run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Saturday 18 June 2016

Five summer essentials

Summer is the easiest season with a baby or toddler, I reckon. When they're tiny, you don't need to bundle them up in six layers like you do in Winter, and can stroll everywhere with the pram. When they're bigger, they're happy exploring in a park and easier to entertain. And I'm sure potty training would be easier in the garden on a sunny week..

But, since this is babies we're talking about, hot weather, bugs, holidays, all mean ... more things to buy. These are our favourite summer essentials, for home and away:

* Buggy - I know loads of parents trade in their big "travel system" buggies for a light umbrella-style stroller as soon as the early days are over, but I was wavering - I like the robustness of a bigger buggy - not to mention the big basket for shopping.. 

In the Joie Nitro, though, (pictured above) we've found a happy medium. It's pretty light - 7.5kg - and very nippy: I find it super easy to stride around the West End and negotiate crowds with. It takes just two flicks at the back to flatten it down, and it comes with a good raincover, which is unusual. The wheels have great suspension so your babe doesn't look like he's on a bouncy castle (something that I've experienced with other buggies of this type), and there's a useful carry handle on the side, great for public transport and holiday travel. 

Other plus points? It was really easy to put together - five minutes, max - and the seat lies really flat and must be pretty comfortable because mr-nap-hater sleeps for over an hour in these wheels! Its nippiness and great mixture of light-but-not-tinny (some super-lights rattle along the pavement like ricocheting frogs) means I really rate the Nitro for travel. Only downside was the in-built sunshade isn't as full as it could be - but I overcame that issue with the Snooze Shade (see below). Aaand it's only £75... which is a total bargain and means I love it all the more.

Travel Grobags: we use a Grobag every night at home but they are extra useful for holidays as if you turn up to a hotel and they're provided a thick duvet or nasty bedding, you've got your own. Plus it's a way to make your baby feel at home - and hopefully sleep - in a new cot. After a year battling to get a sleeping tiny man into his car seat around the Grobag, I'm a bit embarrassed that I've only just discovered the travel version: it has a flap at the back and double-direction zip at the front which means you can easily strap in a snoozing baby into a car seat, buggy, etc, if they're joining you for dinner. 

Wished I'd known about these GroBags earlier!
Grobags also come in a range of togs - we use the 1 tog for summer, although sometimes higher at home when it's brrrrr. There's a useful guide to layers here. We also always pack the Gro Egg - it changes colour depending on the room temperature, so you know whether to add a vest / higher or lower tog Gro Bag - which I find really useful when hotel air conditioning blasts at night.

Travel high-chair: I spent ages researching this - you won't always need to take a travel high-chair on holiday, but sometimes it's hard enough to find a nice restaurant and having to walk away because there's nowhere safe for the babe is annoying - so I bought this. It's so light we just popped it under the buggy, but fits on almost every kind of chair and works really well. And it's under a tenner: win.

 * Snooze Shade: we used this non-stop as pram cover-up when tiny man was small to keep him out of the sun. But now he's bigger this stage two version is proving brilliantly useful for my little nap-battler. On days-out around town, or nights out on holiday, when it's time to snooze, we slide this on (there are two layers so you can be sure to have lots of air vents and spy-holes). It's backed by the Melanoma International Foundation, to give you piece of mind for sun safety, and fits on all buggies - we use it on the Joie (above) and our big Cosatto. It worked so well for us in Paris that he even zzzz'd through some of the world's most famous attractions, including the Eiffel Tower..

Sling: amazing for airports, stations, when the baby WON'T go in the buggy but you need to carry eighteen suitcases so he really needs too... As tiny man now weighs too much for the cosy wrap slings, I've found only one on the market is still wearable for a long time: this Baby Bjorn One carrier which I love in mint.
* Some items provided for review purposes, but rest assured we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we love.


  1. Hi Lucy! Thanks for sharing! those definitely come very handy for baby care. By the way, how often do you wash them?

    1. Thanks! Washed when they get dirty :)

    2. Alright. I thought you had a washing schedule. Thanks Lucy! :)


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