Guest post by Luna Anderson*
Camping with a baby does need a little more planning than your outdoor adventures have in the past, but it will be a relaxing and rewarding trip if you get it right. Growing babies benefit immensely from sunshine, water and fresh air and it gives you a chance to enjoy Mother Nature too.
Keep it Close to Home
Keeping it as close to your home as possible is important if you are going on your first camping trip with baby. Don’t be overly ambitious either; opt for a car camp where you have a toilet block to ease your way in or for an easy hike or paddle that could have you back home in a jiffy should the need arise.
Remember that babies cry, so don’t camp too close to others or you won’t be able to relax.
Don’t be Scared of Dirt
Keeping baby clean and hygienic will be a challenge when you are out in the backwoods. But fear not, dirt can actually be good for babies as it helps to strengthen their immune systems. Recent studies show that microbes found in dirt can help children to overcome asthma and other allergies. For example, children who grew up on farms were 20% less likely to develop asthma thanks to microbes they picked up.
Take Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Baby’s sensitive skin will burn quickly, so take sunscreen, hats and a portable shade tent so you can keep them out of the sun if their skins are too sensitive for sunscreens.
Bug sprays contain nasty chemicals, so don’t spray them directly onto baby’s skin. Spray your baby carrier instead and cover them with mosquito netting to prevent bites. You can also make a natural bug spray, but even that contains essential oils and should be used only on older children as baby’s skin may be too sensitive.
Think about the Stink
Take a water-proof bag along for your dirty diapers. Hang your diaper bag along with your food if you are backcountry camping and want to avoid an unpleasant scene. Either wait until you get home to dispose of your diapers or find a local RV disposal site.
Tarp it Up
Take a large tarp with you that you can stake down in your campsite. This will give you and your child a large, clean area to relax in.
Exposing your child to nature as early and as often as possible is both physically and mentally healthy for them and for you.
*Luna Anderson is a big fan of outdoor activities, camping and hiking. Visit her blog HikerTrack to get the best preparation for any adventures.