Camping with Baby Round-up

Father and baby hiking

Wish you could go camping but worried about your baby? Worry no more. Many families continue camping even with a baby. You definitely need to prepare more than you would for adults only, but you can certainly have a successful great outdoors experience and a happy baby.

Read the articles below for a few of our tips to make your camping trip go smoothly for the whole family.

Camping with Baby Checklist

This is our must-have packing list for camping with babies. If you are already confident and ready to go, start here.

Camping with Cloth Diapers

How many diapers? Which diapers are easiest to clean? There are a lot of ways to make cloth diapers work while camping, so we gathered some personal experience resources as well as providing a general guide.

Hiking with Baby

Many of us combine camping and hiking. Here are a few safety, gear, and other considerations to make before you head out.

7 Tips for a Successful Picnic with Kids

If you aren’t quite up for the overnight experience yet, try a picnic. Once you see that the key to success is in the preparation, you might be ready for camping.

Cool Summer Babywearing

If you will be hanging out a lot in camp, be sure to have a baby carrier that fits the climate. We help you figure out which carrier works for the way you plan to wear your baby on your camping trip.

6 Questions about Sunscreen That We Hear Daily

If you are camping, you will be in the sun. So, grab the natural sunscreen. We’ve answered some of the common questions we hear about sunscreen.

Summer in Nature for Your Children

What will you do with your children once you are in camp? Explore nature. Learning about the area where you are going and knowing about plants and environment before you arrive will make it easier for you to talk to a young child about what they see around them. When you understand how your child’s interest will grow through different child development stages, you can feed the future interests now. This post will help if you want to dig deeper into the reasons children need to play in nature.

Have a great camping trip!

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7 Ideas for Outdoor Summer Fun with Baby

Baby sitting in the grass outside

If it’s your baby’s first summer, not quite ready to run around quite yet, what will you do all day during the summer? I have a few ideas based on the activities that my babies loved.

When I was a very new parent, there were days I just had no idea what to do. I would stare at my baby and ask her, “What do you want to do?” She would just smile at me. By the time I had a second baby, I knew that he was very happy to be my passenger. What I liked to do, he liked to do. So, I put him in a baby carrier, peeking over my shoulder, and I set off doing what I would have done anyway.

If you are looking ahead to the long, hot summer and wondering what to do, I have a few ideas for outdoor activities you can do with your baby.

1. Bubbles. My number one favorite play activity with babies is blowing and popping bubbles. One second they are there then they POP! No more bubbles. Who can resist a baby’s amazement the first time they see this happen.

2. Water. My babies loved water, especially splashing. They did not love the sprinkler, which they didn’t control. Go slowly so you don’t take your baby over that edge of excitement into worry and fear. I liked keeping the water movement under my baby’s control as we drummed and splashed in a bucket of water.

3. Garden peekaboo. Whether you have a cultivated garden, a wild garden, or a collection of weeds, it’s all the same to your baby. Sit the baby on the lawn and hide, popping up behind big plants. The simple movement out from behind leaves where you were gone then you are suddenly there can be a big surprise.

4. Lawn ball. Sometimes when it is hot, the lawn in the shade is still a bit cool. Sit on the cool lawn and roll a ball.

5. Music and dance. Grab something to shake or pound and head outside. Sing your baby’s future favorite song. Make sure your baby has something to grip and shake—a rattle will do. If your baby can stand, then dance! This was one of the our favorite daily activities, and my children still remember the songs we sang. We still sing them now as car songs.

6. Take a walk. Wear your baby in a kangaroo position or on your back, so it’s easy to look around. Just get away. Point out birds and animals. Involve your baby. You’ll probably have a sleeping baby by the end.

7. Picnic. The newness of a familiar activity in a different place is fun even if you just have your lunch then breastfeed your baby.

Nearly everything is new and exciting for a baby. Look for developmentally appropriate activities that let your baby use and improve motor skills, social skills, and language.

If you share in the delight your baby feels at every new and exciting thing, you can share a summer of discovery. Really, though, all your baby wants is to be with you. As long as you are there and having fun, your baby will likely have fun as well.

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Exercising with Baby

Mother exercising and kissing baby

Whether you are working to rediscover your lost flat abs or you just want to build enough stamina to run after your child by the time your child can run, exercising with baby sets a good pattern that prioritizes your health even when so much of your time is spent focusing on the care of others.

I found that it was difficult to do anything without my first baby participating. I remember all too well putting my months-old daughter in a bouncy seat outside the shower while she yelled at me, me saying, “Please baby please baby please baby, let me shower.”

If your baby doesn’t want to be separated from you, you can find a way to exercise and entertain at the same time.

What is your goal? Decide first what you want out of your exercise program. Do you want to lose weight, tighten up, or just build endurance? Determine your goal, then find a path forward that will keep your baby engaged and entertained. That might mean your baby sits on you while you do butt raises or you adjust your squats to include a kiss on the top of your baby’s head. Whether you are touching or just interacting, your baby will enjoy the exercises if you keep her involved.

Keep focused. My favorite source to find exercises is the Exercise Finder at Divine.ca. You start by targeting specific areas on your body, then you are given a list with line drawings and clear descriptions. Some of these could easily be adapted to include your baby.

Find company. Better yet, you may also want the company of other new mothers. Look for a mother and baby exercise class in your area. If your baby is less than one year old, don’t sign up for the toddler class, though. Exercising with toddlers is another matter entirely—one I will write about next week.

You need the workout, and your baby needs you. Everyone can get what they want and need with a little clever planning.


Resources

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Babywearing in Winter

Peekaru vest baby carrier

In winter, you can protect your baby from the sharp bite of the frosty air by babywearing. Keeping your baby close to your chest allows you to share body heat. Just remember to keep the rest of your baby covered.


Use a Wrap Carrier

Baby wrap carrer from Blue Celery

For younger babies, this is the ideal season to use a wrap baby carrier. Baby wrap carriers don’t leave as much room for air flow, which is a good thing in the wintertime.


Cover Those Baby Legs

Baby Spats for warm ankles

If you use a baby carrier that leaves legs free, be sure to cover your child’s legs to keep them warm. Pants can ride up and leave bare skin. Baby spats and baby legs will protect little legs.


Wear a Baby Carrier Cover

Peekaru babywearing vest

Rather than covering each spot the wind and snow try to sneak in, you can wear a cover over you both. Peekaru’s fabulous vest covers every little hollow between you to keep the cold out. This vest fits over you and your baby together. If you only want to cover the baby and the carrier, Catbird Baby makes a baby carrier cover that works with most styles of baby carriers.

Keeping Newborns Warm in Winter

Mother with newborn baby

Newborn babies need a little help maintain their body temperatures in any season. Winter can mean cold winds and warm houses that leave it difficult for a baby to adjust. Be aware of your baby’s needs to help maintain a consistent body temperature.

Normal body temperature for a newborn baby is 97.5-99.ºF (36.5-37.ºC), about the same as your normal body temperature. Babies, though do not yet have the ability adults do to regulate their body temperature. They don’t have the insulation through layers of fat, and their large body surface area in relation to low body weight means more heat loss. You don’t need to pull out the thermometer every hour, though. Just feel the back of your baby’s neck for a quick temperature check.

We give babies a little extra help through clothing and coverings, adjusting room temperature, and keeping them close to us.


Around the House

All newborn babies need some help maintaining the right body temperature, but, if your baby had low birth weight, was born early, or is sick, take special care to monitor body temperature and keep your baby warm.

You are your baby’s best warmer. You can warm your baby through skin-to-skin contact, also called kangaroo care. Put your naked or diapered baby against your bare chest, then cover you both with a blanket. This is perfect for breastfeed. Even without kangaroo care, breastfeeding gives your baby warm milk and warm skin. Babywearing, whether just around the house or when you go out, also keeps you and your baby close.

Clothing. Choose clothing that allows the baby’s skin to breathe, using one more layer than you need. If you are in a T-shirt, add a light jacket or a footed suit in addition to a T-shirt. If you are wearing a sweater, you baby will need at least a sweater, too. Do not, however, layer your baby in too much clothing, causing overheating. If you are wearing your baby, count the wrap or sling as a layer. Don’t forget cold legs when pants ride up in the baby carrier. Baby legs or handknit socks will help.

Hat. Especially during the winter, your newborn will probably need to wear a hat, since babies lose heat through the head. Have lightweight cotton hats for indoors and a warmer, woolen hat for trips out.


Bath Time

Make sure the air and water temperature are comfortably warm without being hot. After the bath, dry the baby immediately. If the room temperature in your house is cool in the winter, you might want to opt for warm sponge baths for your baby. The most important step in keeping a newborn warm during bath time is drying off quickly to avoid heat lose through evaporation.


Nighttime

Your baby doesn’t need a blanket, not in the traditional sense of a large rectangular covering. Babies obviously can’t adjust their covers, so a blanket not only doesn’t stay put but could become a hazard. Your baby is better off wearing the blanket in the form of a worn sleeping bag for newborns or a footed sleeper suit as babies get older. Wool is perfect, since it breathes naturally and helps sleepers regulate their body temperature.

If your baby takes well to swaddling, this will also help maintain body temperature. Not all babies like being wrapped up so snuggly, but do try swaddling.


Going Out

Keeping your baby just the right temperature when it’s biting cold outside is tricky. Have a great insulted suit with legs, if you are going in the car. Although you baby will stay warmer with legs together and those newborn legs naturally want to curl up, you need legs separated for a car seat. If you are on foot and wearing your baby, a vest that covers you, your baby, and the baby carrier, like our Peekaru fleece vest, lets you keep your baby warm with your own body heat.

Be careful not to overheat your baby outside, though. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in the car, and don’t leave an insulated suit on for long drives in the car. Choose light layers of clothing that are easy to remove one by one as you move through your day and the temperature changes.


You
are the perfect temperature to keep your baby warm but not too warm. Keep your newborn baby close this winter.


Resources

Image © Kati Molin | Dreamstime.com