How To Camp With A Baby

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Ah, camping with a baby! It’s the ultimate test of patience, endurance, and your ability to sleep while sitting upright. 

You’ll need to pack everything from diapers to baby food, find the perfect spot to pitch your tent, and figure out how to keep your little one entertained for hours on end. But the end result? Priceless memories and plenty of laughter to share with your little one for years to come.

Camping is one of the best things to do with small children. There is nothing like sitting around a campfire and enjoying the outdoors. But sometimes, you may need some extra tips to make your camping experience more enjoyable for everyone. Below are 5 Tips how to camp with a newborn from birth.

Table of Contents

1. Weather

Look at the weather forecast and only camp in a temperature that you feel comfortable camping in with your baby. My husband and I decided to go camping during the first week of our daughter’s life and we made sure that it wasn’t too hot or too cold outside. The weekend forecast was sunny, blue sky’s and hovering around 20 degrees Celsius which was perfect for us! It was nice for us to know that it wasn’t going to get too cold.

2. Camp Nearby

I know I might sound a little crazy but so much can go wrong when you are away from home. You might think that you would be closer to help if something went wrong, but the reality is that people can be far away from help depending on where you are. If you need to make a run to Walmart for diapers or food, camping adds another element of worry. While there is not much that can happen while you camp, it would be best not to have an emergency while out in the woods. 

Thus, choose a location that meets your needs and offers safety and comfort for everyone. Have an exit plan. You may want to camp close to home so that you can make it back if there are any problems with your child. The site should also have basic amenities like bathrooms available nearby, as well as good shade if possible (to protect babies’ sensitive skin). You may even want to look into what campsites in your area have discounts for families with infants or campgrounds which have rental cabins options.

Also, another suggestion of an exit plan is to have a list of nearby hotels you can go to. 

3. Clothes

The key to camping with a newborn is to bring what you need and nothing more. You should keep your whole family warm, but don’t bother bringing baby clothes that are too cute because your baby will only be wearing them for a few minutes. Some items you may need for your baby include: one onesie, sleep sack, headband (for those windy days), fleece raincoat or snow suit, mittens, wool toque and waterproof infant boots.

Keeping baby warm and comfortable is one of the most difficult parts of camping with an infant. I have had great success by bundling them in layers, including a sleep sack that goes over their regular clothing and then adding more blankets or warm jackets. I found it helpful to keep them bundled up until they fell asleep, which helped regulate their body temperature through the night. The idea is to keep them warm while they are sleeping so they will sleep longer and better so they can stay warm when you are changing their diaper or feeding them. You could also add a blanket over their car seat when traveling as well if that’s how you’re getting there. Read here for more tips on layering hacks.

4. Breastfeeding

It’s important to remember that breastfeeding in the middle of the night might not be comfortable, but it is all part of the experience and getting to bond with your baby while they are very young. Try bringing along your breast friend fitted breastfeeding pillow if you have one! It will make breastfeeding in a camping chair nicer than trying to sit on a log or picnic table. And if you are car camping, you can bring luxuries like this with you.

5. Camping Neighbors

Staying at a family-friendly campground means there are other babies for you to meet and play with, plus you’re surrounded by campers that understand that being a parent means sometimes your baby needs a little extra help from time to time.

You don’t want a party campground where your neighbours are pumping up music til all hours of the night.

6. Bring lots of extra food for yourself and your baby

Don’t forget to eat! Bring lots of easy-to-eat snacks on your trip. Fresh air and increased appetite often happens when sleeping outdoors, so having the right food on hand is important.

Breastfeeding is possibly the simplest solution, but if your baby uses a bottle or eats solids you can still go camping. Make sure you have access to clean water for mixing formula and try convenient squeeze packs of pureed food or maybe some of what you’re having for dinner if your baby is already eating solids.

7.Don’t Co-Sleep in the Same Sleeping Bag

Some people find it very difficult to separate from their newborn baby, especially in the middle of the night when she wakes up for a feed. If you camp with a newborn it is important to remember that co-sleeping in the same sleeping bag is a bad idea for two main reasons: 

a) It is dangerous and could cause suffocation, and 

b) It will make you both feel uncomfortable.

8.Plan Where Your Newborn Will Sleep during the Day

One of the first tips for camping with a new baby is figuring out where to put him or her during the day. Since newborns spend most of the day sleeping, there needs to be a safe place for them to sleep. While you can put your newborn on a sleeping pad on the ground, it is not always a good idea. There’s no way to keep insects off of him and you’ll have to worry about other campers tripping over your baby. Fortunately, there are several easy solutions such as putting your newborn in his stroller or using a portable crib with stable legs.
Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with mosquitoes when you are outdoors.

9. Protection

When camping with a baby, safety is the most important thing to consider. As bug repellents and sunscreen are typically not advisable for babies below 6 months, it is essential to explore other protective measures such as wearing long clothes, utilizing an umbrella to shield from sunlight, and fitting a bug net. The metal-framed strollers that come with built-in mosquito screens are worth the money because they last forever (and don’t get lost like stakes and line).

10. Bottle Feeding a Newborn at Camp

Bottle feeding is going to be a lot easier in your quiet, cozy camper than in a stuffy, noisy tent. Here are some tips for camping with a newborn: 1. Boil water in the kettle before bed so by morning it will be ready to make formula. 2. Bring disposable inserts so you don’t have to wash bottles. 3. Buy enough nipples and bottles to have 2 sets per day (morning and night). 4. A quick way to sterilize nipples is cover with boiling water for 5 minutes then let dry or run through dishwasher cycle if available.

11. Bring a large tent

If you’re camping with your baby, bring a large tent. A large space will give you and your baby space to spread out, plus room for a portable crib or play yard if you have one. And most importantly, try to be flexible and understand that your nights will probably be a little different than at home.

Closing Thoughts

Camping with babies is easy, even in the rain. Babies don’t want to run away, and they don’t need fancy things like a fan or a super-reclined seat or even screens—they just need you! And that’s why camping with them is so great: it’s an opportunity to get back to nature with your family, and share some quality time together! 


So grab your camping gear, pack up the baby, and let’s hit the great outdoors! Just remember, it’s always a good idea to bring along a sense of humor and lots of baby wipes. Trust me, you’ll need them.

Picture of Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

Hi! We are Jules and Ken. We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

We hope you enjoyed this article and if you have questions about How To Camp With A Baby or want to leave your own personal comments, feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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