I remember what packing my suitcase for summer vacation looked like before I had a baby. All I needed were my bikini, my favorite clothes, a couple of books and magazines, sunscreen and my passeport. It was simple and easy. This year, we’ll spend our first summer vacation with Thiago at the French Riviera where my boyfriend originally comes from. I knew that I would need more equipment for our baby but thought that I would just have to find the listed items adapted for babies. When talking about this topic with my sister in law who is a mother of 3 children herself, I was taught otherwise. “You’ll need a sun hat. It’s best if it’s one with flaps so that it protects the ears and neck. And make sure to buy swimwear with UV protection. For the bottom, you can use swim diapers or real swim pants. For the pants, there are two different types that exist: shorts and proper swim slips that you can open on the sides; the choice is up to you ! And don’t forget the sea shell, you know,a tent that protects your baby from sun and wind.” WOW, with this advice my shopping list turned out to be longer than I”had thought so to stay motivated I started with the easy part: summery clothes.
During hot days, I had short-sleeved and -legged onesies and bodies in mind. Tunik-shirts and loose pants made of thin materials seemed to be perfect for colder days and evenings. I found some onesies by Imps & Elfs made of very thin and soft cotton, available in colors that for once were different than the usual blueish stuff you can find for boys. Then I discovered a new brand from Antwerp called froy & dind. Made of very soft organic cotton with a pinch of elasthane and look so retro-like,their products looked as if they came straight from the 1970s. I fell in love with a cute sleeveless onesie in marine blue with red lining. Completing this sailor look, I found at Zara a pair of stripey shorts and a red sweater. And then I received a parcel from a friend who lives in Thailand, including a very cool pair of Thai pants which match perfectly a vintage Petit Bateau shirt that my boyfriend has already been wearing as a baby. With all this I felt that I had enough dressing options, knowing that on super hot days babies prefer to be naked (or dressed in bodies only) anyway.
The easy part was quickly done. Now I had to find the important items that were supposed to protect my baby. Looking for UV protection swimsuits was not that fun. Everything I found looked aweful. All I coud see where neon colored suits featuring ugly graphics. When I almost gave up, thinking that perfomance clothing for kids cannot look nice, I found a surfer-like swimsuit set by an English brand called Indikidual. This set features nice colors and bold and fun graphics. As I didn’t know whether I would find a UV swim set, I had already purchased a pair of swim shorts (Zara) as well as swim diapers (Huggies) and a washable swim diaper (by Prenatale, the one that opens on the sides). With so many options, I guess I will see on the ground which swim bottom works best. And not to forget: as babies get cold very quickly, I will bring a baby wrap towel with a hoody which I found at Koeka.
Obviously, I’m not planning to expose my baby directly to the sun. However, let’s be honest, at some point the sun will cross my baby’s skin so I bought a kids sunscreen with factor 50+ by Eucerin. When it comes to sunscreen, I always buy it at the pharmacie to make sure that I get a high quality product. For some extra protection, I bought the matching parasol for our Bugaboo stroller and a pair of sunglasses by Baby Banz to protect the baby’s sensitive eyes. Here in Amsterdam, Thiago already struggles with direct sunrays so I can imagine that the strong light on the French Riviera will be even tougher for him. The good thing about these sunglasses is that they have a soft string that is adjustable on the head, making them comfortable but also difficult for the baby to take off. For his head, I found a sun hat with flaps by minirodini. I really like this one as it is a bit bigger but also adjustable so that it fits a bit longer.
The only thing missing now is the sea shell and we’re all set and ready…hoping that our little one will enjoy the beach from 4pm on…or did I forget to mention that babies should not be on the beach before that time? Yep, that’s another thing that has changed.