Oh how I used to worship the sun!
I would grab my Ray-Bans and copy of Vogue, slap on the sun cream, head to the nearest park and bask in the glorious rays for several hours.
But not this summer. With an 11 month old there is so much to consider! I can’t leave the house without sun hat, spare sun hat (as we are likely to lose the other), parasol, spare change of loose clothing, sun cream, water bottle, picnic rug, snacks, sunglasses with strap (not that these have the slightest chance of staying on considering the amount of time I spend convincing him not to remove my glasses), rain coat (you never know with the British summer…) and a ball (in the hope that this will distract him from eating grass).
Then with pangs of optimism I shove in a copy of Vogue into my bag (yeah right! My February issue still remains untouched) and head out to the park.
Despite the amount of time it takes to get ready, we have a wonderful time exploring and people-watching. Dougie is at that stage where he is not quite walking but he wants to rampage around when we go outside, so the park is one of the few places he can roam safely. But alas not safely enough for me to do any proper basking!
Given the limited number of sunny days we usually have in the UK it doesn’t really seem worth spending a fortune on your baby’s beach kit.But here are a few bits and pieces we have acquired this summer that have been really useful in the hot weather:
1) Swim gear
It is really handy to have a couple of Huggies Little Swimmers in your bag for any impromptu paddling pool sessions or beach trips. They are reasonably priced and come in a range of nappy sizes.
For holidays and all-day beach trips, it is worth investing in more durable swimwear. We love this P.O.P. set, which has a 50+SPF rating and comes as separates or an all-in-one.
The only hat we have found that Dougie keeps on all day and doesn’t get irritated by is this Jojo Maman Bebe flap hat, which (although not the height of fashion) does keep him well-protected from the sun (and the turtles do look super cute).
This pop-up Paddling Pool/ball/sand pit is a fab all-round purchase. It can be used indoors and outdoors, it just pops up so doesn’t need blowing up like most pools, it has a 50+SPF shade and it folds up really small so we have been able to take it out and about with us.
A thermometer can be a handy indication of the temperature in your baby’s room. Try not to become a slave to the “egg” though! If it seems hot, dress your baby in a bit less but don’t be prescriptive about it.
And don’t worry about putting an “egg” in every room – you can’t change their clothes every time you move around the house. Just use common sense. We use the Avent Thermometer – it is discreet and doesn’t need to be plugged in.
4) Car shade
Our car is small but for some reason has giant windows, so it has been a nightmare to try and source a shade that will cover the majority of it and isn’t too flimsy. Finally I found one last week – the ISI stretchy car shade. It is easy to stick on the windows, holds firmly and should fit almost any car.
5) Sun cream
Our little one has quite bad eczema, so we have had a few issues finding a sun cream that won’t flare it up. We are currently using a combination of Jason and Green People Organics sun creams, which are both natural and don’t contain any nasties, and these seem to be working well.