Tips for your first Camping Trip with your baby
As the weather warms up and many of us can finally look forward to making plans for the summer again, the great outdoors are calling! Camping has been a favorite summer activity with most families and with good reason. Open green spaces, sleeping in tents, stargazing, campfires and of course, s’mores! Introducing your baby or toddler to camping and outdoor picnics can be a lot of fun, opening their little minds up to adventure from an early age.
A big part of camping with a little one is keeping them as comfy as possible, with touches that remind them of home, particularly if it’s the first time you’re heading out. And one of the things we’ve loved seeing lately is how our trusty PortaPlay is being taken along on these summer trips. From home straight to the campsite! Safe, portable and entertainment in itself, the PortaPlay is the only activity centre that folds neatly, so it can be carried along anywhere, fitting easily into your car, and unfolding just as easily once you arrive.
Of course, it’s not just about what you take with you but outdoorsy activities with a child do need some extra planning beforehand. As much as you will still need to be flexible and open to unexpected changes in the plan, here are a few simple ways to keep it as fun and stress-free as possible!
1. Baby steps: If it’s the first time you’re doing this, start with a day trip or just an overnight trip. A campsite or park that’s a short distance away is best so that if things don’t go well, you have the option to get back quickly. Consider it an experiment and you can start driving out further and camping for a few days at a time depending on how it goes.
2. Be prepared: This includes everything from checking the weather forecast for the duration of your trip to making sure you have your baby’s favorite foods as well as some that are easy to eat on the go (for you and baby!). Pack extra layers, familiar toys just in case nature doesn’t seem exciting for too long and if you do plan to cook, keep things simple.
3. Safety first: It goes without saying that little ones are going to want to wander around, put strange things in their mouths and go exactly where you don’t want them to. Choose a campsite that you’ve been to before or someone you know has been to with kids. It gives you an idea of the area and what to expect. Once you get there, scope the site out a bit so that excited toddlers don’t encounter less desirable parts of the outdoors.
4. Sleep is crucial: For you and your baby! Ideally, you wouldn’t carry your whole house while going camping but when an infant or toddler is involved, taking along whatever they need for a good night’s sleep is the way to go. The better they sleep, the better the whole experience will be. Whether it’s a security blanket or a stuffed toy, a baby travel bed, it’s all worth it.
5. Keep them still: Fidgety toddlers just discovering the magic of walking need to sometimes to be made to sit in one place while you set up your campsite or cook a meal. Let them sit in the PortaPlay where they’re safe and can stay busy playing with the toys that come with it. You get a little breather and of course, finish up your tasks more efficiently!
Have you been camping with your infant or toddler? What helped make it an enjoyable experience for everyone? Let us know in the comments below!