Camping with an Infant

Updated on May 30, 2009
K.K. asks from Castle Rock, CO
13 answers

Hi Moms,

We are planning on camping this summer with our 11 month old. I was wondering if any of you could give me advice on what to bring? And if you have any suggestions on Camping Gear for babies, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, any other advice you can give for us as we attempt to camp with an infant. He is not walking or even crawling yet but he does roll everywhere!

Thank you!

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answers from Boise on

I would suggest a "PeaPod" from OneStepAhead. The playpen is great for playing, but I would want a clean place for napping and night time. it is a great little enclosed "tent" with a blowup mattress. My son loves his (13 months) and we have always traveled with it, even in hotels.

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answers from Casper on

We were camping last year with our then 11 month old and I found myself wishing that I had brought a play pen. I wasn't wanting it for sleeping, as we had a motor home to sleep in and there wasn't room for it. What I wanted it for was when we were tired of holding her, or she was tired of being held (as they sometimes get) then I would have had a place for her to be without getting extremely dirty or having to worry about where she was going to go. It would even give them a place to play where their toys wouldn't be in the dirt. I did have a walker that we packed, but on the un-even ground it just made her more frustrated than anything because she couldn't make it go somewhere. Good luck camping.
J. SAHM of 6



answers from Pueblo on

Hi K.,
My husband and I went camping as a family for the first time last summer and even though we went alot as children we didn't anticipate our needs with our own children. So here are my suggestions. Make sure you have plenty of food for your child and try to get things that have a shelf life, last think you need is for the milk to go sour. Make sure you have plently of eating utensils as well. Have a safe place for your baby to sleep, a pack n play or a playpen are good ideas but can take up alot of space. You can try an airmattress and blankets if you think he won't roll off them. take lots and lots of baby wipes because he will get dirty and clean water isn't always accessable. Take a few gallons of water! Take toys and such to keep him busy so he won't get bored. If you plan on fishing or swimming get a life jacket that fits him, just in case. Take a first aid kit with bug bite medicine, tweezers and baking soda (mix it with water to make a paste to ease stings from bees and ants). You might want a battery operated night light and rechargable batteries, although camping during afull moon isn't a bad idea either. take sunscreen and bug spray. When we camped we did tent camping so we bought a port-a-potty to keep in the tent so we didn't have to run to the bathrooms in the middle of the night, they sell them with the camping gear and they're not much bigger than a cooler. Take a camera and take lots of pictures!! Make sure your family knows exactly where you'll be just incase something happens and you don't have cell phone service. Don't forget the marshmellows, chocolate, graham crackers and popcorn!! BUT keep all your food in a cooler and airtight containers and OUT OF THE TENT, at night and while you're away from your campsite put the food in the car, you do not want to attract animals. We came back from fishing to find huge crows trying to get into our tent because of crumbs from breakfast bars, so clean up all messes! Oh boy that's alot to think about LOL! Hope I've helped, good luck and have fun!!




answers from Pocatello on

I just went camping with my 11 month old last weekend. It was a fun trip, but when the night came, I was beginning to wonder if it was good idea. My baby didn't want to go to sleep, and I have a 3 year old who woke up screaming, thus waking up my baby.... So even if it is just you, your hubby, and your baby, plan on a rough night sleeping. Maybe your baby will do great. The other thing make sure you have a backpack or snuggli to carry your son around with so he doesn't get too dirty. Oh and bug spray and sunscreen. Other than that, just make sure you have the basics. Good luck and have fun!



answers from Denver on

skin so soft bug stuff, and a portable swing!! We just got back from camping with our 6 month old- hed id great and was so interested in everything!! I think he had a really good time!!!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Yes I agree with the playpen. Also make sure you have a very good, baby safe insect repellent and sunscrean is also important. Make sure you check him every night for ticks, especially in skin folds and diaper areas, even if you don't think he could have been in an area where he could get one.

Lots and lots of baby wipes - they are good for cleaning hands and face as well as diaper area. And bring about twice as many diapers as you think you'll need. There's not much worse than running out halfway through camping, especially if you don't have a town close by to run and get some.

The youngest we took a child camping was 14 months, so he was walking. We took a kiddie leash - it has a cute harness that goes around his chest and a short leash attached. I know lots of people object to leashes, but it was much better than the chance of him wandering off (he did that a lot) where there are lots of places to get lost and very few people to come across him. You may want to consider one if he starts crawling at all.

And don't forget the camera! There are sure to be some cute things you want to take pictures of!



answers from Denver on

We took my DD camping when she was 8 months and she loved it. We took a pack-n-play for playing and sleeping, a bucket and shovel, sun hat, warm pjs, and swim diapers (there was a lake nearby). Also I saw someone mention the Kelty backpack, which is a good idea. The rest is all normal stuff. If he sits up, bring a bumbo chair.



answers from Denver on

the scariest camping trip for us (one w/each kid) was just after they learned to walk - lots of rocks to bang heads on, no balance-aaahhhh!
play pen. we used it for both containment during the day and for sleeping at night (we had a 8 x 10 tent, so it fit). they always spent the last 1/2 of the night w/me because both of mine were still nursing once during the night at that age and it was just easier to keep them in my bag at that point. If you use it for sleeping, bring blankets or an extra bag to put under the play pen - the air circulating under will make him cold.
booster chair. we set it on the ground or in the middle of the picnic table and it contained them while they ate.
lots and lots of layers for nighttime. we did a t-shirt, light onesie, heavy onesie, light jammies, heavy jammies, topped off w/a fleece snowsuit. they were pretty much the michelin man and we took lots of diaper creme - no way was there going to be a diaper change in the middle of the night w/all that!
take a full thing of diaper wipes - use them for everything - wiping hands, faces, toys, you name it. (actually we still take diaper wipes because they're so convenient, cheap, and work - and mine are now 5 and 7!)
winter hat, sun hat, and mittens. mountain evenings and mornings are cold.
And have fun! its a new and different experience to camp w/kids but worth it in every way.



answers from Denver on

Camping with a baby is actually really easy! I would recommend bringing hand wipes because he will get very dirty and it is an easy way to clean him. Large blankets for him to roll around on. We used his carseat snuggly bag thing (not sure what to call it) for his sleeping bag. We zipped our sleeping bags together and put him in his snuggly between us. It gets cold so remember bring some warm clothes. We also used a sling to carry him for hiking and walking around. Snacks, books and a few favorite toys and that's about all you really need. Have Fun!



answers from Great Falls on

A pack-n-play would be a good idea - especially since he isn't too mobile yet, and he won't get too antsy in there! Some kids don't sleep well camping, but my daughter was exactly the opposite - the only time she'd sleep thru the night was while camping. You never know until you try! I'd suggest a Kelty backpack, too - nice for roaming around...they have a great view, and everytime my kids were in one, they'd fall asleep (an added bonus for mommy & daddy). A good old bucket and shovel are always a hit for us, or any new toy that can keep their attention - a treat just to play with while camping. As he gets older, I'd recommend a cheap set of plastic golf clubs - they kept our son totally occupied from age 1 1/2 - 4 on camping trips.



answers from Fort Collins on

Camping with little ones is fun, but messy and sometimes exhausting! You have a lot of great suggestions! I agree with the pea pod "sleeping tent" or a pack'n'play, some kind of seat (bumbo, infant seat or portable high chair that attaches to a table) and a back pack or snugli carrier. Lots of wipes!! I also use a natural hand sanitizer for my little ones, then you can rinse the hands off with water if they put their fingers in their mouth. Sunscreen, sun hat and bug spray (or they have great bracelets now that you can attach to anything - My babies have slept with us, but I still dress them very warmly - socks, pjs, a sleep sack, a warm hat and mittens or socks on their hands if needed. I have always packed a little "first-aid kit" with aloe gel, polysporin, bandaids, saline, a nasal aspirator, an after bug bite pen to lessen the sting or itch, and baby motrin or tylenol. Hope you have a wonderful time!!!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Exersaucer or walker (but be careful if it is a walker that he can't go out in the street!- we took my son when he was 10 months old and he managed to escape past our blockades a few times) - doubles as a "high chair" for meals. Also, I agree on the play pen - somewhere not dirty to play in (we kept ours outside). Enjoy and have fun! It will be harder when he is older and more mobile!



answers from Salt Lake City on

We took our little ones camping all the time before they were 1. We packed our pack 'n play and set it up in the tent, (now we have a pretty big ten), and it was perfect. It was like a miniature crib away from home and they were even comfortable.

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