Camping with babies
For many people this might invoke images of dread - all the worrying, the sleepless nights, the mess! But camping with children, even at a very young age, can be a very special time and one that crafts memories for years to come. Worries and concerns are natural for parents, especially with very young children, but her are a few tips and pointers that should help prepare you and alleviate the stress.
• Don’t pitch your tent near rocky areas, open water, any potential hiding areas; a woods etc.
• Make sure you feel comfortable with your neighbours- and if you don’t move to another camping area.
• Always supervise the fire.
• A portable crib is a good idea for keeping your child enclosed when you’re busy cooking or pitching your tent. If you don’t have access to one of these a tent that has a mosquito net that can be zipped up so that you can still see your child is a good alternative.
The trick is to ensure that your child is warm enough and comfortable. If screaming through the night is a problem, and you have a car, try taking them for a drive until they fall asleep (your neighbours will be very grateful).
• Try to keep a similar sleeping routine to that from home.
• It can be difficult to get your child to sleep in a full sized sleeping bag and you may worry about them sliding down and being smothered, try to get an infants sleeping bag before you go. Alternatively make sure that they have winter fleece pyjamas, a hat and are covered in lots of blankets with a foam mat underneath to keep them warm.
• Some parents recommend sleeping with your infant in the same sleeping bag.
• If you have two adults in the tent it is a good idea to sleep either side of the infant to stop them rolling to the edge of the tent and getting cold.
Your child will inevitably want to explore, taste and cover themselves with the earth, mud and whatever they can find.
• Take lots and lots of baby wipes
• Bring a bucket or tub for sponge baths
• Finally embrace it- it is part of the fun and learning!
• You don’t need to pack lots of toys or plan activities to fill the day as the outside will provide much entertainment and interest for your child. A bucket and spade for making mud castles may be useful and a couple of special cuddly toys as comfort.
• Pack many different outfits - ones that are not precious and are easy to clean. Keep a spare change of clothes for the journey home.
• Having a car to pack everything into will make your life much easier.