How To Go Camping With A Baby

camping with baby

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Going camping with a baby can seem daunting at first. They seem so small and fragile. But many parents do it and enjoy the experience. It does take a little more planning and preparation than when it’s just the grownups or older children, but the effort is worth it for a fun family experience.
When it’s your first time camping with baby it can be a little stressful but with some planning ahead and great organization it will help you and the baby cope and enjoy it.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to go camping with a baby successfully:

For your first time of going camping with a baby you probably don’t want to “roughing” it for two weeks. A weekend spent at an organized camp with full facilities makes life much easier, with showers, water, a store etc. If you can get a site near with these facilities it will help you too, as there will less travel time involved.

For some babies it may not be the right time for them to be camping. Check with your pediatrician before taking them to be safe and sure that they are up to the camping experience.

Choosing a campground that is flat will help you get around easier with baby and if your baby has started walking it will be much easier for them to get around without falling over and hurting themselves.

Be a bit relaxed about dirt. Your baby is likely to be a little grubbier camping than they would be at home. They are going to want to explore, so let them and don’t be overly concerned. But stay vigilant too as you don’t want them putting something in their mouth or them wandering off and/or getting into something they shouldn’t do.

You are going to want to add things to your camping checklist to accommodate your baby’s needs. Babies aren’t as good at controlling their body temperature so take more clothes than you think you need to keep them warm when it’s cold. If it is hot be sure to take fan to help to keep them cool. On top of this camping gear is their bedding, lots of diapers (another reason to be close to the camp facilities), wet wipes and feeding requirements.

Don’t forget your camera or camcorder to capture those memorable moments.

A flashlight that fits to your head can work well, so you can use hands while moving your baby around. Also if you are changing their nappy at night in the tent it help to make this job easier.

You want feeding to be as easy as possible. If the baby is breastfeeding this is probably the easiest solution. If you are bottle feeding you might want to consider bottle liners.

You can then just use the camp stove to boil the nipples. It’s easier than trying to sterilize the whole bottle. For solid foods the most convenient form is jars of store bought food – much more convenient than trying to prepare food. Be sure to take plenty with you.

For transporting them around the campground and if you are going on a hike either a child backpack or front pack is a great idea. It helps to keep your hands free if you are doing anything and gives them a great perspective.

Mosquitoes and other biting bugs are harder on young children than they are on adults. Many insect repellents are not suitable for babies. You can check with a pharmacy to find any that are recommended for young children.  Alternatively bring clothes to cover them up to stop the bugs from biting.

As much as possible you want to keep your baby’s sleep routine, for your benefit as well the child’s. Have a safe space for them to sleep while you enjoy the campfire after a hard day of play.

Be sun smart with your baby as you would be when you take them anywhere. Many sunscreens can cause an allergic reaction with a young baby’s skin, so check with the pharmacy for a suitable one. Here again long sleeves and long pants can help prevent sunburn along with a hat etc.

To give you some rest bring along a portable play pen and some toys can help. A ground sheet will help to keep them clean and a mosquito net will keep those nasty bugs away.

The best book we have found on camping with babies is by Jennifer Aist called Babes In The Woods – Hiking, Camping & Boating with Babies and Young ChildrenYou can get a copy here on Amazon

Going camping with babies does take a little more effort but if you want your children to grow up and appreciate the great outdoors it is well worth the extra effort. It can be a great learning experience for the little one as they get to explore a new environment away from the TV.

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