Guess what?! We’ve booked our first get-on-a-plane family summer holiday!! As you can tell by the over use of exclamation marks, I am VERY excited about the situation. We are off to Vale Do Lobo in Portugal in May and we’ve treated ourselves to an apartment with it’s own terrace and pool.

I’ve been on a mini sunshine shopping spree for Mabel as it occurred to me that actually, I have precisely zero appropriate warmer weather clothing for her at all. For her next size up (12 – 18 months) she has mainly long-sleeved pieces and denim. I think I got all a bit trigger happy with regards my various virtual baskets, choosing what was super cute/and or a bargain rather than considering the climate.

The gorgeous yellow 3D appliqué swimming costume is from Marks & Spencer and everything else was from The Gap. They removed gender from their site and I saw such adorable clothing for newborn boys that I am getting baby fever all over again! I might have got Mabel some “boy” clothes but who cares in this day and age. I’m unsure if she will ever actually wear the Heart Shaped sunglasses or indeed how long the mini straw fedora will actually stay on her bonce but I. Could. Not. Resist.

I bought the shorts and T sleepwear but I was thinking, would she just wear a shorter sleeved babygro/vest to bed? And with all the tempting (and often spendy) baby fashion available, being practical, am I better off investing in a few mix and match cheapy items as whatever she wears is only going to get covered in suncream/chlorine anyway?

Talking of which, Mabel had a terrible reaction to some baby specific SPF 50 lotion last year, she basically came up in hives. Are there any brands you would really recommend for sensitive skinned littles? I think I may have to embark on some patch testing in advance.

As well as the items above I’ve bought her this flamingo full body sun safe wet suit doo dah from Mothercare and the matching sun hat. Realistically I imagine this is what she will be sporting by the pool, as amazing as her wee cossie is – it’s not well, as sun “safe” is it?

I feel as though I’ve asked quite a few questions already so apologies in advance, I jus want to make sure I don’t buy and subsequently pack stuff Mabel is unlikely to wear, and that I have at least the absolute essentials to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for Mabel’s first break abroad…how many toys should I take?!

Do let me know from your own experiences what your “must haves” and couldn’t-live-withouts are for family hollibobs and also anything you thought would be useful but it fact wasn’t. I’m on a mission to travel light if at all possible. Ahem.