You might believe it’s impossible to go camping with a newborn if you’ve never done it before. Being a new parent, however, does not imply that you must give up your favorite pastimes, such as camping.
If you plan beforehand, camping with a newborn isn’t as tough as it appears. We’ll go over the advantages of camping with your infant, as well as some ideas for making your vacation stress-free.
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Benefits of Tent Camping with Baby
Children of all ages benefit from camping. Did you realize that today’s kids spend less time outside than the government recommends? Camping is one method to encourage your child to spend more time outside.
There are more advantages to camping for your infant than just spending quality time with your family in a tent. Being outside with your baby has a lot of physical benefits.
For example, here are some of the advantages that being outside may provide for your child:
- Better sleep – Are you serious? Yes! The Journal of Sleep Research released a research on the subject in 2004. Babies that were exposed to more sunshine throughout the day slept better at night, according to the study.
- Early language development – Babies will reach their developmental milestones when they’re ready, so go outdoors to assist the talking one along! Nature is full of fresh sights, sounds, and textures for newborns to observe, hear, and touch, and studies have shown that this helps them to articulate their experiences.
- Immune system that is strong Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World was written by B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., a microbiologist.
Isn’t it fantastic? It’s time to get out of the camping if you want all of this for your child.
Tips For Taking Baby Camping
I recommend starting small when taking your infant or toddler on their first camping vacation, regardless of age. Keep your sights set on a nearby place and start with only one or two nights.
Even the most mature individuals can get irritable if they are thrown into the woods without warning.
Nothing would be more frustrating than traveling 8 hours to a campground where you planned to remain for a week (you paid for it! ), only to have your child change into an uncontrollable version of themselves.
Instead, plan a quick weekend break a few hours away and be ready to return home if things get out of hand.
Think About Location
You shouldn’t just go to any campground with a baby in tow. If you’ve been camping before, you might have a favorite site, but it might not be the best for your newborn.
It’s best to pitch your tent away from any bodies of water. It’s nice for a brief swim on a hot day, but you’ll spend the entire journey worried about your infant coming too near.
You may have chosen camping as a pre-baby activity to enjoy calm isolation and get away from it all. Stick to locations with amenities, such as restrooms, until your child is a bit older. You’re going to need flowing water with diapers and bottles.
For your first few outings, you might want to pick a location that is close to your home.
Prepare For the Weather
Keeping everyone safe from the elements is one of the most difficult aspects of camping in general, let alone camping with a toddler or newborn. It’s obvious that being cautious when going outside is a good idea.
Check the weather forecast ahead of time and be prepared to call it a day if a thunderstorm is predicted, especially if you’re tent camping with toddlers or newborns. But, if all that stands between you and a relaxing weekend in the woods is some moderate weather, we’ll take care of it!
Excessive heat and sun are generally more difficult to cope with than their cooler equivalents. When nature’s shade (aka trees) isn’t cutting it, bring sunscreen, hats, and a shade source. Your child is still napping during the day, a small fan, either battery-powered or USB-chargeable, is necessary, as most tents impede airflow.
Dress your toddler or infant in layers if it’s going to be cold or rainy. A reasonable rule of thumb is that your child (particularly those under the age of 2) should be dressed in one layer more than you. Fleece pajamas, warm socks, and beanies are required.
And, to keep baby warm at night, wrap him up tighter. Consider an alternative like this extra warm sleep sack for older babies or toddlers if you’re going camping with your kid in the cold. If you’re camping with a newborn who is still swaddled, bear in mind that the temperatures will decrease at night (though always consult your pediatrician about safe baby sleep practices).
See also: How To Keep Baby Cool In A Car Seat
Keep The Trip Short
We stayed at camp for three days and two nights for the baby’s first trip. It was just what I needed. We could take our time setting up, acclimating to our new duties as adventure parents, and dismantling.
With a baby in tow, things go more slowly (or faster!) and it was vital to enjoying a completely leisurely day without the burden of logistics.
Bring Extra Diapers
We carried roughly double the number of disposable diapers we typically use at home because they weigh nothing and can fit into the tiniest nook of a bag. Another reason a developed campsite is a good place to practice camping with a baby is that you can dump soiled diapers in the trash cans when you leave.
Dress your baby properly
A happy baby is one who feels comfortable. Follow these wardrobe suggestions to ensure that your child has a nice time on your camping trip:
- Dress your infant in layers: Think about what layers you can pack for your kid, just as you would for a day outside, so you’re prepared to adjust to changing weather. You’ll need a base layer to wear near to your skin, a middle layer to keep you warm, and an outer layer to keep you safe from the wind and rain.
- Avoid cotton: If you’re going on a casual vehicle camping trip with a favourable weather prediction, you can wear most of your regular clothes. However, if you expect cold or rainy weather, it’s a good idea to pack garments made of synthetics or wool, which are more insulating and dry faster than cotton. Wool socks, fleece pants, fleece coats, and/or insulated jackets are all good choices for chilly weather. If it’s going to rain, you’ll need a shell jacket to keep the rain off your back. Consider long-sleeve shirts and pants that breathe nicely on hot days so your baby is shielded from the sun but not overheated. Learn more about layering your outfits.
- Don’t overdress: For added warmth, add a sleep sack or fleece bunting to your sleeping bag. However, avoid overdressing your child. It’s easy to pile on the clothes in the hopes of keeping him warm at night. Check the weather forecast for low temperatures and consider how they relate to the temperatures in your home, then modify your baby’s clothing accordingly. With practise, you’ll learn how many layers your infant requires to sleep well at night.
- Diapering your kid while camping doesn’t have to be any different than at home, especially if you have access to a toilet where you can dump waste and dispose of diapers. You don’t have to stop using cloth diapers just because you’re outside. Bring an airtight bag with you to store soiled cloth diapers until you can wash them at home. You may use a sleeping pad or blanket instead of a portable changing mat to put your baby down for diaper changes.
Create A Safe Sleeping Environment
Everyone understands that the neonatal stage entails little sleep. Why not be in the great outdoors if you’re going to have restless nights?
Let’s face it: getting a good night’s sleep with a small infant at home is difficult enough. With all of the newness of a camping vacation, there’s a high possibility you and your child may be up a few more times than normal throughout the night.
Be flexible: Every family works on sleeping with a newborn in their own manner, and it’s up to you to figure out how you’ll tackle it while camping, but keep in mind this: Your regular nightly pattern will be disrupted if you go camping. Try to be flexible and accept that you and your baby may need to abandon whatever sleep training tactics you’ve been doing at home in order to get through the night. For example, you may need to let your child remain up longer than usual until it becomes dark, or breastfeed more frequently in the middle of the night to keep him or her comfortable.
Bring a large tent with you: Bring a large family camping tent if you have one. You’ll love having more room to stretch out and relax.
Keep all aspects of safe sleeping in mind while preparing for your camping vacation. Even in a tent, all of these principles apply.
A friendly reminder: newborns should be placed on their backs on a solid sleeping surface, alone. SIDS is less likely if you follow these safe sleeping practices.
Your infant should not be snuggled up with you in your sleeping bag, as tempting as it may seem. You’ll need to bring a special sleeping surface for your baby.
There are lots of choices out there if you don’t already have one. A travel bassinet or crib can be purchased. You can also bring your pack and play if you don’t want to spend the extra money provided your tent has enough room.
Bring a couple of your favorite dishes from home: Don’t feel obligated to carry everything from home because almost anything in the outdoors is a toy to your young one. However, bringing a few special items, such as a stuffed animal and some books, might help your infant adjust to the new surroundings.
See also: Best Stroller Sunshades
Try The LucTravel Baby Crib
Is your baby dependent on a sleep aide like white noise? My kid has always needed white noise to sleep, and as a preschooler, he still likes to sleep with it. If your child is like this, don’t forget to bring a white noise machine with you. Some include hooks on the back so you can attach them to a bassinet or play yard straight away. If you’re going on a lengthy journey, don’t forget to bring additional batteries!
Think About Feeding The Baby While Camping
You’re OK to go if you’re exclusively nursing. You are your baby’s sole source of sustenance, therefore no coolers or bottles are required.
You’ll need to bring a few more items if you’re pumping or bottle feeding. Of course, you’ll need your pump to pump. You’ll need a chiller if you intend on bagging any of your milk.
It’s the same formula as at home, just in a new setting. To mix the formula, you’ll need a gallon or two of sterile baby water. You’ll also require bottles and a method for cleaning them.
If you want to keep things as simple as possible, you might need to bring a bottle that your baby isn’t familiar with.
Pack a bottle with no extra components if your baby can handle it. The most straightforward method is to use a normal nipple and bottle. Another option is to use a bottle with drop-in liners. After you’ve used them, make sure to properly dispose of them.
You may wash your bottles in the restroom if your campsite has one. Make sure to bring a bottle of soap with you. Sterilization pills, for example, can be used to sanitize your child’s bottle with cold water.
You’ll need to bring extra food for your youngster if they’re old enough to eat solid meals. Thankfully, most baby meals and snacks are packed in such a way that they are simple and straightforward to use! You may always carry pre-made jars of baby food or make your own.
Planning a camp food may appear to be a lot of effort, but it’s not that awful if you focus on keeping things easy for you and your kid. One-pot dishes, such as spaghetti, oatmeal, and chilli, make meal planning, cooking, and cleanup simple for adults and older children. Check out our recipe collection if you want to prepare more complicated dinners.
Consider what your baby eats at home when planning meals for them; you’ll probably be able to keep quite close to that. If they’re nursing, the food is quite straightforward. If your baby drinks from a bottle or eats solids, though, you can still go outside with a few extra precautions:
- If you’re bottle-feeding, make sure you have a system in place to keep everything clean. To sterilise your bottles, boil water at your campsite. If you’re making formula, make sure you have clean, drinkable water on hand.
- Bring handy foods: If your kid is eating solid foods, squeeze packets with pureed fruits and veggies are a good alternative because they don’t need to be refrigerated until they’re opened. If you have an older child, you can squeeze tiny quantities onto a spoon and give it to them, but if you have a small child, you can squeeze small amounts onto a spoon and feed it to them. Try soft fruits, scrambled eggs, avocado, and beans if your infant is old enough to eat finger foods. It’s conceivable that your youngster will consume part of your food. Of course, stick to your pediatrician’s recommendations for what your child should consume.
Don’t Forget about Playtime While Camping
Keeping a newborn happy and engaged may be a difficult chore at times. Knowing this, you might be tempted to stuff all of your baby’s bright and vivid toys into your tent.
You can certainly load a toy box’s worth of playthings. However, I would like to point out that it is not entirely essential. Your kid is a brand-new human being, and you can’t underestimate how interesting the world is to them.
A waterproof mat, or even a basic blanket or towel, should be a must-have for any camping vacation. Allow your infant to just observe as you spread out the mat or blanket on a rock-free area of the ground.
Your infant can see the clouds moving across the sky or birds fluttering through the treetops while lying on their back.
Tummy time is essential for establishing neck strength in newborns, so don’t forget to flip them over. Grass, rocks, and sticks make excellent sensory items. Just keep a watch on things to make sure they don’t end up in the baby’s mouth!
If you intend on jumping into a body of water, bring some swim diapers and a flotation device. If you don’t want to take your kid to the pool, bring the pool to them! There are beach pop-up tents that keep your baby shielded from the heat while allowing them to splash in an inch or two of water.
Try Play Tent Canopy
Nature can provide all of your child’s amusement! Having said that, I do enjoy a lovely baby toy. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to buy some camping-related gadgets.
I’d be negligent if I didn’t show you this lovely GUND My First Campout playset, for example. A marshmallow rattle, a crinkle marshmallow bag, a campfire sound device, and a noisy canteen are among the items included. Most importantly, it’s adorably cute.
Try Gund Baby My First Campout Playset
A lamp is also required for every camping excursion. You should bring one for the grownups, but Fisher-Price also provides a lantern for your child. This toy lantern lights up in different colors and plays music about colors and opposites.
How to Protect Your Baby from Bugs and Sun While Camping
Bug repellant and sunscreen should not be used on newborns under the age of six months, according to standard advice. If you’re taking a little child camping, you’ll want to think about alternative kinds of protection, such as clothes. Here are some pointers (as always, see your doctor if you have any specific concerns):
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against using insect repellent on newborns under the age of two months, while the Environmental Working Group recommends waiting until they are six months old. If you don’t want to use repellents, attempt to keep your skin exposed to a minimum. A pair of tucked-in socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and a cap are all good options. Wearing head nets, constructing a screened-in shelter, or lighting citronella candles at your campground are all options for repelling insects.
- Check with your doctor before applying sunscreen to newborns younger than 6 months old, according to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The first line of protection against the sun is to keep your child as far away from it as possible. Look for a shaded campground or a shady spot to play in the shade. You may also protect children from the sun by dressing them in sun-protective clothes and/or using an umbrella. If you must use sunscreen, consult your physician to determine the proper age, and then test the sunscreen on a tiny patch of skin to ensure it does not create a response.
What should a baby sleep in when camping?
Your baby should be dressed properly for the weather and sleep on a firm flat surface in their own sleep space without any blankets or toys.
How early can you go camping with a baby?
You can safely start camping with a baby by 6 months of age.
Is it safe to take a baby camping?
It can be safe to take a baby camping as long as you create a safe sleep space and keep an eye on your baby at all times. Remember that wildlife can think of the baby as a snack so you must be there to protect your child from predators.
How do you camp with a newborn?
If you want to camp with a newborn, be sure to stay close to home and keep the camping trip short. Pack lots of clothes and diapers and be sure to bring proper sleeping items for a safe sleep environment.
How cold is too cold to camp with a baby?
You should not take the baby camping if it is below 50 degrees outside. If you do go camping in colder weather, be sure to co-sleep safely to keep each other warm.
Can a baby sleep in a tent?
If you can fit a small portable crib into your tent then a baby can safely sleep in a tent.
Can a newborn be around a campfire?
Smoke can be dangerous for the baby’s lungs so the baby should not be too close to the fire.
Camping With A Baby Bottom Line
You don’t have to wait till your child is walking and talking to go camping. You may begin creating traditions and memories with your newborn straight away in the great outdoors.
Planning ahead of time is essential for a successful camping trip with a newborn. You and your kid can hit the road and set up camp anytime you choose if you pack all of your essentials and plan ahead of time.