10 Top Tips For Camping With Babies And Toddlers
1. MAKE A KIT LIST
There’s no getting around the fact that babies come with a whole load of extra baggage. Avoid a panic by making an exhaustive list and getting everything packed up in advance.
2. KEEP YOUR SLEEP ROUTINE
Babies and toddler thrive on routine, so keep it as consistent as possible. We use a travel cot in the tent to minimise disruption and follow a simple experience-honed routine of sleeping bag, story and a firm goodnight.
3. USE SNACKING SHORTCUTS
You don’t want to plan your camping trip around strict mealtimes and formula preparation. Stock up on healthy, ready-made baby snacks, pouches and (if you don’t exclusively breastfeed) pre-prepared formula to stave off hunger tantrums.
4. FACILITIES ARE YOUR FRIEND
This isn’t the time to go wild camping. Toilets, showers, shops and cafes can provide much-needed support when camping with tinies.
5. NOT ALL CAMPSITES ARE EQUAL
Some campsites welcome young children and offer plenty for them to do, such as sandpits and soft plays zones. Others will look askance at your bawling offspring. The former type offers a far more relaxing experience to new parents.
6. GET TODDLERS INVOLVED
The best way to stop a toddler getting bored, grumpy and disengaged is to involve them in every aspect of the trip. Ask for their ‘help’ in putting up the tent and fetching water. Toddlers love having jobs to do – just don’t overestimate their attention span.
7. STERILISING SOLUTIONS
Babies under six months need to have their bottles and toys sterilised. We used a steriliser or boiling water for this at home, but we’d stock up on sterilising tablets for camping. These are small, easy to transport and quick to use on the go.
8. TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Cold babies are only marginally less grumpy than hungry babies. Toddlers are easy to keep warm at night with a pile of duvets and blankets, but babies need to be treated more carefully. We used a high-tog gro bag on top of seriously snug pyjamas with hat and a pair of mitts to keep Lauris toasty.
9. CONVERT TO A CARRIER
A front carrier or a sling is my must-have piece of equipment for camping with a tiny. It’s ideal for carting them around the campsite, getting them to sleep and keeping them warm.
10. DON'T BE SCARED
Camping with a baby might seem like a milestone, but in reality it’s often easier than being at home. Babies of any age can enjoy camping – it’s never too soon to start.