Motherhood can be tough without a good sense of humor. Laughing is one of the best things we can do to cope with common problems. Check out these funny mom quotes that will make you laugh out loud, even though the hard stuff.
It has been just over two weeks with baby Noa and I would love to say that we have adjusted well to newborn life, but then I’d be lying. Confession: I had completely forgotten this stage of the game … they were right when they say parents get amnesia. With that said, I thought it would be a good idea to write this post as I hold Noa in one arm, so that I never forget it again (and also as a solid reminder for those of you expecting mamas who have amnesia too). Don’t get me wrong, maternity leave is amazing and I would much rather be here than at the office, but let me give you a little glimpse of what a typical day has looked like for me since Noa has been born. Side note, if another person messages me asking if I’m sleeping when she’s sleeping I might snap. Let’s get this straight – I am not sleeping when she sleeps. Period. 6:45 a.m. Harper is already up and needs to get ready for school, but instead is insisting to play with her magna tiles. Daddy is sound asleep while I’m annoyingly trying to get him up to get his sh*t together for work. And then there’s Noa, who also wakes up crying for the boob. 7:30 a.m. Everyone is up and breakfast is being made. Mine will be cold once I get to it since I’m still feeding Noa who has already had two dirty diapers. I try to hand off Noa to my husband for 5 minutes so I can sneak in a shower. Doesn’t happen. Dry shampoo it is. 8:30 a.m. Daddy and Harper are out the door while I’m still in PJs (aka sweatpants and an Adidas tank) and Noa appears to want the boob again. So much for enjoying that hot coffee. Oh well. It can wait. 9:30 a.m. I’ve changed Noa another time, jotted down in my journal the times she has fed, how many dirty diapers and which breast she fed off last. You’d be surprised at how quickly you forget these things only an hour after the fact. 10:00 a.m. Noa falls asleep and I anxiously go to warm up my coffee. Then she hiccups, which are cute, but not so cute when they wake her up. Oh and to my surprise, another dirty diaper. I change baby and it’s a mess because she decides to pee midway through the diaper swap … which also wets her sleeper and now has to be changed. She’s awake and wailing. I attempt to rock her back to sleep, but even after singing “You are my sunshine” a million times, still no success. So much for coffee. 11:00 a.m. Daddy messages from work asking how things are going and asks if I can go to the bank. The answer is no. I explain that I am still in sweats and Noa hasn’t napped … and that I haven’t had my coffee (or breakfast). I send a pic of baby wide-eyed and ready for action. 12:00 p.m. Baby Noa finally sleeps after I put her back on the boob a couple of times. 12:30 p.m. I have my cold coffee and breakfast and scroll through Instagram. 1:00 p.m. lost 30 minutes of my life looking at pretty pictures on the gram, but I’ve had my coffee and feel somewhat alive. Then Noa makes a whimper sound and cries out. OMG. Crap, I barely ate. Scarf down my cold oatmeal (gah!) and lightly tap Noa on her tush making that “shushing” sound to get her to settle. Phew, she is back asleep. 1:15 p.m. throw in a load of laundry. Never. Ending. Laundry. 1:30 p.m. And she’s up. Time to feed. Surprise, surprise another dirty diaper. Her digestive system is next level. I wish I could go that often. Coming soon to the blog I will have to share my postpartum digestion drama. 2:00 p.m. Flat lay time. Place Noa on the bed and take a few pics. 2:15 p.m. Tummy time. She’s miserable. 2:20 p.m. Read her “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See”. She doesn’t appear interested and at this stage she is still only detecting light and motion, as well as large objects. She cries. I hold her and then try to swaddle her, but gosh I was never a pro at swaddling. Google “how to swaddle”. Success! She looks like a cute burrito. Take a few more pics. Kiss her a million times until she cries. Put her back on the boob. 2:30 p.m. Daddy messages asking again if I can go to the bank. The answer is still no. I also reply back asking if he will be home early. I could use a shower. His answer is no. 2:45 p.m. Harper is almost done school. Definitely am not making it for pick up. Call in a favour from a mommy friend to pick up Harper for a play date. Call the school to inform her teacher that Harper is going home with a classmate. 3:00 p.m. Noa falls asleep on my chest as I open up my computer to go through a million emails. Replying back with one hand takes skills by the way. Wow, I just realize I have a lot of emails and have probably over committed myself to projects. Yikes. 3:30 p.m. Alternate between Instagram on my iPhone and emails on my Macbook. Why is instagram so addictive? Noa is still sleeping. I should sleep while she sleeps like they say, but I don’t. More emails. Throw in another load of laundry (with one hand). 3:45 p.m. Try to put baby into bassinet. Fail. She cries. She needs to be changed. Again. 4:00 p.m. Text my best friend who has three kids asking if its normal that Noa has so many poopy diapers. She says yes, but I Google it anyways. Okay, so it’s normal. 4:30 p.m. I should eat lunch. Uber eats will take too long. Luckily, I have a stash of homemade protein energy balls in the fridge. Quickly eat two of them. 4:45 p.m. Dog needs to be walked, but since it’s almost 5 and Daddy will be home soon, the dog can wait. Holy crap, it’s almost 5? Where did the day go? I’m still so hungry. Apparently so is Noa. Put her on the boob. Did I mention I have a blocked milk duct? Painful. 5:00 p.m. Daddy messages that he’s leaving work. Yay! I reply asking him to grab sushi on the way home. 5:15 p.m. Noa is sound asleep … and in her bassinet. There is a God. 5:30 p.m. Daddy comes home asking, "Where is Harper and Noa?" I ask, “Where is the sushi?” I also forgot to tell him to pick up Harper from her play date on his way home. He looks at sleeping Noa and says, “Awww, she looks so sweet and peaceful”. 5:35 p.m. I eat sushi. I FINALLY shower and change out of sweatpants. The story continues with nights being the hardest because let’s get real …. I’m not actually sleeping because every sound and whimper that the baby makes, I am up and by the bassinet to check if she’s okay. Plus, she's up every 1-2 hours anyway. No REM happening here. I know the days ahead will continue to blur into each other, but my God it is all so worth it to have this little human being in my arms! And as the saying goes, "No one said it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it."
Elise and her family Elise Wiley, Lunenburg, Massachusetts When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I felt was shock. Not shock in the way of surprise (I had a feeling before I even took the test that I would be seeing those two confirming lines), but more a shock of reality. It was happening; baby number two was on the way. My husband and I were planning to have a second child, but we weren’t thinking about even starting that conversation for another year, after baby number one was more independent and weaned. I never thought I would have to consider, and research, what it would mean to be pregnant while still breastfeeding my toddler. After some initial reading, my feelings of shock turned into dread. I read story after story of mothers being unable to produce milk once the second trimester hit, or having painful latch experiences throughout pregnancy. I already felt guilty knowing that my energy levels would be dropping, and I would be couch ridden with bouts of morning sickness. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be the “active” mommy I had been for my toddler while trying to navigate this second pregnancy. Now I was preparing myself to be unable to nurse. There was a lot of guilt and a lot of anxiety. I spent several nights crying to my husband that the last thing I wanted was to force our child to wean before they were ready. We had so many sweet routines surrounding time at the breast – mostly story time – and I was mourning the loss before any change had actually taken place. I’m now nearing my due date for baby number two and I’m happy to report that many of my fears turned out to be unfounded. Baby number one happily nursed throughout the entire pregnancy. We started offering him milk during story time in case what I was producing turned out not to be enough, and he’s been happy to go back and forth from cup to breast during our routines. Elise and her oldest I had a month or so of semi painful latch, but I actually think that had more to do with weird latch positioning than the pregnancy. It was nothing like I had expected from the stories I’d read, or conversations that I’d had with other women who nursed while pregnant. Just like babies, every pregnancy and nursing journey is different. I would have saved myself a lot of stress in preparing for this chapter had I relaxed into whatever came my way. The whole experience has given me some perspective on our next challenge—tandem nursing. I’ve started to have the same anxieties about rocking my firstborn’s routine to make space for baby number two, and I keep reminding myself that we’ve met and overcome every challenge so far in our own way, and we’ll do the same with this next one!
Feeling puzzled trying to find ways to actively engage your little one while working to disconnect them from digital devices and electronic toys? Time to try some fun toddler puzzles.
Arts and crafts are the perfect crowd pleaser for children that can keep them occupied for hours, every parents dream right!? It could be you simply need an activity to pass the endless days of summer break, or if you’re anything like me, you actually have a little soft spot for arts and crafts and can’t help but get involved too. Rule 1 of arts and crafts is you have to accept it’s going to get a little messy! Prepare for it by placing down sheets on the floor and work space, also make sure your little one’s clothes are protected with an apron. The key to fun arts and crafts is keep it simple, yes that means keep the paper mache for when they’re a little older! But we also believe a key part of arts and crafts is finding a second use for things around the house to help towards your recycling efforts. The core of every good arts and crafts in our opinion is re-using and recycling old objects that would have otherwise ended up in the bin, and finding a new life for them. This will teach your children that objects have more than 1 purpose and to use their creativity to create something beautiful out of “rubbish". You will obviously still need the classic arts and crafts essentials such as paint, coloured pens, glue and some coloured card, but we love making the core of the project recycled objects. Keep reading to check out our perfect eco arts and crafts perfect for recycling old objects to bust that summer break boredom. We promise they are super simple too! Cress Heads This one is an absolute classic, and we have fond memories of doing this as a science experiment when we were in school. It's a great way of showing your children how things grow in a relatively short period of time so that your child can see the whole growing process from start to finish and be involved throughout. You can use all sorts of containers or pots to grow your cress in, but we find that a good old simple old egg shell works perfectly and again injects new life into something that would have simply been thrown away. Simply prepare the egg shells left over from breakfast. Once you have the egg shell with nothing in it, wash them out so that there are no ‘bits’ left that will begin to smell a few days down the line. Draw a little smiley face or something fun on the shells to bring them to life. Pop a little cotton wool in each egg shell, and sprinkle with cress seeds. Sprinkle the seeds with a little water, and wait for the magic to happen! Water them a little every few days and after only 10 days, we have our Cress Heads. Simply give the Cress Heads a little hair cute and voila! Egg and cress sandwiches anyone? Sponge sailboats These are so simple and your little ones will love them! They can be played with in the bath, in the garden in a make shift tub or you could even have a race down a nearby stream. Plus, it’s a great use of those old sponges that were only destined for the bin. Simply clean and cut the sponges if necessary into a rectangle shape for the boat. Cut coloured paper into a large triangle shape, and make a hole in the top and bottom of the triangle. Then get yourself a wooden kebab skewer and slip this through the hole’s in the paper. Now you’re ready to set sail! Can bowling This one is fun for the whole family and can be used time and time again once they have been made. You can take them along to the park, summer vacation or even family bbq’s. Dive into the recycling bin and find those old tin cans, it’s time to add a little fun into them! Find old cans that are all in good condition with no dents in them, similar size and weight. Give them a little clean, and it’s time to get the paint out. Let the kids have fun with this one and let them paint them any colour or design they want. You could add numbers on them afterwards to make them look even better. Then simply get yourself a foam ball from the garden or something similar and get playing! Who can get the first strike? Toilet Roll animals Toilet rolls really are the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to arts and crafts. You always have plenty in the recycling bin and they have so many uses if you add a little bit imagination. From rockets and cars to animals you really can make these into anything for your children to enjoy making but also play with afterwards. Our favourite thing to do is make animals out of them. Here are just a few of our favourite creature creations from the good old toilet roll! Pasta Jewellery These may not get mistaken for a Tiffany & Co piece and there definitely are no diamonds, but we can promise you your little ones will love making these and will be showing them off for the rest of the day. Every house has pasta and it is a great cheap way to make some gorgeous colourful jewellery. You will need uncooked pasta for this, any pasta that has a hole in the middle can be used. Then simply let your little one paint each pasta in what every colour or design they want to bring their masterpiece to life. You will need to measure a piece of string or yarn and cut it to the right size if it’s a necklace, anklet or bracelet so it fits your little one. Then start threading on the dried pasta tubes on to the string, tie a knot and you’re done! v Tie Dye T-shirts Do you have a white t-shirt that is now looking a little more grey than white? Or has your little adventurer got his favourite t-shirt grubby from playing in the park? Well we have the perfect answer to inject brand new life into old clothes that are looking a little, meh. It’s tie dye time!!! It will get messy so start by covering all work surfaces with plenty of newspaper and wear gloves and an apron. To get started start bunching sections of the t-shirt tightly with rubber bands to create areas. These areas won’t be dyed and will create the tie dye look. Prepare the dye according to the packet instructions. Fill a large bucket with hot water and dunk your shirt in, and wring out. Now pop the t-shirt into the dye mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Leave in depending how dark you want the colour to be. Remove once you are happy with the colour, rinse under warm water, then cool water until the water runs clear then lay flat to dry. There you have it, goodbye old t-shirt, hello tie dye master piece. Peace man! Egg Carton This is another item that is in every household that has so much potential for arts and crafts fun. Add some paint, perhaps a little glitter and loads of imagination you can transform your egg cartons into so many things! We especially love making something that our children can play with after the arts and crafts activity has finished so it really does give the egg carton a second life. The egg carton train is always a winner in our house! Cut the egg carton cups out of the box, we tend to keep them in couples and sections of 2 to make the train a bit easier to assemble. Then paint and set aside to dry. Whilst these are drying you can get to work on the wheels, we suggest simply cutting circles out of paper to keep it simple. With a hole punch make hole in each of the egg cup “train carriages” at the front and back. Then tie them all together with a piece of ribbon or string. Glue on the wheels. Then for the front of the train we always simply use a toilet roll and a single egg up for the chimney. Your little one can pop their favourite little dolls as passengers into the carriages for the ultimate play time fun. Choo Choo! We hope you love getting involved and a little messy making these recycled arts and craft ideas as much as we do with our families. They will all teach your children a great lesson that what other’s deem as rubbish can have a whole new purpose and life injected into them. Please do share your recycled arts and craft masterpieces with us by tagging us in your pictures!
How to take the best photos of your little one Whether it’s for the family photo album, to share memories with friends and family or one for the Instagram feed, getting a good picture of your kids can be hard work. We all want as many pictures of our little ones as possible to capture those special moments forever. But it can be pretty tricky to get that perfect shot when your little model won’t sit still, won’t smile and keeps getting distracted. From our own experience of trying to snap those perfect pictures with our little monsters we know how hard it can be. So we have compiled a few of our top tips to get the best photo's of your little one for the photo albums. Go natural Professionally posed pictures have their place, but those candid free-spirited moments are often the money shots. These candid pictures capture your child in their natural mood, interacting with the world around them letting their genuine personality shine through. Capturing natural moments instead of forced ones will capture those precious moments that encapsulate the spirit of your child that you will treasure for years to come. There are times when you don’t even need to let the child know you’re taking photos. Observe and pick a moment when they are completely involved and engaged in an activity and just start snapping away. Follow their lead Most parents will know that when you give a child a demand like ‘sit there’ they tend to love doing the complete opposite. Try letting them approach the photo how they wish, let them roam and explore naturally while you snap away. This will encourage shots showing their true nature and natural curiosity creating more genuine images. It’s not all about the face Faces are adorable, and it doesn’t get much better than your little one’s cute smile. But there are so many other adorable features that you can focus on to get a memorable photo. Tiny toes that will never be so small again, that little curl of hair that you should really cut but can’t bring yourself to do it, long eyelashes that are the envy of every woman. All these little features make up the details of your little one’s bigger character, don’t miss the opportunity to capture these little details before they are gone! That’s the sweet stuff you won’t want to forget as your baby gets bigger. Keep them happy No one wants to pose up a storm when they are hungry or tired, and your little one is no different. For maximum smiles and happy laughter make sure they are well rested, well fed and comfortable. You could also have snacks nearby to give them in-between snaps to keep them happy for a little longer. Making photo shoots fun and enjoyable means that your kids will want to do it again, and again, and again (hopefully!) Level with them Getting down on the ground to take photos will also change your perspective and help you see your child’s world from their vantage. Don’t be afraid to scoot in as close as you can when photographing your child, especially down on the ground at eye-level. Many shots are taken far away and a lot of the details are lost like your child’s eyelashes, toes, the light in his or her eyes. There is no such thing as too many photos! Click away, digital photography is free and unlimited so make the most of it. Overshooting will make sure you don’t miss those cheeky smiles or little details that make or break a photo. Children move fast and often so they could have their eyes shut or hands covering their face for over half of the pictures you take. Taking as many photo’s as possible will ensure you will get at least a few perfect pictures at the end. Get silly If all else fails become a child yourself to get the best reactions out of them. Little things like speaking to them as you're snapping away will entice an interested curious look in their features. Or pull funny faces to get them to smile at you that the lens can then capture. Interact with them and encourage playfulness to get the best out of your subject. Most of all, just have fun with it!
For some people looking back at past Summers from when they were younger often involves festivals being an annual summer tradition to let loose and have fun with friends in the (hopefully) glorious British sunshine. Well we believe just because you’ve multiplied and got little ones it doesn’t mean your festival fun has to end! Bringing your children along for the ride is a great way to have family fun with a twist and make memories that last forever. A festival trip with children will be very different and involve a slightly amended itinerary to your 20-year-old festival adventures, it won't quite be like "the good old days". But with a bit of pre-planning and a promise to throw routine out the window and to go with the flow, the good far outweighs the bad and everyone will end up having a weekend to remember! Pack the essentials, pop your little one in a sling, get that glitter on and get ready to dance the Summer days and nights away. Pick the right festival This is a very important point. Whilst you may have that 1 festival that you had the BEST time at or that one you went to every single year without fail, this may not be child friendly. Not all festivals are suitable for children or are family focused. When you start to do your research, you will be pleasantly surprised just how many festivals are out there that are catered to families and children especially. When doing your research, a good indication that the festival is family friendly is if there is a family camping area or specific facilities for babies and small children. Festivals that are designed with children in mind will often have a section on their website that clearly states extra information for little ones and what they offer. It’s always a good idea to check whether the festival you have your eye on has a good mix of entertainment and facilities that cater to both you and your children's needs. At the bottom of this blog post we have posted our top picks of UK family friendly festivals to help you get started on the search! Are your children little festival-ers? No one knows your children better than you, their parents. So only you can answer the next question, are your children festival ready? We don’t mean is their music knowledge up to scratch and do they have their festival glitter and glow sticks at the ready. What we mean is are they the type of personalities that would enjoy the experience. Do they like camping? Are they ok with large crowds and loud music? And most importantly, are they happy to “rough” it a little bit? If your kids hate outdoor activities, get easily overstimulated in big crowds, or don't enjoy loud music, a family trip to a festival may not be the best idea this year. You could always pop along to a single day festival nearby that has similar festival vibes to test the waters, if you aren’t too sure how they will react before diving in the deep end and commit to a weekend long camping festival extravaganza. Come prepared As a parent you will already know just how much stuff your little one needs to simply leave the house for the day, so packing for a festival can be a little daunting. A check list will be your best friend for the packing planning process. Think about what you use for everyday life from getting ready to their favourite comforter and food, then think of those extra necessities like sunblock, first aid kits and anti-bacteria gel. You will also need to think about packing for all seasons just in case the weather ends up being traditionally British. Think wellies, waterproofs, sun hats and sunglasses. Music at a festival can be very loud and children’s ears are very sensitive and prolonged exposure to loud music can cause damage. So, investing in a good quality set of ear defenders for kids is an absolute must. When creating your list and packing, think is this essential? Do you really need a tent this big or do you really need that extra big gazebo "just in case"? You will be the one carrying everything the whole way so choose everything wisely. We suggest purchasing a pull along trolley on wheels to help carry everything. Or for that extra easy life choose a festival package where the tent is already included and built to save everyone hassle like glamping or even a campervan. You will thank yourself later! Be ready to move Festivals are often vast areas of space with everything very spread out. It is common that once you leave your camping area to go check out the main area of the festival, you may not return to your tent until the evening. With this in mind, you have to think about how are you going to carry everything you will need throughout the day as well as carry children with tired little legs. Whilst a multi-terrain pushchair is perfect for carrying your children in and giving them a place for an afternoon power nap, it may not have enough space to carry all those essentials. Think about bringing along a big enough bag you can chuck everything in and pop on your back. What has been increasing in popularity are pull along wagon trolleys. I mentioned this previously to help you carry things into the festival, but they are also super handy to use whilst moving around the festival to carry everything. They bump and roll over grass with no trouble at all and are big enough to carry everything! Fleets of these off-road trolleys have descended on family festivals over the past few years and are festival pro’s saviours. You can also put your toddlers in the trolley for a fun ride around the festival or use it as a bench for them to sit on whilst you relax listening to music and taking in the scenes around you. Go with the flow Like most adventures with children in tow, it can often be unpredictable and go a little off plan. We think the best approach is to just go with the flow and steer away from trying to plan every little detail. Whereas before you could plan your day based on the performance schedule of your favourite bands, unfortunately they aren’t going to wait for you to finish changing your little ones nappy or wait for you to tear your little one away from the face paint tent. You may end up swapping your favourite bands for a live performance of Peppa Pig, but it’s all about having family fun and getting involved in the festival spirit with your children. Much of the time will be spent looking after your children and making sure they are happy, but you will create lifelong memories. Normal routines will also go out the window. Part of the fun of being at a festival is the freedom from the usual routines, so it makes sense to come with a more relaxed attitude to napping and bedtime. But do make sure you do take the time to allow them a rest and some nap time – if you don't take the time out to allow them to nap and rest you will have 1 very tired grumpy festival crew. Stay Safe This really is key. Whilst choosing a family friendly festival will go a long way to help keeping everyone safe and in a secure environment, festivals are big places with big crowds. Little ones love wandering off and exploring this world in their own independent way, so it can be tricky to keep track of them. Our top tip is to dress your kids in brightly coloured clothes or even fancy dress, not only will they look super cool, you will be able to spot them in a crowd if they try to wander off. We have also been known to pop a little lanyard on our little one with our contact details on them, you can also buy bracelets that let you add all these details. Embrace the family festival vibes! It might not be the kind of festival experience the pre-baby you is used to but having your kids in tow at a festival can create memories all of you will treasure forever and make you look at festivals in a whole new way and reignite your love for them. Sharing these moments with your family and seeing the enjoyment on their faces will make all the extra prep work all the more rewarding. There will be many magical moments to capture so don’t leave your camera at home! Top family-friendly festivals in the UK Camp Bestival – Dorset In our opinion, this is the ultimate family-friendly festival that has something for every age and every member of the family. Not to be confused with more grown-up sister-festival Bestival, Camp Bestival is more child-friendly with activities like bouncy castles, go-carts, fairgrounds, face painting, sandpits, and glitter – the list goes on. In fact, most of the festival is dedicated to little party people with massive music act headliners to make those parents happy too. The Great Wonderfest – The Isle of White Children’s TV and family festival favourites Dick & Dom are launching their very own music festival for kids, The Great Wonderfest. There really is no better festival to go to this year with your little ones considering this one has VIP guests Peppa Pig, Flawless and comedy acts. Boomtown – Hampshire Boomtown is always a sell out and with it’s dedicated “Kidstown” it’s perfect for the whole family with The Sandcastle Stage hosting child-friendly acts all weekend. Latitude Festival – Suffolk Lattitude is an award-winning family-friendly festival Latitude has activities for kids, teens and families spread across three areas. There’s even a dedicated schools programme to allow teachers to bring along their class for some festival fun. This one really has thought of it all! Green Man Festival – Brecon Beacons Green Man festival is an interactive heaven for your family. They offer impressively immersive areas for kids and teens include the fabulous Einstein's Garden, for playful experiences inspired by science and nature. Wilderness – Oxford Food, music, films, family activities, tick tick and tick!! Wilderness festival is a pick and mix of all the good stuff festivals are all about and offer buckets loads of different entertainment and activities from Yoga to yummy food and children entertainment and games. You won’t be bored and your children will love it!
Sun, sea and sand, it’s the ultimate Summer combo that we all love heading to the beach for. But with a few extra mini me’s tagging along for the adventure, a beach day can be a little different from when you used to sit back reading the latest cosmo with the sun warming your skin and the sound of the waves in the background. A family trip to the beach can feel daunting but with a relaxed attitude, a little prep and packing the essentials, it will be a breeze and a day the whole family will enjoy. Whether you are heading to one of the beautiful beaches the UK coast has to offer or venturing a little further afield, it’s always good to know what to pack and little hacks to help make the day run a little smoother. Go with the flow First of all, adjust your expectations of the phrase "beach day." It might be "beach hour" or "beach five minutes" or "beach you are never allowed to leave." Whatever it is, know that you probably will be baby-chasing or baby-rocking or baby-feeding more than you will be diving into your new top seller novel. And that's OK. Accepting this will make it a more fun experience for the whole family. The beach can be a new sensory adventure haven for your little one to enjoy, exploring the texture of the sand, the sound of the crashing waves, splashing in the shallow shore and seeing new sights. They may think sand is their new favourite snack but that’s all part of them exploring this new and exciting environment in the only way they know how, with their mouth. Obviously, we advise you to keep an eye on them and try to keep eating sand to a minimum. But it happens, don't panic if this does happen, just try to get as much out as possible and wash their mouth out with clean water. Be shady If your little one is older than six months old, go big on the sun cream. Even if it seems a bit cloudy overhead, still be generous with the sun cream as the suns UV rays can easily penetrate the clouds and damage your baby’s skin. Even though sun cream offers that extra protection for their delicate skin against the sun’s harmful rays, this doesn’t mean they should be exposed to the sun more than absolutely necessary. You should still keep them in the shade as much as possible and also make sure they wear their sun protection clothing and hats. If your little one is younger than 6 months, avoid using any sun cream on their skin. The chemicals in sun cream are too harsh for the delicate newborn skin. As a result, it is essential they are kept in the shade, think UV tent, wide rimmed sun hat, umbrella or parasole. Head over to our “Sun Safety Tips for Children” blog for more information about how to keep your little one safe in the sun this Summer. Avoid scorching days When a heatwave hits the UK, it’s everyone’s instinct to head to their nearest beach to enjoy the rare nice weather. However, from experience, we tend to suggest avoiding the beach on extremely hot days. Firstly, it will be SO busy and crowded you will struggle to get a space big enough to lie down. The extremely hot weather will also make you and the children more likely to get all hot and bothered making the whole day a little more strenuous. It’s also just not safe for your child to be in the scorching heat. Try to avoid the really hot days, or you could even take a trip to the beach in the late afternoon/early evening when it is cooler, less busy and the sun rays aren't as strong. We personally love doing this, you could even take snacks and settle in to watch the sunset. Be prepared A beach trip without a bucket and spade is like fish and chips without the mushy peas! Don’t be that parent that ruined the sand castle dreams. We have compiled our list of essential things to bring to the beach to make sure everyone has the best day possible. It’s always tempting to bring more stuff for those pesky “just in case” situations, but try to keep the list small as it will be you juggling it all from the car across the tricky sand whilst also battling with a wiggly baby or two. Towels – take a few as they get damp and sandy quickly. We find the wearable towels so handy! It means your little one can wear the towel hands-free whilst still playing and drying at the same time. Parent lifesaver! UV sun tent or umbrella to keep your little one in the shade. As previously mentioned, shade is your hero when at the beach to protect your little one’s skin but also to keep them cool. The babymoov Aquani playpen is perfect as it is a 3-in-1. It means that your little one can be in the shade with it’s UV protected canopy, it also has raised sides to stop your little mover from crawling here there everywhere. But the real winner for us is you can also fill this one up with water, which means your little one can have a splash about, playing in water safely without getting all sandy. Big blanket. We think bigger the better really. Make sure it is big enough for everyone to sit on and spread out. This will also help prevent sand getting stuck to everybody. Cool bag. We all know nothing can ruin a day out like hungry kids. Make sure you bring enough food, snacks, drink or formula to last all day, plus maybe a few extra just in case. Keeping them in a cool bag will make sure everything stays fresh. Sun cream Bucket and spade, obviously! Protective clothing Flotation device Dress for the occasion The clothing you put your baby in for a day at the beach is just as important as the sun cream you put on their skin. Choose a loose long-sleeved top in a lightweight fabric, preferably cotton, to provide an extra layer of protection from the sun. Make sure they are also wearing a wide rimmed sun hat and sunglasses if you are lucky enough to have a baby that is happy to keep them on. Buying a silicone strap for the glasses to secure them on their head a little easier is a great tip and will help prevent them from being pulled off straight away. For extra tips on how to get your little one to wear glasses click here. If your little one is moving around independently and exploring the world on their own 2 little legs, make sure their feet are also protected. Getting beach shoes or jelly shoes are super useful to protect their feet from the hot sand or sharp objects hidden in the sand. If your baby is a water baby and loves splashing in the sea make sure they are wearing safe swim wear which preferably has UV protection in and also flotation aids. Be safe Whilst the beach is so much fun and your family will have the best day making memories that will last for a lifetime. The beach is a new environment for your little one and possibly a whole different place to you now you are a parent. The beach is a safe place for everyone to have fun, but it is just a good idea to be that little bit extra vigilant to make sure nothing scary happens. Make sure your little one stays close at all times and an adult is watching them so they don't wander off and get lost, especially if the beach is extremely busy. When splashing around in the sea, stick to the shallow shoreline where the current isn’t as strong. Also, keep hold of your little one when in the sea, even if you are used to letting them swim off in swimming lessons. The tide can be surprisingly strong and it’s always best to keep them as close as possible. As you do in everyday life, simply keep an eye on them, especially round the water and protect them from the sun. But most importantly, let loose, relax and have fun! The beach is an amazing place for a family day out with a difference. Smell the salty air, be soothed by the blue sea, feel the sun on your skin and enjoy—and enjoy watching your baby discover a world of sights, sounds, and textures.