Camping in the great outdoors is a refreshing experience. But throw a baby into the mix, and it can get a little intimidating! Bringing a baby on a camping trip will require patience and adaptability – but it’s doable!
Camping with a baby is all about trial and error – seeing what works for you and what doesn’t. Here are some handy tips on preparing for camping with your baby and some more pointers on how to sleep outdoors with them!
5 Tips to Prepare
1. Check and choose the right location
Before you take your baby camping, make sure you study the different locations available. If it’s your first time camping with your baby, maybe the best decision will be sticking closer to home – just so that you won’t be stuck in traffic getting there or can easily return to your house if necessary, opt for a campsite that will be less crowded, so it doesn’t disrupt your baby’s natural order.
Choose a campsite that has basic amenities like a bathroom and water station nearby. Also, a grassy surface is better than gravel or sand for babies who are starting to crawl.
2. Dress in layers
Make sure to dress your baby in layers so they can easily adapt to any weather changes. Fitting little ones in a onesie and light sweater or jacket is always better than underdressing them. Weather is unpredictable, so it’s always good to prepare.
3. Pack smart
Sometimes you focus so much on packing that you completely forget about the essentials and only realize it when you’re halfway to the campsite. To avoid mistakes like this, create a list ahead of time of what you and your baby need.
Pack extra diapers and clothes for your baby. Don’t forget to bring lots of wipes as they are useful for everyone in your group – not just your baby! And have fun with the whole process of organizing and planning instead of stressing!
4. Buy the necessities
Before you head out on your outdoor adventure with your baby, make sure you buy or bring bug spray and sunscreen (one made for baby skin). If you don’t have an insect repellent for infants younger than 12 months, grab one from your local pharmacy.
UV sun protection is a necessity for your baby’s body, especially if you are camping during the scorching summer months. Almost all major sun care brands sell sunblock for babies and kids. Use the products sparingly on your baby as both bug spray and sunscreen are not recommended on babies younger than six months.
If you choose not to buy insect repellent or sunblock, try packing long sleeve shirts and pants to cover their skin. Use an umbrella to block the sun and a bug net around your tent and baby’s space.
5. Consider simple baby meals
The easiest solution for baby meals is breastfeeding. But if your baby drinks from a bottle, make sure you have access to clean water to mix your formula.
You can find squeeze packs of pureed food that are portable and convenient. Keep your baby’s food simple and easy to pack so you don’t have to worry about it too much.
5 Tips for Sleeping Outdoors with a Baby
1. Bring a big, spacious tent
Investing in a large tent will give you wiggle room and the ability to put your baby’s pack n’ play or travel cot – if you have one. Sleeping in a big tent gives you extra space and allows everyone, including your baby, to be comfortable.
It won’t be the same as a good night’s sleep at home, but a spacious tent is a great investment to make if camping is a regular family tradition.
2. Invest in a portable crib or playpen
If your baby is used to sleeping in a crib or pack n’ pl, buying a portable crib for camping can help ease your baby and get them used to the great outdoors.
Having a large enough tent to house the portable crib is a must. The familiarity of the crib will help your baby settle down and stick to their sleeping routine. Even if you don’t want to use the portable crib for sleep, you can use it as a playpen to hold your baby in while you cook and tend to other things.
3. Bring a few of their favorite items
To make your baby as comfortable as possible, try bringing one or two of their favorite items (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) to the campground to help settle them down. Being in a new environment can be overwhelming for your baby, and having something familiar to hold on to will give them comfort.
4. Adapt to any changes in sleep schedule
Sleeping in a new environment with a baby you are responsible for will most likely stress out even the most prepared people. The quicker you learn to be flexible, the smoother your camping experience will be. Your sleep schedules are likely to be disrupted, but this makes for great memories!
5. Safety first
If your baby is not going to sleep in a portable crib, make sure you are not putting them in a regular sleeping bag or a bag with you overnight – unattended. Babies can be fussy and move about in their sleep. The last thing you want is for them to be trapped under your blankets while you’re asleep next to them.
A safe choice is to place your baby on a pillow or pad made especially for infants that you can place beside your sleeping bag. Make sure to baby-proof their surrounding areas before dozing off!
Camping with a baby doesn’t have to be as worrying as it sounds. Whether you are first-time campers or veteran campers and want to introduce the outdoors to your infant, it’s all about preparation and flexibility.
The tips provided here are some recommendations to have a satisfying trip. At the end of the day, what you choose to do is up to you, and it’s all a learning experience. Camping with your baby will be an incredible experience that will give you memories for a lifetime! So pack your backpacks, buy the necessities and take your little one with you to the great outdoors!