By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
After what has felt like the looongest Winter of all time for Australian families stuck at home in lockdown, we can’t wait to hit the beach for endless Summer hangs with friends and fam. And like all mums know, every time you step outside the house, you need to make sure you’ve packed errrrrything (especially snacks, don’t forget the f*ckin snacks)… because happy baby = happy mama.
So whether you’re hitting the beach, have a day of poolside leisure planned, or a park playdate with your mama bestie and her babe, here are 10 key items to pack in your baby bag.
1 // Sunscreen
On even the cloudiest day in Summer, the glaring sun can burn baby’s skin in a matter of minutes. Carry a non-allergenic sunscreen with a high SPF of 50+ in the baby bag and remember to reapply it often throughout the day, especially after swimming.
2 // Hat
Keeping baby out of the sun is your best protection against sunburn but sometimes it’s impossible to avoid, especially if you’re out and about. Be sure to have a sun hat for your baby on hand to keep the harsh sunshine from the face. If you’re planning on a trip to the pool or beach, take a waterproof hat that won’t get floppy and uncomfortable for baby when it gets wet.
3 // SPF swimsuit
Whether you’re heading to the beach, the public pool, or even just taking baby for a dip in a friend’s paddling pool, a swimsuit with built in UV protection and good coverage of your little one’s arms, legs and middle will keep their skin protected so they can enjoy their time in the sun without getting burnt.
4 // Soothing serums and creams
Heat rash, sunburn and eczema are common skin problems that are known to run rampant during the Spring/Summer seasons, so something to soothe your bebe’s skin is a must-have. Two of our absolute favs are Biologi BF Serum, which is pure magic for nappy rash (and a million other things!), and The Baby Goat Skincare range is seriously delish! Mums also rave about Covitol and use it for a range of skin irritations.
5 // Water bottle/sippy cup
Keeping baby hydrated on a hot day is very important, so be sure to have a nice cool water bottle or sippy cup packed in the baby bag and offer it to them regularly.
6 // Change of clothing and a waterproof bag
Water and sand play are lots of fun, but they can also make baby’s clothing wet and uncomfortable. Carry a change of clean, dry clothing in the baby bag, along with a separate waterproof bag to take any dirty laundry back home.
7 // Snacks, snacks and more snacks
Being caught out with a hungry baby sucks. And on a beautiful sunny day, chances are you’ll be spending it away from home, so be prepared with enough snacks for baby (and you) to get through the day.
8 // Bandaids
Mozzie bites, cuts and grazes are all more likely to occur when you’re away from your familiar home environment so having a few bandaids at your disposal is a good idea. You might even want to carry a mini first-aid kit in your baby bag so you’re prepared for a range of minor accidents or injuries.
9 // Hand sanitiser
In a COVID-19 world we’ve all become accustomed to (read: obsessed with) frequent hand-washing and sanitising. Away from home you won’t always have soap and water available to thoroughly wash hands, so carry a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitiser in the baby bag to keep those nasty germs and viruses at bay.
10 // Towel or blanket
A tired, wet and sandy baby will be ready for sleep at some point so having a dry towel or blanket in your baby bag so you can wrap baby snug and tight after a day of play will help them to settle comfortably for a nap in the pram or on the ground in the shade.