Bringing your baby outdoors seems to be an unconventional idea. After all, most parents think that their little ones are still too delicate to be exposed to the elements. Fortunately, it is a safe thing to do, especially if you know the ins and outs of camping with a baby.
When you're ready to get outdoors with your infant, do the following things to ensure their safety and enjoyment.
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How To Camp With A Baby?
A. Pick The Right Camping Site
Choosing an appropriate camping site where you can take your baby can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider, from a distance down to the availability and quality of amenities present.
Interestingly enough, most of the common sites for camping are also suitable for your babies. Destinations like national parks and private grounds are all good choices, as long as the following considerations are met.
- Distance - As mentioned, it is important that your camping site is not too far. It is not practical and ideal to drive long distances, especially if you are with your baby. Travel-related stress should be removed from the equation so that your entire family can fully relax and unwind. Campsites that are close to your home are the best choices. In this way, you don't need to prepare for the drive too much, and you can just head back if you have met unexpected things along the way.
- Amenities and utilities - When it comes to choosing your next campsite, make sure that you go for an option that offers decent amenities that your baby can benefit from--directly or indirectly. For instance, access to water and electricity might be crucial if you want to ensure the welfare of your child. Moreover, campsites with clean and hygienic bathrooms are also great choices.
- Noise and traffic - In choosing a campsite for your baby, you need to make sure that it has a decent distance between noise sources and other campgrounds. Keep in mind that children can easily get startled by noises and human activities. While you want a campsite that is not too far, you may also want it to be distant from various types of disturbances.
- Natural sheds - Do you want to bring your little one camping? Then make sure that they have enough roof on their head to shield them from the harmful UV rays and heat. Campsites that are too open are not suitable for your babies. Instead, go for those areas that have trees and other sources of shade,
B. Sleeping With A Baby Inside A Tent
Is it easy to sleep while you are on the premises of your home? Isn't it right?
Now, have you ever thought of applying the same predicament in an outdoor setting? Will you be able to sleep tight?
You see, the new environment will force your baby to adjust a little. Hence, don't get surprised if they will be up longer than usual. Preparation is the key here. You will need to sail with the waves. Drink an extra cup of coffee if you must.
- Be adaptive - All people--regardless if they are young or old--have different sleeping patterns. Usually, these patterns change once an individual is exposed to a different setting, environment, or even temperature. Your baby is much more sensitive to these changes. If you are going to take them on a camping trip, you should expect that their normal sleeping time will be altered. At this point, you should be as patient as possible with your baby. If possible, you may have to let your little one stay up later than usual until they can doze off.
- Use a large tent - Just because there are only a few heads in your family doesn't mean that you can stick yourself in a small tent. For any other cases, that could work. But if you have your baby with you, abstain from doing so. A large tent gives enough stretching space for you and your little one. That could help your baby experience comfort during its sleeping time. The larger your tent is, the easier it is for you to bring a portable crib inside.
- Bring a portable crib - Having a portable crib is optional. But for those babies who are used to sleeping inside their cribs and play yards, the said amenities are a must. Of course, you need a large tent so that you can fit these sleeping tools. These cribs are also useful in ensuring that you restrict your baby's movement whenever you have to do something--such as cooking or cleaning your camping grounds.
- Pack some familiar items - I am pretty sure that your baby has favorite stuff. It could be a toy, book, or simply anything that they are so fond of. For them, these items can establish a sense of comfort and familiarity. Hence, bringing them on your camping trip should be a good idea. I am not saying that you should pack all those things. But a few of them should be enough for your little one to find comfort while you are away from home.
C. Food For Your Baby
Adults can survive in the outdoors even with just minimal nourishments. For instance, energy bars can be sufficient for some hikers to complete a day hike. But it is a different story for your babies. They require a constant source of energy and sustenance to support their growth and development.
Honestly, it is a challenge to cook outdoors. You need to have the right cooking tools first, as well as essential utensils. Moreover, you have to plan ahead your menu. In this way, you will be able to prepare the ingredients that you will put inside your cooler.
When it comes to your babies, the best foods for them are those that they are accustomed to eating. You can do some slight variations, but you should still stick to the same menu nonetheless.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, there should be no fuss about this matter. But if they are already intaking solids, then you should take the following considerations into account.
- Maintain the cleanliness of your cookware - All the things that you use to cook food for your baby should be clean at all times. The same is true with the utensils you use for feeding them. In this way, you will prevent food poisoning and other scary repercussions. Boiling these items can help sanitize them.
- Opt for convenient alternatives - If your baby can already eat solid foods, you may want to try hassle-free food items such as squeeze packets that contain pureed veggies and fruits. You can pour small amounts of these purees into a spoon and feed them to your baby. If your child is old enough to eat finger foods, then you should give them soft foods, such as soft fruits.
D. Proper Outdoor Clothing For Your Baby
Your baby needs extra protection whenever you are camping. The following clothing tips can help them keep them extra safe and comfortable.
- Follow a layering system - Babies require to be dressed in layers if you wish to bring them outdoors. They are sensitive to the elements and temperature, so they do really extra protection from them. A base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell can ensure that your kid can navigate the outside world as safely as possible.
- Don't use cotton garments - While cotton sounds comfortable, they aren't the ideal material of choice when it comes to outdoor clothing. You see, cotton absorbs water easily. It doesn't have good insulation and durability, either. Instead, you should opt for clothing that is made from wool and synthetic as they excel in keeping your baby dry and insulated. If you are exploring under cold weather conditions, you should equip your little ones with fleece jackets, fleece pants, and wool socks. If you expect some downpours, you better have a rain jacket for your baby. During fine days, it is enough that your child wears breathable shirts and pants.
- Avoid overdressing - Of course, you should not overdress your baby, too. It can cause discomfort and possible injuries. As parents or guardians, it is your responsibility to check the weather forecast first before heading on the trip. In this way, you can determine the number of clothing layers that your baby needs.
E. Protection From The Elements
Health institutions prohibit you from applying sunscreens and insect repellents to your baby if the latter is less than six months old. If your child belongs in the same category, you should try other alternatives such as wearing clothing layers.
Your baby should have a reduced amount of skin exposed. In this way, you will no longer have to apply repellents and lotions to them. You can also try other options, such as wearing insect-deterrent accessories and gear. Moreover, you can also protect your campsite through the use of citronella candles.
Meanwhile, the Federal Drug Administration states that children below six months old should stay away from sunscreens. Aside from limiting the exposed skin, you should decrease the time that your baby is basking under the sunlight. Accessories like umbrellas are also useful to block heat and UV rays.