A recent study showed that couples with children are more likely to continue camping in 2021, and 64 percent of such parents are planning to take more camping trips. Whether you have teenagers or just welcomed a baby home, taking a camping trip with your toddler can be an excellent way to create remarkable memories.
On the flip side, most new parents are skeptical about taking their newborn into the wild, fearing the safety and lack of convenience. We are here to tell you that camping with a tiny tot could be easier than you think. Camping is almost effortless when the child is little and can be carried easily.
How to Go Camping with a Toddler
Here are some of the top tips to help you go on a memorable and relaxing camping trip with your newest member of your family. Rest assured you’ll come back with lots of memories and pictures for them to look back upon.
1. Plan Your Trip Down to the Last Detail
When planning a camping trip with a toddler, the first order of the business is to ensure that your baby is not in the teething phase, is healthy, and isn’t experiencing a growth spurt. These are hard enough to deal with and will turn your camping trip into a nightmare.
Next up, put together a baby survival kit like a first aid kit with all the necessary medications that your kid may need. Moreover, infants rely entirely upon clothing for protection against elements since products like sunscreen and bug sprays are harmful to them.
Pack full-sleeved shirts, hats with sun flap, and long pants with socks. Carry netted daybed or crib to protect from bugs and organic bug repellant like candles in the tent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using DEET-based insect repellents on infants above two months of age with precautions. Apply only on skin or clothing and in extreme situations.
The next most important order of the business is diaper management. Analyze and record how many diapers your baby goes through in a day. This will give you an idea of how many to carry to the camping trip.
To make doubly sure that you don’t run out, bring more than what the baby goes through in a day. Carry a fold-up changing pad to have a clean surface to change when you’re out and about.
2. Gear Up with All Essential Tools
Speaking of the tent, consider investing in an extra-large tent for the camping trip. This will give you ample space for everyone to be comfortable. A larger tent will also help you set up a portable crib for the baby, which will keep them high above the ground for safety.
If you have just bought a new portable baby crib or day bed for your baby to use during the camping trip, do some practice runs. You can do this by making your baby sleep in it during the days leading up to the trip. This will ensure that your baby gets used to the crib and will be comfortable during the trip.
Other essentials include a headlamp for night-time diaper changes, baby carrier, outdoor playpen, propane stove for heating bottles, outdoor stroller, and more.
3. Be Mindful of the Temperature
Weather is one of the most hard-pressing concerns for new parents camping with a toddler. The temperature at the campsite can go from cold to hot and vice versa in a blink.
It goes without saying, this is quite uncomfortable and harmful for your tiny human. Check the best weather for camping in the area where you are heading to get an idea of what you’ll be up against.
In case the weather is shown as likely to be cold, get your layers right. Pack thermal bodysuits, middle layers, and outer layers for 360-degree protection.
For extra warmth at night, pack bunting bags, fleece suits, woolen hats, and mittens. For warm weather, opt for bright-colored clothes, a portable fan, and a tarp to keep the tent cool.
4. Pick a Suitable Campsite
Picking a suitable campsite is also quite crucial to have a pleasant camping trip with your toddler. Choose a place that’s closer to your home or at least close to a town.
This way, if you have to cut your trip short for some reason or emergency, you can head back home or to the nearest town to avail necessary amenities.
As for the campsite, look for the ones with clean and well-maintained bathrooms, running water, and a garbage disposal system in place.
Once you have found one such camp, pick a spot far enough from other campers to put up your tent so that they aren’t disturbed in case your baby gets fussy at night.
5. Be Flexible with Your Trip
As mentioned before, be prepared to cut your trip short in case of any baby emergency. In essence, you will need to be flexible with your camping trip.
This means you’ll have to let go of remote campsites deep into the wilderness in favor of ones closer to civilization and well-fitted with amenities.
Additionally, you’ll have to cut short your hikes and stick to shady areas, stay connected at all times, and be mindful of the baby with every step. Be prepared to turn back and head to the camp if your toddler shows even the slightest hint of discomfort.
Follow the steps mentioned in this article to make camping with a baby less of a task and more of an experience. Sure, there are many considerations and compromises when camping with a baby, but it will be one of the best bonding experiences for you as a family.
Your baby will have something memorable to look back upon when they are all grown up, and thank you for it.