Camping is a fantastic way of getting up close and personal with the natural world, and in particular of sharing its wonders with your children. It provides a unique perspective on the countryside, allowing you to nestle among the wildlife and plant life and see both in totally new ways. It can be a wonderful experience for the whole family to share, creating all sorts of memories you’ll treasure for years to come.
If you love and appreciate the great outdoors, then it’s only natural to want to introduce your children to the experience of camping at the first realistic opportunity. Camping can be lots of fun even for babies and toddlers, but if you are taking very young children with you on a camping trip, there are some things you’ll need to consider – after all, you’ll want to ensure that they enjoy the experience just as much as you do.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some of our top tips for camping with a baby or toddler. Read on to find out more!
Timing is everything
If you’re keen to take your little one camping, the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is this: when’s the right time to do it? You might prefer to wait until they’re a bit older so that they can explore more independently and appreciate their surroundings a little more. However, it might be easier to take your child camping for the first time before they’ve reached the stage of being an inquisitive toddler. That way, you can introduce them to the outdoors while they’re still easy to keep an eye on!
Of course, camping with toddlers can be hugely rewarding and enjoyable as well. But taking them before they reach this stage allows you to get more accustomed to camping as a family, so you’re better prepared for what to expect in future as your child grows.
Choosing the right gear for camping with a baby
When you’re taking a baby or toddler camping, you need to make sure you’ve got all the right equipment. This goes without saying for any conscientious parent, of course, but it’s important to emphasise all the same. Draw up a checklist beforehand containing everything you’re planning to take with you, and stick to it. First, you’ll need to think about how to ferry your little one around – a robust baby carrier or sling makes it much easier to tackle tricky terrain, as do some off-road pushchairs.
You should also remember to bring a decent selection of toys with you to keep your little one occupied. Keeping some of their favourite baby toys from home to hand should help your child to feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Make sure you’re prepared for changing as well; pack a generous supply of nappies and bring other essentials such as changing mats. Bottles must be properly sterilised and cleaned too.
You’ll also need to consider sleeping arrangements. Some travel cots are suitable for use in larger tents, as they’re designed to save on space and are easy to transport around. Temperatures are a particularly important consideration when you’re sleeping outdoors with babies or toddlers (they’re less able to regulate their body temperature), so make sure you bring thick swaddles and blankets with you. Don’t forget to pack plenty of warm clothes, hats and socks either.
How to choose the right camping spot
If you’re going camping with a baby or toddler, you’ll need to think carefully about where you camp – choosing the right spot is very important! Check in advance what facilities are available on site and in the nearby vicinity. It might be a good idea, if possible, to request a spot that’s closest to the on-site amenities so it’s easier for you and your little one to access them.
It may also be useful to choose a camping site that’s not too far from where you live, at least while your little one is still young. This way, not only will you have less distance to travel, but you’ll also be able to head home again if your child doesn’t initially take to the camping experience (after all, there can be quite a lot to adjust to).
Camping trips can be a fantastic family experience and there’s no reason why babies and toddlers can’t have a great time. With the proper preparation, many young kids take to camping like ducks to water. All you have to do is make sure you’ve got the right supplies with you and that you’ve done the necessary research beforehand. Happy camping!
If you’re heading camping with your little one, don’t forget to check out the Uber Kids range – where you can stock up on bottle feeding and baby changing essentials, as well as fun toys to keep them amused.