Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Camping With A Baby: The Survival Guide


Despite the fact that we are now heading into pumpkin spice season and camping is probably the last thing you want to do as the nights get colder, today I am sharing my camping with a baby top tips. Now some people may think that I am crazy to even consider taking a ten month old baby camping - especially as she is struggling with teething and hasn't exactly got into a sleep schedule (see bags under eyes for reference). And, in all honesty, I was a bit worried. I thought a couple of nights away may ruin what routine we do have and other practicalities seemed a bit tricky to navigate - like making her formula or stopping her from screaming the campsite down and getting us chucked out. But I was also pretty excited to share this new adventure with her - especially as I have such fond memories of camping holidays as a kid. And, not to boast, but I think we nailed it. Thankfully, I had my parents on board to help me out (I even got a lie in one morning!) and Ava is usually quite easy going as long as she has food and attention (just like her mum) but I did learn a few things in the process too. And that's what I am sharing with you guys today!

Research the campsite
We chose Oakdown just outside of Sidmouth for our trip and it was the perfect choice for us. It had a lovely (clean!) shower block and a family bathroom right near our pitch and it even had a mini kitchen which had a freezer, sinks, and a microwave in. It also had a café (so coffee was always on hand) and a little shop in case you'd forgotten anything. Hell, they even served pizza in the evenings on site. This was great because it meant that we had all the amenities we needed and it made our stay so much easier. The fact that I could bathe Ava in an actual bath not have to navigate the whole 'pass the baby to me in the shower and then wash her and pass her back whilst I wash' fandango made everything so much easier. So, my top tip is to do your research. Read reviews of a site and see how family friendly it is. Look at the facilities they have onsite and also research how far it is from a town/Tesco Express in case you run out of formula.



Pack for all weathers
It may be the height of summer but as soon as you get the tent out, it's sod's law that the skies will turn grey and you will hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. I am so glad that I bought Ava a waterproof coat for this trip and didn't listen to the voice in my head saying 'she'll be in the pushchair with the raincover on anyway'. What I wish I had packed was also some little wellies for her and a lot more carrier bags to put the wet clothes into. Because boy did it rain. But also pack suncream and dresses because this is the UK and we can go from tropical heat to artic blizzard and back in the space of an hour.

Keep the baby active throughout the day
We were lucky with our location that we were quite close to Exmouth and thus quite close to The World Of Country Life where we spent a lot of time in soft plays and generally tiring the baby out. Keeping the child active throughout the day is majorly important because the new setting may make them less likely to settle in the night. After a full day of crawling around soft plays, Ava slept through the whole night on our first night in the tent and, I have to say, I was pretty impressed. I mean, I woke up hours before she did. If you don't want to pay for soft play, great alternatives are going to parks and running around after a ball or taking the baby swimming. Just get out and about is my advice.


Invest in a cool bag
Thankfully, my mum is a very organised person and carried a cool bag full of ice blocks so that I could keep Ava's open puree pouches cool throughout the day. I would say that this is really something you should consider investing in if you are going camping with a baby as anything like milk or puree is best kept cool and a cool bag is a great way to do that (even on the move!).

Wrap that baby up
Despite the fact that we went camping at the start of August, the nights were still absolutely freezing. To sleep, I put Ava in a vest, a long sleeve top, a cardigan, her sleeping bag, and under a blanket and she was just about warm enough sleeping beside me so that just shows how cold it was at she usually only wears her sleepsuit and sleeping bag to bed at home. So, pack a few extra warm layers for the baby and a couple of blankets (to account for any dropping blanket in mud disasters).

Pack lots of toys
As much as I wanted to have a few days away from Ava's singing plastic toys, I was actually happy that I packed them in the end because Ava got bored a lot quicker than she usually does at home and then started getting into everything that was in the tent. At one point she poured a pot of marshmallows onto the floor of the tent which, as you can probably imagine, became very sticky quickly and was like a siren call for wasps and ants. You need something to stop the baby from getting into mischief. Pack the plastic tat. You'll thank me later.

Have fun!
It may feel like two nights of hell whilst you're there but the memories of the baby screaming bloody murder when you try to take her paddling in the sea and how you had to use buckets to catch the rain that poured through the holes in the tent will last a lifetime.



Have you ever taken a baby camping?
SHARE:

2 comments

  1. I don't have any kids so I've never been camping with them, but doing your own research sounds so important. Plus a bath to bathe your baby in sounds so much less stressful than a shower! I hope you had a lovely time camping!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn’t even think it was possible to take a baby camping, the more you know ay! Hope you and your family had a lovely time, I love camping. It’s the perfect bonding time as you’re stuck out in a field with not much to do other than talk and entertain each other

    Fran | www.franciscarockey.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

© The Emerald Dove. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig