Camping is a relatively inexpensive vacation option that will disconnect the family from their screens and will help everyone to bond a little bit deeper. Little ones love being outside exploring everything around them and parents will love seeing their faces light up in excitement at what they discover outdoors. However, camping with kids, especially the tiniest ones, can be a hassle!
A camping vacation is an American pastime that many families enjoy every summer and it is a must try, at least once! Here are a few tips to make camping with children just a little bit easier.
If you are not a planner, you need to change that now! Being spontaneous and driving to an unknown destination was super fun before having babies, however, they will likely not be prepared to go with the flow! Look for your nearest state or national park for an affordable, and nearby place to camp
Plan a route with plenty of stops and look into some fun activities kids will love. Most state parks have a junior ranger program where kids can complete activities, learn some educational facts, and earn some cute badges.
Don’t Overpack But Bring The Necessities
This advice sounds very obvious but this all goes back to planning! You want to be prepared and make sure everyone is happy, but you don’t want to haul your whole house with you. Pack efficiently and effectively. Check out the day and night time weather before packing so you know what you'll need and how much based on the number of days. Plan for some clothing changes and some messes, Pack tons of blankets, pillows, and any stuffed animal your child will need to feel comfortable. Also super important to pack is a portable crib that can double as a playpen, and that features a screen to keep the bugs out. Keeping baby contained and bug bite-free will make everyone's lives a little bit easier.
Consider The Lighting
Being out in the wilderness camping in a tent may be a little darker than your little one is used to, or expecting. Invest in a good amount of lanterns and consider some fun things like glowsticks or hanging lights for the tent to make your child more comfortable.
Make Meals Fun
For those who have older children along with little bitty babies, plan some fun, easy, kid-friendly meals to make camping a fun treat. Bring plenty of snacks and food, but make sure it's those easy meals that your kids are always asking for. Give them pizza, hot dogs, and plenty of S'mores. Definitely add some nutritional sides or snacks, but make it fun for them!
Let Things Go and Be Adaptable
If you're a bit of a neat freak, keep in mind that dirt will be everywhere! It will be on your clothes, beds, and your baby. And it's ok! Bring plenty of baby wipes to clean yourselves up and get some foaming hand sanitizer for some quick clean up too!
You'll have to be lenient with lots of things while camping. Food and meals will be more relaxed, and naps and bedtime will be off. Just go with it. No one's ever had fun quietly seething while they lose all control. It will be ok and you can get back on your normal routine at home. If your child still naps, either plan for them to rest in your tent, or if your child will rest on the go, plan an outing using a stroller, or carrying them during a hike so they can rest.