to be heading somewhere where the bugs might bother you, we have discovered a very simple but effective product this year, the Eucalyss Blanket. I really wish we had owned one of these last year! This is a blanket which naturally repels mosquitoes and biting flies, so stopping irritating bites, and can be used for bedtime, when travelling, etc. My wife, who was pregnant last summer and attracted every biting insect in a 10 mile radius, would have really lovely this blanket (although they are a standard baby sized blanket, so she would have probably bought about 6 and sewn them all together!) A nice comfy blanket which will help your little one avoid those horrible insect bites whether you are going abroad or camping.
SO, these are the essentials on our list this summer. What are yours?