5 Outdoor Fun Accessories to Keep Baby Safe & Organized

Beachfront Baby water wrap

As summer creeps up on us and the cottagers and campers start visiting our store, we have seen a lot of interest in sun and fun accessories for babies and children. These are our most popular outdoor items this year.

Rosk Sun Cover

Rosk sun cover for babiesWhen your baby is too young for sunscreen, under 6 months old, we have the perfect non-toxic solution: a lightweight cotton sun protection cover. The cover is versatile. Two sets of ties work with soft baby carrier, car seat, or stroller. Lab-tested to block 98% of UVA & UVB rays. Infant to four years. Made in China.

Water Resistant Outdoor Blankets

Make a soft, dry place to sit against damp grass, beach sand, or a dusty campsite. We have beach and park blankets in two styles this year.

Beach blanket

Water Resistant Blanket. The cool cotton striped top side of this outdoor blanket comes in two colors. Lightly padded for comfort. Rugged nylon backing.

Outdoor blanket easy carry

 

Attached carry handles and storage pockets make it easy to fold then keep both blanket and child in hand. Water resistant. Total space: 31 sq ft. Made responsibly in China

Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Spring Park Blanket. If you know it’s going to be really wet, even after a rainstorm, this 100% waterproof polyester fabric will keep your family dry. Folds into a carrying bag. Easy to clean, just wipe or machine wash. Available in two solid color combos. Waterproof. Total space: 23 sq ft. Made in Canada

JuJuBe Super Be Beach Bag

JuJuBe Super Be beach bag

When you are traveling with children, you need a lot of odds and ends. The best beach bag around is the JuJuBe Super Be. Generous size, lightweight, with inner and outer pockets that are easy to see into, and a zip top to keep everything from spilling out.

JuJuBe Beach Bag pockets

Choose from a range of patterns from subtle adult to wild beach style. Easy care by machine wash and air dry. 18″ x 15″ x 5.5″. Made responsibly in China

Non-toxic Sun Protection Suits

Kids Sun Protection Suit

If you are avoiding sunscreen, you don’t need to avoid the sun. This lightweight, stretchy sunsuit gives your child freedom to play in the sun without worry. Especially for children who are sensitive to sunscreen or who just wipe it off before it does its job. UPF rated to 50+, blocks 98% of harmful UV rays. (You will still need to use some sunscreen on arms, legs, and face.) Made in Canada

Beachfront Baby Water Wrap

Baby beach wrap baby carrier

What do you do about a slippery baby at the pool? Hold your baby tight with this stretchy, comfortable water baby carrier. Keep your hands free to play with older children while you wear your baby, even in the water. There is even just enough stretch to wash yourself and baby in the shower. Light, airy, and quick to dry. One size fits most. Water use to 30lbs; land use to 20lbs. Made in USA.

When you are heading to the beach, be sure to stop by to see all of the summer fun accessories we have for you at bynature.ca in Orillia, Ontario.

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!

Image © Ilhaformosa | Dreamstime.com

Summer with Baby Roundup

Mother and baby outside in the summer

If you are planning to go camping, hiking, or just walking around town with your baby, you will find some helpful tips in our round-up of posts from Eco Baby Steps.


Camping

Your Camping with Baby Checklist
Are you ready to jump in? Check your packing list and make sure you have these basic items before you go camping with your baby.

Camping with Cloth Diapers
Long post on using cloth diapers while camping covers what to take, how to wash, and what to do when you run out. Fun personal experience resources as well.


Hiking

Hiking with Baby
Start out hiking with your baby, and you end up with toddlers and children who can’t wait to explore the outdoors. Tips for safety, gear, and other considerations.


Flying & Other Travel

Using Cloth Diapers on a Plane
What you need and how to make it work when you are flying to your vacation and you want to keep your baby in cloth diapers. What works depends on your needs, but this list is a great start.

Travelling with Cloth Diapers
If you haven’t travelled with cloth diapers before, it might seem a bit of a mystery. A lot of parents do use cloth diapers while they travel, though, and they have created very helpful resources for you.


Closer to Home

Daycation Exploration with Toddlers
Whether money, time, or the stress of travel has you wanting to stay closer to home this year, you can still create that vacation feeling for children with short explorations. Includes ideas how to make day-long vacations work for you and your children.

5 Tips for Non-toxic Sun Protection for Babies
If you are going to be outside with your baby, especially if your baby is less than 6 months old, you need sun protection. The basics of non-toxic protection from the sun.

7 Tips for a Successful Picnic with Kids
You can still improvise summer fun if you know you have the basics covered. Just a little planning and preparation will help you and your child avoid a hot, sticky meltdown.

Cool Summer Babywearing
Basic tips for keeping cool(er) while wearing your baby in the summer, plus a few recommendations for carriers depending whether you have dry heat or humid heat.

3 Steps to Summer Babywearing Success
Another post on staying cool while babywearing. Walks you through three basic steps for you to find a baby carrier and a carry that will work for you.

Summer in Nature for Your Children
How to give your child enough structure that they get curious about nature and start to explore on their own. Great list of resources.

Image © Evgeniya Tubol | Dreamstime.com

Your Camping with Baby Checklist

Camping with Baby in a backpack

If you are new to camping with your baby, you might be looking forward to instilling a love of nature in your child and having fun as a family, but how? What are the specific steps you need to take to get to that happy place?

My baby left for three days of camping today. The preparations aren’t so different with a baby or a young boy or a childless couple. Do what we did. Start with a list.

Draft your list at least a week before you go then look over it a few times during the week, adding things you hadn’t considered. Ask experienced hikers what they recommend you take. And, think of your baby. What needs does your baby have that you must meet even while camping? Whether you are hiking and camping in the wild or in a well groomed campground, walk through your day and anticipate what your baby will need.

These are a few suggestions to get you started on your own camping with baby checklist.


Food

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to worry about special foods or snacks. Breastfeeding makes life so easy. If your baby eats solid foods, you will need to plan foods that can be adapted for baby or just bring baby or toddler foods.

  • Sippy cup (if child is drinking water)
  • Snacks (again, if)
  • Bibs


Clothes

Bring lightweight clothes that are easy to layer. There will be accidents, so plan either 2-3 outfits a day or be prepared to wash.

  • Cotton shirts that snap at the crotch
  • Wool pants that insulate against temperature changes
  • Hoodie (to keep the neck covered)
  • Hats
  • Footie Pajamas
  • Extra socks


Diapers

Camping with cloth diapers can seem daunting before you’ve done it. Like most other situations, though, once you really dive in and do it, you’ll be an expert in a couple of days.

  • Diapers
  • Diaper Covers
  • Wipes
  • Wet bags
  • Spray bottle
  • Natural hand sanitizer


Grooming

For just a short camping trip, don’t worry about baths. You can use a wash cloth and warm water for cleaning.

  • Baby Brush
  • Wash Cloth


Baby carrier

If you have a versatile baby carrier, you can use the same one for both serious hiking and around-the-camp snuggling. Especially if you will be hiking and this is your first time with baby, put your emphasis on making sure you will be comfortable away from camp. If you have to choose between carriers, closer to camp you can just hold your baby.

  • Backpack carrier for hiking
  • Sling or soft carrier for around camp


Toys

Maybe your baby will love the new experience enough that he won’t need toys, but do you want to take a chance? Make sure you have some familiar and comforting items for your child. A calm, happy baby helps everyone to enjoy their adventure.

  • Favorite blanket or toy
  • More games and toys
  • Waterproof blanket to create a play area


Safety

Having a good first aid kit is important for everyone, but make sure you have baby versions of your first aid essentials.

  • First aid kit

Image © Mangroove | Dreamstime.com

Camping with Cloth Diapers

Family Camping

If you are going camping with your baby, you may be wondering about the logistics of diapering. Yes, you can use cloth diapers while camping! Many parents are willing to share their experience to help you succeed.

Steps to your cloth diaper camping success include WHAT to take, HOW to wash, and what to do if you run out of diapers.


WHAT Diapers to Take Camping

When I wrote about camping with cloth diapers last year, I was more open to prefolds. I suggested prefolds or flats will work. The more I read about camping success with flat cloth diapers, I am shifting to all-out flat diaper advocacy.

Take flat cloth diapers camping!

These are the easiest diapers to get clean because they are just one big layer of absorbent cotton. Flat diapers are cotton gauze or birdseye squares from 27″x27″ to 36″x36″ with a flat, finished edge—a lot like a large, absorbent dish towel. Or give the Hemp/Cotton flat cloth diapers at bynature.ca a try – a wonderful alternative to traditional flats that are only 2-layers left open at one end for easy washing and drying.

  • 30-40 flat diapers. If you are ambitious about washing every day, make it 20. If you have an older child who doesn’t need frequent changes, you can take fewer diapers. You can double the diapers for nighttime.
  • 4-6 covers.
  • 30-40 cloth wipes.
  • A spray bottle for water to wet the wipes and the baby’s bottom
  • 3 wet bags. 1 bag for clean diapers (can be used to hold dirties in an emergency), 1 bag for wet-only diapers, and 1 bag for soiled diapers.

Yes, other types of diapers than flats will work. If you are only camping for a weekend and don’t plan to wash diapers while camping, use your regular cloth diapers. Just keep in mind that the longer diapers sit without washing, the harder it will be to get them clean when you get home. You may need hotter water, more rinsing, or an extra wash.


HOW to Wash Cloth Diapers While Camping

If you are only camping for a weekend, you may not need or want to wash diapers while you are away. If you are camping for a week, though, you would defeat the purpose of reusability if you had to buy 75 diapers just to cover a week (barely). Wash! It’s not difficult.

If you will be washing diapers while camping, add to your packing list:

  • Travel-sized biodegradable laundry detergent. Be sure it is phosphate free.
  • If you are traveling by car, bring a bucket. I have found that a 5-gallon bucket is perfect for dirty diapers. You can use it as both diaper pail and wash basin. If you aren’t traveling by car, you will still need to have some way to hold water to wash the diapers.
  • Rope for clothesline
  • Clothes pins

If you aren’t washing diapers while out, make sure you have a large, laundry-sized wet bag.

First of all, dump the poop. Whatever facilities you use for yourself, dump the baby’s poop there. That’s a lot better plan than keeping a wet bag full of poop hanging in your tent. This way, you get rid of a lot of the waste before it smashes and soaks into the diapers.

The next choice, how to clean. You can just swish the diapers in bucket of warm, soapy water, but you probably won’t get the diapers reliably clean that way. To kill any micro-creatures that are trying to live in the diapers, you can boil them—just like my grandmother did. You can see a great photo and a description of boiling diapers while camping in EnviroJon’s post linked below.

If boiling isn’t an option, flat diapers become even more important because you can clean them so much more easily than diapers with multiple layers. Swish them, agitate them, beat them, and knead them like bread. Do whatever you have to do to get the diapers clean.

Don’t use too much soap, since it will be more difficult to rinse when camping.

You may have to rinse a couple of times until the water is clear.

Finally, hang to dry. You can drape flat diapers over rocks or in trees, or you can pin them to a clothesline. A breeze will soften the diapers a bit, but you can take care of that softening by hand by rolling the diapers around a bit to help the cotton fibers flex post-wash.


Bother! I Ran out of Cloth Diapers While Camping

Diapers do a simple job: they soak up pee and hold in poop. Anything absorbent will do this job. If you run out of cloth diapers while camping, you have a choice: wash the diapers or borrow other absorbent items from around camp.

If you start borrowing and you have quite a young (small) baby, your husband’s socks (or your socks, for diapering dads) might do the job if the are cotton or mostly cotton. You wouldn’t want to use your own, so just tell him his were bigger so you had to. A big cotton tube sock can be folded over to make a narrow but quite absorbent diaper.

For a bigger baby, you need to make a wider poop catcher. You may need to resort to T-shirts. I have tried this. It’s such a simple diapering solution! Lay the shirt out with the neck at the top. If the shirt is wide (anything but a small women’s shirt), you may need to fold the shirt over then back open again leaving a wide strip down the middle with triple shirt layers (6 layers of fabric). This is a bit like a prefold. If the shirt is long, fold down the hem toward the neck. Fold in the sides much the way you would when folding a prefold. Put the baby on the new diaper, and tuck or tie the sleeves at the waist. If you use a small T-shirt, the diaper will be snug without a cover. If you have pre-folded the shirt, you will need a cover to keep it from unfolding and falling off.

For a bonus, put the back of the T-shirt toward the baby’s bottom and any logo from the chest of the T-shirt will be on the baby’s bottom.

There are also the options of moss and cattail fluff. Native peoples of North America used whatever absorbent material was a hand for the simple job of catching baby waste. In my area, that means cattail fluff. It’s sticky. I could work for you if you have a layer next to baby’s skin, but it would be a big mess to scrap poopy fluff off your baby’s bottom. It’s not a great option, but it’s an option. If you are adventurous enough to camp for weeks with a baby, maybe you want to try it. If you are going to try it, consider a silk liner next to the skin.


Who Has Camped with Cloth Diapers?

Check out EnviroJon’s great photos of boiling cloth diapers in a stock pot on a camp stove and drying diapers on a line outside the tent.

AutumnB’s video talks you through a diaper change in her pop-up camper. She was only gone for a few days, so she put the dirty diapers in a wet bag to wash when she arrived home. She uses a nice-looking, snug wool cover, so YES! you can use wool while camping.

Jessica of VeryBaby took cloth diapers camping with no wash facilities. She has a lot of tips and advice to make it work.

Image © Paulburns | Dreamstime.com