Camping With A Baby or Toddler: Advice For The First Time

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Summertime is by far my favorite season. I can’t get enough time at the pool, cookouts, sunshine, and warmth! Beyond these summertime favorites, I also love camping. And, this was something that I have always dreamed of doing when I finally had a family of my own.

Now, as a mom of two, I’ve learned A LOT about taking babies camping and I’m excited to share all of my best tips below!

General Tips For Camping With Babies & Toddlers:

Pick your campsite carefully

The first time that we went camping with our daughter, we learned a hard lesson. When my spouse and I picked a specific campsite to pop our tent, we thought we were doing well to make sure that it had a fire pit, a picnic table and a big, flat open area.

What we didn’t think about was the campsite’s proximity to campground features.

Shortly after getting all set up with our tent, we discovered that we had a water spigot right outside our tent window.

Although this was convenient for us, it posed a problem when it came to camping with our baby. All of our neighbor campers would come over to our site to get water, making noise right by where we were trying to settle our baby in the tent.

Another issue that we had was that we picked a campsite near to the bathrooms. Again, this was convenient for us, but provided another noisy distraction for our baby who was used to a cool, quiet room to sleep in at home.

Try to pick a campsite away from other people

Even if you do a great job of picking a campsite away from the noisy bathroom or away from other special “features” of the campground like water spigots, you should still look for the most secluded campsite that you can find.

One of the biggest problems that we had during our first camping trip with our baby was that we had very inconsiderate camping neighbors who played music loudly. This wouldn’t have been nearly as big of an issue if we hadn’t been camping with a baby.

When you’re camping with a baby, the name of the game is to make them comfortable enough in a new setting that they can sleep. If your baby is used to sleeping in a quiet room at home, having rambunctious camping neighbors may prevent your little one from getting to sleep.

Bring comforts from home for baby

Along the lines of baby sleep, it is important to bring comforts of home for your little one.

While we felt like we had prepared extensively for first camping trip with our baby, the one thing that we didn’t think to bring was her soothing giraffe that played music. This little toy was something that she slept with every night and at every nap time, and it might have really helped to settle her in the new setting.

If your child is older, they may have a special item that they always gravitate towards. It may really come in handy to have items that make them comfortable when you’re on your new camping adventures.

Our kids have loved these soothers by Fisher-Price:

Make sure to bring cleaning supplies & a way to clean up baby

When you go camping with a baby, you’re going to have to bring supplies to clean bottles, pacifiers and babies.

With a baby, you’re constantly using your hands to help them eat and to make them bottles. It is so important that you have access to something that will sanitize your hands. Even if your campground had a bathroom, you may experience a soap shortage or it may not be practical to run to the bathroom every time you need to wash. As such, I’d highly recommend bring hand sanitizer!

Make sure to bring extra clothes, bottles & diapers

When leaving home with a baby or toddler, it’s essential to bring extra clothes, bottles and diapers, even if you think you have more than enough.

Since babies and toddlers can get dirty quickly, I highly recommend having a ton of clothes that you can layer to keep them warm during your camping trip.

Having as many bottles (or sippy cups) as possible will mean that you can worry a little less about getting bottles sanitized while in the wilderness.

And diapers…. Well, having too many diapers is always a better idea than too few!

Baby & Toddler Products & Gear You’ll Love For Camping

As any parent quickly discovers, babies require a lot of gear and unfortunately, when you go camping, you’ve got to bring a lot of that gear with you. Check out the items below that we’ve personally love for camping with our little kids!

Baby-Safe Sunscreen & Sun Protection for Babies & Toddlers

When it comes to my baby’s skin, I want to protect them from the harmful sun’s rays. Our favorite baby skincare products come from Tubby Todd.

They have wonderful sunscreen options for babies and toddlers and we highly recommend all of their products!

Use my link to save on your first purchase!

In addition to sunscreen, you might also want to consider other sun protection like sunglasses and hats.

Waterproof Blanket

A few years ago, we bought a waterproof blanket from Costco that is a lot like the one below. We absolutely adore it for t-ball games, picnics and camping. It’s nice to be able to put down a blanket that won’t get wet, even on damp ground because you can then give your little one more area to play.

Pack ‘n Play

I’m sure that most parents have a Pack ‘n Play around their home for their little one. They come in handy for staying in hotels, playing at home in a safe space and for camping!

We’ve had the basic Graco playard like the one below and have used it while camping. The playard provides a lot of room for a baby or toddler to sleep and play and still fits inside of a tent!

If you’re looking for a smaller solution than the basic playard, you can also find travel versions like the one below. We’ve used ours when we’ve had to fly because it was smaller and easier to lug around. This one won’t last you quite as long since your child will outgrow it more quickly, but it’s a great option while your babies are little.

Bumbo Multi-Seat

When our oldest daughter was a baby, we didn’t purchase a highchair. Instead, we used the Bumbo Multi-Seat!

The Bumbo Multi-Seat straps onto any normal chair (one with a seat and back), comes with a tray that snaps on and has a seatbelt. There is a bottom to the seat that can raise the seat up several inches, and when your little one gets too big for the seat, you can remove the colored foam to make more room inside for your child.

Although we decided to get a traditional highchair for our second child, we still adore our Bumbo Multi-Seat for travel – especially camping!

KidCo GoPod

If you have an older baby who likes to have a little independence, the KidCo GoPod can be really helpful for camping! Basically, it’s like a camping chair, but for your baby!

We recently got this product for our second baby and we’ve already used it on a trip. It was compact, easy to pack and gave us another safe spot for our baby to hang out. One of the coolest features of the product is that there is a ground covering at the bottom to protect your baby’s feet.

Other Products To Consider

We don’t currently have the following products, but I think they could be super useful in taking your baby or toddler camping! Basically, this is my baby and toddler camping wishlist!

Baby Sun Tent

Baby Sleep Sack

Baby Delight Go With Me Chair

Have you gone camping with a baby? What tips and tricks would you give to someone else? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out these other great baby related posts before you go!

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One Comment

  1. I’ve never even been camping myself, but I have to say you are very fortunate to get the experience! My little one has asthma and couldn’t survive a night outside. It would be a major trigger.

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