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Camping With Babies

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Camping With Babies Extra Precautions

Even the most enthusiastic camper might be put off with the thought of taking their baby on a camping trip. However if you're the type of person who's got a bit more mettle, there is really no valid reason why you shouldn't take a baby on a camping trip. They will enjoy the change of scenery and will be fascinated by the different environment and all that nature has to offer.

Preparing for all Kinds of Weather

It is even more important to make adequate provision for all kinds of weather if you're taking a baby camping. Babies are unable to regulate their body temperature as well as adults so bring extra warm clothes, hats and blankets for the baby. Conversely, if it's likely to be hot, bring a portable fan so that your baby can keep cool more easily.

First time? Go for the Recreational Site Option

The first time you take your baby camping can often be quite a daunting experience for some so if it's your first time, it's possibly a good idea to take them to a recreational campground where there are bound to be more facilities and you'll have easier access to help should anything go wrong.

Choose Your Campsite Carefully

If you're baby is not yet able to walk, try to choose a campsite where most of the land is flat. You're going to have to carry the baby most of the time when he/she is awake, so you don't want to be stumbling up and down steep banks with a baby in your arms. Neither do you want to be tumbling down rocks.

Don't Worry About Dirt

It's the outdoors after all and the whole point about taking your baby on a camping trip is for him/her to experience nature. They'll love it. They'll want to be crawling through the dirt and they'll probably find lots of strange new things which they'll want to play with and even put in their mouth. Be vigilant at all times, of course, but don't worry if your baby gets a bit grubby. The fun they'll have will far outweigh any convenience a little dirt may cause. However, bringing along a playpen is a good idea as it will allow the baby to share the experience in a safe setting if you adults need a little chill out time.

Carrying the baby

You're naturally going to be involved with many responsibilities on a camping trip. It may be gathering wood for a fire, cooking the dinner, visiting the camp store etc., so a baby backpack or front pack carrier is an item that's highly recommended. The front pack carrier option is even better for extremely young babies which might not have their head control muscles developed enough to be able to ride in a backpack. Carriers are great, especially if you plan to take a few hiking trips on your camping adventure and also for keeping the baby safe as you go about your chores.

You're going to be changing nappies so make sure you bring plenty with you. If you love the outdoors, you're probably going to be environmentally aware so re-usable towel nappies are a suitable alternative as they can be boiled over a fire and hung out to dry.

It's also a good idea to wear a torch that can be worn around your head as you'll need to change nappies in the dark too and may even want to carry your baby around after nightfall.

Beware of Mosquitoes and Other Biting Insects

If possible, choose an appropriate month to take your baby camping. The summer months can be notoriously full of swarming flies, mosquitoes and other biting flying creatures. Insect bites can be even more unpleasant for a baby than for adult and, as most insect repellents are not suitable for babies, you're advised to ensure that your baby is dressed in clothes that cover as much exposed skin as possible.

Watch Out for the Sun

Try to keep the baby out of direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm whenever possible. Certain sunscreens can sometimes create an allergic reaction to very young babies so make sure you find one that's suitable and specially formulated for baby use or seek advice from a chemist. If you're baby's going to be exposed to the sun, keep them in light cotton long pants and sleeves and a hat that shades their face, neck and ears.

These are just some of the extra considerations you need to take when you take your baby on a camping trip but remember all of the other safety rules that you'd be keeping to anyway, also apply to your baby. Vigilance is the key so never let your baby out of your sight.

Camping with a baby does take a little more thought and preparation but for those who'd like their child to grow up with an appreciation of the natural environment from a very young age, the extra effort will be very worthwhile.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
It’s a fair point about where babies might sleep in a tent. Travel cots are bulky, so it’s often necessary to improvise a little. As long as you make sure the baby is well wrapped and protected, so it can roll onto the floor, most things will do. My wife used to keep ours in her sleeping bag. You do need to be careful, though.
Chris - 26-Sep-12 @ 10:30 AM
All useful tips but what I really want to know is what's the best place for them to sleep in a tent?I think our travel cot may be a bit big!Unless thats the only good option, and a bigger tent is required......
Dan - 31-May-12 @ 11:34 AM
You make the point about sun hats almost in passing and itv deserves more attention for that. The face and the back of the neck are extremely sensitive on babies and infants and it's vital you protect them with a good hat (buy one with a neck flap) to stop overheating and sunburn, which can be incredibly dangerous.
Kate - 30-May-12 @ 10:58 AM
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