For some people, the mere sound of the word ‘camping’ fills them with fear. Thoughts of no electricity, digging holes in the ground for a makeshift toilet, and surviving on tinned rations of baked beans is enough to keep them in the comfort of their home for the weekend. Others, though, have a completely different view on the world of camping and think there’s nothing better than getting out in the great outdoors and living life off the grid and in nature for a while.
If your family loves to camp, you might be wondering when it’s smart to head out again now that you have little ones in tow. So, is it downright crazy to take babies and toddlers camping or is there a smart way to do it? We’ve compiled some tips from parents who have been there before you so that you can have just as much fun camping as you did B.C (before children).
Choose A Camping Ground With Amenities
Even if you usually prefer to rough it a little and venture far away from any trace of civilisation, when you’re camping with babies and toddlers, it’s better to have some help on hand. Look for camping grounds with showers, laundry facilities, and possibly even a kitchen or BBQ setup that can make it a little easier to stick to your routine.
Less Is More
Before you go crazy packing up their favourite toys, books, and baby accessories, have a good think about each thing you’re trying to bring along. There’ll be plenty to do to keep them entertained and a lot of outdoor adventures and items for them to play with. Don’t overload the car with things that probably could have been left at home or you’ll feel instantly overwhelmed.
Set Up A Sleeping Spot
Babies and toddlers should get first dibs on the best sleeping space in the tent, so this should be your priority while setting up. One good idea is to bring along a small co-sleeper or foam mattress that can be safely positioned on the ground and away from other sleepers. Because it’s not smart to set up a full sized cot in the tent, you’ll need to be a little more practical about where they’ll take their naps and sleeps.
Bring Extra Supplies of the Essentials
Even if you think you have enough nappies and wipes, keep packing more. You’ll probably be hours away from any form of civilisation, so the last thing you want is a nappy-less baby out on a camping trip with a sudden case of poonami explosions. Also, bring enough bags to store the waste as some camping grounds might not have the right amenities to dispose of dirty nappies correctly.
Beat the Bugs
Bugs are undoubtedly one of the worst parts of camping, especially for little ones, so you need to be prepared to keep the bugs at bay when you take babies and toddlers along with you. Do everything you can to deter the six-or eight-legged visitors, including mosquito nets, citronella burners, and sensitive repellent that is suitable for the delicate skin of babies. Bring along some antiseptic cream to treat any bites that occur, so that your baby isn’t uncomfortable on the trip.
Bath in A Box
A simple way to get your bub clean while you camp is to use a large plastic container and fill it up each night when it’s time to take a bath. These can be purchased cheaply, and they’re a fun way for baby to take a bath. Best of all, they can second as a dishwashing bay if you don’t have any kitchen facilities where you’re staying. To save even more space, you can use the container to pack your food supplies in so you won’t even notice the extra luggage.
Dress Them Warmly
We know how cold babies can get, even if we’re not feeling it ourselves, so if you’re camping somewhere the temperature is known to drop, be sure you’re prepared for the chill. Pack along some extra blankets and a thicker than usual sleeping bag so you can be prepared for any temperature that hits.
Make Some Memories
Every camping trip is a memorable one, and it will be especially important to make great memories if this is your baby’s very first one. Use this time to relax, unwind, and have a break from the stress of the real world, and you’ll come back feeling more refreshed than ever.
If you’re looking for ways to make family holidays a little less stressful, check out the rest of the Peachymama blog. We’ve drawn on the ideas of the many mums who have visited before you, to bring you tips to make life with kids that much easier.