Camping with a baby can be done. But with the arrival of a baby, so many avid campers feel like their camping days are numbered, at least for the next few years. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Camping with a baby can be done. Here are a few tips so you can still experience life on the road, in the great outdoors with your bub in tow.
Your old two-man tent is not going to cut it with a baby, so if your gear is due for an upgrade, its worth investing in equipment that is going to make your life easier. Be it the fancy pop-up tent, or the self-inflating double bed. Spend a bit extra to make life easier – there’s no doubt that camping with a baby is harder work than when you were ‘footloose and fancy-free’; so cut yourself some slack and take short cuts when they’re available.
A comfortable chair is really important, as feeding your baby in a chair that’s hard or uncomfortable will definitely take away from the joy of being in the great outdoors. To avoid injuring your back but making sure you have a sturdy, well-padded chair to sit in while you feed. Regardless of whether you are breast or bottle feeding, this is a not-negotiable.
Get yourself a bucket just for your babies bottles, dummies and other utensils. Using sterilising tablets, rather than a microwave steriliser or a pot with boiling water will help keep things simple. All you need is a bucket of clean water, sterilising tablets and time to let them sit in the water.
While play-pens have mostly gone out of style, using one while camping is the best possible way to get some down-time while knowing your baby is safe. If your baby is crawling (or walking) it is important to have an area that is danger-free (think camp fires, crawling off your site into the path of bikes and other slow moving traffic). Invest in a large pen, or buy two and join them up, so you can set your camp chairs up inside them also. Your baby will be less inclined to want to get out if you are in there too.
Save packing a change table, and high chair and let your pram serve these purposes. You will still need to pack a travel cot as it is not safe to let your baby sleep all night in the pram, but it can certainly be used to change the baby’s nappy, and as a high chair.
If you feed your baby only home cooked food, consider the jar options for camping. Relax the daily bath, and bath every second day. Accept there will be dirt, no need to change their outfit every time they get a bit grubby (obviously vomit and poo are the exceptions here) but a bit of grubbiness won’t harm your baby. You really only need to make sure your baby is safe by providing a safe place to sleep, eat and play.
As well as packing your standard camping gear, there are some extras you’ll need to pack when on the road with a baby.