6 answers

Camping with Infant

We are going to attempt camping with our soon to be 5 month old. We are not new to camping but the baby is. Do those of you that have done this have any advise? We plan to only go for 1-2 nights of the drive-up variety.

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So What Happened?™

We went camping for one night. We had her sleep on the tent floor on a mat because our current tent is to small for the pack and play and because we didn't want to carry it. She did fairly well. She was a little freaked out about being in the tent and I think she was afraid of the dark. She woke up in the night and I had to keep the flashlight on until she fell asleep. We tried the drier sheets to repel bugs. I don't think this worked that well. She has over 2 dozen bites. We are going to try camping again in a couple weeks. Hopefully she will get used to it.

More Answers

You've gotten a lot of great ideas. We've camped with our kids (in a tent) since our eldest was 6 months old. I definitely agree that you try to fit the pack n play in your tent. It will be much easier to keep baby safe and happy. I would also recommend bringing an insect net, the kind that go over pack n plays and strollers. We got ours at Babies R Us. Babies under 6 months are not supposed to use bug spray. We also found it very handy to have one of those busboy tubs that you can find at Sam's and Costco. We used it to give her baths or just let her splash in some cool water. She loved it. While I am a huge supporter of breastfeeding and none of my three kids ever had anything but, I would recommend that you bring a little formula. You never know what you could run into (like a bad water supply, illness or injury) and you can never be too prepared. Extra clothes area good idea too, but you could do some wash in the tub in a pinch. I imagine you'll also bring a sling or Bjorn or something, remember that babies get hot in these. It can help to freeze a couple of wet washcloths in baggies prior to the trip and toss them in the cooler. If the days are warm, you can drape one of these cool cloths over her head to keep her cool. Have fun on your trip!

Bring the pack-n-play. Make it the first thing up at the camp sight and the last thing to put in when heading home. You can put your child in it while setting up and taking down! Camping is a great thing for little ones.
Bring some drier sheets it much safer than bug spray, Rub it on his legs and arms then tuck it to a ball cap that he'll wear. Best tip you'll ever get!

Will you be in a camper or a tent? We camped a lot with our daughter when she was small. we brought the pack n' play and that helped a lot...but things are new and different, so expect the bedtime routine to be a bit disrupted. Bring lots of wipes, sunscreen and bugspray!

Also - bring a blanket that you can throw on the ground for the baby to play on. Sun hats are a must they will keep your baby happy - also for nap time, plan to move the pack n play outside as the tent gets hot. Bring extra blankets to put over the top to block out the sun if there isn't a nice shady spot.

Start telling baby that the fire is hot right away - I realize he/she is young yet but the sooner they learn it, the better! We started telling our daughter right away and at 2 1/2 we never have trouble with her going near the campfire.

We also made sure to bring familiar toys, lots of wipes, and extra clothes. You'll never believe how dirty those little ones can get while camping!

My daughter is an early riser and I do my best to get her dressed and away from the campsite as soon as she wakes up - so as not to bother other campers. bring an unbrella stroller so you can easily go for a walk and so you have somewhere to put the baby while you need to do other things like cook or do dishes.

I always pack a thermometer and tylenol too - I had my daughter come down with Roseolla while camping last summer. I was able to call my clinic's nurse line and get their advice on whether or not we should come home and I had the things I needed to make her comfortable while we were roughing it. Since we weren't far from home, they told us to stay out there because the fresh air was good for her and to just keep her comfy...it was easy to do because I had the tylenol she needed and I had a thermometer to continually monitor her.

Yes, bring your own water. For the baby, not the cat. Since you are breast feeding it shouldn't be an issue, but I took for granted once that camp water was as good as water at home. Three antibiotics and about 60 diapers later, I realized that standards are not the same from place to place. He got a whopper of a parasite from a camp ground in Utah.

Just be sure to have enough equipment to keep her comfortable. If you are experienced, she will feel safe. I did bring a long a familiar portable crib so that my son could sleep in "his own environment." It made the tent a little crowded, but it was worth it.

LD,

We did this with our young baby, too. Bring a playpen with toys and set it around the campfire area so you have some place to put the baby down that isn't in the dirt when you need your hands free.

To be honest, night time was really hard. It got very cold (40's). I ended up having him sleep in the car. I woke up every two hours and ran the heater for 30-45 minutes to warm the car back up. Then locked the doors and went back to my tent. It made for a miserable night. Our friends took their baby to bed with them, but it made me nervous with the sleeping bags and blankets. I was afraid we would smother our baby.

After that experience, we bought a camp trailer for camping. And I am one of those people who used to mock camp trailers because it isn't "real" camping! But it was just too hard with a little baby. With the camper, we took our next baby out when he was 2 weeks old. He slept in a padded laundry basket on the table and it was a really pleasant trip.

Good luck,
S.

The only thing I would add is that we found a seat that clamps onto a table. This works great as a high chair and also as a place to put the baby, and she can be a little higher and see more of what's going on. We have taken all three of our kids camping when they were little, and our third is the only one who has napped in the tent. Be prepared for driving or walking or whatever it takes to get some naps in. Biking works great if you like to do that. Thankfully they have all slept well at night, but it is tough to keep them quiet when they wake up early.

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