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Have You Ever Taken an Infant Camping?

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Question: Have You Ever Taken an Infant Camping?
Answer: Sarahtar1 posted on the camping forum: "Have you ever taken an infant camping? If so, do you have any tips to share? How young do you think is too young?" Unfortunately, I have no children, so I disqualify myself from responding. However, many experienced parents did respond. Below are some of their tips and suggestions.

"We have always taken our babies camping. In a tent we took a portable playpen for them to sleep in, and most recently we built a net that we can hook up to the top bunk of our travel trailer so our 2-year-old can sleep there without falling, or climbing, out. When she was smaller, we set the bassinette on the table. Just make sure it is not too cold for them." ~ pastorerik

"We camp with three boys, the youngest is 2, and we started taking him around 20 months old. He is a very fussy baby, and he loved camping! It calmed him. He threw two fits the first time, and my husband or I would simply sit in the car with him until it passed so we wouldn't disturb other campers. My favorite tip is to use a Rubbermaid tote box as a baby bathtub. We also use a toddler size camping chair with holes in it for his 'sippy' cup so it doesn't sit on the ground. We also bring a toy version of his big brothers' camping tools." ~ captivaa

"We took our son camping starting at age 6 months. He crawled right to the end of the tarp and ate dirt. Great fun for all. I never worried if he was too young. I knew I wanted him to have a fun experience with his family, just like a walk in the park. The only problem we had was when he started teething. I think being outside in cooler weather made it somewhat worse. We use a teething gel, which helped. We live in the northwest, so bugs are not a big problem. I would recommend you keep your infant's skin covered with long sleeves/pants so they don't get bug bites. We always took our son camping, and now at the age of 13 he still has a blast with us. We usually bring along an extra tent that he can use as a play tent for hanging out with his friends or the dog. This keeps the family tent a bit cleaner. Have fun with your infant, and enjoy camping with your family." ~ Pattysweet8

"Had I known how easy it was to camp with a 5-month-old when my oldest was that little, my husband and I would have gotten back to one of our favorite activities a lot sooner. We decided to try it when #2 was 5 months old, because we didn't want to keep our then 4-year-old son from the experience any longer. Now at 2 years old, #2 is a camping pro and so is my oldest. Infant carrier, stroller, pack-n-play are the basic tools, and primarily they're to give the little one a different vantage point to enjoy the outdoors and to free yourself up to do the camping chores (cooking, etc.) We tent camp, and if the baby awoke in the middle of the night we just soothed him back to sleep with minimal fuss, and on the rare occasion he got very fussy we tucked him in bed with us on our air mattress. I think the key is to not let youngsters get over-tired while camping. Keep them on their home routine of taking naps, eating regular meals, etc, and that helps reduce the crankiness that can result in crying/noise for those around you." ~ YolandaSW

"My children are now grown and camping with kids of their own. But when we camp with young ones, the first thing we do is set boundaries. Even for toddlers. Walk the area with them that they are allowed to roam without supervision. This is usually the campsite itself. If you start this as toddlers, the older kids pretty well figure out where they can go, but always tell them anyway. That way no misunderstanding to spoil the trip." ~ little4bear

"We have always taken our kid camping. As an infant, it didn't seem too bad. With 1-2 year olds, it was a little harder. If you want, set up a tent in the front room of the house, and let them take a nap there, or better, in the back yard. Mainly you want them to be comfortable and have fun. It is very hard on the kid, parent, and others, if a little one is screaming and crying all night. Always make it fun, give them lots to do, let them get dirty, messy, and have fun. It is hard on everyone, if someone is always saying don't touch that, don't get dirty, don't don't don't. Enjoy your kids when they are small, they don't stay that way long." ~ pogchop

"Don't be afraid to take your little one. My baby is now 13, and he has tent camped every year of his life. I have taken our children on some great trips, and there is nothing like the memories you can make. As long as the kids (at any age) are kept fed and warm at night, it can be a wonderful experience. A favorite toy, stuffed animal, and blanket are a must. As they get older coloring books and books about the area that you can read together are sometimes a life saver for quiet times. We have always read together in the tent before we turn in. During the day just keep a watchful eye out, as there is a whole new world for them to explore. Taking an infant is much easier than a toddler on your first outing. The baby will learn and will continue to enjoy the outdoors and all that goes with it." ~ catlinn
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