How to Go Camping With Your Baby

baby campingAs a parent, you want your baby to be exposed to the wonders of the world so that they can develop and grow to appreciate their environment. That is why going camping is a great idea!

However, you may be overwhelmed at the prospect of actually taking your baby out because it could be dangerous or just because you are afraid of the daunting task that is naptime. Do not worry!

So, how do you take a baby camping? Be prepared and know what to pack. Babies require much more attention and supplies than a toddler or adult.

With this handy camping guide for parents of little ones, you will be a pro at handling any situation.

Here’s what we will cover to get you and your little one out to nature.

  • Take a trip to the doctor
  • Diaper bag essentials
  • Other items to pack
  • Activities for babies
  • Sleepytime for babies
  • Baby safe camping tips
  • Related articles

Take a Trip to the Doctor

Before you can begin to pack for a camping trip, you should have the baby taken for a check-up at the doctor’s office. It is crucial to their safety; if they are sick or not immunized to certain diseases, what should be a fun time could become dangerous.

Don’t let that worry you, though! Getting your baby checked out should be more than enough to put your mind at ease. Here are some specific things to ask your doctor or pediatrician to examine or do to keep your child safe:

  • Ask if it is safe first. Your doctor will more than likely be able to advise you on the matter of whether it is safe to go camping with your baby or not, depending on how old the child is.
  • Get up to date on immunizations. If you are going camping around the time marker that the baby should be getting a round of vaccines, see if it is safe to have them done beforehand. Nature exposes children to some germs, and they should have their bodies prepared to fight them off.
  • Request allergy tests. This camping trip will be a totally new experience and an environmental change can trigger allergic reactions. Have your baby tested for allergies both in plants and food that they may be around.
  • Have a regular exam done. The standard procedures of checking weight and temperature will further ensure that the baby is healthy enough to travel.

If you do all of these things, you will have absolutely nothing to worry about! If you want to be even more cautious, go get an exam with your doctor as well before going. This will keep both of you safe and happy. As for other safety concerns, we have you covered.

We will go over more safety tips a little bit later to keep your camping trip from going sour. For now, you need the ultimate packing list to get you started!

Packing List for Camping with Babies

Your head may be spinning thinking about all that needs to be gotten before you can leave the house. Everyone always forgets something, but you won’t this time! You have the ultimate baby packing list at your fingertips.

Diaper Bag Essentials

Every super parent carries a trusty diaper bag for every trip to fit their baby’s every need! You probably already know the basics, but maybe you need to spruce it up before you go. I am here to help!

  • This is a no-brainer, right? It is right in the name, after all. Surprisingly, though, many parents forget them if they are in a hurry. I would not want that to happen for you, so make sure to bring them along! You need several per day depending on the frequency of your baby’s bathroom habits. You do not have to fit every one of them in the bag; make room in the trunk!
  • Wet wipes. Babies need a clean bum to prevent infections and a general stinky odor. These wipes are also useful for any food that may dribble down their faces or any dirt that gets on their hands. They come in handy for you, too!
  • Changing pads. Tables are not always available to change a baby’s diaper on. When you go camping, you may not be able to find one in a campsite’s facilities. Instead of laying them down on the dirty ground, use a pad to make changing time easier. You can find one here on Amazon. It has 4.5/5 stars and over 9,000 reviews! It is clear that many other parents trust it, so I think this pad is a safe bet.
  • Pacifier of comfort object. Babies are quite frequently a little fussy, so pack their personal comfort object or pacifier to keep them happy and keep your sanity intact.
  • If your baby is teething, they need relief from pain in their gums. Get some baby-safe Orajel to help them through it.
  • Bottles and baby food. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you can skip this one. If not, don’t forget the bottles! The baby is bound to get hungry, and they can’t have s’mores for dinner like you might. WIth the bottle comes formula, so bring that in a cannister as well! You could also put formula in the bottles ahead of time if you plan thoroughly. If they have moved past their bottle days, bring enough baby food and spoons to last them.

That about covers the basics, but it does not stop there! There is plenty more to pack, so buckle down and add some room in the car.

Other Packing List Items

  • Weather safety items. Baby skin is far more sensitive than our own, so they need extra protection from the elements. If you are going somewhere sunny, get baby sunscreen. It is more gentle on the skin. Pick up some at your local drug store or supermarket. If you need more options, look here. As for a place with a lot of mosquitos, you will need a bug spray that is free of the chemical deet.
  • You will need lots and lots of clothes. Babies are messy, as you have figured out in your journey of parenthood. Pack two to three outfits for every day. It may seem excessive, but you will thank me later! Include shoes as well; even the smallest of babies need foot protection. If you are camping in a cooler environment, pack a coat. If you are camping in a sunny place, get a hat and baby-sized sunglasses to protect their skin and eyes from damage.
  • If you are traveling on foot anywhere during your camping trip with your baby, you will want a stroller. Babies can be heavy after a while, and your arms will ache forever. It is a good workout, but you came to relax!
  • Baby sling. Along the same vein, you may want to carry your baby hands-free. That is what baby slings are for. They are comfortable and often affordable. There’s a learning curve involved with properly tying them, but I am sure you’ll have it in no time!
  • You can’t follow your baby’s every move. You may be a great parent, but you are not actually a superhero. When you need a break, sit them down with some toys in a playpen to keep them from wandering. This could also bring a bonus nap if they get comfortable, no coaxing attached! These generally are not super compact, so make sure you have room in your vehicle. Trust me, it is worth it.
  • Every child needs something to keep them occupied, and birdwatching doesn’t cut it. Babies love soft toys and things that sparkle or make noise. Keep a few of them around and get some much-needed rest and relaxation while they play.
  • First aid kit. This is for everyone in your group, not just your baby. You need bandages, sanitizing wipes, Neosporin, and safe medicines at least. Pack some baby Tylenol for fever reduction. Babies should not have regular painkillers.

In addition to everything else you have for yourself and the group, you now have a comprehensive list to make your baby’s first time camping a lot of fun!

Activities for Babies

As it turns out, infants and toddlers do not really care for hiking and zip lining. Who could have guessed? In that case, you need some fun activities that they can participate in. You are not as limited as you may have initially thought.

  • Bring a kiddie pool! This is a fun way to let your baby cool off in the hot weather while being able to keep a close eye on them. If you don’t have the water to spare, just sit them in the empty tub with some toys and a blanket! If you set it upside down over two supports and cover it with a sheet, it can become a fort. Kiddie pools are more versatile than one would believe.
  • Watch for animals. Show them the wildlife in the area from a safe distance, and teach them the names of each one! This is both captivating and educational for a little one. Just be sure that you are not getting too close. Even unassuming animals can become dangerous if you don’t exercise proper caution.
  • Pack some sturdy toys that can be rolled around in the dirt so that the baby can play by sitting in one spot. Supervise them so that they do not ingest anything they shouldn’t! Things like plastic trucks, blocks, and toy shovels can survive the roughest play.
  • Give them some picture books to marvel at while you do what you need to do. They will be occupied and happy. This also comes in handy at bedtime when they need your voice reading to them to help them drift off.
  • Coloring books are always an easy and great way to let your child’s creativity shine! Even if they only scribble, encourage them to color something pretty and fawn over it once they are done. This kind of positive response makes them feel proud and loved.
  • If the baby will not try to eat it, buy some chalk and find a nice rock or blacktop to let them draw. Just wash it off before you leave with some water to be considerate to future campers.
  • Go on a nature walk with your baby in the stroller. Maybe hand them a pretty leaf once in a while and watch them stare at it in wide-eyed wonder. It really does not take too much effort to entertain babies!
  • Make a game out of chores. If the baby is old enough to walk, have them do something very simple like carrying light items or clearing a spot to set up camp. Make it a race!
  • Sing to them around the campfire. Music is essential to development in babies, believe it or not! It exercises both parts of the brain to help it grow stronger in the fields of language and memorization.
  • Play easy games like tag with the baby if they can walk! You are spending time bonding with your child, and it’s a quick way to tire them out so they will be ready for nap time. It is a win-win situation for you!

Every activity encompasses a certain range of development; do which is most age-appropriate for your baby, whether they are just learning to crawl or are entering the toddler stage! Anything you pick is sure to bring smiles to their faces.

baby camping mountains

Sleepytime With Baby

Here comes the part that you dread — sleeping. It is hard enough to get them to bed at home; what will you do in this strange new environment?! You will be a boss at it, that’s what. Try some of these soothing activities and products to help them quickly drop off into dreamland.

  • Have a softly-lit lantern hung somewhere inside the tent. Children are so often afraid of the dark that the adrenaline keeps them awake. Having a dim light on will calm them.
  • Sing a lullaby. Babies are soothed by the sounds of their parents’ voices. Anything you can think of works, even if you are not the best singer. Babies don’t care, so long as you try your best!
  • Read a story. This works in the same way that a lullaby does, and they have something to focus on other than the fact that they are in an unfamiliar place.
  • Sleep close by, if it is safe to do so. You may be used to putting the baby in a nursery for the night, but they need you as close as possible to feel secure here. If you have a two-room tent, I advise using it for storage.
  • Give them a routine to follow. Routine is a very comforting and secure thing to babies and toddlers. Make them feel more at home.


Baby-Safe Camping Tips

As is typical of every other activity, keeping baby’s safety in mind is important. They require more care than we adults do, but being safe does not have to stress you out. Keep a list of these tips handy, and everything will be easy and breezy!

  • Choose a safe environment to pitch your tent in. Infants and toddlers like to explore the ground, especially if they are just learning how to crawl. Hard and hazardous surfaces like gravel or other rocky terrains could give them some cuts and bruises or something more serious if they fall. Grassy clearings or even soft dirt is safer and more pleasant.
  • Give them a shady place to play. Leaving the baby out in the sun for prolonged periods of time is dangerous and will damage the skin, even with sunscreen on. Spend intermittent times in the shade and the sun.
  • Never leave a baby unattended around water. It takes very little to drown someone, so keep an eye on them when they are splashing around in that kiddie pool. As long as you do this, you shouldn’t have to worry.
  • Have your first aid kit and your phone on you wherever you go. You never know when an emergency will arise. Some are not serious and only require a bandage. Others require calling the hospital (only in extreme cases). Make sure your phone is charged and that you can find signal. It is not always a great thing to completely unplug.
  • Check the weather ahead of time to make sure that you and the baby will not be caught in severe storms. Postpone your trip if thunderstorms are ahead! Thunder and lightning go hand in hand, and things could get worse at the drop of a hat. It is always better to wait until you know you will be safe and dry.
  • If you are camping in milder temperatures, keep your child covered up. They are more sensitive to cold, and they can get sick if you do not keep them warm. Jackets, coats, socks, shoes, boots, and onesies work just fine to keep a steady temperature.

Congratulations! You just became the best parent ever. You know how to handle every hiccup and make something that could be anxiety-inducing a lot of fun for your baby. No one has superpowers, but you have the next best thing — knowledge. You can be a lot more confident and keep your cool in any situation. Have fun, and do not forget the diapers!

Here are some more articles we think you will love.

How to go camping while pregnant. Click here

How to Take a Toddler Camping. Click here

How To Get Your Toddler To Sleep While Camping. Click here


Rickie Arms

Hi, I'm Rickie Arms, owner of Glampingorcamping.com. I am so invested in writing the best and most informative articles for you that I went out and bought a travel trailer just so I could write about it for you. I spend just about all of my off time both camping and glamping so I can share everything I have learned and will learn with you. I have spent my whole life camping and over the last 10 years, I have spent a large amount of time checking out glamping experiences with my wife and kids as well. Thank you for coming by and we hope to see you back here getting great information in the future. Rick Arms-

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