Camping with the family makes great memories! Afternoon hikes, playing campfire games, cooking yummy meals together … all of the things you get to do with your family is what makes the trip so special! What about going on a camping trip with your baby though? Testing the waters of adventure and camping with a baby take a little more thought and planning than camping with older kids. Here are some ways to help make the planning process a little bit easier so you can go camping with your little one and make great memories!
Before you head out on a camping trip with your little one, practice first! Do a little camping trip in the backyard and see how your baby does. This gives the baby a chance to experience camping while close to home. Practicing first could determine whether or not you need to continue planning your camping trip or not.
What To Bring
As a mom or dad planning a trip with your baby, you’ll probably want to take everything with you! Don’t. Taking things that don’t need to go on the trip will take up valuable space in your RV, especially if you end up not using it on the trip!
Here’s a quick camping-with-baby checklist!
- Sippy cups (if child is old enough for water)
- Baby formula
- Snacks (if child is eating solid foods)
- Clothes (keep them warm!)
- Extra clothes for layering and to swap out when clothes get dirty
- Cotton shirts that snap at crotch
- Pajamas (footie pj’s so crawling bugs don’t get your baby!)
- Lots of diapers! More=Better
- Diaper wipes
- Diaper covers
- Diaper bag
- Bags for disposal of diapers
- Portable bath tub
- Baby Carrier/Stroller-backpack for hikes, or sling or soft carrier for around camp
- Their favorite toy or blanket
- Rattles or chews
- Waterproof blanket for a play area
- First Aid Kit
Make sure you don’t bring too much baby gear. As you're packing your baby gear, ask yourself if you’ll use it at the campsite.
When the sun goes down and it’s time to sleep, there are a couple things you can do for ensuring your baby gets a good night’s rest! If you brought a playpen, and your tent or RV is big enough, go ahead and let your baby sleep in that. If not, lay down a mat and warm blanket for the little one to sleep on top of and put it next to your sleeping bag so your baby is close. Or if you are comfortable with co-sleeping, put the baby between the two of you. If not, bring a sleeping bag just for your baby. You don’t want to risk suffocation! Dress your baby nice and cozy for the night. If it’s chilly and you know temperatures will drop, dress your baby up in a fleece zip-up. Make sure they have a hat and warm wool socks on their little toes! What you want to be cautious about is making sure you don’t dress your baby too heavily and have them overheating during the night. If you sleep restlessly, make sure you take turns during the day watching the baby so you can each have time to take a nap and relax. Also make sure you put the baby down for an afternoon nap so they don’t get cranky.
When you arrive at your campsite, the first thing you should do is walk the site. Clear up any sticks or rocks that could be dangerous to your baby. AKA: baby proof your campsite.
Camping with a baby can be exhausting and yet at the same time it can be an entirely new and joyous occasion! Babies have short attention spans, so make sure you bring their favorite toys or storybooks to keep them entertained. If you want to take an adventure and go exploring with your baby, suit them up for a fun hike! Make sure they are properly dressed for a hike and have baby-friendly bug spray on them so they don’t get bit! Going on a hike with your baby can be a great experience! For all you know, taking a hike could put the baby to sleep for their afternoon nap, as they are strapped in your baby hiking backpack. Going on a hike could also grab their attention as you’re walking along a trail and they see everything around them. If not an afternoon hike, stick around the campsite and make a little play area for your baby to have a fun afternoon in nature. Warm enough outside? Hit up the lake and splash around for the day and build sand castles. The options are endless!
Watching your baby experience camping for the first time can be stressful, but make the best out of it and cherish every moment! Before you know it they’ll be grown up and you'll be camping with teenagers ... and you’ll be wishing they were small again.