Camping with small children, even infants and toddlers, doesn’t have to be a nightmare experience that 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. Here are a few tips for your family to consider:
- Stick to your routine as much as possible, especially when you have younger children. Sticking to their eating schedule and still taking part in their bedtime routine will help make the trip much smoother.
- Don’t overpack, but be prepared for all types of weather. Be sure to check the weather and prepare for warmer weather during the day and cooler weather in the evenings. And don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and insect repellent!
- For younger children who are still crawling or learning to walk, make sure you bring a pack and play for them to be able to sleep in and a play pen to make sure your child is in a contained safe space while you are setting up camp or hanging around the campfire. This will also ensure your child isn’t eating things off the ground.
- Keep in mind the type of campsite you are staying at. 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. You might also want to choose a campsite with flushing toilets and potable running water if you are in the potty-training You can also decide to rent a cabin – there are plenty of kid-friendly campgrounds that can help you plan.
- Plan how far away from home you will be. 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. We also suggest that you plan to arrive in time to get to your campsite and set up everything up before dark.
- Get your children involved. For your older children, while your setting up camp or cooking meals, they could be a little bored. Give them age appropriate tasks or use it as an opportunity to teach them new things.
- If families who aren’t sure how their children will do in a tent, have a test run. Enjoy an evening where your family pitches a tent in the backyard and you sleep in a tent. This is a great opportunity for parents to figure out what they may need on the actual trip that they hadn’t thought of beforehand.
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!