Camping with Kids
Who loves camping in the summer? My family certainly does. My husband and I have camped for years and we were so excited for our daughter’s first summer to introduce her to camping. Last year our son enjoyed his first camping trip at just 2 weeks old!
I’d be lying if I said camping with kids was no different than camping pre-kids! Although it’s a ton of fun, it does come with unique challenges especially in the sleep department! We all know when our kids haven’t slept well it can lead to long days, fussiness, tantrums and just general grumpiness. We want our kids to be happy campers! So, what can you do to help ensure they get the sleep they need?
Kids love routine. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Try to keep the bedtime routine in the camper as similar to your home routine. Depending how much access you have to water, a full bath may not be in the cards every night, although goodness knows they could probably use one after playing outside all day! But a quick wipe down is sufficient, followed by lotion and pyjamas. Take some books along to read before bed. Try to do everything in the same order you do at home. Sticking to roughly the same bedtime they’re accustomed to will help. If they stay up late too many nights in a row and get over tired, it can actually make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I find sleep environment to be the biggest challenge when camping. It is close quarters in a camper or a tent and likely noisier than your babe is used to at home. Find a sound machine that plays white noise and takes batteries in case you don’t have power. This should help drown out some of the outside noise or movement in the camper when Mom and Dad sneak in from the fire later. Bring along any favorite stuffies they like to sleep with, as well as a sleep sack or whatever blanket they normally use at bedtime. Besides being familiar to them, it will smell like home and that can be comforting too. If you don’t want to be up with the sun every morning you need to darken the windows. Tinfoil works really well to keep the light out, just bring some tape to hold it up.
What about naps?
Now that we’ve got bedtime established, what about naps? Naps can certainly be a challenge away from home, especially when you have activities planned throughout the day. It’s inconvenient to always put things on hold for nap time. But that’s ok because naps don’t have to be perfect. There is nothing wrong with a stroller nap while you’re on the go. Napping on the boat or in the car is ok too.
Have fun and make some memories!
It may take a couple nights for your babe to get comfortable sleeping somewhere new, but hopefully these tips will make it easier. If your kids are anything like mine, they will be exhausted by the end of the day from all the sun, playing, running and swimming. So many fun memories are made and hopefully it will be something they fondly look back on when they’re older.