Keys to a Successful Camping Trip
Before we had our baby I went out and bought this BIG honking tent from Costco, thinking... yup I'll go camping straight away no problem!! My baby will love the outdoors and camping.
Reality Check! Ummm... no!
I avoided it for a long time because I was petrified to bring my baby girl into the woods without preparing myself and my family first. The first time we attempted to meet the great outdoors again, I decided to ease myself into it, and I borrowed a tent trailer from a very loving and patient friend.
When I finally got up the courage to go camping, with my baby girl, in a tent – I made note of the biggest "takeaways" from my experience.
- Practice your naps/bedtimes in a new place before you go. Maybe at a family member’s house if they are willing to help.
- Arrive at least 2 hours before bedtime. Babies love to explore and take in their new surroundings. Give them the time they need to work out the energy from the car ride and adapt to their new environment. Also, it ensures the parents are not in a huge rush to get everything set up before baby is due to sleep.
- Keep your normal routine. Babies love their routines; keeping things similar to your home schedule will keep your baby from getting confused as to what they are supposed to be doing and what comes next.
- Make it as dark as possible. This can be tough in a tent or pop up trailer. But bring dark sheets or solar shades, and try to build an area for your little one to keep the light out. This will enable them to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
- Be patient and flexible. Sometimes things are going to be a little bit later or with so much sunshine nap time needs to be a little earlier.
- Keep bedtime consistent. Bedtimes are what set the tone for the evening and for the next day. Changing bedtimes to more than 19 minutes later than usual could cause a rough next 24 hours.
Remember that this too is something that you’re both learning about and mastering so be patient with both your little one and yourself. The plus side is that you have all that beautiful sunshine producing melatonin for a good night’s rest!