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What’s more exciting than taking your toddler or baby on their first camping trip? It’s a great opportunity for the whole family to enjoy, have fun, and bond over a hot campfire and roast marshmallows. Camping also so happens to be one of the few ‘safe’ ways we can travel and explore right now. Whether you’ve just started camping, or you’re an expert, there are a few ways to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Here are my tried and true tips for going on a camping trip with a toddler or baby. Let’s make that camping trip with a baby a success!
Do Weather Research
When going on a camping trip with a toddler or baby, you need to be conscious about the weather. Young children are super vulnerable to weather conditions. It wouldn’t be fun to spend the camping trip huddled inside the tent. Doing some basic research will help you in the long run!
Do a Test Run
When you feel that you’re ready and everything has been prepared, do a camping test run in the backyard. That way you’ll be able to catch if there are any snags with the camping gear. It will also be a test run for your toddler or baby to spend the night in a tent.
Bring Familiar Toys
If your toddler or baby is uncomfortable, giving them with a familiar toy will make them happy and calm them down. Only take a couple of familiar and favorite things. By giving your child their favorite toy, you’ll be keeping them busy — and it will give you more time to prep the campsite!
Do Your Research on the Location
As any parent knows, kids (especially young ones) are naturally curious. So if they see wild berries, they might try to eat them. As soon as you get to the campsite, make sure to check for any harmful plants, like wild berries. If you do find any harmful plants, make sure to warn your toddler about them. In addition to warning them, you need to check up on what your toddler eats at all times. Especially if they have the tendency to wander off!
Choose a Campsite With Lots of Activities
Toddlers are filled with energy, so they need to be kept busy. If you only sit around the campsite all day, they’ll surely get bored quite fast- and naughty! When there are many activities at your campsite, your toddler will have a wonderful experience and they’ll definitely want to come back again the next year. It’s best to plan these activities in advance to avoid potential disagreements with family members once at the campsite.
Take a Mat for Crawlers
If you have a young child that’s still in the crawling stage, make it a priority to take a large enough mat for them. It will stop them from crawling in the dirt and potentially hurting their tiny hands. If you have a pack and play, that works as well!
Take a Headlamp
To avoid your little one getting scared at night, and to keep them calm while you move around the campsite- take a headlamp with. A fun headlamp would also be fun for them, as well as aid in reducing the anxiety that the darkness may cause.
Take Sunscreen and Bug Spray
You may be able to stand a sunburn, or a few mosquito bites- but your toddler or baby on the other hand may not. Especially if your child hasn’t had a sunburn or been bitten before. If they experience such a thing, it may cause them distress to a certain degree where they would end up avoiding camp. Young children are quite vulnerable to the sun’s rays, so take the necessary precautions like keeping your child in the shade. When you buy sunscreen and bug spray make sure that you buy the right ones- such as ones that are made with natural oils and don’t contain DEET.
Put the Electronics Away
Once you get to the campsite, put the electronics away. If you give your toddler or baby a cell phone or tablet to keep them busy, the whole purpose of going on a camping trip would be defeated. Only bring your camera along to snap photos during outdoors family time.
Pay Attention to Children Near the Campfire
It’s easy to assume that your child knows not to go near the campfire. But the truth is they don’t. If you’re not mindful of what your toddler or baby is doing when they’re by the campfire, don’t be surprised when you see them going straight for it! If you plan on having a fire, sit and tell your child that they can sit near it, but they remain seated in a designated spot. Of course, you still need to keep an eye on your child just the same.