Planning an outdoor adventure with your little ones for the first time could be really difficult. The prospect of camping in the wild with younglings can be overwhelming. A thousand questions would run in your head. What do you pack for the trip? How much do you need for everything? What if you miss out on something? Will the blankets and clothes be enough?
It’s okay. Take a deep breath. With a bit of planning and the best hacks, you can hike your kids on a fun outdoor adventure into the wild. Remember, it’s time to create new memories and give a blissful experience to your little ones and not stress. So here are a few baby camping hacks that will come in handy.
Can you really go camping with babies?
If you are a new parent, it is okay to be worried and scared. With a newborn and little ones in the house, sleepless nights, and a truckload of responsibilities, going on a camping trip might sound overwhelming. But remember, having a baby does not mean you have to give up your fun and outdoor lifestyle. An outdoor camping trip can help you and your baby boost up and rejuvenate.
However, your first trip to the wild might be stressful. You will constantly worry about forgetting something. You will pack too many diapers, toys, milk bottles, and baby products. Let’s not forget the blankets, the extra socks, and fleece clothing. After all, the baby is the priority. Be it camping or going out, and babies can be a handful.
For this very reason, here are a few hacks to keep your baby warm and safe on the camping trip. And you can finally make new memories without any stress in the wild. Let your baby’s first camping trip be the best one.
Baby camping hacks
Organizing and simple are the two keywords when it comes to baby camping hacks. Make sure you plan everything with simple products. With those two words, let’s look into the hacks you need to know.
Camping is different for everyone. There are wild places or just calm camping sites. When it comes to babies, unsullied wilderness is the best choice. Pick a friendly camping site with a lake on the side or a wooden cabin. Look for low altitude camping spots as the difference in the altitudes can affect children. Sites on the edge of the mountain can be exciting, but it’s scary with newborns. They can crawl away when you are not looking. Low altitude camping spots should be your priority with a toddler.
- Time it right
Camping with infants is more advantageous than toddlers who can crawl and walk. They cannot walk or crawl away through the edges. They are mostly breastfeeding, which cancels the food to be carried. All you would need with an infant would be an infant carrier and nothing much. But with toddlers, you have to be more organized.
You need to pick the right time to hike with them. Rainy days are out of the question. Pick early winters or beautiful springs. They can be more fun and hassle-free. Rainy camping is fun as long as your kids have company. So if you are up for hiking with kids of 2-5 years, make sure to go in a group. This way, one of the parents can keep a lookout for them while the rest can gear up for the camping. Time the season right and make sure you get the best camping site and bring all the right baby camping gear.
- Pack supplies in versatile containers
Firstly, you need to be very creative with your containers. Pick containers that can be used for different purposes at the same time. When you pack, it helps you analyze your supplies and what containers would be the best.
For example, you can use a milk crate for packing toys, books, and it can be used as a toddler’s chair at the destination. You can similarly use other containers. You can add multipurpose containers to your list. Check for large plastic containers. They help you keep everything dry on the trip but can also be used as a kid’s bathtub when you want.
- Bring simple and interactive things
Camping would be fun when you and your kids are occupied together. Bring books to read by the campfire. Plastic toys are better than soft toys. They can be washed easily and thrown in the mud again. Bring small cooking cutlery for the kids to do the job. They will be excited to take part in the adult job.
If you are hosting a couple of kids, then grab on to some bubble water. Babies and kids love bubbles. Glow sticks and radium bracelets will keep them entertained as well as help you keep a tab on them in the dark. Teach them to build castles. And let your kids get dirty in the mud. Camping is incomplete if you can’t get yourself dirty.
Get treats for the trip, so you can reward the kids for every milestone they reach. Jelly beans are the best choice to keep them entertained for a longer time. Once the camp is laid out, you can go on a treasure hunt.
- Choose the same city
Consider camping in the same city. Look for the outskirts of your own city if you are having a baby on the trip. Long car rides can be challenging for babies for the first time. Also, if anything happens, it’s easier to rush back to your hospital or your family doctor. If the weather gets bad or things are not working out, you can always head back home without any hesitation.
- Use compostable diapers
Diapers can be a major issue during camping. The regular diapers are usually bulkier, messier and create a lot of waste at the campsite. For this reason, consider biodegradable diapers or liners. Liners are cloth diapers that are easier to dispose of while camping. They are thinner and can easily be stuffed into bags.
- Safe sleeping pad
The biggest worry for any parent of the newborn is the sleeping arrangement. You must carry a safe sleeping pad for your baby. It should be both comfortable and safe.
Inflatable mattresses can be dangerous for babies. It is better to pick a foam pad for your baby to sleep on. You can also carry a foldable crib. It can be placed anywhere. You can work as your baby relaxes in the baby camping crib. If you don’t have a foam mattress, cut an adult foam mattress in half.
- Grab some company
When you have babies, always go with a company. You cannot make a solo trip with your baby. You would need a second hand to watch your baby as you set up the camping site. Make sure the baby is always in someone’s watch. That way, you can also enjoy the trip while your little one gets to meet new people.
- Bring your paddle
Babies love water. If you are trekking or hiking to a lake-side campsite, try to bring your own baby paddle. In most places, you will find life jackets and paddles for kids above six years. Try grabbing on life jackets designed for infants weighing 3 to 9 kgs. Babies heading out into the water need extra care. Make sure to get a baby rope to connect your baby and you at all times in the water. Kids love water, so make it their best experience.
- Dress the baby in layers
Babies cannot adapt to changing climates as adults do. It is a must to dress babies in layers before the trip. As they are set to the environment, you can either remove the layers or keep them on according to their preference. While sleeping, fleece is the best option to keep them comfortable in a new place. If you can get a baby sleep sack, do get it.
- Protect your baby from bugs and sun
Firstly babies cannot express their pain or tell what’s going wrong. They need to be constantly protected till they can talk and explain. Pack bug repellents and sunscreens when you camp with your little ones. Sunscreens are not recommended for babies under six months, so make sure to wrap the infants with full clothes. For the above six months, organic and natural sunscreen is the best choice. Bug repellents need to be tested on a small patch of skin before applying it to the baby.
- Keep the meals simple
Camping is all about living in the wild. So, let your baby experience flora and fauna. Make sure to keep the meals simple. If it’s an infant, breastfeeding is convenient. For solid-eating kids, try smashing fresh fruits and vegetables. Let them try berries and cherries. Cook some S’mores. Let them nibble on it. If your babies are sensitive, cook some at home, so they get used to it beforehand.
- Bring a large tent suitable for camping with a baby
When you have little ones on the trip, opt for large tents. Large tents can give enough space for them to roam around, adjust to the space better, and it can also accommodate a camping baby crib. Larger tents are the best choice with kids around. They will not be suffocated or confined.
You might think it would be silly to bring camping baby monitors on a camping trip, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Any time you put the baby down for a nap or need to step away for a second, you can keep your baby monitor on. There are some baby monitors that are always connected without the need for Wi-Fi, making them a great option for camping with your baby in the outdoors where there is no internet or phone signal.
Where to go camping with babies?
Many of the campsites preferred by adults are not ideal for babies. With babies around, you have to pick a large open campsite instead of heavy wilderness. Go for state parks, national parks, and private campgrounds. They have facilities that can come in handy with unpredictable babies.
- Limit your driving time
If your babies are sensitive, long drives, spiraling up a mountain, and hiking too much into the wild can make them nauseous. For the first baby camping trip, choose a campsite that’s close by. It should be easier to reach and on low ground. Let your baby get used to nature before you hitch them for an exciting hike. Reduce your driving time and let them embrace the environment before you settle them down.
- Choose a campsite with amenities
A campsite with a bathroom and children’s park nearby might not be an ideal trip to nature. But it would be perfect for a baby’s first camping trip. As a parent, this trip will help you prepare for the next one. You would understand what you will need and what your baby prefers on a camp.
- Try to keep your distance
If you are going to popular camping sites, book for a spot that is remote and far from other camping sites. The space can make the whole experience less stressful. The noise can keep your baby awake, and you would have a hard time handling them. Try booking a campsite with ample sunlight and far from other tents.
How to put babies to sleep while camping?
- Be flexible
You have to understand camping outside can disrupt the usual bedtime. Kids are curious and excited to see the new place. They will take time to get used to the tent and the ambiance. Do not employ sleeping techniques used at home. Let them explore, stay up and adapt to the new place. Eventually, they will become tired and sleep off. Comfort them on their first night as much as possible and choose an extra comfortable camping bed for your baby.
- Use a portable crib
If your little one is used to sleeping in a crib, try getting camping cribs. They are portable and foldable. The familiarity of a crib will put them to sleep faster. Even if they do not sleep in the crib, it can come in handy when you are working. Let babies relax in their cribs as you cook.
One Last Thing…
Camping with little ones can be overwhelming. For new parents, it can sound like a big feat. But it is pretty easy. All you need to do is to keep it simple and organized. Use portable cribs and playards to have a slight touch of familiarity. Interactive toys can be the key to keep them engaged. Babies or small kids love company.
It is best to hike with families with the same age group of kids. They can keep themselves occupied. And if it’s a bunch of babies, they can all be put into a crib together as you cook and set up the camping site. Well, with the above hacks, I hope you make your baby’s first camping hike the best one! Remember, camping is to let go of stress and make new memories. Follow the hacks to make it an exciting trip to nature!