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We’re sure all parents would love to introduce their little one to the wonders of camping and how to camp with a baby, it surely is an enriching experience. But, is it ok for the mamas and dadas to take their kids just like when taking them for a picnic?
Unfortunately packing your bags and hitting the woods isn’t the same as you would when going for a walk or otherwise. There are a lot of things that one must keep in mind when planning on taking the baby outdoors for a camp.
To know what they are, the where to(s), tips, and tricks, we recommended reading this article through. This will help you get a basic understanding of camping with the baby and how to be safe and enjoy at the same time!
So, let’s get started!
How To Camp With A Baby? Quick Tips
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when planning to camp with a baby and make sure to have a good time:
It is very important for you to pick the right location for your first outing with the baby. Make sure to choose a place that isn’t way too far from the house, at least on the first trip to help with basic amenities, as and when in need.
Get A Large Tent
Purchasing a large tent helps the entire family with space to spread out, and place a portable crib/play yard (if you have one). Most importantly provides flexibility and comfortable nights.
Keep The Meals Simple
Dressing The Baby In Layers
It is advisable for the parents to dress themselves, as well as the baby in layers that will help adapt to the changing weather. Not only that, the layers are the best clothing options to provide comfort, good sleep, and warmth while camping.
Protecting From Bugs And Sun Rays
Make sure to carry bug repellents and sunscreen to protect your baby and yourself from the bugs and rays of the sun. As we are aware, sunscreen isn’t ideal for babies who are 6 months old, as an alternative you can have the baby wear long sleeves and pants, or even carry an umbrella to help block the sun.
Now that we have the hang of these points and understand the importance, let’s understand them in more detail.
Camping With a Baby: Choosing The Best Location!
Camping is a mix of many adventures, therefore, choosing the best location that is baby-friendly is vital. While most places that you’d otherwise consider as adults would be suitable for bringing a baby along, you must be mindful to explore your options.
To help you pick the best location, we’ve narrowed down a few tips for camping with a baby:
Limit the Driving Time
If at all the thought of camping with a baby seems daunting, then it’s best to choose a location nearby and avoid a long car trip. Especially if this is the first outing as a family, try to eliminate the stress of travel and focus on choosing a campsite close to your house.
You might not want to get a super early start to reach your destination, and if things don’t end up as planned it’s easier to reschedule.
As an alternative, if you wish to eliminate the driving altogether, it’s best to set up a large tent in the backyard for a family camping test run and see how things go before the big commitment.
It’s always a good idea to look for a campsite that offers basic amenities, such as having a bathroom and playground. It might not look like such a big deal at first, but these will be your life-savers when camping with a baby.
Distance Yourself From The Other Campsites
If making reservations, try and look for a site that offers a little distance from the neighboring campsites. This will help you experience a whole new adventure and also feel more remote, and reduce the worries and noises, at the same time.
Look For Shade
While camping with a baby, it is necessary for you to look for a campsite that offers shade, preventing the direct hit of the sun, that is, protecting your baby from the UV rays. Don’t forget to carry your sunscreen, or long-sleeve clothes/umbrella/hat along.
Camping With a Baby: How To Sleep With Your Baby in a Tent?
Let’s get real, having a good night’s sleep with a young baby in the comfort of your house seems to be a dream yet to achieve, let alone sleeping peacefully at a campsite.
The newness of the trip could rub off the roughness of the baby than usual. Try taking this in a stride and handle your sleep like a pro. Here are a few tips and tricks that might help you catch your much-needed sleep – at the campsite and with your baby! Seems Impossible? Not anymore!
1. Be flexible
There is no ONE way of dealing with sleep as every family has their own way of working on their sleep patterns with a baby. This is why it is up to you to decide on how you’d want to handle the camp sleep. However, be mindful and aware that with camping with a baby, you can expect to have a disrupted night routine.
What to do? Try and adapt, maybe it’s time for you to take a break from all the sleep training techniques that you’ve had so far employed at home to help get a good night’s sleep.
For instance, just for a day or two, you may want to allow the little one to stay up a little later than normal, or nurse frequently in the middle of the night.
2. Carry a Big Tent
This is a much-needed addition, especially if you are a big family who is planning to camp. A big tent helps you with extra space, provides comfort, and can use a portable crib/play yard.
3. Use A Portable Crib Yard
This is best if your baby is used to sleeping in portable cribs and can help the little one settle down and stick to the sleep routine.
4. Carry Favorites From Home
To help the baby feel comfortable, feel free to carry favorites from home. This could include stuffed animals, books, etc.
Camping With a Baby: The Meal Plan
Planning a camp is work in itself, and of added with a menu for the camp, it’s just too much work. This is why it is advisable to focus on keeping things simple and pack smart.
For example, you could prepare one-pot meals, like pasta, chili, and oatmeal – all that easy to cook and clean at the same time.
Here are two tips that can help you prepare quick and smart camping meals:
1. Keep it clean
If bottle-feeding, make sure you have the nipples and the bottles clean for each feed. For this, you can boil water at your campsite and sanitize the milk bottles.
2. Carry Convenient/Quick Food
When camping with a baby, convenient foods may include squeeze packets, pureed fruits, and vegetables. While on the other hand, if camping with an older kid, choose to carry finger foods, soft fruits, avocado, scrambled eggs, and beans.
Camping With a Baby: The Dressing Code
The simple mantra here is – A comfortable baby is a happy baby! Nothing less and nothing more. Therefore, to keep the baby comfortable, it is important to dress the baby well. Here are a few clothing tips that can help you make the baby feel comfortable:
1. Dressing in Layers
Especially when camping with a baby, it is essential for the parents to be ready and adapt to the changing weather. For this, it is best advised to dress the baby in layers that will also keep the baby nice and warm. You may want to choose a base layer that goes next to the skin, then the middle layer for warmth, and the outer layer to protect from wind and rain.
2. Avoid Cotton Clothes
If you anticipate cold and/or wet weather, it is best to carry clothes that are made using synthetics or wool, to help insulate and dry quicker than cotton.
If camping with a baby in cold weather, make sure the baby wears woolen clothes like wool socks, fleece pants, and jackets. On the other hand, if you anticipate rain, make sure to carry a shell jacket that helps shed the raindrops. Similarly, on a sunny day, consider breathable long-sleeve shirts and pants to protect your child from the sun.
3. Avoid Overdressing
It is best to sleep in a sleep sack or fleece bunting for warmth but prevent overdressing the baby.
Be sure to check the forecast before you leave for your campsite and pack accordingly.
4. Carry Usual Diapers
There shouldn’t be any drastic change in the diapering of your baby while camping, especially if you have a bathroom nearby to dump/dispose of the waste.
Camping With a Baby: Protecting the Baby From Bugs and the Rays of the Sun
Although it is advisable to carry bug repellents, make sure to not apply the same on babies younger than 6 months. As an alternative, choose to take precautions using other methods of protection through the choice of clothing.
Here are a few tips to consider when camping with a baby outdoor:
1. Limited or No Skin Exposed
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you must limit the exposure of the skin, especially if the baby is too small for bug repellants. To help limit the exposure of the skin, try tucking the socks in the pants, wear a long-sleeve shirt, hat, head nets, screened-in shelter, or using citronella candles at your campsite.
2. Seek shade
If reserving a campsite, try and look for a shady place that will allow the little one to enjoy and play outside the tents too. Provided the baby has dressed appropriately or uses an umbrella to block the sun.
Camping with a baby is surely an exciting experience to be a part of. Nevertheless, apart from the preparations as mentioned above, do not forget to have as much fun as possible and make memories with the little one.
If in case you’re doubtful about the camping, do not hesitate to check with your doctors and consider the dos and don’ts to be sure and safe on this exciting adventure!