If you’ve got a baby, packing for holiday might seem like an insurmountable task! But we’ve got Charlotte Kewley, Stylist, Contributing Fashion Editor at Mother & Baby magazine and mother to Isabella, 11 months, on hand to give us the ultimate guide to getting it right…
Packing a holiday suitcase for an under one year old should be easy, right? There’s so much cute stuff in the shops. But here’s a dilemma. A lot of the ‘practical’ ‘safe sun’ ‘proper supportive shoes’ stuff isn’t that pretty. It may sound incredibly silly but I have a problem with that. I’m a stylist. I want my baby to be protected, have good supportive shoes and be comfortable. But I also want her to look super cute, to be able to pop a snap on Instagram and get loads of likes and people to stop and ask me where her adorable little shoes are from.
Don’t get me wrong I’m no Kim Kardashian trying to create a future style icon with her daughter (poor little North West in her pleather and PVC get ups). I just want her to look cute in her own effortless, fun little girl way. So this is my packing guide to the STYLISH but also PROPERLY PRACTICAL holiday pieces you and your baby will love. Hope it helps…
Sunhats are a challenge. As in getting the baby to actually wear them. That’s why I love the liberty print ribbon tie ones from olivierbaby.com, £24. If your baby is more of a hat-lover the cat ear sunhats, £19, at ilovegorgeous.co.uk are adorable too.
The most instagrammable swimwear with the highest cute-factor is Mini Rodini. If you see a kid wearing this you just know the parents are cool! So that’s your photo op sorted (Fish swimsuit, £30, cat swimsuit, £30, both Mini Rodini at alexandalexa.com )
Practically… you want to make sure little ones are fully protected and shoulders don’t get burnt so a rash vest with some cute swim briefs is a good option. Just remove the vest under shade. Sunuva is the queen bee of UPF 50+ UV swimwear for kids (Gwyneth P shops there). Rash vest, £39, frill pants, £29. Next also have a great budget-friendly Sunsafe set in a Liberty style ditsy print from £13.
Smother them top-to-toe in SPF50 baby sun lotion, £6.50, Baby Sun Smart at marksandspencer.com
The brand new sun range from M&S is great and actually affordable. I also recommend the family ranges from Ultrasun and Green People though they’re a little pricier. And don’t forget infant safe sun repellent too ,Vie, £7.50, jojomamanbebe.co.uk
Water wipes, £2.39 for a pack of 60, amazon.co.uk – use everywhere. On everyone.
Disposable bibs, £2.29, Tommee Tippee at kiddicare.com Result.
It’s extremely likely that you’ll pack a whole suitcase full of pretty outfits for baby’s 1st summer holiday (whoop, whoop). They will then probably spend the majority of their time in just a nappy. So don’t overpack. Here’s what you should take…
Nappy cover knickers, £7 for 3, next.co.uk – One of these over a nappy = daytime sorted.
Muslin bodysuit, adenandanais.com – Master muslin makers aden + anais introduce a brand new clothing collection this July. Made from the same super soft, washable, light, cool fabric they make their blankets from and available in the same popular prints. The baby version of an Odabash kaftan.
Bamboo leggings, £13, pandaandthesparrow.co.uk – I love these. Every time Isabella grows out of a pair I buy them in the next size up. The bamboo is super soft, super comfortable and perfect in any weather – it never gets to hot or cold. Ideal for travelling (or just playing) in.
T-shirt, £39, caramel-shop.co.uk – A few easy tees are handy if baby has had a bit too much sun. Throw on for a sun lounger nap. Caramel’s tees aren’t cheap but they are a perfect fit and the Breton stripe one is a winner. This is another one you’ll want to repeat buy.
Summer rompers – Rompers have had a revival. I always pack a shortie and a long version (for travelling/if it gets cooler/to avoid mosquito bites). You can get the cutest rompers in the sales at the moment. This Petit Bateau one is reduced to £18.60 on smallable.com and the long version is now £34.30 at ilovegorgeous.co.uk. Smallable.com has an amazing sale on at the moment, just saying…
Dress – At £12, this Little Bird at Mothercare (mothercare.com) dress is killing it. It’s possibly the cutest little dress I’ve seen this season with its pastel retro vibes. There is also a matching hat…
A light cardigan – for cooler nights. My all time favourite cardigans are from Boden and Baby Gap. They last the longest, wear and wash well, £18, boden.co.uk.
A ‘showpiece’ – It’s always nice to have one or two ‘just because they’re amazing’ pieces to show baby off in. For me these are often dresses or boho-style pieces from La Coqueta, Elfie London or Caramel as they just do the prettiest stuff. I do usually buy them in the sales when they’re a little more affordable. However this top is the bomb, £52, caramel-shop.co.uk. For holiday, for parties, for any (and every, to get moneys worth) special occasion.
Shoes – My baby is starting to cruise… eek. So for holiday a pair of first walkers on hot pavements are a must. I searched high and low for ‘nice but proper’ first walkers and found these amazing leopard sandals, £35 at hugandhatch.com. It’s also good to take a pair of cheaper jelly type sandals for the beach/dipping feet in water/not wearing for very long periods of time, £6, next.co.uk.
Sleeping bag – A 0.5 or 1.0 tog sleeping bag is a must (depending on air con). The hipster Anorak Gro Bags for gro-store.com have the coolest prints.
Swimming float – A baby swim float will give you a bit of hands-free time in the swimming pool. £15, jojomamanbebe.co.uk. Another tip is to pack some hammam towels rather than heavy beach towels. Not only are they lighter and less bulky to carry but they look way more stylish too, £30, hedgehogshop.co.uk.
Towelling beach cover-up from £20, boden.co.uk – Throw on after swimming or when it gets cooler at the end of the day. Great for just chilling out in instead of a dressing gown too. Anyone else wish they made these in adult sizes?
Nobody wants to lug a heavy-duty pushchair around a beach resort. The Silver Cross Pop is lightweight and has a UPF50 + fully extendable hood for maximum sun protection, £150. Then you’ll probably want to take a baby carrier too. I’ve found (and I’ve tried and tested a few) the Ergobaby 360 is the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time, £129.90.
An extra large muslin blanket is a holiday must-have. Take it on the plane as a blanket/for discreet breastfeeding and use as a sunshade when you arrive. The Great Swandoodle, £22.99, cuskishop.co.uk
Sophie La Girafe, £13.99 because no baby should ever leave home without one!
Other stuff you probably want to remember:
- White vests for sleeping in
- Nappies (+ for swimming plus sacks, cream)
- Sippy cups
- Milk, pouches, snacks, food
- Aftersun (Green People and Burts Bees are my go-to places)
- Toys, books, teddies, general entertainment
- Sterilising stuff (I’m obsessed with Milton sterilising wipes)
- A baby first aid kit complete with calpol, bonjela and the usual suspects
- Cool bag
- Handwash liquid (so you don’t spend a fortune on hotel laundry services)
- Blackout blind (Gro-store!)
- Snoozeshade (snoozeshade.com)
- Disposable changing mats are a handy one too
- A thermometer for the room (top tip: if you get a Grobag they send a free one with every purchase)
And then there’s just yourself to think about…