Unfortunately, Crete doesn’t cater to babies and toddlers in ways other countries do; there is a lack of changing facilities, children’s menus, high chairs and safety ropes and protective barriers in ancient ruins. However, Greek people will generally treat your children with kindness and genuine warmth.
When visitng Crete, check the local shop opening times. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, they usually open twice, once from 9am to 1pm and once from 6pm to 9.30pm. On other days shops are usually only open from 9am to 2pm. So shop for your essentials in the morning to avoid getting caught out.
You may also find it useful to take your own supplies of baby essentials. Nappies, formula and jars of baby food are available in supermarkets, mini-markets and pharmacies, but they’re often expensive. There may not be much choice either, even in the busier tourist areas.
If you can find a large supermarket or pharmacy nearby, they should stock formula and nappies. They’ll also have baby wipes, dummies and other supplies. Hotel shops do often sell nappies and reusable swim nappies. Check online or ask your travel agent to find out what’s available near your accommodation.
Crete is a relatively safe island and by far the biggest danger when taking babies and toddlers there is heat stroke, sunburn and dehydration. Crete is blessed with a regular breeze so it’s easy to become over exposed to the sun without realising it. A UV protected sun tent is handy for the beach and younger babies can sleep without getting burned. UV protected swim wear is also useful and if you are bringing your stroller bring a parasol or buggy shade. Remember to use a hat also and to put sunblock on babies older than 6 months. Keep babies and toddler hydrated and if you are breastfeeding, keep yourself hydrated also.
It is useful to bring both a stroller and baby carrier/ sling if possible. A stroller is useful for walking around and can be a place for your child to sit while you eat. Baby carriers or slings are useful if you are travelling to monuments and ruins which are not stroller friendly. Having both will allow you a degree of flexibility.
Be careful at isolated beaches and coves that may have powerful offshore currents and always be mindful of youngsters at ancient sites, where there might be no safety fences or loose masonry.
If your child needs medical attention, there are doctor’s surgeries around the island, but for anything serious head to Venizelio hospital in Heraklion.