Category Archives: Travel

Travelling with Baby

In a sleep fuelled haze I thought it would be a great idea to book a family holiday to my favourite destination, Malta. I managed to get a good deal on flights, and an amazing apartment at a reduced rate, and was feeling good about it all. Me, Daddy Bear, Liz and Logan were off on holiday, my brother had agreed to come with us too, giving me and Daddy Bear some childfree time.  The best thing of all was I had managed to time it perfectly and we would arrive in time for the Isle of MTV, a free music festival which is hosted every summer.
Then as I was packing my bags (yes plural) for a day with my gran, it hit me… How am I going to manage a whole week away, and take EVERYTHING I need?? Yes, I over pack “just in case”, but this has really started to worry me.
I booked the flights without hold luggage as I refuse to pay an extra £50 for a suitcase. I double checked our allowances for luggage, the adults are permitted 1 hand luggage case and a small bag (35×20×20cm) each, Logan is allowed a baby bag (no size stated) and 2 items to go in the hold, 1 being a buggy and another essential item (travel cot, car seat or high chair). I knew a buggy was allowed but was pleasantly surprised at the bag and extra item allowance.

So I firstly have started to hunt for the largest baby bag I can find, as well as 2 more small bags. I must look like an obsessive bag lady with my tape measure and notebook walking round the shops.

Secondly, I have decided to not take my pushchair. A decision I debate most days, but realistically I will struggle on public transport over there and if it got damaged in transit then I would not be held accountable for my actions. I may reconsider closer to the time or look at getting a stroller but I plan on babywearing on holiday.
The babywearing decision is worrying me a little as I know Malta is going to be really hot. We won’t be out and about in the peak times but my Mai Tei feels a little thick and I worry about Logan and myself overheating. I have a few options I am looking into but if any baby-wearing mums out there have any recommendations I would be really grateful for some guidance.

A Fun Day Out at Fineshades Wood

Last week we learnt that there are fantastic woods called Fineshades Woods not far from us and we never knew it was there!! We were invited along by the Forestry Commission to build dens, sample what they have to offer and go cycling.

We all went along and meet up with a lovely bunch of bloggers. We got there a bit early so we headed to the park where BG made a new friend and they ran around playing. It’s a really nice park, lovely and clean and in great working order.

Once everyone had arrived we meet with Ranger Cheryl who was looking after us for the morning and taking us den building.

There was a clearing in the woods perfect for den building and anyone can come and along and do it. We were told to imagine we had been in a plane crash and we had to build a shelter for the night. We teamed up with Kimberly and the girls had a great time helping OH collect sticks and build the den while we had the babies. BG and Ruby insisted that our den had a carpet.

 

Once we had finished we went around and looked at everyone’s and tested  to see if it was waterproof, the kids loved this bit and OH had to sit in ours. Every den was different but they were all really good. We then had to demolish them; some liked this bit more than others.

It was then time for lunch in their café. The food is really nice, we had Panini’s and cakes and they were lovely and fresh. The café is light and airy and they will make sandwiches and other food to order.

OH and BG then hired a bike and a buggy and went off around the cycle trail and Little Miss and I did one of the walks.  It was then time for a little play in the park before heading off.

 

We had such a good time there and will be going back again. The facilities are brilliant and parking is £3 for the whole day which I think is brilliant value for money. I know you can park some places for free but when you see how well cared for the place is and how brilliant the facilities are you don’t begrudge it at all.

To hire the bike, buggy and helmets for 2 hours was £17.98. Of course you can take your own bikes if you wish.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend why not see if there is a great forest near you. Visit the Forestry Commission website.

Our parking, lunch and cycling was provided for us. 

My Essential Items for Children This Summer

Summer Essentials

It’s hot, hot, hot at the moment which generally means hot, grumpy children! It is hard to make sure your child is kept cool and sunburn free but with a few key items it can be a doddle.

Here are my essential summer time items for children:

Sunblock

I go a bit overboard on the sunblock with my girls but the thought of them getting sunburnt makes me feel quite ill. Getting sunburn can increase your risk of getting skin cancer and with two members of our family having skin cancer in the past few years I would much rather be overcautious.

When choosing sun cream for children always go for the highest SPF. Also check their UVA rating the higher the number of stars the better.

Suncream

I use mainly use Boots Soltan Once for Kids; it’s really thick so I put it on BG before she gets dressed. This is a great one if you are going to be out all day as it last 8 hours. I reapply after playing in water and to the face after eating.

I was recently sent SunSense to try out and it’s great. It’s the number one sunscreen in Australia. We have the Toddler Milk Roll On and it goes on a dream. It absorbs really quickly and is not greasy and of course the most important this it protects BG’s and Little Miss’s skin from the sun. The roll on now stays in my bag for top up when we are out.

Sun Hats

Once you have slopped on the sun cream then slap on a sun hat this will protect their head, face and ears. I prefer the floppy ones and they give bigger coverage.

I bought a BabyBanz sunhat from Little Sunflowers a few years ago and it’s still going strong.  They block out up to 97% of UVA and UVB rays. I also like that they are adjustable so you get a few years out of them.

Sun hat

SnoozeShade

For parents of babies and child in pushchairs get a SnoozeShade! You can use them on any pushchair; I have used mine on my Stokke Xplory and Sliver Cross Surf this week.  This sunshade is like no other it fully protects your child from the sun, you can use it a variety of ways and it is a 100% times better than a parasol.

Snoozeshade

Little Miss has been kept protected and cool this week under hers. I was sent one for free this does not affect my view I was going to buy one myself.

Drinks Bottle

Make sure your children are kept hydrated all day. I like Sistema bottles; they rarely leak and don’t break even after BG has dropped it about a 100 times!

BG drinks a lot of water so I get a large one, its perfect for preschool and days out.

What are your essential items?

I was sent a bottle of SunSense and a SnoozeShade to review, the others items I bought myself. All opinions are my own.

 

Review: Lindam White Hot™ Safety Sunblock Shade

Lindam White Hot™ Safety Sunblock ShadePhoto

Price:  £5.99 for 1 £9.99 for 2

Available from: Available from Tesco and other leading retailers

Initial Reaction:  What a great idea, the shades come with a heat alert that will tell you if it’s too hot and you can adjust the heat in the car Continue reading

Scosche backSTAGE iPad Case

Scosche backSTAGE iPad case

Price: £29.99

Available from: www.eoutlet.co.uk

Suitable from: 1yr +

Initial Reaction: I was wary about using the iPad in the car. My kids are 3 and 1, and the older one in particular would have the TV on, and play on my iPhone or Cbeebies website all day if we let him, preferably all at once. I’m constantly making efforts to limit their screen time, so I was reluctant to introduce another opportunity to use a screen – especially as the car is so restricted, with no option to break away and do something else as you’re strapped in facing the screen.

However, the latest research indicates that it isn’t screen time itself that’s detrimental to children; it’s the fact that watching the screen prevents them from being active. So given that there’s no option to move around on a car journey anyway, I agreed to give it a go. And I have to admit, the chance of a break from my son’s new habit of asking where we are constantly on a journey was very tempting. We tested the backSTAGE iPad case on a journey from Durham to Leeds. Continue reading

Poundland Outdoor Toys

Bucket and Spade, Balls, Water Pistols, Golf Set.

Price: £1

Available From: Poundland

Suitable From: Various ages check items.

Initial Reaction: What a great range of products

Yantra Mat

Price:  £33.56
Available fromvit-shop.co.uk and other online retailers.
Suitable from: Adult use only

Initial Reaction:  “The Yantra Mat works on the principle of acupressure”.  It’s a lovely looking mat rolled up into a handy tubular bag, rather as a yoga mat would.  When it is unrolled, the surface is covered in lots of ‘spiked flowers’ that work in a way similar to the old fashioned bed of nails.  I was excited to try this, because I had been suffering extreme anxiety and tension, and it claims to help this, as well as boosting sleep, energy level and helping general aches and pains.