CAMPING WITH A TODDLER AND A 5 YEAR OLD
Keeping my sanity
A couple of months ago when people asked me if we are going camping this year it was a big fat NO! Maybe it’s my coping skills that are question more than my son’s behaviour but the thought of camping with a toddler just didn’t appeal. Not that his behaviour is anything out of the ordinary, he’s inquisitive, boisterous, adventurous and LOUD! Everything a toddler should be.
But couple that with a small confined living area, other people trying to sleep at night and all sorts of equipment for him to get his hands on and I just couldn’t see the enjoyment.
Then, a couple of weeks ago my daughter asked and asked to go camping, so we did…in our back garden. Yes, we all had a camping trip, overnight in our tent in our garden. It was a brilliant idea (thanks Pops). We all got our sleeping bags out, took snacks for eating in the tent and had our tea in the garden. My OH and my daughter did it a second night with Pops’ cousin too. We had a small issue of making sure the tooth fairy knew that her cousin was having a sleepover as her tooth had fallen out that day. They loved it so much.
The excitement on their faces when the tent was put up was priceless. We first took Pops camping when she was about 2 ½, she was a good sleeper unlike our son so we weren’t too concerned about noise overnight. We rightly expected late nights for her. The excitement, the noises ad the light was too much for a normal bedtime, but that was ok. We’ve since been camping a few times with her but never with Pud who is now 17 months.
This mini camping trip has totally changed my outlook on having a family camping trip this summer. He’s inquisitive; great all the outdoor space for him to explore. He’s boisterous; what a fab natural playground for him to burn off energy. He’s adventurous; brilliant camping is one big adventure. He’s Loud…so are most of the other kids that are camping. I think I have to just learn to go with it and relax.
So, I have just booked a pitch for 2 nights near Bala in Wales. It’s about an hour from home so not too far away and coincides with a trip to the LIME festival in Llangollen. Dare I say it, but I’m looking forward to it.
I asked the community of parenting bloggers for their best tips for camping with a toddler.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom that will help me keep my sanity on this upcoming camping trip?
Hannah Fleming says:
Lots of changes of ‘play’ clothes for when they inevitably get soaked / covered in mud from all the fun they’re having! (hibabyblog)
Take a potty! If your kids need a pee and don’t/ can’t squat they’re a godsend especially in the middle of the night! Good sticks are fun and useful and remember to take your own pillow! (ScrapBookBlog)
Take loads of beans and sausages in a tin and eggs makes a great breakfast on the camp stove. (anklebitersadventures)
Kate Elizabeth Redfern has a few tips:
We tent camped last summer twice for a week each time with a just one year old (bum shuffling) and a not quite 2.5 year old.
Have as big a tent as you can possibly afford, money and space wise. Ours has 3 bedrooms across the back so the kids had one each (on their inflatable camping ready beds) and the central one was used for storing things we didn’t want the little ones meddling with and unpacking!!! We slept in the main tent compartment.
Relax about bedtimes – you’re lucky if they will go to sleep before it’s dark – well we found anyway! And naps were near impossible in the tent so we timed bike rides or car trips for them to catch some Z’s.
Take a dustpan and brush – the messy little monkeys always bring the outside in! Loads of wet wipes – they’ll be mucky most of the trip. We didn’t find we needed to take many toys, a couple each and their teddy, as there was so much to do on and around the site.
And most of all – relax. It’s going to be hard work, you’ll probably return home feeling like you need another holiday…BUT you’ll make some amazing memories and the kids will still be talking about it until the following summer when you’re due to go again!! (We can’t wait).
Samantha Rickelton It is always going to be colder than you think at night – lots of layers for little ones are essential! (North East Family Fun)
Samantha Rickelton Prepare yourself for them waking up early as there’s not much you can do about it getting light outside. Pack strong coffee (for you) and maybe plan a family afternoon nap into your days. (From my husband Steve) (Big Stevie Cool)
Alana Lewis Perrin Take plenty of layers as it can get really chilly at night, a separate torch if you have a toddler as they’ll want to use yours and aren’t capable of shining it in the right direction, and loads of wet wipes! Try not to get stressed about bedtime … it won’t happen at the usual time and there’s not much point in trying to enforce it. And toasting marshmallows is always a winner! (Baby Holiday)