Camping with a Baby: Our Top Tips and Essential Things to Pack
Camping with a baby can be a fantastic experience for the whole family. To ensure your trip is easy and enjoyable, you’ll need to thoroughly prepare and pack some important items. We’ve compiled a list of our top tips, as well as the things you need to pack when camping with a baby. You might also find our kids camping checklist handy.
These top tips for camping with a baby will give you the confidence to enjoy an easy and comfortable camping trip.
1. Choose a family-friendly campsite
If you’re not sure which campsite would be best for your family, why not take a look at one of our family-friendly campsites? These sites are catered to accommodate families with children of all ages. Our child-friendly sites include an array of facilities to entertain kids, from play areas and games rooms to swimming pools and beaches. They’re also located close to some of the UK’s top attractions, including Legoland, Drayton Manor and Flamingo Land.
2. Keep dinnertime simple
On a campsite, dinnertime for your baby can be challenging. Using sterilising tablets or a cold-water steriliser can make everything a whole lot easier. Also, if you have the time, consider packing pre-prepared food. Bring food in jars or packets to reduce time spent on food preparation. View our list of essential foods to take camping.
3. Camp close to home
Things don’t always go according to plan. For your first few camping trips with a baby choose a campsite that is close to home for a bit of security. If you decide you need to return home, being within a few hours of travelling is ideal. Search by town, city, or postcode on Siteseeker to find a campsite close to home.
4. Rehearse in your back garden
If you’re planning on camping with your baby in a tent for the first time, why not trial your camping trip at home? Pack up your stuff and pitch your tent in the garden and see how you get on with a night in the great outdoors. This will give you an idea of how you will get on at the campsite, as well as any extra items you might need to buy before your trip.
5. Choose a baby-friendly camping tent
If you're buying a new tent, take a look at our favourite family tents. They have plenty of space to store your baby essentials and camping gear and are big enough for the whole family to sleep in. Think about what you'll spend your time doing in your tent if the weather turns and choose one with enough social space for a comfortable trip for everyone.
6. Find a good travel cot
There are lots of travel cots on the market. You'll need to find one that fits in your unit, whether that's a tent, campervan or caravan. Most models have a strong frame and base, with a flat, waterproof mattress. Look at what extra features each one has, some come with accessories like changing mats or black out panels. Travel cots also double as play pens, allowing you to keep your hands free while setting you your tent or while cooking dinner.
7. Pack baby essentials
Estimate how many nappies you’ll need and pack double, as it’s always better to have more than needed, than not enough – especially as they weigh so little. This is less important if you're staying in an area with great access to shops, but will be greatly appreciated if you're in a rural area. Also, pack plenty of nappy sacks and wipes, because they can be handy in various situations, not just changing time.
8. Get used to wearing a baby carrier
The British countryside wasn't formed with pushchairs in mind. If you're planning on spending time exploring during your camping trip having a reliable baby carrier is ideal. It also allows you to carry baby around and keep both hands free. You can get sturdy baby carriers with sunshades if you're planning on summer hikes.
9. Don't forget your baby’s favourite comfort items
Help your baby settle into your new surroundings by packing one or two familiar comfort items. Whether it's a special blanket or dummy you'll be thankful you have it if your baby is unsettled.
10. Pack more clothes than you think you'll need
Due to Britain’s typically unpredictable weather, it’s worth packing a variety of clothes to ensure your baby is always comfortable. It’s normal for your baby to get sweaty when exploring during the day, as well as when sleeping at night. In both instances, they will need clothes made with breathable materials. For those cooler nights, make sure you have some mid-weight sleeper suits, baby mittens and a hat.
11. Choose portable camping gear
When choosing new baby camping gear, the most important aspect is portability. Choosing gear that is easy to assemble and quick to dissemble can be the key to having a comfortable camping adventure. You'll find lightweight options for all baby camping essentials like high chairs, changing mats, and pushchairs.
12. Pack extra blankets
You'll find endless uses for blankets while camping with a baby. Lay them on the floor for cushioning or insulation, use them on chilly evenings to keep cosy, or use as a picnic blanket.
13. Don't forget toys
Beat boredom by packing some of your baby’s favourite toys. Also, familiar toys can help your baby to settle into the campsite better. If you haven't got any free hands, putting baby in a travel cot with a few toys is a good way to free up a few crucial minutes.
14. Pack a sun shade
Check with your campsite on what type on sun shade you're allowed to put up prior to booking. Gazebos, umbrellas and awnings are all options to investigate. Remember to maintain good ventilation in hot weather so baby can regulate their temperature.
15. Keep insects at bay
Baby friendly insect repellent and keeping the mesh mosquito net on your tent shut are just a few ways to make sure your trip isn't ruined by six legged friends.
16. Stick to your routine
Try and keep feeding and nap times roughly the same if you've got a solid routine.
For more expert camping advice, take a look at our guide to camping for beginners.