How to Go Camping with a Baby
Hi, friends! I hope your weekend has you feeling refreshed. I'm feeling... Tired. But it's safe to say that tired is what I'll feel for the next few years so I better buck up and become best friends with coffee.
Let me start by saying we don't have it all figured out, but we did successfully go camping recently with an 8-week old for one night, 2.5 hours from home and actually enjoyed ourselves. To be fair, my mom also met us there, so we did have the luxury of an extra person to help take care of the little guy at times.
What to bring:
- Something safe for your child to sleep in (the closer it is to their normal bassinet or crib, the better). Henry sleeps in a Fisher Price Rock 'n Play, so we brought that as it's lightweight and folds, but in the future we will likely bring our travel crib once he's sleeping in a crib at home.
- Plenty of clothes, including a hat and long sleeves and pants as it always gets colder at night than you expect. For example, it was at least 95F at the hottest part of the day, but got down to 59F overnight. I was very glad I had thrown in a hat and a long sleeve onesie and little pants for Henry.
6 a.m. silly baby
- Diapers, lots of them. Depending where you're at, you may be quite a ways from a store, so having plenty on hand is important. And although we're mostly doing cloth diapering now, I brought disposables for our camping trip because I just couldn't fathom dealing with the mess of cloth diapers while camping.
During diaper changes especially, he was fascinated by the treetops.
- Wrap, carrier or stroller. I brought all three and we ended up using the Solly Baby wrap for our little hike along the Metolius River and the stroller when we checked out the headwaters of the Metolius (the actual start of the river) when Henry was sleeping. Plus, if I had been planning on going on more walks, I would definitely have wanted the stroller.
- Camping chairs. At night, we put one in our four person tent so I could sit in it to nurse him in the middle of the night. This was key to not having an aching back from hunching over to nurse.
- Water and reusable water bottles. I know it seems obvious, but this is something I tend to forget about when going camping: bringing a big jug of drinking water. We stopped at the store in Sisters, OR just before heading to the campground for sandwiches and water.
- A good attitude. You're camping with a baby. They are needy and unpredictable at times. Give yourself (and the baby a break) and expect that things won't go perfectly. Baby may cry during the day or night and that's okay. I've been to plenty of campgrounds where my neighbors have been up late talking and laughing quite loud and they never seemed to give a hoot what others thought about it.
And there you have it, a hopefully perfect recipe for "camping with baby" success!
Our little happy camping family