Camping with toddler - what do we need?(26 Posts)
So, we've bought a tent and are planning to test it out the first bank holiday in May. We have previously been to camping huts & yurts, but not 'properly' camped, and particularly not with a young child this early in the season.
So, seasoned campers, what do we need for our 20 month old? In particular, what would you take for them to sleep in (type of bed and clothing/bedding wise)?
also, what bedding do you take for slightly older children (I.e. 4 year old)? Last year, when in a yurt, he slept on a normal air mattress with his regular duvet and an extra long sleeved top under his PJs. Will that be enough?
I would put something on top of the air bed as it might get quite cold. I used a sheepskin run but a thick wool blanket would do. The air in the air bed gets cold!
Plus an extra blanket or two to go on top just in case.
We are taking our dcs this easter and I'm going all out with bedding. The first time we took our toddler and preschooler in August, my toddler woke cold in the middle of the night so not making that mistake again!
I should add, we got a kampa junior air bed with high sides to stop them rolling out.
We got a duvet from Tesco (and now keep it specifically for camping, rolled up in the bag it comes in) and put this down in the floor of the tent. It's very comfy and snug.
Got our then 1 year old a kids sleeping bag (I'd post you a link but can't find it, was about £15) to use on top of the duvet and we/he loved it. Slept like a log too...
Larger size onesie for over pj's.
Cheap Crocs for in and out the tent and wet grass!!
When we went abroad camping we put our car reg on ds arm incase he wandered off!!
Camp with our three (now 3,5,8) since they were 1,4,6.
We use a camp bed with a folded fleece blanket as a "bottom sheet"; then a sleeping bag; then another blanket. Cold comes up from the ground so it's good to be elevated. You can also store clothes etc under camp beds - we use blue IKEA bags as individual wardrobes.
Everyone wears fleece pyjamas/onesie and thick socks (eg welly socks). So that's toddler, older children and adults.
Sod fashion and style! It gets fiercely cold as soon as it gets dark. Don't wait to change.
April in a normal lightweight tent will be much colder than a yurt etc. Might decide to wear a woolly hat if there's a particularly cold night. At twenty months your toddler will be capable of pushing off a hat or unwanted blanket without waking up, but will whinge and whine if cold.
Potty in the porch to avoid overnight and early morning toilet visits. Line with a (disposable) nappy.
Glow sticks and LED tea lights make great fun nightlights.
Wellies and Crocs are great for getting round the campsite without drenching shoes.
Comics with crappy toys on the front get a lot of mileage.
They'll wake when it's light, so put their beds in the right end of the tent to get the sun last.
Don't worry too much about brilliant diets. Simple works well. Eg microwave rice pouches stirred through chilli you made at home and froze (defrosts safely in the cool box en route). Fish and chips from the van one night. We have brioche type stuff for breakfast most days with bacon sandwiches if we aren't cooking again. Lunch is bread/ham/cheese/hummus/tomatoes etc that keep well in our powered cool box.
We always take homemade cake with us. We have a layered cake box so can have a few layers of cake that lasts (eg ginger cake, flapjack) and a layer of biscuits. You use a lot of calories camping.
I'll think of more.
We are going at Easter and I'm putting a could of old plastic backed picnic blankets down in the bedrooms for extra insulations. I'm also taking plenty of fleece blankets. Will put these over the sims and over us. They pack up quite small too.
Agree with other posters that you need to block the cold from the ground, for young DC air beds are probably your best bet, but a raised bed frame is an alternative. DD has a sort of boat air bed in 2 pieces, which is great.
Other suggestions of duvets and sheepskins are also good. At the risk of stating the obvious - don't get cold - as soon as the temperature drops put everyone's layers on. It's easier to keep warm than to warm up again from cold.
Other than that the three B's biscuits, baby wipes and boots. The first 2 in industrial quantities.
A fleece dressing gown was a life saver with my toddler last summer (he slept in it when he suddenly took a real dislike to grobags)
Balloons and bucket and spade keep entertained for hours.
We are also going in may. Three year old has sleeping bag for first time, a Vango one that unzips half way with arm holes so he can wear it for breakfast til it warms up a bit.
Decathlon for ski suits or puddle suits for practically all day
We are taking seven month old. Wearing normal sleepsuit, fleecey one over the top, grobag, jumper. Can come in my double bag if needed (will probably end up opening it like a duvet)
Lots of food that's instant for the morning like brioche
One more thing we do is pay for an extra night so that we don't have to rush packing up on the last day when you are normally expected to be off the pitch by eleven. Instead we have a morning activity to wear kids out, so they are asleep or sedate while we pack up will sleep in car, and go home in the mid afternoon.
Pjs on early while it's still warm and clothes or fleecy onesie over the top, so they can just take off the outer layer to go to bed rather than get cold by taking everything off at once
Lots and lots of layers, for both kids and beds (and don't forget yourself!)
What do you do about bedtimes? Ds is also 20 months old and in bed asleep by 7.30-8. Do you all go to bed early?
Bedtime happens when the child falls asleep. This may not be for several hours after usual bedtime. Getting up time may happen several hours earlier than usual. You just need to go with the flow.
"in bed asleep by 7.30-8. Do you all go to bed early?"
No-ooo! Kids flake out when ready, we sit out in peace enjoying the sunset and stars.
Depending on age of toddler: zip up with zips at the top of the compartment, where they cannot reach. To prevent escape.
No bubbles for play and distraction. Bubble mixture on tents destroys the waterproofing.
I came on to ask this very question! Lots of good advice here.
Toddlers can be awake when the Dew's still on the grass, so a waterproof suit can can go over their jimjams and wellies will save trying to dry out damp clothing.
1. Wine (or alcohol equivalent)
2. Wellies (easy to slip in for a night time wee)
3. Fleecy onesies
4. Throw out the routine sheet (we once put our 3yo to bed at 7, saw all the other children still playing, felt guilty, got her back up)
5. Snacks (fresh air makes them starving)
6. Wet wipes and sanigel.
Think about how you will manage her while you put the tent up. Can it be done by one person? Would she sit in the car and watch cartoons? Take a travel cot to double as a play pen? Or will she stay happily by your side as you do jobs like this?
I am sooooo excited we're off on our first trip on Thursday!! I've been buying bits all winter and just had a great browse on local selling sites for a bit more.
Best tip from my friend is to contact campsite and request a pitch away from any roads / thoroughfare on the campsite. You might be a bit further from toilet blocks etc but less worry about letting toddlers free range near the tent.
Looks like we have most things suggested here - certainly layers and wet weather stuff!!
Shops don't quite have the picnic / camping stuff in yet which is a pain but Aldi had a few things last week and I've had 4 red cards from Royal
mail thanks to eBay / amazon.
We're staying quite close to home so are being decadent and taking 2 cars - 1 will mostly be full of bedding. God knows what we'll do later this year when we're off to Camp Bestival.
We are meant to be going tomorrow on our first trip with 22mo. Shes poirly though sho making a decision in the morning 😭
We are just taking her normal cotbed mattress, grobag and duvet.
I think airbeds make you colder because the air inside gets really cold. If you're using them, they need insulating layers underneath.
Coolbox for the wine
Twice as many blankets as you think you'll need.
Kampa toddler bed for the small one, standard airbed or sim for the 4yo. Blanket under airbed, one under sleeping bag, then another one on top and you should be fine. Picnic blankets are good insulation as well, and cheaper than a tent carpet.
Bucket (can never be arsed traipsing to the loos with small ones in onesies, sod that)
Bag for the showers. Keep your toiletries in there, and your change of clothes. Bags for life are good for this.
Crocs and wellies
Small dustpan and brush, or your tent will be full of dirt
Small low table for the 4yo yo draw at/eat at.
Join the discussion
Please login first.