We travelled a lot with baby no.1 (thanks to having half your family in another country and a boyfriend who likes running marathons in random international cities) but didn't do a beach holiday with him until he was 2-and-a-half. Packing for that was fairly straightforward - swimming shorts, sun cream, travel Guess Who etc. - but packing for one with a 10-month-old baby? Whole new level of brain-drain.
1 Polar Gear On The Go Booster Seat, £27.99 at Mothercare (but shop around - I paid £13.99 when they had a promo on)
This was fantastic. We went self-catering and tended to do breakfast and lunch at the apartment so this was strapped to a patio chair for most meals. It's secure, wipe-clean, a bit bulky but lightweight, attaches to most adult chairs and is quick to set up. Ray seemed pretty happy in it and it meant we didn't need to hold him or sit him on the floor to get food into him. It also meant we could be more flexible when choosing restaurants to eat out in at night, and I had my hands free to enjoy an aperitivo in (relative) peace.
2 Sainsbury's Beach Shelter SPF 50, £10
Or equivalent - the important bit here is the SPF 50 protection. We took this one and, although a pain in the arse to set up every time, Ray was happy playing in it and I was more relaxed knowing he was sheltered from the sun. Frank also liked playing in it so it was a tenner very well spent.
3 Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station, £30 at JoJo Maman Bébé
Not just for holidays, this is one of the ultimate baby must-haves. It's depressing that I'm so enthusiastic about a changing bag, but I bloody love this. Stuff it with nappies, cream, wipes and - IRL - keys, money and emergency lipstick and you're all set. It clips to the buggy and folds out beautifully when needed so you can change nappies anywhere - especially handy on holiday when changing facilities can be limited or non-existent and you have to do it on a piss-soaked toilet floor.
4 Simple Value Hand Blender, £5.49 at Argos
So yeah, I took a hand blender on holiday with me. Not something I ever thought I'd do but weaning babies are tricky bastards and it was either that or take 50 Ella's pouches and pay Ryanair's excess baggage fee. It worked for us and meant we (read 'I') could cook the same meal for everyone and just blitz a bit for the baby.
5 La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics suncare, available at Boots
Working as a beauty journalist and having a kid who's prone to eczema has meant I've tried and tested a lot of sunscreens, but this range is my favourite. It's my go-to for the boys because they've never burnt or had nasty skin reactions when wearing it (unlike some other brands I've tried) and it's easy to apply because it's not too gloopy or too thick and chalky. As suncare goes it's quite pricey, but you can usually stock up when it's on 3-for-2 to save some cash.
Bonus item! Babyzen Yoyo Stroller, £369
Firstly, I don't have one of these but I'm including it because I wish we did. As we're two kids down and already have two buggies, I can't justify the expense, but it looks bloody brilliant. It folds up to the size of a small cabin bag and goes in the overhead lockers, so no more wrestling the Baby Bjorn sling at the end of the flight (and elbowing the person in the seat next to you and dropping the baby) or carrying all your children and wordly goods off the plane and 5 miles to baggage reclaim. It doesn't take up all the boot space in a hatchback car, either. Genius.
For reference, we have a very old Bugaboo Bee that we use for travelling, which is great to push but doesn't stay collapsed (I have to secure it with a luggage strap) and is still pretty bulky so you have to play luggage Tetris when loading up a taxi.