Just thinking about camping with a baby can be a little overwhelming. Babies often need a lot of gear and lugging everything to your destination can seem daunting, but have no fear! I have listed all the major essentials you will need below.
Camping with Baby
Before you begin to think about all the things you actually need, think about your destination. Thinking ahead is the first step in planning an amazing trip.
- Where are you going?
- What is the terrain like?
- Is it going to be hot or is it going to be cold?
- How long will you be there?
- Are you glamping or tent camping?
- What kind of clothes will your baby need?
- What if it rains?
All these questions will help you to narrow your baby’s needs down to what you actually need. I’m pretty minimalistic when it comes to camping. So, I don’t like to take anything I’m not going to use because having too much stuff while camping can be overwhelming.
Think about all the things you will need for the trip and start a list. I keep a running list of camping supplies/needs on my phone.
Sleeping Essentials for Camping with Baby
If you are camping outside you will want to think about what the weather is going to be like. Babies have a difficult time regulating their body temperature up until about 2-3 months old. They can lose heat about 4 times faster than an adult. Being prepared for the weather is very important. You don’t want your baby to get too hot or too cold.
Too Hot or Too Cold?
We went camping when my son was 2 months old and I remember being worried about him getting too cold. We ended up swaddling him but we had a sleepsack on hand just in case. If you’re worried about this, it’s good to know that your body heat will help your baby regulate their own heat. So, if all else fails, pull your little one into bed with you to stay warm.
The hardest part about camping with a baby is figuring out the sleeping arrangments. Babies take lots of naps so it’s good to have something that is quick and easy to set up. Below are some of the best I’ve found for camping with a baby. These options are both lightweight and portable.
Baby 3 in 1 Travel Bassinet This portable bassinet is perfect for camping with a baby. Not only is it portable, but it also doubles as a travel diaper bag and changing station. The perfect option if you’re trying to save on space.
Baby Travel Pop Up Tent This lightweight travel tent is another wonderful option. And you can use it for more than just camping! Your baby can take a nap on the beach or in the backyard while you do some yard work.
Fold ‘N Go Travel Bassinet This travel bassinet is a nice size for camping. It’s lightweight and includes a carry handle. Mesh panels provide airflow and make it easy to see your baby from across the room or wherever you might be.
Sleepwear for Baby
Depending on what the weather is like you will want to have a couple of sleep options. I like sleep sacks because they are easy to add on if you’re baby needs an extra layer.
Lightweight Sleep Sacks are perfect for laying! This sleep sack is 100% Muslin Cotton and is exceptionally breathable making airflow optimal. It’s perfect for layering in warmer weather and can also be added over warmer sleepwear in cooler weather.
Fleece Sleep Sacks are great for layering in cooler weather because they take the place of loose blankets and keep your baby wrapped up and warm. Layer with fleece sleepers for added warmth.
Fleece Sleepers are great for cooler weather and can be layered easily with a sleep sack. Remember to layer up in cooler weather and check baby’s temperature throughout the night if you’re worried.
Chairs for Camping with Baby
A feeding chair for your baby is a must-have for camping! It is one of the best investments you will ever make! They’re so versatile, you’ll be asking yourself, “How did we not have one of these before?”
We like to keep ours in the back of our car. It’s perfect for so much more than just camping. Use it at a restaurant or bring it over to your friend’s house for dinner. You can’t go wrong with one of these!
Chicco 360 Hook on Chair This chair can lock into 6 different positions making feeding your baby a breeze! The size and its ability to fold make it perfect for camping! The material is also very durable and machine washable!
Clip on Chicco Chair
This budget friendly clip on chair is another great option! Its twist to tighten design attaches to most tables and the material is durable and machine washable.
Gear for Camping with Baby
As you may have already discovered, babies need a lot of gear that is specially tailored for them. When they are first born you have to use an infant car seat carrier, then they get a little bigger and you have to switch to a different seat. You might have invested in a swing, a jumper, a jogging stroller, etc. All these things are worth the investment because they help you and your baby in some way.
High Quality Gear will Last Longer
When preparing to camp with a baby the thing to remember is that you will need some additional gear specifically for your baby. When you first start camping it will be a little bit of an investment. If you plan to camp a lot you will want high-quality gear that is going to last.
What Gear is Best for You?
Thinking about what kind of camping you plan to do will help you the most when trying to decide what kind of gear will be the best for you. Take a minute and think about your ideal camping expereince. What kind of camping do you plan to do…
- Do you plan to hike all summer on rugged terrains with baby in tow?
- Are you more interested in recreational camping here and there?
- Will you be in a tent or a camper?
Also, think about the gear that you will be able to reuse with your next child. Sometimes making that initial investment can be difficult, but you won’t regret it, especially if you plan to camp often. I’ve rounded up some of the most helpful, beneficial and worthwhile investments.
Trail Stroller A trail stroller is a worthy investment for the avid camper or hiker. First of all, a good trail stroller will be more suitable for bumpy terrain and will be easy to maneuver with the assistance of a swiveling front wheel. Some options include the Thule Urban Glide Jogger, Graco Fast Action Jogger, Joovy Zoom 360, and the Schwinn Turismo Jogger
Stroller Organizing Caddy If you’re looking to take a water bottle or two, some snacks, your phone, and keys this organizing caddy is amazing! Above all, it’s easy to access everything you need and attaches to many different strollers! Great for camping or just the mom on the go!
Osprey Poco Child Carrier A good baby carrier is an amazing investment! If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking you’ll want something lightweight and comfortable like the Osprey Poco. It offers a lot of extra storage which is perfect for snacks and diapers. Great for hiking day trips. Your baby will stay comfortable and well shaded with a built in sun screen.
Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier If you are more of a recreational camper a standard baby carrier will do. I absolutely loved my Ergo! If you’re looking to go walking or a little bit of hiking and don’t want to take a stroller, this is the next best thing! Remember to get the infant insert if your baby is 0-3 mos.
Additional Gear for Camping with Baby
Depending on the type of camping you are planning to do, a baby play yard or portable jumping activity center is the perfect option when you need to have your hands free. We go camping several times throughout the summer and we loved having a safe place to put our baby down in.
Super Ultimate 6-panel Play Yard Another play yard option is a Paneled Fence. These are great because you can add more panels and make a bigger space. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law both have 6 panels. When we go camping together we put them all together to create a large play space for all our little ones!
Interlocking Foam Tiles These foam tiles add a nice cushion to any space. Add them to the inside of your tent or put them under your baby’s play yard for a more comfortable experience.
Pop N’ Jump Activity Center Babies love to jump and play! This pop up activity center works well outside and comes with a UV canopy to protect your baby from the sun! It also comes with some unique interactive toys that are sure to keep your baby entertained.
Travel Booster Seat
This is a great budget friendly seating option. A travel booster is perfect for camping! It’s easy to set up and the fabric is easily removed for washing. Your baby can hang out at your campsite or sit next to you at the beach!
Protecting Your Baby from the Elements
Remember to prepare for the weather. For more sunny weather you will want hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. For cooler places, you will want knit hats, sleep sacks, warm sleepers, booties, and mittens.
How to Protect Your Baby in Hot Weather
Protecting your baby from the sun is so important, especially if you plan to spend any time time hiking or by the beach. If it’s warm out, make sure to have something to protect your baby from the sun.
Babies can’t regulating their body temperature and can get overheated more quickly than adults. Being proactive is key! Remember to take lots of breaks and hang out in the shade (If you’re a nursing mama nurse a little more often to keep your baby hydrated!)
Natural Sunscreen Sticks Sunscreen sticks are a life saver! They are portable and can easily fit in a backpack pocket, fanny-pack or purse. I love the stick version of sunscreen because it goes on like chap-stick and you don’t have to deal with a wet white mess of liquid. *Only use sunscreen if your baby is older than 6 months.
Popup Potable Tent A pop-up tent is perfect for camping. Keeping your baby comfortable and out of the sun easily with this pop-up tent that is ready in seconds! Use it for more than just camping when you’re done. Keep it in your car for an impromptu picnic at the park!
Baby Sun Hat Hats are a wonderful option for keeping your baby out of the sun. When choosing a hat remember to choose a lighter color, a lighter color will absorb less sunlight and will help your baby to stay cooler.
Baby Sunglasses Sunglasses are wonderful for protecting your baby’s eyes. These flexible and durable sunglasses are great and come with a built in removable strap, perfect for hiking, a day at the beach or an afternoon stroll.
How to Protect Your Baby in Cooler Weather
If the weather is going to be cooler you will want to dress your baby in layers. It’s easy to add and take away layers depending on the changes in the weather. Baby clothes are small so don’t worry about over-packing! Keeping your baby dry and comfortable is what’s most important.
Base Layer Having a wool base layer is one of the best ways to keep your baby comfortable especially in cooler weather. Wool is amazing and wicks away sweat, keeping your baby warm and dry.
Fleece Sleepers Fleece is soft, warm and great for layering. Fleece footed sleepers are just right for cooler camping weather. They will keep your baby warm and comfortable.
Little Lamb Hat I love this hat because it’s a hat and scarf in one. My daughter has used her hat for 2 winters now and I just love that it covers her neck! The best part is probably the fact that it doesn’t have any ties or velcro.
Fleece Booties Booties are a wonderful way to keep your baby’s feet warm especially at night! They can be layered over sleepers and warm socks.
Camping is an Adventure!
Although camping may seem like a lot of work, especially with all the gear involved when taking a baby, it’s well worth the effort!
Your baby will love the fresh air and all the new experiences. You won’t regret your decision to camp with your baby.
Just remember to have fun!