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Is Bringing Your Toddler Camping a Bad Idea?
Short answer? No, not it’s not … and call us crazy but it was the most fun we’ve had. Unbeknownst to us it would be the weekend that we had actual winter weather and a rainstorm for half of the night, but we did it! AND we are doing it again!
I’m going to be honest, we are NOT camping people, nor are we really outdoorsy people. Our son joined Cub Scouts and well here we are. I distinctly remember a time when I was younger when I went camping with a friend’s family and it was so nice to just be able to disconnect from the real world, and not have any worries. So, I was hopeful this camping trip would do just that for us and it did!!
I wanted to share a few of our must-haves that we brought to make camping easier on everyone especially our youngest, Melody, who hasn’t slept anywhere but in her crib. I’ll also share some of our wants that we added to a camping Amazon wishlist on our way home from the first trip!
Things to make sure to bring camping:
1. Our tent – I must say putting up the tent wasn’t as bad as I thought, especially for some rookies like us, and you really couldn’t beat the price. It was SO roomy and spacious that everyone was able to have their own space and an area for toys!
2. Pack and play – we brought Melody a pack-and-play and our portable sound machine to make it as much like home as possible. We also brought her favorite stuffy and sleep sack from Kyte, which really helped with keeping her warm.
3. Toys – we brought the kids a few Magnatiles, pop-its, cars, and this animal book.
4. Snacks – fruit snacks, raisins, mini marshmallows, veggie straws, and cheez-it were huge hits – especially when trying to get the tent set up.
5. Sleep mats – we brought an air mattress the first time but on our way home, we purchased these sleep mats and they are so comfortable and can connect to make a larger one. We liked these because we are able to store them on top of each other on one side of the tent to give us even more room!
Things we want to get for next time:
1. Nightlight – it was so much darker at night than I expected, so just having a little bit of light would be ideal especially for going into the tent once the kids are asleep. Because even the lowest flashlight setting on my phone/watch was enough to wake everyone up.
2. Camping pillows – these are so soft and machine washable. I like the idea of not having to bring our nice ones camping with us just in case they get ruined!
3. Hammock chairs – if my husband and I aren’t working, we’re rocking in our matching rockers in the living room with the kids on our laps. The only thing we really missed while camping was rocking so we bought these hammock chairs for next time and we can’t wait to use them!
4. Packing bags – I’m all about maximizing the space we have – these compression sacks are incredible and you can fit so much while it takes such little space.
Our camping experience was one for the books. We are still talking about it 3 months later! It was a great time to disconnect from “real life,” reset, and spend 24/7 outside, which was actually more needed than any of us thought!