So, this week we are planning a camping trip. My husband and in-laws are very outdoorsy people (I am as well, but not quite as much) and tent camping wasn't quite on my agenda for THIS year anyway. My baby is 9 months old, and still breastfeeding to sleep, and she's still on baby food, so feeding her wont be a prob. The thing I'm worried about is the sleeping situation. I have a great little tent/bed called a "Pea pod" to put into the tent with us, where I can just take her out when I need to breast feed her. I'm worried about bothering people if she cries, or won't sleep etc. I'm also afraid people will think I'm a bad mother if I take her onto my matt with me.
Any thoughts? has anyone attempted this before? If so what would you suggest??
The best things in this world are free... Like my baby's smile, or listening to the leaves rustle in the wind... the smell after it rains, and sunshine on a snowy day.
Don't know if this will get to you in time, but I'll try.
There are a lot of people who take their infants camping. 9mo sounds old enough if you are prepared. Bring extra potable water for bathing her and washing her dishes - if you are not going to have it available at the camp site. Just bring more of everything than you think you'll need (diapers, wipes, food, outfits, etc).
Since she nurses to sleep, you can use that to your advantage and just nurse her to sleep every time she wakes up. Thus you will have minimum crying that will disturb others. On the other hand, this may easily become a habit you will have to break when you get back home and/or the crying should be tolerated by your in-laws who are taking you camping.
As far as sleeping with her on the matt. Just follow all the SIDs rules. Sleep on a solid surface, minimize fluffy blankets and pillows, and don't drink or do drugs while sleeping with your baby.
Taking your baby camping is not a bad thing. As long as you are up for it, I say go for it and take lots of cute pictures of her first camping trip. (FYI just so you know, I haven't gone camping, but we have gone to other people's homes. Similar worries about disturbing others at night, etc. We don't camp often, but if we did I think we would have taken our baby when little. To each their own :-)
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!
whoa.. camping sounds like a tough one. personally i wouldn't have the nerve to do it with a 9 month old, mostly because i would like to be close to emergency facilities (depends on where you camp obviously).
newmom offers a bunch of great suggestions. i wouldn't worry about what other people think - there is plenty of open space to move to if they are getting disturbed. and if you are so inclined, here's an article i wrote on age-appropriate vacations with kids:
My parents took me camping at 10 weeks old. I think it depends how experienced of campers you are, and how 'hardcore' the camping area is. If it is the wilderness with no camp host, that might be a little much. Otherwise, just use common since and be safe.
Personally, taking a baby camping was a great experience for my family when our little guy was younger (still is!). It's just something you have to prepare for and, as posted earlier, bring extra of everything you think you'll need! I, too, worried about the crying, but fortunately, that didn't turn out to be such an issue for us. As a personal preference, I try to avoid camping in crowded areas and especially for fear of the crying since tent walls aren't the same as building walls, but if this is your in-law's idea, they should be okay with any unforeseen nighttime crying. Since we're local to Play Outdoors, we used some of the gear they offer and it was a great investment in terms of traveling and hiking ease with a baby. I'd recommend some of their baby travel gear in case it might work for you. Have fun!