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the mommyhood memos: mommy friends, talk to me about camping with a baby!

Friday, June 25, 2010

mommy friends, talk to me about camping with a baby!

Levi is a lucky little guy on the move. He's traveled overseas from Australia to America, he's taken a two-day sail up the coast of Queensland, and now we're getting ready for his first camping trip! So... I'd love your advice on camping with a 5-month-old baby as we get ready to head out bush in a few days to camp with a whole bunch of friends and coworkers for our annual staff retreat (with over 100 people... woohoo, tent city!).

Frankly, although I know it will be super fun, I'm also a little nervous. Of course I'm imagining the worst: a screaming baby waking the whole forrest at 3:00am or little critters sneaking into my precious baby's bed (eww!). But I'm sure we'll be just fine and absolutely love it. (Babies are so adaptable!)

The good news is that there will also be two other families with babies along with us, which alleviates some of the pressure we might feel if we were the only ones caring for a miniature person with very healthy lungs and the potential to wake bears out of hibernation! (Good thing there are no bears in the outback. *grin*) Oh yeah, and the other good news is that the childless campers among us are our friends (and adore our sweet boy) so no doubt they will be understanding and extend lots of grace.

So... here goes! We've mastered planes... and then ships... and our next challenge is tents! (And we're totally up for it - so fun!)

A few details: We're going for two nights and three days. It will be warm during the day and very cold at night. There is a (rustic!) toilet block with running water and also a shed with electrical outlets powered by a large generator that we bring (our tents are set up across the paddock from there). And of course we'll have clean filtered drinking water. Also, Levi's not onto solids yet, only breast feeding, so that part's easy (yay!) and we don't usually co-sleep, but for this I'm certainly open to it! :)

So... what do you think?

My questions for you are: Have you taken a baby camping? What worked for you and what didn't? What did you wish you would have considered ahead of time?

Thanks in advance for your advice mommy friends!

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At June 25, 2010 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Ana said...

We took our son camping over on the Oregon coast (warm during the day, chilly at night) quite a few times when he was still in single digit months. It was actually really easy. We packed a variety of clothing, layers work great, and a medium sized plastic tote which worked well to give baths in. Pack essentials, some Tylenol if need be, and a small emergency kit with tweezers, burn ointment (we had a sad run in with some burning ash, and it burned right through Isaac's pajamas and burned him) and other "just in case items" like sunblock and bug spray. We didn't pack too many toys-some baby friendly trucks, etc.

At June 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Brooke said...

My son went camping for the first time when he was 8 months old and he did great. We brought our pack n play and used it in the tent and around the campfire. It worked great when he did not want to be held. We also brought some glow sticks that he really enjoyed, my son was not much of a chewer so he was trusted with them while we were close. I would watch out if your little guy is a chewer though. Good Luck!

At June 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM , Blogger Mrs. Mother said...

Well, I probably wouldn't do it, but I just had a disastrous road trip with a seven month old two weeks ago. I swore we weren't going to make any more trips for a while, lol. Here's a link to the post about it.

Anyway, I would just make sure to overpack. It's always better to have too much of something than not enough. We waited until Tessa, our oldest, was four before we took her camping.

At June 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

We just took our 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old camping. We took the pack and play as well and at night when it got cold covered the top with a blanket. We were also able to have our car close to our tent so when the little one woke up early in the morning we were able to take him to the car to settle him down. I blogged a bit about our trip a few weeks ago. Baby Bjorn or something similar will probably be your best friend since he's still little. I'm sure it will be fun! I think it might be easier with a baby than a mine are so active and hard to keep out of things :-) Happy camping! ~Kimberly

At June 25, 2010 at 7:17 PM , Blogger The Aussie Mommy said...

Thanks, Adriel! This is great! I will be checking it out before I pack. By the way - are you going up Sunday or Monday?

Also, did you see Baby Wise Mom talked about camping today? Although, just about one product... but still! Kinda fun! :)

At June 25, 2010 at 8:51 PM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

Ana - Thanks for the tips! Layering is a must I reckon! Good idea. But poor little Isaac. :( Hey, I'm originally from Oregon. The coast is a cold (beautiful) place to go camping!!

Brooke - Glow sticks would be disastrous for Levi! He would eat the kitchen table if it would fit in his mouth! LOL. Looks like the pack and play is a winning idea though. :)

Mrs. Mother - Sorry for your bad experience! Hoping ours will be much better. :) I'll check out your post - thanks.

Kimberly - Good idea about having the car close by! I thought if Levi gets really riled up for some reason we will definitely take cover in the car!!

Aussie Mommy - Yeah, I saw her post but didn't read it! Thought that was funny too. :) We'll go up Monday. A little nervous about the nightimes... so better 2 than 3. ;) I'm sooo looking forward to it though, and I think all the littlies will do great. We'll just make it work!! So looking forward to some good campfire time!! xx

At June 25, 2010 at 9:24 PM , Blogger Christy said...

I don't have much advice because we've never taken Tyler camping overnight, but we did go boating and hiking with him once when he was 6 months old and he loved it! We set up camp for a few hours and let him play inside the tent with his toys and an air mattress. He wasn't into crawling around outside on the ground. We brought a citronella candle and some music and he was good to go! Have fun and be safe! And thanks for the comment on my paper mama photo challenge picture!

At June 26, 2010 at 12:26 AM , Blogger Getrealmommy said...

Don't do it! :) That is my only advice, it's all I got. Good luck!

At June 26, 2010 at 4:31 AM , Blogger Melanie said...

Thanks for the follow, Adriel (love your name)!! I'm following back and can't wait to see your other adventures. I voted for you too, I think...! :)

At June 26, 2010 at 4:51 AM , Blogger Mama Hen said...

I would love to go camping with Little Chick! I just voted for you my bloggy pal! Hope it helps! :) Sounds like you had an amazing time! I love that picture at top! What a view!

Mama Hen

At June 26, 2010 at 4:58 AM , Blogger Mama Hen said...

I'm such a dork Adriel! I am on about two hours of sleep, because we have no power in our house! A little tornado swirled through yesterday and it did a lot of damage! Anyway, I see you are going on this trip and quite frankly I think it will be a lot of fun especially if there are other moms going with babies! I don't know why I read you went already. Shows how important sleep is! As moms we know all about not getting enough rest! Well, I think if you have enough diapers, wipes, blankets, and all the other essentials you will have a lot of fun! Have a good trip!

Mama Hen

At June 26, 2010 at 1:23 PM , Blogger marlece said...

I think I am getting in on this a little late. SO, how did it go? When my first babe was just a little guy we did the tent thing and it was all good when nursing and he wasn't mobile but when he became a crawler and wanted to move all the time we bought a camper, I couldn't take it! We still have it today. I say, have fun, happy camping!

At June 26, 2010 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Kris said...

I just wanted to introduce myself. I saw you that you are now a follower of my blog, so I just had to check yours out. Fun to read. And your baby is so adorable!

Being a Mommy of 3 I have never tried the camping adventure, but we have flown all over the world with newborns and toddlers. Babies are adaptable. Have a blast and try to enjoy yourself as well.

P.S. Haven't been to Australia yet -- but some day. :)

At June 27, 2010 at 3:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Adriel, we used a pac n' play for Mia last year when we went there. Since it will be so cold at night make sure you bring an extra big blanket or sleeping bag for under the pac n' play, makes a huge difference since the cold air can get underneath it.

Seems a bit silly but I liked having my pram there, our tent was on the other side of meeting area and it seemed like I was always making trips back and forth between the two, plus it is a great place for bub to sleep under the pavilion since the tent gets so hot during the day.

Oh, and HAVE FUN!


At June 27, 2010 at 10:57 PM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

you guys are amazing! this is such great advice! we leave in the morning and i can't wait!!! i'll definitely let you know how it all goes when we get back. :)


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