Camping with your child is a wonderful way to create priceless memories and instill a lifelong love of nature. However, taking a baby camping requires a lot of planning and preparation. It’s a lot of work, but it does have significant benefits.
A baby’s first camping adventure not only introduces them to nature, but it also exposes them to exciting, new experiences that support their physical and mental growth.
While the idea of camping with a kid can be intimidating, it is completely achievable with the appropriate baby camping gear.
We’ve compiled a list of necessities for camping with a baby to get you started.
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1. Portable travel crib
When planning for the first camping trip with an infant, a major concern for many new parents is where the baby will sleep. Finding your baby a safe and comfortable place to sleep while you are away from home might be a huge concern, especially if your baby tends to be fussy.
Babies will struggle to fall asleep if their environment is not comfortable or cozy enough for them. Therefore, it’s important that you provide your baby a safe and comfortable place to sleep throughout your camping trip.
You will need a portable travel crib to ensure that your baby sleeps as smoothly as possible. This will give your baby a comfortable sleeping environment away from home. Most travel cribs are made compact, light, and collapsible so that they are simple to transport.
A typical travel crib will be under 15 lbs. in weight and have a folding mechanism that enables it to be folded up small for easier portability. But depending on your baby’s age , you may need a pack n’ play (if you have a toddler) instead of a crib or bassinet.
2. An all-terrain baby stroller / baby carrier
You won’t find a lightweight all-terrain stroller with a small footprint, so don’t waste your time looking. These strollers are usually bulky since they are built with heavy-duty materials to handle rough terrain, plus they come with big wheels.
Big wheels are necessary if the stroller is to be able to navigate uneven terrain like grass, gravel, and cobblestone streets. The best all-terrain strollers feature front wheels approximately 12 inches in diameter and back wheels approximately 16 inches in diameter.
And these tires will be air-filled, which require periodic pumping. However, they actually have considerably superior maneuverability than rubber tires, particularly when it comes to navigating potholes.
Hiking trails are no problem for hiking strollers. But even the most capable hiking strollers won’t be able to handle very difficult trails. Therefore, you might need a baby carrier if you want to undertake any significant hiking on narrow trails or uphill terrain.
3. Portable baby bathtub
One of the difficult obstacles that parents have to overcome when camping with kids is figuring out how to handle bathroom matters on the campsite. While choosing accommodations with bathtubs is the most practical choice when traveling with a baby, this isn’t always possible when camping.
And it’s unlikely that you do not have the pleasure of a good, easily accessible bathtub on a camping trip. Therefore, we recommend that you bring a portable baby bathtub for washing your baby. Babies need regular baths even when camping, and this is the most hygienic way to do it.
Thankfully, there are many great products available; there is the foldable baby bathtub, often made of quite robust plastic and may fold flat to fit in your luggage. And there are inflatable bathtubs which can be inflated by mouth or with an air pump. Alternatively, you can use a plastic bucket or basin as a make-shift bathtub, that works too.
4. Foldable baby feeding chair
Babies tend to get very messy at mealtimes. While a messy baby isn’t a problem at home, it becomes an issue when camping. With a travel high chair, you can rest easy knowing that your baby has a dedicated space for eating and relaxing.
You can also be sure that it is hygienic, secure, and comfy. A baby camp chair allows you to feed your child without having to hold them up. This means that you can multitask during mealtimes. Additionally, your infant is much less likely to become covered in food mush.
The ideal baby high chair is lightweight, compact, simple to fold, and tall enough to prevent your baby from reaching down for dirt and rocks on the ground. Some fold up tightly for compact places, some have a carrying bag included and a sun-block canopy.
5. Silicon feeding bibs
In addition to a high chair, a silicon feeding bib is also important for easy and mess-free mealtime on a campsite. A silicon bib is a must-have item when you go camping because it helps minimize mealtime mess, reduce laundry, and conserve water.
It is intended to serve as a food catcher, keeping messes off of your baby’s clothes. To ensure your child’s safety, silicon bib is composed of 100% food-grade silicon, is water-resistant (does not absorb water), and is stain-resistant.
6. A diaper bag with bottle storage
A diaper bag is a must-have item for parents traveling with their infants. And, with a well-made and functional diaper bag, you’ll have all of your baby’s belongings in one place where they can be quickly retrieved when needed, making your trip less chaotic and stressful.
The best diaper bags for camping trips should have enough storage space with a plethora of pockets for diapers, baby clothes, insulated bottle compartment, waterproof pocket for storing soiled clothes, has enough space for breastmilk pumping gear, etc.
You also want to ensure that it’s made with a high-quality fabric and padded straps for comfortable carry. Other important factors to consider when shopping for a travel diaper bag include the bag’s capacity, weight when fully loaded, accessibility options, the number of internal and external pockets, and so on.
7. Travel bottle warmer
Believe it or not, there is nothing better than a warm bottle of milk on a chilly night on a campsite. Fortunately, you don’t need to carry a stove with you when you’re on the move. Instead, all you really need is a portable bottle warmer.
The best portable bottle warmers are made to be used while you’re on the road and can be safely stored away after usage. Hot-water bottle warmers are a favorite for many parents since it’s convenient and can frequently be made far in advance. And it is immediately accessible when needed and remains warm throughout the day.
Before settling for any bottle warmer, check whether your baby’s milk bottles will actually fit inside the warmer. The majority of warmers can fit standard-sized bottles, but it’s better to check and be sure.
8. Camping baby monitor
You probably won’t need a camping baby monitor if one of your favorite parts of camping is simply sitting with friends around the fire outside your tent and drinking wine.
However, if you want to have a little more flexibility to leave the tent, go to other people’s campsites, or just need a little more comfort that the baby is alright, you might want to bring a baby monitor with you.
If you bring a baby monitor, you will be able to watch your child as they sleep in the tent or trailer while you enjoy some adult time at night.
However, you’ll need a wireless baby monitor that runs on batteries. The best baby monitor to bring camping, in my opinion, is a video monitor with night vision. With a battery-powered baby monitor, you can enjoy your camping trip without constantly checking on your baby.
9. Bug protection net & spray
When going on a family camping trip, you should bring bug repellent that is safe for babies because mosquito and other bug bites can be very uncomfortable for them. Baby-safe insect repellents are seldom 100% effective, so you’ll probably need to use a variety of products for your baby’s mosquito protection rather than just one.
For instance, a combination of a mesh net over the baby’s crib or car seat, bug spray, and aromatic oils, will provide the most protection. Avoid using insect repellent that contains large amounts of DEET and other harsh chemicals that could hurt your baby’s skin.
Cutter All Family Insect Repellent is proven to be very efficient against common biting insects while being fully safe for your infant. Some parents of infants and small children may find this gentle, non-greasy spray more appealing than other alternatives because it includes only 7% DEET.
10. An outdoor playpen
Because babies put everything in their mouths, they need continual attention to avoid choking hazards, including grass, gravel, twigs, and bugs. Putting baby in an outdoor playpen will give them a safe space to nap and play.
Play yards are excellent for use outside because they confine children and their toys in a single, enclosed space, which is especially useful in places that offer risks, such as camping grounds with fire pits. Playpens also serve as bed, and they give your infant a shaded place to nap during the day.
A play yard needs to be lightweight, portable, simple to set up and take down, sturdy and safe for young children.
11. Leak-proof swim diapers
This is an important accessory if you intend to go swimming on your camping trip. Swim diapers are a special kind of swimwear made just for babies that replicate the style and feel of standard diapers. But unlike regular diapers, swim diapers are waterproof and can prevent poop from seeping into the water.
Babies and children under three or four are typically required to wear a swim diaper when swimming or playing in a public pool. It may be wise to keep your kids in swim diapers for a time even if they have been potty-trained, to prevent accidents.
12. Wearable blanket
Temperatures frequently drop at night, so keeping babies warm is critical by dressing them in layers of clothing. Instead of layering with thick clothes, socks, mittens, sun hats and all, fleece onesies and a sleep sack or wearable blanket might be all you need to get your baby warm and toasty for the restful night of sleep.
For cooler weather, bring along multiple fleece onesies that your baby can wear under a swaddle or sleeper. A lightweight muslin blanket won’t add much weight to your pack and can be used to offer an additional layer of warmth to your baby’s bassinet in case the weather gets extra cool.
A few other baby camping gear you will need to include is a first aid kit (or baby’s prescription meds), toys for playtime, sunscreen, etc.
What do I need to go for a baby camping trip?
Camping with a baby needs a lot of planning, a unique gear checklist, and a great deal of patience. If you are new parents who are passionate campers and want to introduce their little one to exciting outdoor adventures, we’ve put together a complete camping with baby gear list and added a lot of items for you to think about while organizing a family travel or camping trip with a baby. [link to the article: Camping With A Baby Checklist]
How early can you go camping with a baby?
You can go the first camping trip with a newborn baby, a toddler, or a preschooler. There is never a bad time to take your baby to spending time outdoors. Additionally, the earlier kids begin camping, the more quickly they will adjust, and the more enjoyable it will be for everyone. And there will be challenges, no matter what age you start.
What are the best places to camp with a baby?
If you’re just trying out camping with the newest member of your family, it’s important that you pick a campsite that’s not too far from home and offers some basic amenities, like a decent bathroom, potable water, etc. For the first time, you can try camping in private campgrounds, or car camping in an RV. The next camping trip may be in state parks, national parks, etc.
Can a baby sit by a campfire?
For safety, babies and toddlers should be kept away from a campfire. Babies and young children are naturally drawn to campfires because they are attracted by the flames. But they don’t yet know anything about fire safety. Because of this, campfire-related injuries affect kids the most.
Where should babies sleep in a camp tent?
A portable crib or play yard are great sleeping options when camping with a baby. It’s even better if your infant is accustomed to sleeping in a portable crib or play yard and if your tent is big enough to accommodate it. In this case, your baby may have an easier time settling down and falling asleep in the crib because of its familiarity.
If you were a regular camper before you had your baby, don’t let them keep you from continuing to have fun outdoors. Remember that the first time camping with your baby will probably be the hardest, and it will get better with more practice.
You’ll most likely enjoy your trip if you take your time to organize and plan for it, and pack all the necessary baby gear you’ll need. Don’t be afraid to make the trip, your kid will probably have a good time too.