Sands Resort Hotel and Spa Baby and Toddler Holidays in Cornwall

Cornwall is a magical place to visit any time of year: in fact, when we were not tied to school holidays we loved visiting out of season. Each takes on its own personality, from sunny beach days and ice cream, to brisk walks, log fires and hot chocolate. So if you’re lucky enough to be able to take your little ones on a family break outside of the peak season why not try the Baby and Toddler Holidays at Sands Resort Hotel and Spa in Cornwall.

The hotel sits majestically on a cliff overlooking the sea between Newquay and Padstow. It offers a wonderful base from which to explore the Cornish villages and family-friendly attractions or even just to chill and enjoy the beach, sea views and facilities at the hotel. At off peak times during the year their special three-night baby and toddler breaks are perfect for a little family time away.

The nearest beach is just a 5/10 minute walk depending on toddler speed and Holiday Tots guests receive a complimentary bottle of wine when mentioning ‘Holiday Tots’ when booking.

The Malcolm family has been running the hotel for over 40 years and welcomes families with open arms. It’s easy to see why Sands Resort won TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Award for the past five years as one of ‘The Top Family Hotels in the UK’.

Baby and toddler holidays at Sands Resort are available on various dates from 23rdApril through to 24thNovember (excluding school holidays) from £294 for two nights. Prices depend on dates, weekend supplements and ages and number of children.

Included in these baby and toddler breaks:

3 nights’ accommodation in a Country View Suite with balcony (cot can be added FOC)

Hot and cold breakfast buffet

£30 voucher to spend on extras

Complimentary daily morning childcare session

Complimentary 3 course dinner on one night

The hotel:

There is a soft play area, games room, kid’s clubs (Ofsted approved) and a spa for the grownups. In the hotel grounds you will find tennis, crazy golf, an outdoor pool with toddler splash area (during summer) and two play grounds plus a couple of bouncy castles!

If you want to travel light the hotel can also supply pushchairs, kiddie carriers, bottle warmers and sterilisers and a baby listening service as well as babysitting. And for a bit of offsite fun the hotel offers buckets and spades, wet suits and bodyboards to hire.

Dates & rates:
23rd April – 23rd May* from £373
31st May – 12th July* from £387
8th September – 16th October* from £333
3rd November – 24th November* from £294

Additional children 4 years and older:
4 – 7 years £25 per night
8 – 14 years £35 per night

* Last departure date. Dinner doesn’t include drinks. Children choose from the kids’ menu. This offer can’t be combined with any other offers. Can’t be booked back to back. Can’t be booked online. Room upgrades available from £20 per night.

Remember, when you book direct with the hotel, they promise you won’t find a better rate anywhere else. Book direct with every family-friendly hotel and resort on Holiday Tots view  Sands Resort Spa and Hotel here.

Out and about

There is plenty for the whole family near to Sands resort: beach just 5/10 minute walk, coastal walks on the doorstep, Newquay Zoo within a 5 minute drive. The little ones will love Dairyland Farmworld, with tractor and pony rides, indoor play area, maze and more and it’s only a 10 minute drive. Another fab day out for toddlers in Cornwall is the Blue Reef Aquarium which is also just 10 minutes away.

Explore a new country every month with the ‘Our Little Globe’ country themed subscription boxes.

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Our Little Globe offer a subscription box aimed at 5 – 10 year olds. We were sent one for Freddie, age 9, to review. Here is how we got on.

olg10.jpgA bit more about what you receive:
Your first month includes a few bonus items (mini suitcase, passport and world map) and each month thereafter you get sent a new country pack which includes crafts, a recipe kit, pen pal letter, stickers and a poster that can be coloured in – all themed to this month’s country.

What Freddie thought:
Freddie liked the look of the suitcase, its colourful and adventurous he said ! One thing he wasn’t a total fan of was the handle position. He found the flap and handle a little fiddly. From his first box he learned that he would get more boxes and he would learn about different countries. His first box was Spain and he learnt about the big tomato fight (he now wants to see this live). He loved the pen pal letter and the passport too. He also liked the recipe cards and was excited to make the paella from his Spanish box.

What mum Sachelle thought:
Sachelle loved the idea of the box and thought it would make a brilliant gift. An educational activity that you can subscribe to for 6 or 12 months. She felt that the boxes included both elements for younger and older kids which covered their age range of 5-10 years.

OLG1These boxes are perfect for your kids to explore on their own but also the menu cards are a great family activity. If you’re stuck for a present for one of your kids friends or a family member these boxes are different and something both the kid and their parents will love.

Are you a home-school parent ? Our Little Globe offer discounts for home schoolers. They also offer a discount for sibling boxes. The products and materials are of a high quality, they ship worldwide and the boxes can be personalised too.

Our little Globe was started in 2016 by 2 mums on maternity leave. They wanted to inspire kids to ask questions about new places and people. Their activities are always fun but educational and teach us about different cultures, traditions and tastes.

For more information or to sign up to your own subscription click here

 

 

Flying with a little one made easy… or should I say, easier!

The thought of flying with a little one is scary so here are our tips on making it a little easier.

We’ve asked families with kids of varying ages for their tips and tricks:
* Georgia took her first flight at 3 weeks old and has been to South Africa, Turks & Caicos, Spain and France a couple of times.
* Martha’s parents have definitely not let having a baby stop her travelling, they travelled long haul numerous times in her first year. Bali, West Coast of USA and Malaysia just to name a few.
* Freddie is now 9 and a seasoned flyer having been to both East and West Coast of USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and all over Europe.

For mums (and some dads), the holiday starts long before even getting to the airport. Packing…. What to take, and how to get it all in a suitcase. A few tips on packing. Make sure you are aware of your luggage allowance, some airlines include 20kgs while others 23kgs. Some airlines like Emirates offer a very generous 30kgs. If you know how much you have its easier to be ruthless and only pack what is needed. Do research and find out what you can buy in destination. Do they sell the same brand of nappies / formula etc where you’re going as those are the things that take up a lot of space / weight and if they can be purchased abroad, its one less thing you need to worry about. Dont forget to pack a few for the arrival day (or if you’re delayed) to make things less stressful on arrival.

This may sound silly but start making a list as soon as you think of something and add to it whenever you think of something else. This way when you finally start packing you wont forget anything. Have your kids carry some of their own things. Freddie loved his Skiphop wheelie with his toys in. There are also other great options like Trunki, Bed Box etc, depending on your little ones age.

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For your hand luggage, make sure you have a bag for the overhead storage with toys, change of clothes etc but keep a small carry bag under the seat in front of you with essentials so that you don’t have to keep getting your bag down. We recently reviewed the StorkSak cabin carry-on.  It’s large, on wheels and has a removable organiser that can be hung up and used without unpacking ! Genius.

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Ok, so you’re packed… now its time to get to the airport. The thought of being at the airport with loads of time to spare is daunting as you are just adding time onto your journey. It is recommended to get to the airpot 3 hours prior to departure and in my experience when travelling with a baby, get there 3 hours before. Airport meet and greet parking is definitely helpful as you just drive up, hand your keys over and they park and keep your car for your return. Dont forget to take your car seat out if you’ll be using it on the other end.

You’re now at the airport and have checked in your bags, car seat, buggy etc. Dont forget a luggage protector for your car seat/buggy if you’re checking it in. Whilst we’re on the topic of buggy’s – have you seen the new collapsable strollers that can be taken on board? We reviewed the Babyzen Yoyo and the Mountain Buggy Nano a while back and they are excellent. There are a few different options in the market now ranging between £130 and £350.

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Another great option is a baby carrier / sling. If you want to check your buggy / stroller in, this option is perfect. One of the main benefits of a carrier is you have your hands free. You will still have to remove your baby and sling before going through security.

Getting through security is the bit that will hold you up.  You are allowed to take any amount of baby food/milk needed for the journey which can often be above the 100ml liquid allowance. This means it all needs to be searched and scanned separately.  For older kids this can be  quite a fun time as they enjoy seeing their bag on the x-ray machine and having to walk through the scanner. Some airports will allow you to fast track if you are travelling with a little one, so its always worth asking.

Once you’re through security, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You’re almost there.

Now to find something to keep your little one busy until boarding. Some airports have dedicated Family Facilities which are worth looking into before you travel. Heathrow airport have stay and play areas which are great for tiring your little ones out before boarding. Airport lounges are also a good idea to get out of the busy terminal and relax with a complimentary drink and snack. Giving your little one a good meal before the flight is a great idea, just incase they dont like what they’re serving on board.

Its finally time to board ! Yay, for toddlers and older kids, this is exciting – the time has finally come. If you’re travelling with babies / toddlers you are able to board the plane first to give you time to get settled.

If you are travelling with a baby, you can reserve the bulk head seats which are at the front of the cabin and have a bassinet if your baby is still small and light enough. Each airline has different weight limits so check before booking. This is great as you dont have to keep your little one on your lap for the entire flight. I would recommend reserving these seats at the time of booking as they are subject to availability.

Please remember that during turbulence (or any time the seatbelt sign is illuminated), you have to put your little ones back on your lap and secure the infant seatbelt. This normally happens just as they’ve finally fallen asleep too! If they aren’t using the bassinet you also have extra legroom which is definitely needed.

For older children that have their own seat, there are some great products out there that extend the seat and make flying a bit more comfortable for them. If you’re on a day flight, try and reserve them a window seat so that they have something to distract them, even if its only for 5 minutes. Dont forget to pre order your children a special kids meal. This can be done upto 48 hours prior to departure directly with your airline / travel agent or online.

There is a debate between the mums i’ve asked regaring what they feel is better, a day flight or a night flight. I think it depends on your children, their ages and sleeping patterns. I personally would recomment night flights all the way as Georgia sleeps well on the plane, even when lying on me. A friend who has a 5 and 7 year old swears by day flights. You know your child and what is going to work best for them.

Toys, Activities, Games and Books – the more the merrier! Kids get bored quickly so having a few new toys / activities that you can introduce when they start getting bored is great. Sticker books are a great idea too. We tried out the Keep ’em Quiet travel pack which is excellent. If they are old enough to use headphones a fully loaded tablet with their favourite films on is a winner ! Most airlines have a childrens section but if not, you can buy a case for your tablet with a valcro strap that fits perfectly over the tray table. It also works around the headrest in the car ! I got mine from Amazon.

Take off and landing can be a stressful for parents because we’re worried about our little ones ears. Breast feeding or drinking out of a bottle / sucking on a dummy can help babies whilst sucking on or chewing a sweet can help with older ones. If your little one uses a dummy – definitely get a dummy clip, and pack a spare incase it goes missing. Its amazing how things can just disappear down the side of the seats on a plane.

The best advice I can give you, is to make flying an adventure – the older your children get the more they will love flying and having a baby shouldn’t mean you need to stop travelling. We live in a day and age where there are SO many gadgets out there that make flying and travelling with a little one easy, enjoy it and your little one will too.

Now sit back, relax and remember, once the flight is over, you have this to look forward to….

TOTSEAT – For babies that lunch!

The original, washable, squashable high chair that is recommended for 6 – 30 month olds. It’s lightweight, compact and versatile and anchors your child safely and comfortably in almost any dining chair!

Taking your baby out for the day / overnight and having to worry about a high chair are a thing of the past. We were given a Totseat to review, here’s how we got on.

We have been using the Totseat since Georgia was approx 6 months old and was able to sit up unaided. We’ve used it on may different chairs and haven’t found one that it doest attach to. It comes with a separate strap for extra support (or if the chair has an open back).  totseat4

The Totseat complies with all required international safety standards (as well as a few extras). Georgia, at 18 months old still uses hers when at nana.

As a mum, packing for a holiday or overnight stay is quite a task in itself. The totseat is light and compact making it perfect for travelling. Knowing I have somewhere to feed Georgia whilst out and about makes mealtimes so much less stressful. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to feed your little one without a high chair – its a nightmare and oh so messy!

We recently used it on a trip away to visit the family and it was brilliant, we were able to feed Georgia outside in the sunshine rather than being confined to the kitchen.

They come with a lifetime guarantee and start at £22.00 – you really can’t go wrong! For more info click here.

A bit about Totseat:

They too are a small family business and are committed to complete Corporate Social Responsibility. They source and manufacture responsibility in a factory in China that they visit annually. They reuse what they can, and recycle what they can’t. They ship by rail, road and see and use public transport rather than having corporate cars too! I get the impression they love their team like family and this is definitely the kind of company we love being associated with.

 

 

Hatley – Quality rainwear made to be passed from sibling to sibling!

If any of your saw our #Holidaytots12days campaign over Christmas you will have seen our Festival Bundle included a toddler rainiest from Hatley. We were lucky enough to be sent a similar set to try out with Georgia (2.5 years) and lets just say, we both LOVE it.

The products are on the more expensive side but after seeing and trying them out, I would say, are TOTALLY WORTH IT. We have used the full set (Rain Jacket, Rain Boots and Splash Pants) a handful of times. The Jacket and Boots have been used A LOT.

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You can definitely tell the difference in the boots compared to cheaper pairs you can buy online and in stores.

  • Slip resistant soles
  • Removable insole
  • Always PVC-free
  • Matching Fuzzy Boot Liners

If your little ones like jumping in muddy puddles (THANKS PEPPA ! ) then these boots are for you.

We were sent a matching microfibre rain jacket which is fully lined and waterproof. I also like the fact that the back is slightly longer than the front and that it is elasticated at the waist. It is also Machine washable.

We were also sent a pair of splash pants which are brilliant in the wet weather.  They are fully seam-sealed with an elastic waistband and drawstring. There is a little pocket with velcro on the left side and again, they are machine washable

Their rainwear range is large with matching umbrellas and raincoats. Some of their products even change colours in the rain! How amazing is that ? Their range covers from baby – 12 years old and it is made to last – it’s made to be able to be passed from sibling to sibling. Their rainwear range is currently on sale so why not stock up for next winter while the prices are low.

They don’t only do rain wear, they do all sorts, for mum too! Sleepwear, swimwear and foot wear – they’ve got you covered.

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Melissa & Doug Toys

Melissa & Doug is a well known name when it comes to kids toys.  M&D’s mission is to create quality products that inspire our children to think outside the box and encourage kids to see new possibilities. A lot of their toys are simple concepts that inspire kids to come up with their own twists. They hope that this will encourage creativity, imagination, free play and discovery while learning.

My daughter was given her first set of Melissa & Dog toys early on, It was a set of wooden food that came with a knife and chopping board. She instantly took to it and loved slicing the fruit apart. I love how 2 years later, this toy is still in excellent condition.
She was also given a Farm Cube Puzzle, which we actually played with this morning.

We have had many Melissa & Doug toys in her almost 3 years, her favourite I think has to be the Take-Along Show-Horse Stable play set. She got this as a Christmas present from nana and she loves getting this out whenever were over there. I do feel this is where her love of horses has come from – thanks nana!

Melissa & Doug were kind enough to send us some of their toys to review – lets just say, Georgia was thrilled. We were sent the Latches board, The Take-Along Doorbell dollhouse, Food Groups (consisting of 21 hand painted wooden pieces in crates) and a scratch note cube set.

As a mother, the thing I love most about all Melissa & Doug toys is the quality of the products. They are well made, hard wearing and they last. Melissa & Doug are not just a name, but they are real people, who have been together for 30 years and raised 6 kids of their own. All of their toys are tested in their own homes and comply with all US, EU and other international safety regulations.

Georgia loves playing with her wooden food in her play kitchen, she loves sorting the food into different crates and making meals for her mummy and daddy. She isn’t a fan of trying new foods so I am still hoping that these bright, new and exciting foods will inspire her to try a few new things  – I can dream, can’t I ?

I absolutely love the Latches board, I love how its portable and we often take it in the car with us – it can keep her entertained for ages. She loves showing us how she’s figured out how to open the latch and what is behind the doors – its great with colour recognition too.

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The doorbell doll house has provided hours of entertainment. What is it with kids and pressing buttons? Georgia loves pressing doorbells, anything that makes a noise really. I think she is still a little bit young for working out the keys and how to unlock the doors but it is definitely something she will learn with practise. She loves hiding the dolls behind the doors and I love how she makes stories up about the dolls and the houses. The doors are numbered 1-4 and they each have a key with the same number on which is slightly different.

Last but not least, the scratch magic notes – these are excellent at home or on the go. Perfect for a long car journey, or if you need something to entertain the little one on a flight. The pack includes 125 rainbow mini notes and a wooden stylus. We tried these out recently at our local coffee shop, and for the first time in a long time, I was able to enjoy a hot coffee !

If you like the look of any of the above Melissa & Doug toys, they are available from Amazon, John Lewis and Argos to name a few. They have toys suitable from 0 years to 8 years +, something for everyone.

 

 

Summer Infant’s Baby Pixel Monitor

We were asked to review Summer Infant’s newest baby monitor earlier this month and after a few weeks of use, it is definitely one to consider if you’re in the market for a new baby monitor.
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This monitor is packed with features parents will love:
* Enhanced Colour Night Vision
* Virtual Boundary
* Move the camera by tilting the parent unit
* 5 inch colour touch screen
* Sound activated LED lights
* Voice Activated technology ensures the screen switches on when the baby stirs.
* 3 x digital zoom
* two way talk back
* nursery temperature and clock display on parent unit

….. just to name a few !

When we got the monitor the first thing we did was charge it – it says to charge it for 7 hours before use. We then found a safe place for the camera to sit in our little ones room. It can either sit on a counter / shelf or you can place it on a screw in the wall. Included are clips to help you secure the cord to the wall so that your baby cant grab a hold of it.
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The monitor is touchscreen and of a great size. There Volume buttons on the side and sound activated LED lights across the top alert you to any noise / movement in the nursery. You’re able to move the camera either by pressing the screen or tilting it which is a great feature.
I love the talk back feature, if you need to reassure your little one without actually going into their room.  I would recommend using the power safe mode which prolongs battery life. I would keep the unit plugged in overnight (you can change the brightness of the screen so it doesn’t keep you awake with the glare) and would then use it for approx 2 hours during my daughters nap, i’d then turn it off and use it again for approx 3 hours in the evening without needing to plug it in. The camera has a 240m range and you’re able to add up to 3 extra cameras if you need to keep an eye on multiple children.

 

Another nifty feature is their Sleepzone Virtual Boundary Alert feature which allows you to set a virtual boundary on the parent unit and you’ll be alerted when your little one moves out of the boundary.
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The camera has a night light on it which illuminates red to help the baby fall asleep and can then be changed to blue once the baby is asleep.

You can also use the Moonlite enhanced colour night vision to have a full colour view of your little one.

Retailing at £199.99 this monitor is a higher end monitor but I would recommend it as it does have a lot of features that others out there don’t have. Find out more (or to order yours) click here.