Thursday, June 14, 2018

First Camping Trip with a Toddler

We recently went camping for the first time with our one year old toddler. In addition, we also took our two dogs camping for the first time. It was quite the adventure - one that went a bit smoother than expected. I thought I'd take today to share a few of the things we learned during our trip.

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My MOPS group hosts an group camping trip every year. The details came out in January and we made our decision then to join in on the fun for one night. We decided to limit our stay to one night since our little one and our dogs had never been camping before.

This turned out to be an even better decision when we learned in March that we would be expanding our family by two more feet. Multiple days of tent camping at 17 weeks pregnant would have been a bit much. One night of sleeping on the floor I could deal with though.

We spent some time preparing for our trip but I wouldn't say that we overplanned. We tried to anticipate any obstacles that we could but we didn't allow ourselves to stress too much. We actually went into the trip with low expectations and figured it would be a mini disaster that we could talk about for years to come. This allowed us to be pleasantly surprised when things went smoother than expected.

Come prepared.

I already mentioned that we didn't go overboard with the camping preparations. However, we did pack a few things that made our stay a bit more enjoyable. The first is this amazing portable high chair that we bought for travel. It made meal time so much easier. The other item is this all terrain wagon that Baby Fox got for his birthday. It served as a fun way for Baby Fox to travel around and it provided us with an easier way to haul wood back to the campsite.

Bend the rules.

We have a pretty set routine at home. Meal times, nap times, and bedtime happen on a set schedule for the most part. We aren't super strict about it, but if we're at home and there's nothing odd going on, then we follow the schedule that we worked hard to create when Baby Fox was younger. Camping was one of those times when we decided it was best to bend the rules. We still made sure that Baby Fox got food and rest in order to meet his needs, but we were more lenient on what that looked like. This made everyone much happier in the long run.

Safety is important.

Camping can be dangerous. There are the typical outdoor elements to worry about - sun and bugs - and many other dangers that can be around depending on where you're camping. We were in a tightly packed campground so supervision was important. One of us was always supervising Baby Fox to insure that he didn't get too close to the fire, wander away, or play with things he shouldn't. He did get a taste of dog food, but that was probably the most "dangerous" thing that happened to him while we were there.

Go with the flow.

This one sort of falls under the category of "bending the rules," but not entirely. I felt like it deserved it's own section. It's important to go with the flow when you're out camping - especially with a little one in the picture. Things are not going to go as planned and that's okay. Simply be prepared to be flexible and change your plans as needed. Dinner happened much later than anticipated and we woke to rain in the morning, but we simply adjusted our plans a bit and made the most of the situation!

Locate the park.

Little ones tend to love the park. We were fortunate (and not so fortunate) to be at a campsite right by the park. This was nice during the day because it meant easy entertainment (with supervision) for Baby Fox. It was not so nice when I was trying to put the little one to bed and all we could hear was the noise of kids playing on the playground. I highly recommend locating the park or other fun activities for those moments when you need easy entertainment for everyone.

All in all, our camping trip went pretty well. We've definitely decided that we'll be camping again in the future. However, we might wait until our next one is in the picture to save mommy's body from the pain of sleeping on the ground pregnant. Do you have any camping tips? We'd love to hear them in the comments below!

P.S. Our dogs slept in the tent with us and everyone slept through the night! (Well, except for mommy who had to get up to go pee.) We simply positioned us between the dogs and the baby to keep everyone happy and safe.


  1. Haha! How was Baby Fox's review of the dog food? So glad that your camping trip went well! I don't think I could go camping with a toddler, pets, and pregnant! Actually, I don't go camping to begin with!! Haha!

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