The Camping Trip
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What are some ideas to make camping with my infant easier?
If you're a family that craves the outdoors, a camping trip in a tent with your baby might just be what you're looking for. Camping, at least the kind in tents, tends to be a hit or miss vacation with families with infants. Some parents think it's a wonderful way to get acquainted with baby. Some parents find it especially challenging to watch over a mobile infant or toddler among the outdoors and camping gear. Still, if you're up for it, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Pick as campground that's as baby friendly as possible. A flat site is better than one with a steep drop-off. Amenities like laundry facilities and running hot water aren't a necessity, but certainly make it easier when you're dealing with infant messes.
- Stock up on the essentials you need for baby, like diapers, wipes, milk or formula, and baby food. You generally need everything you need at home, but in convenient packable containers.
- Bring lots of plastic containers for packing away food. Have a store of plastic bags for disposing dirty diapers and other throwaway items.
- Bring a structured backpack carrier like one by Kelty for your child, especially if you plan on taking hikes. Soft carriers like one made by Ergo are appropriate for younger babies on up to toddlers.
- Many tents use a tarp underneath for protection and waterproofing. Get an extra one and you can use it as a play area.
- Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer. It's portable and comes in handy for cleaning up after messes.
- If you have a toddler, going camping will take some adjusting. Do a practice run by setting up the tent at home and getting him used to the environment.
- It's always a good idea to have a few portable toys on hand to entertain your little one.
- Don't forget to pack sunscreen appropriate for your little one if she's at least six months old. Go with an SPF 30 and apply every 30 minutes if you can.
- If you're going to an area with a lot of mosquitoes, you can use up to 30% DEET on infants as least two months old. For those that are adverse to DEET, Tender Corporation makes a product called Natrapel which is DEET free – some parents swear by it.