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To go camping with a toddler?

(42 Posts)
Fourleaf Fri 22-Jul-11 16:01:03

We are leaving tomorrow for 5 days on the east coast with 20 month old DS. Are we mad?
Does anyone have any tips on how to make it bearable even more fun?

AgentZigzag Fri 22-Jul-11 16:05:09

Coming out in a cold sweat and wondering WTF you've done are you? grin

ddubsgirl Fri 22-Jul-11 16:06:22

have fun,enjoy,get dirty and hope weather is nice,we are going in 2 weeks,as for toodler not sure my kids are older but my parents use to take me as a baby.

lazylula Fri 22-Jul-11 16:12:20

No problem at all, we took ds2 camping for the first time at 10 months, then 13 months and 22 months. We are off camping with dd when she will be 3 and a half months old! We haven't sorted what she is sleeping in yet! No real tips tbh, we just relaxed about it and had a great time. Both ds'love camping.

Andrewofgg Fri 22-Jul-11 16:13:40

I have a tip. Cancel it. And book a family-friendly hotel instead.

PebblesAndWine Fri 22-Jul-11 16:20:25

I took my 2 year old camping in may. I was seriously dreading it. It pissed with rain most of the time, we had thunder and lightening............. and we loved it. He had the best time ever, as did I. He slept brilliantly too as he was worn out.

It's proper quality time, go for it!

ddubsgirl Fri 22-Jul-11 16:20:45

1 tip get padlocks for the zips so she doesnt get out at night(outside doors)if the tent has more than 1 door,lots of things to do in the day so nice and tired 1st night is all hyped up so dont expect alot of sleep,look online and find out whats on and places near-by to go,even for nices walks etc.

Batteryhuman Fri 22-Jul-11 16:20:59

Have fun. My tip for that age would be the waterproof over trousers that are like fisherman's dungarees. My DSs were late walkers but most under 2s spend a lot of timing on the ground and in a wet summer these were essential for staying warm and dry.

Tangle Fri 22-Jul-11 16:22:51

How many adults have you got? Can you get your tent up with one adult?

We took DD for the 1st time last year at 3+, and the hardest bit was keeping her entertained while we got pitched. Once we were set up she had a complete blast and didn't want to leave. Something I saw another family do that looked quite effective was to take a mini pop-up tent that you can put up for the LO to play in while you get the big tent sorted - keeps the camping spirit and (hopefully) gives them somewhere out from under your feet while you hammer pegs.

Don't stress and you'll have a much better time!

Fennel Fri 22-Jul-11 16:23:34

Camping with toddlers is no worse, and sometimes better, than other forms of "holidays" with toddlers. Better than hotels and B&Bs, we found, cos there is not the pressure to be quiet, calm, tidy, not yelling the dining room down, not bouncing on the smart sofas, not pulling at the twee little lacey tablecloths (bad B&B experience there), not vomiting in the bedrooms, etc.

Toddlers are made for camping. All mess and damp and squalor and outdoor play. Just take wellies and cagoule-suits, lots of wine, a football and a bit of lego or playmobil or similar.

PebblesAndWine Fri 22-Jul-11 16:23:39

Ds goes in a travel cot so he can't escape! Keeps him nice and snug too.

GruffaloMama Fri 22-Jul-11 16:26:00

It's fine. Took DS at 2.5. He thought it was the best thing ever! I was also 7 months pregnant and it all worked really well. Just enjoy!

wotss Fri 22-Jul-11 16:29:29

"Something I saw another family do that looked quite effective was to take a mini pop-up tent that you can put up for the LO to play in while you get the big tent sorted"

That is a really great idea & I've seen those tents on sale for about a tenner too.

sleepindogz Fri 22-Jul-11 16:32:13

i would rather have jeremy kyle round for tea than go camping, let alone with a baby

good luck smile

TheHappyCamper Fri 22-Jul-11 17:12:44

We have camped with dd often from 9 weeks old! Last trip was in June - she is 2.2 ys.

Tips:
If you can, put the tent up by yourself get the other parent or older kids to entertain ds.

Try to be laid back at bedtime - dd normally goes down at 7pm no fuss but it was more like 9.30-10pm most nights due to noise/light

Take things from home eg blanket, pillow, teddies, books so ds recognises it is still "bed" even though it's not usual bed!

Keep all kitchen items/plates etc well away from curious hands (experience!)

Good Luck -it will be great! smile

Fourleaf Fri 22-Jul-11 19:38:32

Thanks for all the great tips and positivity smile
Feeling much better about it now - will update when I get back! We are taking a travel cot and there will be lots of other adults around so should be ok on those fronts. Will look into pop up tent if there's time.
We are a tad rigid about bedtime ATM, so that will have to change it seems...

Funtimewincies Fri 22-Jul-11 19:47:47

When you get back, come and visit us over on the camping threads. We've always got an icey-tek full of gin and you can dry out your death socks around the virtual fire grin.

I take the dc (4 years and 19 months) and they love it! Have a stash of snacks to keep them happily strapped in the carseat while you're putting the tent up. Completely agree about the relaxed bedtime, we just put them to bed when they're tired.

I'd disagree about padlocking yourselves in at night. If they're in a travel cot it's no problem. If they're free range, just zip the zips up at the top so that they can't reach them.

Have fun grin!

Soups Fri 22-Jul-11 20:29:34

Enjoy smile I found camping much easier than being in hotels with toddlers.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 22-Jul-11 20:38:37

just come back from Latitude with our 2.5yr old toddler, and being 4.5months pregnant.

I personally hate camping unless it's at a festival....it was bearable. Top tip is wear your toddler out, keep them up as late as poss, ours stayed up til 11pmmidnight every night (normally in bed at 7:30pm) and slept til 8am. Get a bubble maker, lots of bubble makers - best entertainment when there's nothing else to do ever

I am not a countryside camping person at all, and we survived!

lazylula Fri 22-Jul-11 20:40:36

Definitely can not be rigid about bedtimes when camping, we are at home but when away we go with the flow more, but we do put them to bed before us so they are used to that as we have friends who often go to bed at 8pm with the children as they will not settle without the parents being in bed.

firesoup Fri 22-Jul-11 21:09:54

we went recently with our 2.2 ds, he LOVED it, in fact is still asking to go back to the tent, don't think he realises it came home with us! ours is an early riser at the best of times, and the best thing we had was a portable dvd player, he watched peppa pig for a while when he 1st woke up so he didn't wake the whole campsite at some unearthly hour! he slept brilliantly in his ready bed too. have fun!

TurkeyBurgerThing Fri 22-Jul-11 21:12:00

We did a few days Eurocamping in mid Europe before heading off south to a vila for a week. Our youngest is 18 months and he was surprisingly ok with it. The tent we had was pretty big with seperate compartments and he is a good sleeper, but with the other 2 kids (3 and 5) it really was very good fun!

Only problem night we had was when there was a HUGE thunderstorm. It was amazing and because we were in a valley it was very loud. He woke up after about an hour of it being over head (which was amazing really since it was so loud with the rain too.) he came into our bed after that and fell asleep eventually which seceretly I quite liked because he's incredibly cuddly.

lachesis Fri 22-Jul-11 21:14:46

It would not be something that would work with our two-year-old DS, but would have with our other two at that age.

twoistwiceasfun Fri 22-Jul-11 21:30:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fourleaf Fri 22-Jul-11 21:58:43

Oooh kite like that idea smile
Thanks everyone.

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