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

Hiking with Baby

Hiking with baby

If you want your children to care about what happens with the environment, nurture their connection with nature from the time they are very small. If you are a hiker, you may be ready to get back out there WITH your baby. With a few planning considerations, safety precautions, and the right gear, you and your baby or young children can have a great time hiking.

My husband and I have hiked with our children since they were tiny. Now, the children have their favorite spots that they want to visit over and over. This past holiday weekend, my husband and son went hiking up to 10,000 feet above sea level. They both saw their first rattlesnake, and they spent a long time watching the pikas pop up (like whack-a-mole my son informs me). Last week we saw on IMAX The Wildest Dream, a documentary about a 1924 attempt to climb Mount Everest, and we’ve been flying around Everest on the Google Earth flight simulator for days. But, they wanted to get into the mountains themselves. Hiking was inevitable this weekend. And, hiking is so easy with a 10-year old. I’m glad we started early taking our children on walks and hikes.


Considerations

I don’t need to tell you that things are different now with a baby. That doesn’t mean you need to stay home, but it does mean you will see things differently. A bit of scrambling when you were hiking without another person on your back will not seem like such a great idea now. As a matter of fact, don’t hike with a newborn. They are too sensitive to sun exposure to take the risk. Give it a month then go out.

The landscape is different, so change your view to match. Ask other active parents where they like to go. Hiking doesn’t have to mean big changes in elevation or narrow paths. Just make it somewhere that is interesting to see, hear, smell, and touch for both of you. If your child is at that curious toddler / preschooler age, prepare to stop—a lot!

In summer, start early morning or late afternoon to beat the heat. You can build up to longer hikes at warmer times, but give yourself a better chance for the win first time out.

Go with a plan to be flexible. If things go well, stay out for a while. Have a short version planned in case not everyone is happy with the situation. Prepare yourself in mind and gear to improvise.


Safety

  • Choose a trail that requires no more attention than you can give with a child along.
  • Sun Protection - Whether physical (shirt and hat) or chemical (sunscreen), be sure that you protect yourselves from the sun. Watch the tips of ears and noses and backs of necks especially.
  • Stay hydrated – Bring plenty of water and drink it. Remind your child to drink it, or, if you are breastfeeding, you drink it while you stop to feed the baby.
  • No running – Especially if you take a toddler or curious preschooler, make sure they understand that there is no running if you are hiking in a place where they could tumble any distance.
  • Safety whistle – For a child old enough to blow, you may want to give him a safety whistle to wear around his neck. Make sure he understands that this if only for blowing if he needs help.
  • Leaves of three, leave them be – Teach your child about plants, starting with the ones to avoid and continuing through “No, darling, we don’t put those in our mouths.”
  • First aid kit – Be sure you have a small, basic first aid kit with some kid additions in your pack.


Gear

Snacks & Water
Bring enough not only for the child but for the breastfeeding mother. Keep hydrated!

Sun & Bug Protection
Lightweight, long sleeved-shirt and a hat helps with both, but you may need sunscreen and some kind of natural bug deterrent.

Baby Carrier
The right baby carrier depends on the age of your child and the length of your hike. For a baby who still needs neck support (up to about 6 months), a front baby carrier will work well. For an older baby or toddler, a back pack gives you the best balance and freedom and gives the child the best view. Even for a child who wants to walk part of the time, you may need to have a sturdy framed back pack baby carrier to carrier your child at times until she becomes a stronger hiker.

Explorer Gear
For my son who loves machines that go ping, this means compass and magnifying glass. For my daughter the digger, a trowel and a bag to carry rocks. Whatever explorer gear your curious child is likely to need, make sure you have a few tools to help them feed their curiosity.

Camera
You will all want to remember this.

Diapers
Flat cloth diapers. So many people I know are talking about flat diapers for travel this past week, and I’ll talk about that later this week. Leave the poop behind and make carrying diapers easy on yourself by taking the simplest diapers of all.

Blanket
Use a blanket to cover baby from sunlight and heat. Useful as a changing pad, too.

Clothes
Bring another layer (jacket or shirt) and another complete set of clothes. If watching a toddler in wet pants try to hike with a super-wide stance down the trail sucks the fun out of the experience for you, imagine how much less fun it is for the toddler.

With a little planning and a great attitude, you can help your baby love the outdoors as much as you do.

Image © Mangroove | Dreamstime.com

5 Tips for Non-toxic Sun Protection for Babies

Summer is going to be over soon. One of my friends lives high in the mountains, and she had 3″ of snow yesterday—weak, slushy snow, but still snow.

As the summer draws to a close, a lot of my friends are going off for weekends hiking and camping by lakes. Some of these friends are new parents, and they ask me how to take care of their babies while camping—how to use cloth diapers on the road, how to keep their babies entertained, and how to protect them from the sun since sunscreen is not recommended for infants. Non-toxic sun protection suit for babies

  1. Stay in the shade whenever possible and use an umbrella at the park or the beach where there are no trees.
  2. Stay out of the sun during peak hours especially
  3. Keep babies covered with light clothing
  4. Always have the baby wear a hat
  5. Use an all-natural sunscreen for older babies and toddlers when they are no longer putting hands in their hands in their mouths

Nature Mom uses these non-toxic sun protection suits for both of her children at the pool and at the beach. These are less messy than sunscreen,and they offer great protection. This is a great time of year to look for summer bargains because most retailers are starting to put them on sale as they prepare for back to school specials and (if you can believe it!) the holiday season.