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How to Go Camping with a Baby: Tips and Gear

camping with a baby featured image

Going camping with a baby can be a memorable adventure – as long as you have the right gear and plan ahead! Babies have different requirements than older kids and even toddlers, which can make prepping for the trip challenging.

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a first-time camper, there are a few things to note when camping with babies. With a bit of careful planning, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for this fun, family-time outdoors.

How to Go Camping with a Baby – 8 Tips to Keep in Mind

Find a Family-Friendly Campground Close to Home

When you have a baby, look for a campsite with good amenities, like clean restrooms and running water. You should also choose a spot that has shade, especially if you’re camping somewhere hot or warm. Now is not the time to be roughing it!

We also recommend looking for a campsite close to home. So if the little one gets fussy and won’t settle, it won’t be a hassle to pack up and leave. If you are planning a trip further away, you should at least be within driving distance of a hospital or emergency center. While accidents and injuries are rare, it’s always better to be prepared!

Pack All Essentials and Necessities

PRO Waterproof Backpack 30L - CLOUDBURST image number 0 - camping with a baby

It’s crucial to have all the baby essentials you’ll need for your camping trip. This includes basic items like diapers, wipes, and bottles (make sure you pack extra of everything just in case!). Of course, it’s also a good idea to bring a few camping toys to keep them occupied as well.

But you may also have to invest in a few camping-related things as well. Portable cribs, baby carriers, backpacks, and high chairs can also make your time outdoors more enjoyable. And it’s worth buying a family tent so you’ll have plenty of space to sleep and store your gear.

family tent - camping with a baby
Camping World


Make a Comfortable Sleeping Area

BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib Light - Light Silver, 1 of 10 - camping with a baby

Speaking of tents, it’s worth putting the time and effort into setting up a comfortable place to sleep. While a sleeping bag and inflatable pillow might have cut it when you were young, you’ll likely need something more comfortable now. Nowadays, it’s okay to bring an inflatable mattress, cozy blankets, and even a pillow from home.

Babies also need their special sleeping arrangements. As we mentioned, the first thing you’ll need is a portable crib or travel bassinet. There are also specially designed sleeping bags or wearable blankets that can keep them safe and warm at night.

sleeping bag - camping with a baby


Plan Meals Ahead of Time

45 Hard Cooler, King Crab Orange, large - camping with a baby

Regardless of if your baby is breastfeeding or bottle feeding, there’s still a lot of planning that should go into mealtime. You’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary things to last your entire trip. Breastfeeding is convenient, as there are fewer things required. However, families may choose to bring a pump, extra bottles, and cooler storage for extra milk.

Babies on formula or soft foods will also need special planning (bring food, feeding utensils, and cleaning products).

Bring Outdoor Clothing

jacket - camping with a baby
Eddie Bauer

Babies are more vulnerable to different temperatures, so packing the right type of clothing is a must. Even if you’re going somewhere warm, it’s always a good idea to have jackets and layers for the evening. Synthetic or merino wool is good for chilly nights, while loose-fitting clothes are more comfortable for hotter days.

And don’t forget the accessories! Hats, sunglasses, and outdoor shoes should also be packed into your suitcase.

Stick to a Routine

Being in a new environment (outdoors, no less) can be stressful for some babies. To help keep them calm, it’s important to stick to the same routine you would back at home. That means feeding them and putting them to sleep on a normal schedule.

You should also bring a few comfort items from home. This could be their favorite stuffed animal, a soft blanket, or even a special pacifier. Anything to make this new setting feel a bit more familiar!

Have a Back-Up Safety Kit

Bass Pro Shops Cruiser First Aid Kit-White/Blue - camping with a baby

The great outdoors can be wonderful, but it’s also full of potential hazards that could ruin your trip. From a roaring campfire to itchy bug bits, you never know what you might encounter while camping.

Therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you. While you don’t need to pack for all types of injuries or illnesses, having a backup safety kit can help in those minor emergencies.

And this should go without saying, but please keep an eye on your little one! You don’t want them wandering off while you’re not paying attention.

Plan a Short Trip

If you’ve never been camping with your baby before, it’s hard to know how they’ll react to the new environment. For this reason, it’s recommended to only camp for one or two nights. This is a good amount of time to introduce your little one to the outdoors (and to get you familiar with all the new equipment and routines).

When your child gets older, it’s perfectly fine to plan longer getaways. But while they’re still getting used to the new setting, a short trip is more than enough time.

Camping with your baby can be an extremely fun and rewarding experience. Introducing them to nature and all the wonders of the outside world is guaranteed to be a memorable adventure. And with some careful planning, you can ensure that everything goes off without a hitch! If you’re not ready to camp away from home, you can always go “trial camping” in your backyard. This is a great way to see if you and your baby love sleeping in a tent outdoors!

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