Introducing your children to nature at a young age is an extraordinary idea. Although many parents are apprehensive about camping with toddlers, the experience will help them develop respect and love for the environment. If you find yourself in an anxious state, take a look at the tips for camping with toddlers that we have collected below. See how you can have a safe, fun, and meaningful trip with your family outdoors.
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Plan a Short, Local Trip
To ease your stress as a parent, it’s always best to start small and work your way from there. In other words, your first camping trip with your toddler should be close to home. We recommend finding a local camping site with all the necessary amenities, such as:
- Level platforms for tents
- Fire rings
- Convenience store
In addition, you should plan a camping trip that is no longer than 2-3 days. You’ll have plenty of time for week-long trips after your tot gets accommodated with the experience. Also, you may find that camping simply may not be your kid’s cup of tea.
Invest in Safety and Quality
If you don’t want to be stressed out of your mind every waking and sleeping minute, invest in quality camping gear. Find out what to know before buying a tent and choose a safe, durable, and sturdy family tent.
We also strongly recommend that you purchase and bring the following:
- First-aid kit
- Bug repellent
- Baby wipes (large pack)
- Rain boots and raincoats
- Plenty of warm clothes
Bring Their Favorite Toys
Toys are an essential part of a successful camping trip with a toddler. First of all, toys that your child is familiar with will help them feel at ease if the experience is a bit overwhelming. Sleeping with their favorite stuffed animal will reduce the chances of parents waking up from hour to hour to calm them.
After that, outdoor toys like trucks, plastic rakes or buckets will help them interact with their surroundings. They have all the dirt, sticks, and pines they could ever hope for, so prepare for some messy fun. You can also bring water-related toys if you’re camping near a lake or river.
Pack Great Snacks
Snacks are a must for keeping your toddler’s energy up. Healthy treats will also maintain their happiness levels at an optimum. Consider packing snacks like:
- Sliced fruits and veggies
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Trail mix
Plan Rest Breaks
Unless you live in a rural area, your child most likely won’t be used to hiking or long walks. They will get tired quickly, so you need to fit frequent breaks into your trip’s schedule. Make sure you set time aside for plenty of naps, whenever your toddler starts to get exhausted.
Depending on your young one’s age, you may also want to consider buying a baby carrier. A longer hike can be very tiring for a toddler, especially if it’s their first time. Taking breaks will also allow them to explore and observe the wonders of nature.
Practice at Home
Any new experience can be a little scary for your youngster, even more so when it’s outdoors. To help your child prepare for their first camping trip, you should practice at home. Set your tent up in the backyard and have a family sleepover under the stars. Recreate the full experience by using sleeping bags. It will also be an effective way to test any new camping gear you may have purchased.
Consider Multi-Family Camping
Finally, one of the loveliest tips for camping with toddlers is to bring friends! You know what they say – the more, the merrier. Your kid will be ecstatic to go on tiny adventures outside with their friends, so invite any other families you’re close to.
Not only will it be fun for the children, but it will also make the whole camping experience even better for the parents. As a mom or dad, you can take the time to socialize with family friends while letting your kids play.
In summary, you’re now equipped with the inside info to take your little ones camping. If you follow all these tips for camping with toddlers, you’re sure to have a beautiful experience to cherish. Once you get the preparations out of the way, you can relax and enjoy nature with your family.
Want to be extra sure that everything runs smoothly? You can also check out our list of things you really need to know when you go camping. If you have already taken your tot in the great outdoors, share your own tips for camping with toddlers. The comment section awaits!