Camping With Baby Checklist | Helpful Guide | Packing List

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Camping with a baby needs a lot of planning, a unique baby camping list, and a great deal of patience, but it’s certainly doable. While most people dread camping with babies, experienced campers don’t have a problem with packing up for a weekend in the woods with a baby. 

If you are new parents who are passionate campers and want to introduce their little one to the natural treasures of the outdoors as soon as possible, then I have good news for you; camping with an infant is absolutely fun and exciting, provided you have a complete baby camping gear (along with your usual camping gear) and the right attitude.

So, how do you start camping with a young family?

We’ve put together a complete camping packing list and added a lot of items for you to think about while organizing a camping trip with a baby. See our checklist for a family camping trip with an infant below!

What to pack when camping with baby: a quick rundown of everything you need for baby camping trips 

It’s okay to be nervous about going camping with a baby, especially if it’s your first time. But you don’t have to be. Babies are wonderful because you can carry them anywhere, they are quite portable. But the downside is that…they come with a lot of luggage.

However, knowing exactly what to pack (right down to the essential), makes it easier than most people think. It’s not all that different from having your baby at home if you have the right gear.

So, let’s get right into it; what do you pack when camping with a baby? Here’s a quick rundown of the most important things you need for baby camping trips 

A mother carrying her child in a carry bag

Baby sleeping gear

Babies need their sleep, no matter where they are, therefore a sound, restful sleep for your little should certainly top your list. Baby sleeping bags for camping should include a comfortable portable crib, pack n’ play, or bassinet, depending on their age and what they find most comfortable. You also need swaddles, pajamas, warm blankets, soft pillows, their favorite bedtime story book, and whatever makes your little one sleep peacefully. 

Although strollers are baby carriers, are not really part of the sleeping gear, they are also important if you intend to hike during your camping. This will save your back and shoulder muscles the stress of having to carry your baby during a long hike through the woods. 

Baby clothes

Next on your list should be clothes for your infant. The duration of your camp trip will determine how many clothes you need to pack. But make sure you pack a few extras for when you need an emergency change, since babies can be messy and unpredictable. Also, think of what the weather will be like, and pack the right kind of clothes. If you expect some rain or cold, pack some cold weather clothes, and if it’s warm and sunny, have some breathable baby clothes. Also, think of diapers, socks, shoes, hats, etc. 

Many clothes and socks of baby

Food and snacks / Meal prep items

This category needs a lot of planning and a bit of extra care. For instance, if your infant is still breastfeeding, and you express milk, then you have to think of a reliable breast milk cooler bag, bottles (clean bottles and sterilizers), bottle warmers, portable breast milk pump, etc. Depending on your baby’s age, you may also need to pack some complementary food, like baby formula, teething crackers, snacks, fruits, etc. And if you have a toddler who eats from their own plate, then you will pack all you need for a comfortable meal time, including a portable toddler seat or plastic bibs, etc. 

Diapers and Toiletries 

Yes, diapers. Plus, everything else you need for your baby’s bath time. Think of lotions, creams, Vaseline, baby powder, baby soap, plastic (or garbage) bags for dirty clothes, or used diapers. A portable baby bath tub, buckets for washing, towels, diaper changing pad, etc. If you’re wondering how many diapers you should bring, think of how long you will stay, then add extra for at least 2 more days.

First aid and medication

This is also a big one, and literally one of your first things you should think about, since… well, your baby’s health is important. So If you or your baby takes prescription medications, remember to bring them with you. You also need a first aid kit handy because when camping, anything might happen at any time, so it’s best to be ready for everything. Also, think of possible allergies that your child may have to certain plants and insects that have not been discovered yet. 

Toys for playtime

Let’s face it, the whole point of taking a baby camping is to let them discover nature. You should provide your child with a space where they can walk around and explore without having filth all over them.

On your campground, you should at least provide your infant with a safe (and clean) space to explore. For this, you can bring along a portable play pen with their favorite plastic toys. You can also bring alone an old rug or comforter that you can spread on the floor for playtime. This will let your kiddo move around and play without crawling over pebbles.  

Many toys of baby

Complete baby camping checklist

Baby camping clothes

  • Onesies, pants, shirts, shorts, pajamas, etc.
  • Shoes, socks
  • Blankets, jacket, mittens (extra warm clothes for baby)
  • Swimsuit 
  • Cold weather clothes (baby sun hat and warm hat)

Baby sleeping gear

  • Pack n’ Play / Bassinet / Portable crib
  • Baby stroller / baby carrier
  • Wearable blankets, swaddles

Food and snacks / Meal prep items

  • Baby food & snacks
  • Fruits
  • Teething crackers
  • Plate / spoon / fork / bowl
  • Sippy cup / bib / burp cloths
  • Pacifier 
  • Water bottles
  • Breastfeeding / portable pumping gear
  • Baby formula 
  • Bottles / bottle warmer / sterilizer

Diapers and Toiletries

  • Diapers/ diaper bags
  • Plastic bag for dirty diapers
  • Swim diaper
  • Changing pad
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Baby wash / baby towel
  • Comb & Brush
  • Baby lotion

First aid and medication

  • Prescription medications
  • Allergy medication
  • Baby painkillers
  • Thermometer
  • Bug spray / mosquito nets

Toys for playtime

  • Plastic toys (balls, sand toys, trucks, cars, etc.)
  • Water toys / beach toys / stuffed animals
  • Life jacket
  • Fun books 

Extra items / Other baby camping gear

  • Bag for soiled clothes
  • Rechargeable torch
  • Flashlights and spare batteries
  • Headlamp
  • Candles, lighter
  • Camera

FAQs

Can you take a newborn baby camping?

It’s possible to take a newborn on a camping trip, however this will need a lot of planning and organizing, plus it comes with challenges too. It’s probably better to stay home with your newborn if you are new parents or first do a trail run with backyard or car camping, but seasoned parents, or those with camping experience, may have no trouble organizing a brief camping trip.

How do I prepare my baby for camping?

There are a few things you can do to introduce your baby to the outdoors and prepare them for camping. You can start by camping close to home, and only stay a few nights at first. The first few trials will better prepare both you for camping with a baby.

What age is it safe to take a baby on their first camping trip?

A baby, a toddler, or a preschooler, can go camping. It’s never too early to introduce your infant to the outdoors. And the sooner they start camping, the faster they will adjust, and it’ll become more fun for everyone. Keep in mind that there will be rewards and challenges, no matter what age you start.

How should I dress my baby to sleep when camping?

Temperatures often dip at nighttime, therefore it’s crucial to keep your baby warm at night by dressing them in layers of clothes, ideally clothes made of fleece or wool, thick socks, and a sleeping hat. Also, putting baby in swaddles keeps them warm. When it’s really cold outside, keep an eye on the baby, in case they need an extra layer of cloth for warmth.

How do you store breast milk when camping?

The best way to store breast milk while camping is in a cooler with ice. As stated by the CDC, freshly expressed breast milk can be safely kept on ice in an insulated refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

How do you wash baby bottles when camping?

Boiling baby bottles in water for at least 5 mins is the best for babies under 3 months old. And bottles for infants older than 3 months, bottles should be washed clean with soap and hot water. It’s important to sterilize your baby bottles, even when camping.

Conclusion

When you backpack or go camping with a newborn, you probably won’t stick to the same camping routine that you did before. You might sleep much less, move more slowly, and cover less ground. But every part of the trip will be totally worth it, you will have the wonderful pleasure of sharing your passion and outdoor adventures with your baby. 

And when it seems like too much work, keep in mind that people have carried little newborns through the woods for centuries. Babies are generally tougher than they look, you will have a great time if you have all the necessary supplies and baby gear.

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