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Camping with a young toddler, or better to hire a static (shudder)?

(9 Posts)
Ginformation Sun 19-May-13 11:57:42

We are hoping to get away this July after a few years without a break. The Northumberland coast really appeals. We have a tent etc and always been under canvas before, but with a (he will be then) 22 month old not sure if this is wise. But the cost of hiring a static is a big shock! I'm also slightly concerned that it would be a big disappointment: packed too close together, grotty facilities if we don't go for an expensive site...

Any advice? Should we just take the tent?? And any site recommendations gratefully received.
thanks thanks

4yoniD Sun 19-May-13 12:30:16

I will be camping with a 5yo and a just-over 2 year old for the first time soon. Previously when dd2 was around 15 months I chickened out and stayed home while husband and DD1 camped (they were only local - I stayed with them in the day).

Now I feel ready; my only little worry is how I will get her to settle without her cot, but she definitely now knows the concept of "bed time, go to sleep" etc - and she understands enough for me to reason with her.

She will have a Kampa Jnr airbed - so it will have sides - and her normal grobag. She has a little fold up chair, and we don't have a table yet but I think I will be able to get her booster seat to fit on one of those tables with 4 attached seats, ifysim. <crosses fingers>

From a pov of you being disappointed, have you checked out site reviews on ukcampsite? I found them great for help choosing a site. Prices do vary massively, but there is no obvious correlation between price and good reviews!


iwantanafternoonnap Sun 19-May-13 12:32:57

Hi Gin

I have camped with DS since he was about 6 months old and it has never been a problem even last year when everyone of our camping trips had awful weather. As long as you have full waterproofs for everyone it doesn't really matter.

I am a single parent and never have a problem really. I have stayed on very basic sites and posh ones and had a good time at both. My DS loves it and is already looking forward to the camping trips we have booked for this year I have 3 lined up. You'll be fine and your kiddie will love it. I always get a lit in on camping trips as DS sleeps until 9 somedays!!!

hope that helps x

MrsWeasel Sun 19-May-13 12:57:47

What concerns do you have about camping with a toddler? Perhaps we can reassure you or offer possible solutions.

Ginformation Sun 19-May-13 13:42:29

Thanks all.

I am concerned about him belting off into the distance, wrecking the tent, disturbing other campers.... He is usually a good sleeper, recently moved to a bed and adjusting well. I think I may be worrying unnecessarily, well I hope I am.

Also concerned about the weather, if its pissing it down. Dh also worried about the weather, we have had a couple of bad experiences the last couple of times we camped, so have to convince him too! I camped loads as a kid, some of my best memories grin

MrsWeasel Sun 19-May-13 14:31:01


Weather - East coast is good, drier than west coast. If you are going before the school holidays (ie before campsites are booked solid) and can be flexible about dates, you could wait until close to the time and book when the weather looks OK. If that's not possible, research your area and find some indoor things to do when it's wet, look for non-touristy things like soft play, as well as touristy things.

Wrecking the tent - I think tents are actually quite difficult to wreck. Their very flimsyness is actually an advantage as they tend to give rather than break. Unless your toddler has sharp knives to play with, in which case the tent is probably the least of your worries grin. Speaking of sharp knives, gas etc, we tend to lock them in the car boot while we are in the tent and leave them in the tent if we go out in the car.

Bolting - I've never really had a bolter so I haven't much advice. A larger site might be better as it's quite easy to escape from a small field and a toddler would have to get a long way to escape from a big site. Look at hazards as well, a field within toddling distance of a river, for example, might not be a good idea either.

Disturbing other campers - well he might, a bit, but that's just one of the hazards of camping. The odd wake-up and quick cry wouldn't bother me if I was camped next to you but an all night screamfest probably would. If he already sleeps well, chances are he will sleep well when camping, especially if he has done lots during the day and provided he is warm enough - lots of layers, socks and blankets underneath as well as on top if it is cold.

I'm guessing he is still in nappies. If he isn't, consider putting him back in them at night as a wet bed when camping would be a nightmare to sort out.

I'm sure it will be fine and if it isn't, it will be a tale to tell when he's older! Have a lovely

Ginformation Sun 19-May-13 16:42:33

thanks mrsweasel, I think this is a case of me not giving ds enough credit for flexibility! We will give it a try, and if it all goes tits up, we can just come home!

MrsWeasel Sun 19-May-13 17:47:52

I think that's probably a good attitude to have. It will probably be lovely but if it really is awful, there is no point sticking it out.

MummyPigsFatTummy Sun 19-May-13 20:30:39

Could you do a weekend camp somewhere close to home before your proper holiday? That way, you can work out how well your DS is likely to camp and what things you might need to look out for.

Like others, we have camped with DD since she was 6 months, she is now 3.5 and absolutely loves it. She goes off to sleep much quicker and sleeps better on camp than anywhere else, at least after the first night. It is worth not trying to stick to a routine though - sometimes letting them fall asleep in their pyjamas and a fleece onesie round the fire, and then putting them to bed can be the best way of avoiding tantrums.

Also, DD did go through a short phase of night terrors around the age your DS will be and it might not be a bad idea for him to be familiar with the tent before you go somewhere you can't quickly drive back from - just a thought.

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