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Cupcake's avatar

Do you have experience camping with an infant?

Asked by Cupcake (15508points) February 21st, 2014

The end of my maternity leave will be around the 4th of July, so I was thinking about camping with the 2–½ year old and the almost 3 month old. Hubby thinks it will be hell and next year will be better. I think next year (with a 1 year old “walking”) will be worse.

I am only considering cabins with electricity (hubby sleeps with CPAP), but I don’t think I would require water or a fridge (I will be exclusively breastfeeding). There isn’t much available at this point, so we couldn’t be too picky and would need to make reservations soon.

Do you have any experiences you can share?

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24 Answers

hominid's avatar

My wife and I camped frequently prior to having kids. When we first camped with kids, my daughter was about 9 months old (so, I guess, this doesn’t qualify as infant). In the middle of the night, my wife panicked because she wondered if breastfeeding would qualify as food in the “no food in tent” rule the park ranger had warned us about. She was so nervous, she sat up all night listening for the bear that would eat us.

Cupcake's avatar

@hominid That is so funny.

Cruiser's avatar

Cabin camping should not be much different that being at home, I would be prepared though to child proof the cabin for the 2 yr. old. I would definitely bring a pop-up crib.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, cabin camping will be easy, over tent camping, which is basically miserable. Who the hell wants to sleep in a tent much after age 20. haha’
Oh man….well, my daughter was about 2 when my ex and I went beach camping here in Northern CA. one July. He insisted on taking our monster hound dog “Ruckus” with us.

It was the camping trip from hell.
Woke up to range cows that had invaded our campsite, pillaging bags of bread, chips, donuts, etc. that I thought were safe to leave out. Freaking stealth cows of the dunes. lol
Cow slobber on everything, and ruined goodies.

The wind never quit blowing and knocked over our camping awning and mangled it.
Every bite of food had blowing sand in it, and our dog swam way out in the ocean with shark warning posters all over the beach and I was sure he would be eaten. Considering sleeping sandwiched between my ex, my daughter and a 96 lb. hound dog that was about 5 feet long stretched out and went off howling several times a night I kind of hoped the sharks would eat him. haha
The grand finale was my daughter having a complete breakdown because because her dad would not buy her a rubber Octopus toy in a gift shop which caused a fight between my ex and I. Miserly ass he was. lol

Worst camping trip of my life.

rojo's avatar

We had both of our kids out camping within months after being born and that was the tent camping that @Coloma dislikes intently. There are some adjustments to be made (distance hiked, cleanliness issues, etc.) but it is most definitely doable. Be sure to take all creams, medications, powders and the like for the baby (you will need a trailer to haul it all) and include anything that you think you might possibly need, ever. Most of the time they just sleep in the carrier (I did say take a carrier didn’t I) when you are hiking. We used a front carrier when they were that young and converted to a framed backpack style when they were a little older.

We had our second child on a 3 day river trip when she was 9 months old. THAT was an experience I would not recommend to those who are not frequent campers. But we had a good time.

Great suggestion on the playpen for the older child BTW. It also works for the baby when the 2½ year old is out running about, that way you don’t have to hold him/her the entire time.

I would say go for it, particularly if you have the luxury of a cabin.

JLeslie's avatar

I have no experience, but I think it should be fine. I would only do it if I felt I could easily leave if it became very difficult unexpectedly and drive home. I wouldn’t want to go very far from home personally. Maybe up to two hours away.

Judi's avatar

When my oldest was a baby and I was pregnant with my second I actually lived in a tent for a while. It was an adventure for sure.
I think your baby will be easier than the toddler. Babies are easier to contain and keep safe. Back then (30+ years ago) they made large play pens that I could put her in to keep her from playing with the campfire or running into the river when I was cooking or otherwise preoccupied. Now all I see are those pack and plays that are half the size of an old fashioned play pen.
Be careful about where you secure the baby too. I just read another case of a baby dying in a car seat because the parents did not want to wake him up and removed the whole car seat from the car to let him sleep.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie My parents are 3 hours away in the summer, so we are looking within 1 hour of home and within 1 hour of their home.

Stinley's avatar

I think that if you have camped and enjoyed it, you should be fine. But going camping for the first time for both you and the baby/children could be a recipe for disaster.

We have a caravan and stayed in it when my youngest was a 6 week old baby. it was fine but we are seasoned caravanners!

cazzie's avatar

I would wait to see what the delivery is like. I had 10 stitches and needed to have frequent showers and soakings. But, if you feel well enough, go for it. Babies are much more portable when they are that small. I looked after my niece when she was a tiny baby when we were camping. The only problem we had was she got horrible diaper rash from the heat and humidity and keeping any of the kids (there were several all ranging in ages..) clean was impossible.

ucme's avatar

They make a handy alternative to firewood, must keep them dry though.

Cupcake's avatar

@Judi I tried and tried to get a real playpen for the first year of my toddler’s life and eventually had to give up. They are so much more useful than pack and plays.

We’ve transitioned the little one to a bed in preparation for the baby using the crib… so putting him back in the pack and play might not go well… I’ll think about it.

Juels's avatar

I think you’ll have more trouble with the toddler than the baby. In a new environment, toddlers can be hard to handle. They’ll want to explore and you might not be able to run after them while caring for the baby.

My hubby sleeps with a CPAP too. He looks like the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

JLeslie's avatar

Isn’t the baby born already?

zenvelo's avatar

A bunch of old school friends and I camped when my son was two, and there were some infants. The biggest problem (this was in the High Sierra in late May) was keeping them warm when changing diapers and cleaning them up.

The babies were fine, as long as hey were warm and comfy. The biggest problem with the toddlers was keeping them safe around fire and camp stoves.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I’m due in 2 months.

Cupcake's avatar

@zenvelo I was wondering about warmth. I’m sure July in the northeast US around sea level will be a very different scenario than yours. I was also thinking about seeing if another family wanted to get a cabin nearby so that we could help each other out. But then we’d have to be social… :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Oh, I guess I didn’t read the details well enough.

Juels's avatar

At least in a cabin, you’re less likely to disturb neighbors if the baby or toddler (or you and your hubby) are crying or throwing a tantrum.

keobooks's avatar

For the two year old, you might want to invest in a portable fence. This is a fancy one, but you can probably buy smaller ones on amazon. I think this would be the most portable one though. Also, if you plan on camping with two little ones who will need fencing next year, this one might be a good thing. You just put stakes in the ground and put up the fence. When you are done, you roll it back up.

This year will be easier than next year. You’ll have two little ones who will want to exchange walking and being carried all the time.

Cupcake's avatar

@keobooks I saw people camping with babies while I was pregnant with the now-toddler. They had a screen tent with a floor that the babies played in. I was thinking that might be better than a playpen for a 2 year old. Kind of like this. The fence is interesting too.

geeky_mama's avatar

We went camping when my daughter was 3 and my new baby daughter was 12 weeks old. We went to a fishing camp/cabin place that I’d visited every summer of my childhood with all my extended family. What I didn’t remember was how loudly my dad snores (and the wall didn’t go all the way up to truly partition the rooms at the ceiling of the log I could hear him all too loudly) and how bad the mosquitoes could be..
Also, our middle daughter was very clingy at that stage and wouldn’t allow anyone else to hold her and I was nursing and not sleeping well…(maybe she was having a growth spurt..because I remember being really sleep deprived) by the first night of no sleep and slapping mosquitoes off the baby nonstop I begged to move to a hotel so at least the nights we could have a break.. (and AC, and no bugs, and no snoring).
That made it tolerable..but not an experience we’d care to repeat.

SmartAZ's avatar

Never NEVER set your diaper bag on the roof of the car. It’s ok to set it on the hood. You can’t forget it because it’s in your face.

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