camping, camping tips, family camping

Camping With Babies,
Tips To Keep Both Of You Happy

Camping with babies is a subject that intimidates many people. It is natural to want to take your baby with you when you go camping, while at the same time you might feel a little nervous for both of you.

How will you keep your baby comfortable while out in the elements? How will you manage to get all your camping chores done with a baby on the site?

A baby really has the same needs whether you are at home, visiting friends, or camping..namely food, shelter, and comfort. Hey! These are the same needs you have while camping too, aren't they? Meet all of these basic needs when camping with babies and everyone at the campground will be happy (If you don't??? Baby will probably let every one know!!)

By just bringing along the same equipment you probably already use and have at home, or the same portable versions of it you might bring when you go on vacation, you can easily go camping with babies and have a good time doing it too.

  • Portable Playpen: Let's start with a place to put your baby down when you have things you need to take care of, or she just needs a nap or some quiet time. The portable playpen is the perfect solution to this problem and number one on our list of baby camping gear.

    Use it as a playpen for some playtime with your baby's favorite toys, a safe place for your baby to be while you are cooking, setting up camp, or doing other camping chores. It is a great place for baby to take a nap. You can set it up underneath a shady tree, in a screen house, or under a shade fly you have set up. Of course in warm weather, don't ever set it up in direct sunlight..or in a tent in the daytime which can get extremely hot, even with the windows open.

  • Portable High Chair or Hook-on Chair: You will need a place for your baby to sit to eat. If you have enough room, you can use take a folding or portable high chair with you. In addition to providing a place for meals, this is an alternative to the portable crib to safely "park" the baby when you need your hands free, or just to give yourself a break. The tray provides a sanitary surface while camping to put down some snacks or toys.

    When our daughter was a baby, we purchased a hook-on chair which we used to take to restaurants and friend's houses to put the baby in for meals. This turned out to be one of our favorite pieces of portable baby equipment and we found this worked perfect for our camping trips too. Most family campgrounds have a picnic table right on the site and the hook-on chair fits on it perfectly. If you don't have room for a high chair, as most people don't, this is a much smaller alternative.

    Your stroller also makes a useful alternative to a high chair, although depending on where you are camping, the terrain might make it difficult to actually wheel around.

  • Carrying Baby: Hiking? Sightseeing? Just walking around your campsite? A baby frontpack or backpack, or a baby sling is going to be a lifesaver on your arms and back. With one of these you can walk around hands-free, and they fold up compactly, making them very easy to pack. This is another piece of equipment, great for using when camping with babies, but you will most likely get a lot of use out of even when you are not camping!

  • Sleeping Arrangements: For sleeping you have a few choices and it is important to do what makes you and your baby the most comfortable.

    Depending on the size of your tent, your portable playpen can easily fit in there, right next to your air mattress. You can also lay a comforter to the side of your air mattress and place your baby on the comforter to sleep. Roll up some towels to use as bumpers to prevent baby from roll all over. My personal preference was to have my daughter snuggly right in my sleeping bag with me. On occasion we would zip two sleeping bags together and put her right in there between us.

    Because babies tend to kick off their covers, I strongly recommend using sleeper pajamas when you are camping so you won't worry about baby getting cold.

  • Keeping Baby Occupied: Don't forget to bring your babies favorite toys, to keep him occupied as well as make him feel comfortable in these unfamiliar surroundings. If you have room for a baby swing, while not a necessity, it is another nice piece of equipment to bring along.

  • Protection From The Elements: Above all, remember you are in the outdoors and babies are sensitive to the elements. Protect from the sun with hats and sunscreen, plenty of fluids, and keeping baby out of direct sunlight. Protect from insect bites with a bug repellant made for baby's sensitive skin. Mosquito netting is inexpensive and makes a perfect cover for the portable playpen or over the stroller. Remember to layer baby to keep warm if you are camping in cooler weather.

Camping with babies your baby is really no more difficult than traveling with make baby happy you you need to tend to his or her needs much in the same manner you would do when you are home or traveling anywhere else.

If you have been camping before you had a baby, you don't need to stop camping just because you have a baby! New to camping? Don't be afraid to take your baby along. Babies are flexible and adapt easily as long as they feel secure and comfortable...and in the long run that is what makes it no problem to go camping with babies.

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