Camping with small children, even infants and toddlers, doesn’t have to be the nightmarish experience you might think it would be. After all, you haven’t lived until you’ve warmed a bottle over a campfire at 3:00 am! If camping is something you enjoy doing then there’s no reason that you shouldn’t enjoy it even when your children are small – given a few changes to accommodate your young family.
Obviously, the younger your children are, the more “stuff” you will need to bring along to make the trip enjoyable. If you’re taking your car with you to the campsite, you’ll have the luxury of bringing as much as you can fit in it. If not, your backpack will be your life for as long as you are out there so be sure to pack carefully and plan ahead of time to ensure that you have everything you and your family needs. Be sure to include sunscreen and insect repellant! Keep in mind that no matter how much you pack or how carefully you pack, you are likely to forget or run short of something so try to pick a campground with at least a convenience store nearby.
Another thing to consider is the trip to the campsite. You know better than anyone how long your child will remain happy on a car ride so, if necessary, choose a campground closer to home to keep everyone happy along the way. You might also want to plan ahead to arrive in time to get to your campsite and set up everything up before dark.
If you have a crawler or young one just learning to walk, you’ll want to make sure you have a pack ‘n’ play that can be used for a crib and a play pen to let your child move around while you’re setting up camp or hanging around the campfire. This will also ensure that your child isn’t eating things from off of the ground.
You might also want to choose a campsite with flushing toilets and potable running water if you are in the potty-training phase. You can also decide to rent a cabin – there are plenty of kid-friendly campgrounds that can help you plan.
Camping with your young children can be very enjoyable with these tips. And don’t forget to keep your children on their same eating and sleeping schedules as much as possible. Doing so will keep everyone in their happy place!