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Camping with baby

I have a 3 month old and would love any advice on camping with a small baby. We would probably wait until she’s around 6 months, but we can’t wait to share our love of the outdoors with her.

Im looking for advice on must-have gear and gear to avoid and any other tips and strategies that may make it less stressful with a very little one.

Thanks all!

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Re: Camping with baby

Hi @Lindseyf25!  Are you thinking car camping or backpacking?  We have a 7 month old, and are planning a few car camping trips this summer.  [Backpacking seems much more indimidating at this age - especially packing out all the diapers!!] 

A few ideas as you're getting ready:

  • Start getting her used to being outside...laying/sitting on the grass, feeling wind on her skin, hearing all the nature noises, touching plants, etc.
  • Start getting her used to the gear...wearing a sun hat, wearing sunglasses, wearing sunblock once she's old enough, riding in a carrier if you'll be using one, sleeping in a bassinet or travel bed or pack & play if you'll be using one, etc.  Our baby had a tiny folding travel bed that we used constantly for the first 6 months, and it made it really easy for her to sleep anywhere since she was so used to it!
  • Think about how you and your baby will be spending the days.  If you'll be in one spot, do you want to bring a big blanket for her to play on, or a play pen if she's mobile and needs some containment?  If you'll be on the move, will a stroller or a baby carrier be more suitable given the terrain?
  • This is probably obvious, but think through your baby's "must-haves" for feeding, sleeping, diaper changes, etc.  You probably don't need all the gear you have at home, but you'll definitely need some of it!  (We packed very light for a trip to Switzerland when our baby was 6 months old, and we considered her bulky sleep suit a "must-have" to ensure that we could all get some sleep!  But we skipped bringing a stroller or any bulky toys.)  You know your baby and the minimal gear required to keep you all happy!

Good luck with the planning, and enjoy the time with your little one!

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Re: Camping with baby

Hi @Lindseyf25!  Are you thinking car camping or backpacking?  We have a 7 month old, and are planning a few car camping trips this summer.  [Backpacking seems much more indimidating at this age - especially packing out all the diapers!!] 

A few ideas as you're getting ready:

  • Start getting her used to being outside...laying/sitting on the grass, feeling wind on her skin, hearing all the nature noises, touching plants, etc.
  • Start getting her used to the gear...wearing a sun hat, wearing sunglasses, wearing sunblock once she's old enough, riding in a carrier if you'll be using one, sleeping in a bassinet or travel bed or pack & play if you'll be using one, etc.  Our baby had a tiny folding travel bed that we used constantly for the first 6 months, and it made it really easy for her to sleep anywhere since she was so used to it!
  • Think about how you and your baby will be spending the days.  If you'll be in one spot, do you want to bring a big blanket for her to play on, or a play pen if she's mobile and needs some containment?  If you'll be on the move, will a stroller or a baby carrier be more suitable given the terrain?
  • This is probably obvious, but think through your baby's "must-haves" for feeding, sleeping, diaper changes, etc.  You probably don't need all the gear you have at home, but you'll definitely need some of it!  (We packed very light for a trip to Switzerland when our baby was 6 months old, and we considered her bulky sleep suit a "must-have" to ensure that we could all get some sleep!  But we skipped bringing a stroller or any bulky toys.)  You know your baby and the minimal gear required to keep you all happy!

Good luck with the planning, and enjoy the time with your little one!

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Re: Camping with baby

Start with car camping, and use a sleep set up like an oversized sleeping bag. Plan to share with the baby because my little ones always get cold camping. (Doesn’t help all the good spots locally are over 6k ft). Or start sharing your love by day trips to good picnic spots.  You don’t have to start super early.  My oldests first camp out was in the backyard at age 4, and by dark she was ready to go back inside to her bed.  My 2 yo has not made it sleeping by himself yet and always shares my bag to stay warm.

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Re: Camping with baby

Hi! We just got back from camping trip #2 with our little one (now almost 8mo) 

our first trip he was 4 months and it was cold- we car camped and lugged a pack and play. He slept in layers (onesie, fleece footed pjs, and a warm sleep sack) and we put a thermarest kids sleep pad under the mattress. He slept like he was at home! (Note- we have the 6 man dome tent so this all fit with a kingdom air mattress for mom and dad) 

he had more trouble this trip because it was warm. We were in Shenandoah National Park and even at the top of loft mountain it was muggy and didn’t cool off much. He slept in his pack and play in just footed pjs and was fine. 

In terms of during the day our best investment was a kid co GoPod. It folds up like the popular camp chairs but is a stand up (with a footpad so no dirty feet) play space kind of like a not bouncy jumparoo. Don’t forget a hat- more for bugs than the sun. We did a short easy hike with a soft carrier and I had a ring sling for around camp. I also recommend a freestanding playpen Gate and a blanket if your going somewhere big enough once little one is trying to crawl- but at 3mo we didn’t need anything like that. 

My best advice is to just do it! It seems a lot scarier before you leave and we’ve enjoyed it both times. Plus we know we’re going to want to camp when he’s bigger so we’re just teaching him early. Good luck!

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