There are many ways to camp. You can pitch a tent or snuggle up in an RV for the weekend to get away from the big city and get in touch with nature during the day while watching the stars at night. Camping helps families reconnect and just gives you a breather from life that is enjoyable for all. There are many benefits to camping and getting away from normal life but what happens when you have a baby? Do you have to say goodbye to camping forever? Do you have to wait until your baby gets older? No, you don’t. Camping with baby is challenging but once you’ve figured out the basics it is possible and the outdoors and vitamin D is always a good thing for your little one. Below you will find our 10 useful tips on how to camp with baby either in a tent or in a state of the art RV. In the wild or in a 5 star campground.
How old should a baby be to go camping?
A sweet spot to started camping with baby is around 6 months. You are past the fragile newborn age and are just before the crawling stage where your baby can get into dirt and put other small things like rocks in their mouth. At this age your main concern will be to keep your baby warm and out of the sun. This is a great age to determine what sleeping routines look like in a tent or RV and how things work when it comes to daily routines like diaper changes and feedings. Bring along a playpen and a bug net and place it in the shade for an enjoyable camping experience for all. Preschoolers can be more of a handful. They will most likely be covered from head to toe in dirt and you will be constantly worrying about them wandering off in the words or near the water’s edge. By bringing your baby to a campground earlier than this age it can help get them used to it and make things easier when they reach this stressful stage of life.
How to get a restful night’s sleep with baby while camping?
Let’s be honest, getting a restful night’s sleep camping isn’t always easy. The sounds are different, the comfort is not like home and the temperature isn’t always reliable but with extra preparation and the right supplies sleeping while camping can be one of the best sleeps of your life. Waking up to the fresh air, sun and chirping birds is always invigorating. A warm cup of coffee outdoors in the morning is a best friend between your hands. Depending on the size of your tent you can use a sleeping pad for infants next to your bed or a small play pen in the corner. Make sure that your baby is warm and there is nothing in the way of its face and your baby should sleep through the night like it does at home. Try to emulate the sleeping conditions you have in the nursery to make this experience a good one. Favorite toys, plushies, blankets and music help. If you are in a buggy area, we recommend covering the playpen with the same bug net you used during the day to keep the bugs at bay from your baby and avoid waking up to worrisome welts caused by mosquito bites because as we all know, you can try as hard as you want to keep bugs out of the tent but some always get in.
How to control your baby’s temperature while camping?
Camping is different from home. When you are cold, you can turn up the heat and when you are hot you can turn on the air conditioner or put a fan in the room. Camping however can be unpredictable. During the day it can be scorching hot and the temperatures can lower quickly at night in the wild. To stay on top of this challenge the simple solution is to bring more than you need. Bring extra layers and blankets. Be prepared for drops in temperatures and remember, too many layers is a good thing. You can take off what is too much. Forgetting to bring the extra layers can be a problem. This is the same for baby and for you. It’s always best to have more blankets, a warmer set of pyjamas and snuggly socks while camping for the colder nights.
How to keep your baby fed while camping?
You might start to see a pattern by now but if you haven’t camping with baby isn’t much different than from home. Yes, you are outside and yes, your surroundings are different but routines and daily habits are very similar. This is also a fact when it comes to feeding your baby. If you are still breastfeeding it’s a no brainer. Finding a relaxing place to sit is all you need. For other kinds of food, we recommend pre-packaging everything and waiting to get home to do the dishes. A little prep work will be needed but it will save you time after spending the day in the sun. If you need to warm something up, a thermos with hot water will help but we also enjoy taking the time to boil water over a roaring campfire. Just be sure it’s not too hot for baby. Bring along antibacterial wipes to wipe down hands, dishes and utensils at meal times if you do not have access to running water.
How to keep baby busy while camping?
It doesn’t matter if you are going to grandmas, shopping for the day or camping with baby when it comes to entertainment. A baby gets distracted fast and always needs something to do. As you would with going to grandma’s, pack more. Pack more toys and educational games than you need to keep your baby busy. A butterfly landing on the playpen and kids running around in the sun can keep it occupied for a while but you will need more hands on items for the entire day. Don’t forget things like extra pacifiers if your baby enjoys them and their favorite blanket or plushie to keep the tantrums away. A frozen fruit pacifier in a cooler can help sooth a teething baby and be a healthy treat on a warm day. No matter how you try things get dirty during camping, use the antibacterial wipes that were recommended for meal times to wipe down any dirt or grime on the toys that your baby might be putting in their mouth while playing.
Camping doesn’t have to stop because you have a baby you just need to find the right way to go about it. One last tool that you should always have when camping with a baby is a baby monitor. Most baby monitors on the market require a direct power source so you’d imagine this wouldn’t be possible but a baby monitor like the Chillax Daily Baby has a standard USB-C adapter port which allows you to charge the monitor and camera with a power bank, a laptop, or even in your car if you have a USB plug in it. With a baby monitor you can relax by the fire and keep an eye on your little one sleeping in the tent. You can also monitor the temperature and get reminders when it’s time for feedings. There’s nothing better than not having to worry about these little things while camping so you can enjoy every moment of your time off in the sun and fresh air.
In conclusion, camping with a baby will take a few times to learn the ropes and get adjusted but, in the end, it will be a worthwhile experience that will bring many wonderful memories for years to come. Don’t avoid it just because you have a baby, it’s very easy to camp with a baby if you are well prepared.