Camping with your baby is one of the great joys in life. With our baby in tow, my family and I went camping twice during the period of COVID 19 lockdowns and I have great tips to share with other parents looking to find the best camping gear for their baby.
Why go camping with a baby?
After having our second born, we found camping to be a great way for our family to still enjoy the outdoors together, even with a baby in tow. It’s an affordable, fun, and convenient way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life without having to go too far from home.
Another reason to try camping is to enable your baby to adapt to many changes in the surrounding. Expand your baby’s mind beyond your usual setting at home. The wild noises, the wind blowing, the expansive land, and trees. All those will give your growing little one a new perspective.
Camping is also a great way to introduce your baby to different textures, smells, and tastes in a safe and controlled environment. We found out that our baby loves the smell of some wild roses and that trip gave us the clue that Alex. He still loves roses to this day.
Camping will also enable you to create great memories that will last a lifetime.
Camping is the best way to introduce your little one to the great outdoors. But before you can enjoy all that nature has to offer, you need to make sure you have the right gear.
What to consider when camping with your baby
When planning a camping trip with your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure everyone has a good time.
The first thing to consider is the weather. You’ll want to pay close attention to the forecast and plan your trip accordingly. If the weather is going to be hot, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent on hand. If it’s going to be cold, pack extra blankets and warm clothing.
The next thing to consider is your campsite location. You’ll want to choose a spot that is safe for your baby and has plenty of room to run around. If you’re not sure where to start, there are many websites and apps that can help you find the perfect spot.
You’ll also want to consider how far you’re willing to travel. If you have a long drive ahead of you, consider making a few stops along the way so your baby can stretch their legs. If you’re camping in an unfamiliar place, it might be a good idea to stay closer to home in case you need to leave in a hurry.
Food & meal planning:
When it comes to food, you’ll want to make sure you have enough to feed your entire family. If you’re breastfeeding, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks for yourself. If you’re formula-feeding, pack enough formula and bottles for the trip. And if your baby is eating solid foods, be sure to pack their favorite snacks and meals.
It’s also a good idea to have a few easy-to-prepare meals on hand in case you don’t feel like cooking. Camping can be a lot of work, so you’ll want to make sure you have some quick and easy options for meals.
Water & Medications:
Be sure to pack plenty of water for everyone in your family. It’s also a good idea to pack a first-aid kit and any medications your family might need. If you have a baby or toddler, you might want to bring along some children’s Tylenol or Motrin in case they get a fever.
Last but not least, you’ll want to pack some toys and games to keep your baby entertained. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, pack some balls, Frisbees, and other outdoor toys. If you’re going to be spending more time inside your tent, pack some books, puzzles, and other indoor toys. And if you have a portable DVD player or tablet, be sure to pack some of your child’s favorite movies and shows.
What is the essential camping gear for my baby?
Now that you know what to consider when planning your trip, it’s time to start packing your camping gear. Here are some essential items you’ll need for your baby:
Camping Essential #1: Sleeping gear for baby
A safe and comfortable place for your baby to sleep: You’ll want to bring along a crib, pack-n-play, or travel bassinet for your baby to sleep in. If you’re planning on using a camping cot, be sure to test it out ahead of time to make sure it’s comfortable and safe for your baby. We have a full post on baby camping beds you can pick here.
Camping Essential #2: Clothing for baby
Depending on the weather, you’ll want to pack plenty of clothing for your baby. Be sure to pack items that are comfortable and easy to put on and take off. If you’re camping in an area with mosquitoes, be sure to pack long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your baby from bites.
Camping Essential #3: Diapers & wipes for baby
You’ll want to pack enough diapers and wipes for the entire trip. If you’re using cloth diapers, be sure to pack enough for the trip and a wet bag to store them in. We have a whole list of top-rated baby travel wipes here.
Camping Essential #4: Feeding gear for baby
If you’re breastfeeding, be sure to pack a nursing cover, breast pump, and plenty of snacks and drinks for yourself. If you’re formula-feeding, pack enough formula and bottles for the trip. And if your baby is eating solid foods, be sure to pack their favorite snacks and meals.
Camping Essential #5: Carrier or Hiking Backpack for baby
A baby carrier or hiking backpack will come in handy when you’re hiking or exploring. Be sure to choose a carrier or backpack that is comfortable and safe for your baby.
We got Ergobaby Omni 360 following a recommendation by a friend and we’ve loved using it during our two recent camping and hiking adventures with baby. It’s great for carrying baby during hikes because it has a sunshade, lumbar support, and rain cover.
Ergobaby Omni 360 is a carrier that does it all: Grows with baby from newborn to toddler (0-48 months; 7-45lbs). The Ergobaby Omni 360 lets you carry your child in all the ways you love. From newborn, when baby feels most secure against mama’s heartbeat, to toddlerhood, when they are ready to face the world on their own two feet.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 has been designed with comfort and versatility in mind. It features padded shoulder straps that can be used in two different ways for maximum support. Read our full review of Ergobaby Omni 360 here.
The LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons baby carrier is perfect for 360-degree babywearing. With 6 ergonomic carry styles, it’s comfortable and supportive for all. The zip-down front gives control over your child’s temperature by revealing our breathable mesh. The versatile carrying options include two-way straps for front or backpack style carrying, a large storage pocket, a removable sleeping hood, and an extendable torso. When on the go, let LÍLLÉbaby’s baby carriers and toddler carriers hold your child in comfort and style. Here is a detailed guide on how to wear Lillebaby Complete Carrier.
Camping Essential #6: Baby First Aid Kit
You’ll want to pack a first-aid kit for your baby in case of minor injuries or illnesses. Be sure to include items such as band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and children’s pain relievers.
Camping Essential #7: Camping Chair
A camping chair or high chair will come in handy when you’re feeding your baby. Be sure to choose a chair that is comfortable and easy to set up and takedown.
I have really loved Kids’ Outdoor Chairs by Baby Delight. The chairs have a harness that attaches to the chair so baby can’t fall out, and they’re really easy to set up and takedown. We’ve used them both at the beach and when we go camping, and they’ve been great.
The Baby Delight Go with Me Venture Chair is a versatile portable chair that can be used from baby (approximately 3 months) to 75 lb. child. The patented design sets up in seconds and features two leg holes that allow baby to stand with support as they grow. The 5-point removable harness keeps baby secure and comfortable, and the included removable snack tray, sun canopy and carry bag make it perfect for all outdoor activities.
Camping Essential #8: Baby Safety Gear (sunscreen, baby monitor & insect repellent)
Be sure to pack sunscreen, a baby monitor, and insect repellent to keep your baby safe while camping.
Sunscreen: A must-have for any outdoor activity, be sure to choose a sunscreen that is safe for babies and has an SPF of at least 30.
We love the Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Stick because it’s easy to apply, and it’s safe for both baby and the environment. The sunscreen is water-resistant for 80 minutes, and it’s free of harmful chemicals.
Insect Repellent: Insect repellent is a must when camping, especially if you’ll be in an area with mosquitoes. Be sure to choose a repellent that is safe for babies and children.
We love Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent because it’s made with natural ingredients, and it’s safe for both baby and the environment. The repellent is also long-lasting, so you don’t have to reapply it as often.
Baby Monitor: A baby monitor is a must-have when camping, especially if you’ll be in an area with lots of people. Be sure to choose a monitor that has a good range and can be used in both rural and urban areas.
We love the VTech VM819 as its camera can be battery-powered with the battery lasting for up to 19 hours on one charge. It does not rely on the internet and uses a secure FHSS technology that guarantees you 100% privacy of the signals from the camera and its 2.8-inch LCD screen. It also has lullabies and a long range of up to 1000 ft. Check out this list and reviews of battery-operated baby monitors for camping.
Q: What are some tips for camping with a baby?
A: Some tips for camping with a baby include packing essentials such as a diaper bag, sunscreen, and insect repellent. You’ll also want to choose a campsite that is close to amenities such as bathrooms and showers.
Q: What are some of the best baby camping gear?
A: Some of the best baby camping gear includes a diaper bag, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a baby monitor.
Q: What should I pack in my diaper bag for camping?
A: Be sure to pack plenty of diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes in your diaper bag. You’ll also want to include items such as band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and children’s pain reliever.
Q: What are some of the best baby camping chairs?
A: Some of the best baby camping chairs include the Baby Delight Go with Me Venture Chair and the Kids’ Outdoor Chairs by Baby Delight.
Q: What are some of the best baby sunscreen?
A: Some of the best baby sunscreen include Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Stick and Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen.
Mary Stephens is our infant development and baby fun activities specialist here at Motherhood HQ. She has over 10 years of experience dealing with kids, previously as a K3 teacher and now as a K9-12 teacher specializing in physical education and Social Studies. She is certified to teach in New York and Massachusetts and when not teaching trampoline jump tricks or giving toddler safety guides, she enjoys writing and providing helpful guides to parents on baby fun activities from infancy to toddlerhood. Mary is also an independent consultant providing parents with fun activities at home and appropriate toys and baby gear for infants and toddler development. She can be reached at her email, mary.s(at)motherhoodhq.com.