I know, I know, it is September already and as the new academic year is starting, holidays seem like a distant memory. We have only just come back from our trip to France, and I am determined to cling on to our warm, sunny holiday (sorry!).
With four young children and no relatives close to home, whenever we have time off, we tend to visit family rather than jetting off to sunny destinations. This year, we attempted our first road trip to the South of France with the four little ones. It took us forever (and ever and ever) to drive there, but it was worth it.
As a child, I spent a fair few summers with my grandparents in Canet Plage and I have tons of fond memories of my holidays there. My poor Mamie (gran) probably did not realise what she was getting herself into when she accepted to join us. Within ten minutes of our arrival she realised it would not be the quiet, peaceful holiday she was after, but I am really glad we made new memories there with her and my mum.
Heat and sunshine, I love you so much! I think I was always meant to live in a very hot place. I am always cold, and there is nothing like feeling the sun on my skin…
I just thought I would share the five things I would not go without when heading to the beach with my little ones:
1- Sun Protection: Sun Cream & Sunglasses
Even since Jumpy’s dermatology nurse recommended SunSense a few years ago, we have not looked back. We always go with their Toddler Milk roll on when we are out and about and we have a bigger bottle at home to apply sun cream before we leave the house.
I have had freckles for as long as I can remember but since my first pregnancy, patches of darker skin (hyperpigmentation) started appearing on my face. I now go for SunSense anti-ageing face cream (SPF 50) instead of moisturiser all summer.
2- Plenty of Water to Drink and Snacks
To make sure our water bottles stay cold, I give them half an hour or so in the freezer before we go, and keep them in a small cool bag with an ice pack.
I also make sure snacks are packed in small portions. I would not pack anything that could potentially melt or stick. This way, we can avoid whole packets being wasted (sand biscuits, anyone?) or mucky children (melted chocolate + sand = grubby, grumpy kids).
3- Sun Protection Clothing
Until this year, I have to admit I had never bothered with clothes that offered sun protection. First of all, I found them rather ugly and I did not see the point of them if I was applying sunscreen to my little ones regularly.
I changed my mind this summer. Beanie’s eczema gets considerably better in the sun. It is a completely different story for Jumpy. Heat and the sand aggravate hers. On our first day at the beach, she spent the whole time screaming because the sand was hurting her angry skin and the seawater was burning every patch of eczema she had.
The following day, she started wearing her UV Rash Top and she wore it every time we went to the beach. It protected her sore skin. She also looked really pretty and easy to spot on a busy beach. It was quite reassuring to know her pretty T-shirt had the highest level of sun protection you could find in fabric (UPF50+). Her eczema did not bother her once after that.
4- Swim Nappies
I have never bought a pack of disposable swimming nappies since washable ones are so good these days. A couple of years ago, I bought a Happy Nappy and since then, I have bought three more for the girls, in a range of sizes.
It most definitely is the most reliable reusable swimming nappy I have ever used. A couple of times, Jumpy had a ‘code brown’ during her swimming classes and her Happy Nappy kept it all in so well I did not realise she needed a change until I gave her a shower (That was rather messy!).
Wriggly had a Happy Nappy Costume this summer and I love the fact the swim nappy was incorporated inside her swimsuit. She also looked cute in pink!
5- Fun Buoyancy Aids
The children are confident in the water but the Mediterranean is not a swimming pool. There are waves, currents and depth can vary dramatically from one step to the next. We had a noodle, a Fing and a Pool School Kick Board. The latter two were a hit with the children.
Wriggly & I on the Kick Board
Crevette using the Fing
Win a Splash About UV Rash Top
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– The prize will be supplied directly by Splash About.
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– I was sent a UV rash top, a swimming costume, a Fing and a sun hat for the purpose of this review. I also received samples of SunSense sun protection. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.