Ice lollies for kids

Say cheerio to sticky fingers and gooey hands with this super-easy, super-simple Zelliegem. To protect little hands from messy lolly drips and dribbles, just pop a cupcake case skirt round the stick to catch them!

 

Preventing ice lolly drips

Keeping cool in summer

As pregnant woman, during the summer your breasts may feel hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. It may seem crazy but it’s said that putting your bra in the freezer is a nifty trick you can use to help cool them down. Say goodbye to under boob sweat!

 

Keeping cool in summer

DIY door latch silencer

It’s every exhausted parents nightmare – you’ve finally got your baby or toddler into dreamland, only to have your efforts thwarted by a loud noise that startles them from their slumber.

We’ve discovered that you can make a DIY door latch silencer with an unused eye mask. Keeping that inevitable *click* of doom at bay. Keeping your baby or toddler asleep has never been easier with this life hack.

 

toddler and baby sleeping hack

How to make your baby sleep when travelling abroad

Sleep. It’s a major issue when you’re travelling abroad with a baby in tow. Will your little one nap on the plane or will they cry and disturb other passengers? How will they cope with a different cot and an unfamiliar room?

That’s why we’ve come up with seven simple strategies that will soothe your baby to sleep while you’re away…

Preparing to fly

1. Choose your time carefully

Quieter midweek flights make travelling during term time the ideal option for babies. So if your tot doesn’t have any older siblings at school, make the most of this opportunity. The tickets will be cheaper too.

Not sure what time of day to travel? If your baby has settled into a routine, we suggest taking their feeds and naps into account when you book your flight.  Nine am flights can work well, as your little one should be ready for a post breakfast nap during the flight. Early afternoon is ideal for babies who snooze after lunch.

It’s also worth considering an overnight flight. If you pop your baby into their pyjamas, allow  them to nap and wake them just before you leave the house, they should stay awake while you check in and crash out after takeoff.

 

2. Request a bassinet

A baby bassinet is a basket that can be hung from the walls of an aircraft or placed on a specially designed shelf. Hiring one allows your little one to lie down and sleep safely during your flight.

While bassinets are available from most airlines, you’ll need to check that your baby fits the age and size requirements before you book one. We also recommend taking a bassinet cover or swaddle blanket with you, so that you can block out any light from the cabin.

Fidgety babies might need to be settled in their parent’s arms before they’re transferred to their bassinet and if you encounter any turbulence during the flight, you’ll be asked to remove them.

 

3. Take a baby carrier

If your baby won’t settle at all during the flight, popping them into a carrier or sling will enable you to walk around and gently bounce them to sleep. Taking a baby carrier also makes carrying hand luggage, boarding and exiting the plane much easier, especially if you have to retrieve your buggy from the luggage carousel.

Once you arrive at your destination, transporting your little one in a front carrier will help them to feel secure and free up your hands for taking those all important family photos.

 

4. Establish a routine

Establishing a bedtime routine before you travel abroad will help you to recreate it while you’re on holiday. Does your baby have a favourite lullaby or song? Try singing it just before bedtime, so that your little one associates it with going to sleep.

If your baby’s bedtime routine also includes a story, we recommend sticking to a handful of favourite books before you travel. Read the same stories while you’re away and your baby will be comforted by their familiarity, making it easier for them to settle.

 

When you arrive

5. Recreate familiar surroundings

Your baby will sleep better if you add a few familiar touches to your hotel bedroom, so why not pack their usual sleep sack, a couple of their crib sheets, a few favourite teddies and a selection of bath toys? ,

If you’ll be taking your own travel cot on holiday, getting your baby used to sleeping in it before you go should make a real difference when bedtime arrives.

 

6. Stick to the schedule

While travelling with a young baby is generally easier if you prioritise their naps, there will be times when this isn’t practical. Thanks to the fresh air and stimulation of being on holiday, your tot will probably snooze while you’re out and about, but we recommend keeping an eye on this. Allow them to sleep for too long and they simply won’t settle at night.

If you’ve travelled to a hot country in the summer, expect to get a little less sleep than you would at home. To combat exhaustion, try napping with your baby, as even a twenty minute catnap can work wonders. If you get desperate and end up with the baby in your bed, don’t beat yourself up. Simply enjoy the rest and reintroduce your normal routine as soon as you arrive home.

 

7. Create good sleeping conditions

When bedtime arrives, it’s a good idea to keep the lights and your voices low. Bring a book to read while you wait for your baby to settle and consider packing some temporary blackout blinds, which are cheap, portable and easy to put up.

Hotel a little on the noisy side? How about downloading the Sound Sleeper: White Noise app, which uses familiar sounds and sounds from nature to soothe baby to sleep?

We hope our tips help your little one to sleep soundly while you’re away. After all, when baby sleeps, everybody sleeps. Here’s to a relaxing time abroad!

Do you have any sleeping suggestions to share? We’d love to hear them.

Tips for flying abroad when pregnant

Planning a trip abroad while pregnant? Prepare properly and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a safe relaxing flight.

From choosing your destination to keeping comfortable on the plane, here are our top tips for flying abroad when you’re expecting a baby.

Time your trip well

If you’re feeling well and you’ve discussed your plans with your GP or midwife, it’s perfectly possible to fly during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. However, many women feel nauseous and exhausted during this period, so if that’s you, why not wait until you can really enjoy your holiday?

If you’ve experienced spotting, high blood pressure, severe morning sickness or a previous miscarriage, your doctor will probably advise you to avoid flying for now.

During the second trimester (14-27 weeks), nausea usually subsides and energy levels increase, giving you the perfect excuse to enjoy a trip abroad. Make the most of this opportunity, as you might find flying uncomfortable and tiring once you reach the third trimester. Most airlines won’t allow pregnant women to fly with them after 36 weeks, although this drops to 32 weeks for multiple pregnancies.

 

Choose your country carefully

Because vaccinations aren’t always safe for pregnant women, it’s best to choose a holiday destination where you won’t encounter any dangerous diseases. Malaria and yellow fever pose a particularly high risk, as some anti-malarial medication isn’t safe for mums-to-be and the yellow fever vaccine contains a small amount of potentially harmful live virus. If you really need to travel to an affected area, ask your GP for guidance.

You should also consider postponing your trip if you’re travelling to a country where the Zika virus is active. Talk to your GP and check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website for detailed advice.

Travelling in the summer? Then you’ll want to avoid uncomfortably hot countries, particularly if you’ll be heavily pregnant when you travel. It’s also worth remembering that your risk of suffering from blood clots and varicose veins increases slightly on flights over five hours.

Wherever you decided to go, always check that your holiday insurance covers you after 28 weeks and that it includes medical care if you go into labour unexpectedly.

 

Carry key information

A copy of your maternity notes is essential hand luggage if you’re flying while pregnant. We also suggest noting down your blood type, any allergies to medications and your doctor’s contact details.

Once you’re 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll need to carry a letter or certificate from your doctor or midwife. This should confirm your due date, as well stating that you’re well enough to travel and that there are no complications. It’s worth asking your airline whether a prewritten letter is available, although your GP may still charge you for signing it.

Don’t forget to apply for an EHIC card, which entitles you to free or reduced cost emergency medical care while abroad. If you apply via the official website, the card won’t cost you a penny and you’ll be covered for five years.

 

Prepare for take-off

Frequent trips to the toilet are an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, so why not reserve an aisle seat when you book your flight? You’ll be able to nip to the loo without disturbing your fellow passengers and it will be easier for you to move about, reducing your chance of developing varicose veins and blood clots.

Talking of blood clots, don’t forget to pop your compression stockings on before you fly, as these will improve your circulation and prevent swelling. Flexing your foot, rotating your ankles and wiggling your toes at regular intervals can also help, but you should always seek help if you notice any redness or tenderness in your legs.

To make sure that you feel relaxed throughout the flight, it’s best to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes with adjustable straps. Position your seatbelt under your bump, make sure you have plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration and pack some energy boosting fresh or dried fruit.

Finally, don’t worry about going through airport scanners, as they use a low-frequency electromagnetic field and are safe for pregnant women.

Take our tips on board and you’ll find that your flight is the perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy a snooze and get lost in a good book. After all, once you’ve had your baby, flying will become a completely different experience!

Tips for camping with babies and children

Camping is a great way for children to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors by taking part in activities that bring you together as a family. Here are some tips to help you plan a fun camping trip and ensure that everybody stays safe.

Finding a Family-Friendly Camp Site

Although many campsites are child friendly, not all will meet your specific needs. Find a camp site that has good reviews for family-friendliness and that fulfils all of your requirements. Coolcamping.com is a great place to start, offering sites that only accept tents and campervans, and which offer separate camping areas for families. With generous pitches your family can enjoy the space without feeling like they’re camping on top of each other. There are sites that offer hot showers all day, which is a must for many families with young children, and grounds which are in a great location for walking and cycling activities.

Packing for Children

Making sure that you’ve packed the essentials will help your camping experience run smoothly. Here is a list to help you pack successfully for a camping trip with young children and babies.

  • Layers for colder weather
  • Woolly / Sun hats, depending on the forecast
  • Thermal wear to keep children and babies warm
  • A sling carrier for babies
  • Swim suits and life jackets, if appropriate
  • Nightlights and some glow sticks to keep an eye on your adventurous children
  • Travel beds and bassinets for colder evenings inside a tent
  • A training potty if one is still needed
  • A family cutlery set, preferably one that’s specially designed for camping
  • Easy meals that don’t need to be cooked in case rain prevents a campfire
  • A drinks cooler
  • A booster with a tray for meal time with a baby
  • A thermos to keep a warm feeding bottle at the ready
  • Buckets and spades, fishing nets and other toys/tools for fun activities
  • A pop-up beach shelter or canopy for relaxing in the shade
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Tissues and wet wipes
  • Anti-itch and antiseptic creams for bites, cuts or rashes
  • A first aid kit, including plasters and bandages
  • Children’s antihistamine for any allergic reactions or hay fever (make sure you ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on dosage and side effects).
  • Backpacks for activities away from the site

 

Making Your Camp Site Safer for Children

Camping is a great way to have some family fun, but with it come a number of risks including trip hazards from cables and scolds from campfires. Here are some ways to make your campsite safer for children.

  • Make the tension cables on your tent more noticeable by marking them out with visible material, such as coloured flags and tinfoil, or by choosing cables in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the ground.
  • Keep a bucket of water near any lit fires and make sure that children don’t go too close to any open flames. Avoid activities that require a lot of movement if there is a campfire nearby.
  • Mark off any areas that pose a significant risk to children with visible ropes, such as areas with poisonous plants or dangerous terrain.
  • Mark out nearby holes and dips with flags or noticeable poles.

 

Camping Games and Activities

Here are some ways to encourage young children to embrace the outdoors by keeping them entertained with fun games and activities.

Scavenger Hunt

Have your children collect items such as pine-cones, shells, flowers of particular colours, feathers and leaves. Create a checklist and have them compete to be the first to find all of the items.

Campfire Story Game

Gather round the fire and take it in turns to come up with one sentence that progresses a story. Children get very creative and will have a lot of fun using their imagination to conjure up some great tales.

Nature Trail

Stretch your legs and get some fresh air by heading out onto a nature trail. Using a guidebook create a guessing game to play with your children. They can have some competitive fun and learn about the different wildlife around them.

What to pack when flying pregnant

Pregnant and flying abroad? Packing your hand luggage carefully is the best way to ensure a comfortable, safe and trouble free trip. But what if you’re not sure what to pack?

Don’t despair, as we’ve come up with a handy guide to the travel essentials that will make your flight an enjoyable one

Keeping comfortable

  • The rapid changes your body undergoes during pregnancy can result in sore muscles and an achy back, so it’s worth packing a small cushion or pillow in your cabin bag. If space is tight, why not buy an inflatable version? You could also consider packing a lightweight bump band, which wraps around your bump for extra support.
  • Because flying during pregnancy can slightly increase your risk of blood clots, your carry-on luggage should definitely include a pair of compression socks. These will help to keep your circulation flowing during the flight, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from swollen feet or ankles.
  • When it comes to your outfit, go for comfortable but versatile options like leggings or a maxi dress. Add a cardigan or jacket in case you feel cool and wear a pair of flat supportive slip on shoes, as these will be easy to remove when you go through security.
  • Flying is the perfect opportunity to rest and unwind, so why not use the time to get lost in a good book or record your thoughts in a pregnancy travel journal? Alternatively, pack an eye mask and enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye. After all, growing a baby is hard work!

Health and beauty

  • Having a baby on board means taking extra care of your health and wellbeing, so pack accordingly. Make sure you pop some hand sanitizer and wipes in your hand luggage, as these will enable you to stay clean and fresh on board.
  • Moisturiser, lip balm and a spray mister will also come in handy while you’re flying, because air conditioning can dehydrate your skin. And don’t forget to take blister pads for your feet, as even well fitting footwear can rub.
  • If you’re travelling to a hot country, it’s a good idea to pack some high factor sun cream in your cabin bag. This can be applied shortly before you arrive at your destination. You could also consider packing some insect repellent, as mosquitoes love mums to be! While Insect repellents containing up to 50% Deet are considered safe for pregnant women to use, natural alternatives containing citronella are also available.

Food and drink

  • Your travel bag should always contain a few nutritious nibbles, so that delays or tasteless airline food don’t leave you feeling hungry. Dried and fresh fruit, cereal bars, nuts and biscuits make ideal snacks. If you’re still battling morning sickness, try eating little and often and if you’re suffering from heartburn, don’t forget your antacids!
  • Staying hydrated is very important when you’re pregnant, so pack at least one bottle of water in your hand luggage once you’ve passed through the security scanners. If you’re taking vitamins, bring these with you too.

It can also be useful to carry a list of foods you should avoid eating in order to protect your developing baby. These include unpasteurised cheeses like Brie and Camembert, undercooked meat, raw fish and pate.

Whether the tap water is safe to drink depends on your destination, so check this with your travel agent. If you have any doubts, always buy bottled water and avoid eating salads washed in tap water.

Travel documents

  • Suffering from pregnancy related forgetfulness? Then we recommend double checking that you’ve packed your passport just before you leave home. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll also need to bring your driving licence.
  • As well as packing your holiday insurance documents, it’s worth making a separate note of the insurer’s helpline number. Keep this in your travel bag and give a copy to your travelling companion, just in case your luggage gets lost en route.
  • If you’re flying while pregnant you’ll also need to carry your maternity notes with you. After 28 weeks, most airlines will require an additional letter from your midwife or doctor confirming that you’re fit to fly. If this applies to you, ask your airline whether they have a standard letter you can print out for your GP to sign.
  • It’s also important to find out which number you should call if you require emergency treatment while you’re away. Your travel agent will be able to give you this, as well as details of local hospitals and doctors.

Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of key contact numbers, so that you can inform family members, friends and pet sitters about any travel delays.

 

We hope our packing tips have helped you to feel fully prepared for your flight. All you have to do now is kick back, relax and enjoy the journey.

Passports for new-born babies

Passports for babies

Depending on how close your baby is born to your holiday date, it is sensible to apply for their first passport in plenty of time. Typically, it takes 3 weeks to get a passport – if urgent there is also a fast-track service you can use.

It is important to go to the official Identity & Passport Service website (see link www.gov.uk/get-a-child-passport). Other ‘unofficial’ websites may appear on google search due to advertising. However, despite claiming they can help you through the application process this usually comes at and additional cost.

The online form is pretty straight forward. Requiring standard information about yourself, your partner and your new bundle of joy. The form is then processed by the Identity and Passport Service, printed and then sent back to you to finish. This includes counter-signing and attaching your relevant ID and photos. Normally, it takes around a week for the initial online form to be mailed back to you.

Note: There is also a chance for you to rectify any mistakes you’ve made when filling out the online form.

How to take baby’s passport photo:

It may seem like an impossible task, to get your new-born baby looking at the camera with no arms or toys in the way. To read through the official Identity and Passport Service photo requirements see link www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports.

You can take the photo one of two ways:

  • Go to your local, professional passport photo provider such as Boots, Snappy Snaps etc. and they will take your baby’s passport photo.
  • Do it yourselves, at home. Create DIY a backdrop by laying your baby on the floor with an off white sheet underneath them.

How to get your baby’s passport photo perfect:

  • If taking the photo with your baby on a white sheet as mentioned above, it’s important to remove any creases.
  • The baby’s head and BOTH ears have to be in shot.
  • Arms need to be away from the head area.
  • Babies must not be holding toys or using dummies.
  • Take the photo from about 1.5m away and include your baby from about their tummy upwards.
  • There must be a space above the baby’s head in the photo.

Note: If your baby is less than 1-year-old they do not need to have their eyes open.

You can then upload you pictures online and get them printed. There are numerous websites that offer a printing service such as Frame Lizard and Snappy Snaps.

How much will it cost:

It costs £46 to get a child’s first passport or £55.75 if you use the Check and Send service. You can also pay an additional £3 for your ID to be returned via secure post. You must pay by credit or debit card if you fill in the form online.

If you fill in a paper application form, you can either send your credit or debit card details or alternatively include a cheque or postal order payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’.

After you have taken your passport photos and had them printed you will need someone to counter sign them. Here are official details regarding your countersignatory www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications.

Note: The person counter signing the photos needs to supply their passport number too.

When sending off your complete application and necessary documents make sure you include a certified copy of the birth certificate with you and your partners name and occupation on it rather than a copy with just your baby’s details on it. This isn’t made particularly clear in the documentation sent by the Identity & Passport service.

How to travel abroad with a child whose surname is different from yours:

As a precaution against child abduction, if you are travelling abroad with a child and you are not that child’s parent, or if you and the child have different surnames, you may need to bring extra documents with you to establish your relationship.

Although not compulsory (see below for exceptions) carrying certain documents or evidence can speed up the process at boarder control.

According to the Home Office, examples of evidence would include:

  • a copy of a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce or marriage certificates if you are the parent but have a different surname.
  • a letter from one or both of the child’s parents, with contact details, giving consent for the child to travel with you (even if, for example, you are a grandparent and have the same surname).

Note: Full details of regulations that apply at the UK border are on the UK Border Agency website, ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

It could also be beneficial to contact the airline you are flying with to seek advice.

Letters of authority or consent

If you are travelling with children and are not their parent, it may be wise to bring a letter of consent from the child’s parents. Once again, while a letter is not compulsory, it can simplify interviews at boarder control. The letter will include consent from the child’s parents stating that the child has permission to travel abroad with the person accompanying them.

Be mindful that carrying a consent letter may not guarantee that the child will be allowed to travel abroad; every country has its own requirements for children travelling without their parent(s).

Make sure to check the specific requirements of the country to which you are travelling (Full list of foreign embassies in the UK).

Note: Visit the Home Office website for a letter template to follow. It is also imperative to sign the letter, and get it witnessed by a solicitor.

Special requirements of specific countries

South Africa has explicit requirements for parents travelling there with minors. For full details of requirements for travel to South Africa, please see www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/traveling-with-children.

Botswana has now adopted similar rules when travelling with children. See full requirements https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana/entry-requirements.

The USA requires children under the age of 18 travelling to or from the USA to carry a notarized consent letter from their parents or legal guardians.

Canada requires the same consent documents as the US for children under the age of 19.

  • If a child or teenager is travelling with only one parent or guardian, a notarized consent letter from the parent/guardian who is not travelling with them is required.
  • If a parent/legal guardian has sole custody, then proof of sole custody must be presented.
    Children and teenagers who cannot produce proper consent letters may be refused boarding.

Note: it’s your job to establish the latest requirements.

While many airlines remind make you aware of certain destinations’ specific requirements, they are not obliged to. It is the passenger’s responsibility to find out about current entry and exit requirements and to carry the appropriate documents with them.

Holiday First Aid Kit

Holiday First Aid Kit for kids

Accidents can happen at any time, so it’s extremely important that you’re prepared for them. Not all medical emergencies need to go through a GP or doctor; many small accidents, such as grazes, blisters and splinters, can be treated instantly with the help of a first aid kit.

We asked Dr Lotte Newman, a St John Ambulance Medical Advisor, about the importance of first aid kits:

“Having a fully stocked first aid kit on hand can make all the difference when an accident happens, whether it’s in the home, on the road, on holiday or in the workplace. The kit should be kept in a convenient location, with items being replaced immediately after they have been used. It’s also important to regularly check the kits to ensure that the appropriate items are not out of date. Coupled with a knowledge of first aid, using a first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death.”

So, having a first aid kit about you is basically essential. It’s probably the most essential item in your holiday suitcase. Below is a guide to exactly what you need to pack in your first aid kit when you’re packing for a holiday.

Essentials

1. Thermometer

You can get so many varieties of thermometers, such as glass sticks, plastic, and the newer sticky forehead strips which are easy to read. They’re particularly useful for babies and young children. There are also digital ear thermometers which give you accurate readings in no time.

Note: Normal body temperate is 37 degrees Celsius and any value above 38 degrees is defined as a fever.

2. Antiseptic

This is vital for skin injuries which cause the skin to break, such as cuts, bites and stings, since it is easy for germs to enter the bloodstream through these injuries. Antiseptic comes in different forms:

  • Solutions contain germ-killing agents; the most popular brands are Dettol Wound Wash, TCP and Savlon. Make sure your supply is in date and that the lid is securely fastened in order to prevent contamination. Apply the solution using sterile cotton wool. For smaller injuries, wash the wound with clean running water first, before using the solution to protect it against infection. Once cleaned and dried, apply a plaster or dressing to the area to cover it.
  • Sprays usually contain mild, fast-acting local anaesthetic to relieve pain from minor burns, bites, stings and grazes.
  • Wipes are a more practical way to clean cuts and grazes while also preventing infection. Take a fresh wipe and begin cleaning the wound by gently removing dirt and germs in an outward direction from the wound.

3. Eye wash

For these solutions, it’s best to carry small, individually packed solutions, as larger packs may get contaminated. Break the seal and squeeze the vial to allow the eye wash to thoroughly rinse the eye. Do not use them if their seal is broken. An alternative to the eye wash is boiled water that has been cooled down.

4. Plasters

Plasters are multipurpose essentials that come in various shapes and sizes. You could pack a variety of them:

  • Fabric: For long-lasting protection with extra sticking power.
  • Waterproof: Allow air to pass but prevent water and germs coming into contact with skin.
  • Hypoallergenic: Suitable for sensitive skin, easily removable.
  • Haemostatic: Help to stop bleeding and promote the clotting function of blood.
  • Cushioned: Provide extra protection against knocks and bumps.
  • Blister plasters: Specialised plasters for healing blisters. The blister area must be clean and dry and the plaster should be applied so that the blister is in the centre. If the blister does not heal or becomes infected, you should seek medical attention.

5. Dressings

Dressings are used to cover bigger wounds. They are like plasters, but provide extra cover and protection because they are larger. There are different types of dressings for different purposes:

  • Hydrocolloid: Used for small cuts and grazes which bleed continuously, as these dressings are designed to absorb excess fluid.
  • Waterproof film: Clear dressing for dry wounds, simply to keep water out while you monitor the healing process through the transparent film.
  • Skin closures: Thin and sticky antiseptic strips designed to hold the edges of deep cuts and grazes together.

Minor cuts and grazes, that are not continuously bleeding, should be cleaned under cold running water, sterilised with antiseptic and covered with a plaster or dressing after drying the area.

Minor burns and scalds should be cooled under rapidly running cold water for ten minutes and covered with a sterile non-fluffy dressing.

6. Antihistamines

These chemicals provide fast-acting relief against mild allergic reactions like hay fever. They are usually taken to relieve symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes or a runny nose. The best companies are Piriton and Zirtec, with one tablet providing 24-hour relief and is suitable for children over 6 years. Antihistamines are also available as creams; these reduce swelling and soothe insect bites and stings.

7. Painkillers

These are absolutely essential as a headache or muscle cramps can begin at any time. They include Paracetamol, Aspirin and Junior syrup pain relief. Paracetamol is often recommended by doctors for fast-acting pain relief and is suitable for several problems, including fever, cold, flu and muscle pain. However, it is important to stick to the appropriate dose as given on the box.

Aspirin may cause stomach irritation for some people, especially if taken on an empty stomach, and has been linked with Reyes Syndrome in some childhood illnesses. Children should be given junior preparations such as Calpol.

Ensure that the painkillers are stored in a clean, dry place and that they are in date. For administering children’s preparations, you should pack a 5ml dose spoon or cup.

8. Rehydration solution

These come as sachets of powder containing a mixture of salts and sugars, and is dissolved in water and drunk in the event of sickness or diarrhoea.

9. Travel sickness pills

These are especially important for people who are prone to travel sickness. Popular companies are Quells and Kalms. You can now also get travel band bracelets which work on pressure points on your wrists and are especially useful for drivers or someone who needs to stay awake as they do not cause drowsiness.

A great natural remedy for motion sickness is ginger; ginger biscuits or grated ginger wrapped in cling film to chew on during a journey are always a good idea to pack.

Extras

Latex gloves

When giving someone first aid, you must ensure that you are not adding to the risk of infection, for the injured person and for yourself. Keep a pair of latex gloves in your kit and use them when dealing with blood or vomit in particular.

Sharp scissors and safety pins
Always keep a clean pair of scissors and clean pins in your first aid kit in case you need them.

Tweezers

Tweezers are handy in case you need to remove small pieces of wood, metal or glass stuck in the skin. Sterilize the area and use the tweezers to pull out the splinter. Next, gently squeeze the wound and clean any fluid, and cover the area with a plaster. If you cannot remove the splinter, seek medical advice.

Crepe and support bandages

These bandages are useful in the event of a strain or sprain. The way to put them on is by slightly elevating the limb to a resting position and applying an ice pack. The bandage would be wrapped or pulled over the ice compress to help reduce pain and swelling. Applying Arnica cream can help reduce bruising and inflammation.

Ice pack or gel packs

These should be stored in the fridge and taken out only when needed. Apply them to bumps or bruises to reduce swelling. You could even use a pack of frozen peas instead, but make sure to wrap it in a clean tea towel before using it on the skin, as direct contact with ice can cause a cold burn.

Calamine lotion

This is used to soothe irritated skin, rashes and sunburn. You can also get gels and mousses for more severe rashes, like with chickenpox.

Giving Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to your child

Liquid forms of both paracetamol and ibuprofen can be found in pharmacies and supermarkets that are suitable for babies and young children. Use an oral syringe to measure and administer the medicine to your child.

  • Older children may be able to swallow the tablets with water.
  • There are also soluble tablets available, which are only suited to children aged 12 or over.
  • Remember, keep all medicines out of children’s reach and sight.

Emergency contact numbers:

Be sure to have the following contact information if you’re traveling abroad, in case you experience a serious medical problem:

  • Emergency phone number for ambulance
  • Phone number and address of the nearest hospital to where you’re staying
  • Phone number of your hotel or accommodation manager who may help in the event of an emergency.

Don’t hesitate to seek urgent medical help if the person has:

  • Stopped breathing
  • Is unconscious and if their lips are going blue.
  • Has a deep wound, or is bleeding badly.
  • Has a serious burn or chemicals in their eyes.
  • Consumed something poisonous.
  • Broken a bone.
  • Been bitten by an animal or snake.
  • Punctured an eye or ear.

Your hospital bag: What to pack

what to baby in hospital bag

Even if you are planning to have a home birth, it is still worth packing a hospital bag, just in case you need to go in. Packing it early, means you avoid any last minute panics.

Here is a list of items to pack:

For You:

  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers (ones that are easy to get on)
  • Socks
  • Old night dress for labour
  • Spare night dress
  • Lip balm
  • Snacks and drinks (glucose tablets)
  • Books, magazines and iPad
  • Hair ties
  • Pillows – a V shaped pillow is very useful
  • Music
  • Water spray
  • Handheld fan
  • Bendy straws
  • Tech chargers (phone)
  • Going home outfit
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pads
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Old underwear
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Empty bag (you will bring home gifts etc)

For your baby:

  • 5 x baby grows
  • 5 x vests
  • Baby blanket
  • Nappies (12 per day)
  • Muslin squares
  • 3 x hats
  • Baby car seat
  • Jacket or snowsuit
  • Gloves

Download and print checklist