11 best summer holiday essentials for babies

Sophie Lam

Whether you’re hitting the beach this summer or holidaying at home, make sure your little ones are protected from the elements as well as entertained throughout the day to ensure a stress-free break for everyone.

Here we offer our pick of holiday essentials, from sun and health protection to clothes and travel solutions.

1. Baby Sunglasses

You might flinch at the thought of baby fashion accessories; however, sunglasses are a sensible choice since they protect sensitive eyes from harmful ultraviolet light. The earlier you can get your infant used to wearing them, the better. This stylish but practical range by Parisian brand Izipizi offers 100 per cent UV protection and blocks out more than 80 per cent of visible light) with polarised lenses that block glare. Suitable for 0-12 months, they come in cheerful colours, with a light, comfortable frame and detachable rubber strap so that they can’t be pulled off.

£22, Izipizi, Buy it now

2. SPF30 Sunscreen

Babies’ skin is too sensitive for conventional sun blocks, which makes Organic Children’s lotion a good choice for those over 6 months. Using minerals to create a physical barrier rather than chemicals that absorb and dissipate rays in the skin, it is also gentle on atopic-prone skin, incorporating natural ingredients such as avocado, sunflower and olive oil, beeswax, aloe vera, edelweiss and rosemary extract. The water resistant lotion protects against aging UVA radiation as well as offering 97 per cent protection against burning, carcinogenic UVB rays.

£18.50, Green People, Buy it now

3. Mosquito Repellent

Young children cannot be vaccinated against certain tropical diseases and many insect repellents, particularly those containing DEET, are also not recommended for their delicate skin. However, keeping an infant swathed in hot climates isn’t always practical. Vie’s spray-on repellent is entirely natural, making it a safe choice for protecting babies aged three months and over from mosquito borne-diseases such as malaria, Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya, as well as bites from other flying insects.

£8, JoJo Maman Bebe, Buy it now

4. UV Sun Tent

This pop-up tent is great for days in the sun, whether on the beach, in the park or out in the countryside. Stored in a lightweight, compact bag and weighing under 1kg, it takes up minimal suitcase room and is big enough for two under-fours to play in, offering a sun protection factor of 50 within its reflective fabric structure. While it pops out within seconds and includes four pegs and sand pockets for windy days, get yourself acquainted with packing it back down before attempting it out in the field.

£25, ELC, Buy it now

5. Fluttery Fish Surf Suit

Delicate necks and shoulders burn easily in the sunshine, which makes a surf suit or rash vest a good choice for little people likely to be in and out of water on long summer days. With a high neck, shorts and long sleeves, this soft swimsuit is great for active boys and girls as it keeps much of the body covered and offers UPF40 sun protection; it comes in sizes from three months to three years.

£25, Boden, Buy it now

6. Liberty Floral Romper

Sunuva has collaborated with Liberty on a swimwear and beachwear range for girls this summer. As well as a wide-brimmed hat and towelling onesie, there’s this cheerful cotton romper - a pretty, lightweight choice for hot climates. Sunuva has updated one of Liberty’s heritage 1930s floral prints with neon colours; the romper comes in sizes from three months to two years.

£36, Sunuva, Buy it now

7. SPF Poncho

These soft bamboo and cotton towelling ponchos are ideal for late afternoons on the beach when the temperature falls and little ones need drying down. Moreover, they offer SPF50 so can be used as cover-ups during the day; poppers mean they can be done up under the arms to keep them in place, while the hood is lightweight so your child won’t get too hot.

£27.99, Cuddledry, Buy it now

8. Sun hat

A hat is essential not just for holidays but for warm summer days at home. Protect little heads with Mamas & Papas new wide-brimmed cotton sun hat. It comes in two reversible patterns - fans and flamingos - with a cord that can be tied under the chin to keep it in place. There are also bucket hats and swimming hats with fabric panels that protect the neck.

From £8, Mamas & Papas, Buy it now

9. Omnio Stroller

This full-size stroller is an investment that will pay dividends. It has been devised with travel in mind. Suitable for babies from six months up to 22kg, it folds down into a compact backpack, making it easy to negotiate stairs, escalators and more when it’s not practical to carry your child in the buggy. Its wheels feature a series of rollers, making them suitable for a range of terrains, the all-weather fabric offers and UPF40 and the aluminium frame is lightweight.

£389, Omnio World, Buy it now

10. Mini First Aid Kit

Babies on the move are likely to encounter the odd bump and graze, particularly when in new environments. Make sure you have products at hand to remedy minor incidents and illnesses. Little Life’s compact kit includes an oral thermometer, antiseptic cream and wipes, dressings, plasters, scissors, tweezers, burn gel, eye wash and all-important stickers. We’d also advise taking a bottle of age-appropriate liquid paracetamol.

£14.99, Little Life, Buy it now

11. Hedgerow Activity Spiral

Once babies become aware of the world around them, getting them to sit still, particularly on long car journeys, can be trying. This activity spiral can be fitted either to a pram or a car seat, and will keep babies from newborn upwards entertained for at least some of the journey with its variety of textures, colours, noises and moving parts that double as teethers.

£19, Mamas & Papas, Buy it now