Visiting campgrounds with kids is a time-tested childhood tradition. From hikes with your tyke to late-night ghost stories around the campfire, taking your children camping is almost a rite of passage. Not only will your child get the chance to explore and experience the great outdoors, but you have the opportunity to spend together-time with the family in a way that doesn't include screens, smartphones or the ever present "ding" that signals yet another work email has come in.
Now that you've got children in tow, heading off to the campsite isn't exactly as easy as it was in your pre-parenting days. Don't stress. There's no need to spend weeks packing for an overnight trip. With some careful planning, and plenty of organization, you can make sure that the kids are comfortable and secure in their outdoor adventure. What should you consider when packing for your next family camping trip? Take a look at the answers to some of the most common 'camping with kids' questions.
Where Will the Kids Sleep?
Of course, in the tent with you. Obviously, all children need adult supervision. Unless you have teens, keep the kiddos in the same tent as you or another responsible adult (such as your spouse, a grandparent or another relative).
What Will the Kids Sleep On?
If you child is old enough to sleep in their own bed at home, a sleeping bag (and possibly an air mattress) will do. But if you have a baby, you'll need to take extra precautions. Never allow an infant to sleep on an air mattress.
Aside from the possibility that they could roll off of it, an air mattress isn't form enough for safe infant sleeping. In order to lower the SIDS risk, an infant should sleep on their back, on a firm surface and without blankets, quilts, pillows or any other extra type of bedding. A pack-and-play with a bassinet or infant attachment is your best bet. Make sure that the tent is large enough to hold it and your own sleeping bag as well.
What Kinds of Clothes Do the Kids Need?
Bring the kids what you'd bring for yourself. If it's the middle of summer and you're taking shorts and t-shirts, make sure that the kids have the same. But just in case the weather cools off, have other options. Include long-sleeved shirts and long pants (these can also keep the bugs away at night), plenty of warm socks and a sweatshirt or jacket. Also remember to bring cool and warm weather sleepwear for the kids.
Along with sleep and clothing issues, you'll need to bring anything that helps to keep your child feeling safe. Children thrive on predictability. If you're little one can't sleep without her favorite lovie, bring it along. Yes, it might get dirty at the campsite. But that's what your washing machine at home is for.
Contact a campsite, like Natures Wilderness Resort, for more help.