Camping with a 23 month old and 11 month old?

Chrystal - posted on 05/02/2012 ( 35 moms have responded )

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So my husband suggested we go on an overnight camping trip and I'm unsure. Has anyone else taken children this young camping? How did it go? Any tips.

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Another thing I forgot to mention. Get a really good first aid kit. I highly suggest making your own. The ones you buy, even the really expensive ones, always leave things out or don't have enough of something.

Pearl - posted on 05/03/2012

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I was 10 weeks old when my parents first took me camping. I think, 'keep it simple' and 'dirt is good' are good statements to keep in mind!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/02/2012

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Took my grandchildren camping along with their mom last summer.
We did not stay in a campground but just in the wilderness area in the Sierra's east of Fresno.
We brought the children's potty chair. Planned easy meals with little cleanup.
We spent three days and two nights. Went exploring and fishing at a nearby lake.

To make your trip easy and enjoyable:
Plan simple meals with easy cleanup. You should enjoy the trip too, not spend all your time in the campsite working.
Bring the packnplay for the kids to sleep in. Bring the things they are familiar with. Make it easy for them to be comfortable.
Go on the trip expecting to have fun.

Even though we had problems on the trip, we still had fun. We made the mistake of eating fast food on the way to the campsite. First night the 13 month old was vomiting all night. The next day the 2 year old spent the day vomiting and the little guy had diarrhea for the rest of the trip. And just to make sure we really remembered this trip, their mom got sick the next night.

My daughter and the two kids still say that was the best camping trip they have gone on and they go every summer to a family reunion camping trip for two weeks with her in-laws.

Sherri - posted on 05/02/2012

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Heck I took my 3rd son camping when he was only 3mo's old. I have taken the older two since they were 18mo's and 3yrs old. They will have a blast!! Just plan on taking a lot of clothing that you don't mind getting dirty because they will be absolutely filthy.



We are also planning a week camping trip this Aug. My youngest will only be 5 1/2mo's.

Bonnie - posted on 05/04/2012

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My daughter was 4 months old on her first camp out. My son had a cub scout camp out and hubby had to work so it was me, the baby and a 9 year old. It CAN be done...lol. We were in a tent and she slept on a blanket in a plastic laundry basket so she couldn't roll around. We have continued to camp with her to this day. It did get a litter harder when she was up walking because she is very adventurous. At night I would put "glow sticks" on her in case she tried to wander off. Have to be creative...lol.

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Chrystal - posted on 05/08/2012

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So we are set to leave for our camping trip tomorrow morning. Thanks to everyone for all the tips and encouragement.

Annie - posted on 05/08/2012

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It'll be fine, friends of ours just took a 3 month old, I took a 2.5yr old & it rained most of the time!! just be prepared to cuddle up together at night & take a few hot water bottles! :o)

Hailey - posted on 05/07/2012

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We took our 3 kids camping last summer, 4, 3 and Harvey was 4 weeks old at the time it rained LOTS and was very muddy but LOTS of fun. I woke in the dark, freezing and trying to do his nappy in the night with a torch lol GREAT FUN. Go on....whats the worst that can happen? at least it will be one holiday to remember :) xx

Simone - posted on 05/06/2012

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I went camping with 7 of my kids whilst pregnant with the 8th. I had a set of twins aged 2 and they loved it. Extra clothes is a must. A travel cot is brilliant as it doubles as a play pen. Toys and hot water bottles as things do get damp and cold at night. but with all the fresh air sleeping should not be a problem. We stayed on a site that had a launderet so i bathed the twins in the big sink and ttumbled there sleeping bags if it got to chilly . it was brilliant. Good luck

Pamela - posted on 05/06/2012

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Camping is like doing anything else outdoors. The only difference is that you will be in an area where you will not be using your own toilet, kitchen, etc.

Yes, I have taken my children camping at a young age. This child is almost 2 years old, so you simply need to take the same precautions out of doors that you do at home. Watch what goes from the hand to the mouth, etc.

Children are far more adaptable than you think! Here in Hawai'i families go camping with infants! I have no idea where you live as you don't give that info, but from what you say it is YOU who is uncomfortable with the idea...not the child. Try it! You just may surprise yourself if you loosen up!

Markita - posted on 05/05/2012

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Do it! You'll have fun and so will the kids. Just think about it, waaaaay back in the day everyone camped out. We didn't have houses, heck we were luck if we had a cave to call home. Yep I'm talking about cave people. You guys will be fine, it will be an adventure.

Tracie - posted on 05/05/2012

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I took my daughter camping before she could walk and it wasn't my best idea. She wanted to crawl/explore but I just couldn't let her spend the whole day crawling around in the dirt with the bugs & cow pies. We didn't camp with her again until she could walk. It was much easier that time.

Melissa - posted on 05/05/2012

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I took my 2 year old camping, and had a pea pod for him to sleep in. It worked great. He got reallly dirty, and had lots of fun. So did I.

Katy - posted on 05/04/2012

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I took both of our girls last summer when they were 3 and 11 months. Simple meals and be prepared for lots of dirt. I would also suggest getting your kids used to showers as well. I love camping with little kids!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/04/2012

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Gwen, they'll remember more than you give them credit for, especially the 23 month old

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/04/2012

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Go for it!

If it's warm where you are, why not get 'em started early? My oldest was 3 months old on his first trip.

He slept next to me, in his blankets. I was concerned he'd wriggle out, but he didn't.

Plan simple meals, and don't be afraid of DIRT! Keep the wipes handy, JIK. Also plenty of clothing changes, etc.

I guess I should ask if you're even comfortable with the camping thing first, though. We're a camping family...The latest any of our kids went out for the first time was 10 months. We have a blast! And always have.

I guess, to be honest, I never really thought about it being any different than going on a trip...You pack extra, you plan mishaps, and you muddle thru...LOL

Gwen - posted on 05/04/2012

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I suggest leaving the babies with Grandma and taking a nice overnight camping trip alone w/ your hubby. Personally, it doesn't sound like fun to drag all of the gear, formula, diaper etc. along for a camping trip they won't even remember.

J. - posted on 05/04/2012

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You will enjoy the camping trip as long as you plan ahead... don't wait to pack everything at the last minute...too stressful that way...Easy meals work best especially with little ones....

You don't say where you are camping... (in a campground with bathrooms.. in the wilderness...etc.) We have small boys that are 14 months apart and have been taking them both since our youngest was 11 months old... They both Loved it.... It CAN be Fun with a little planning.... Since little boys tend to get really dirty camping... I took a Rubbermaid storage container to use as a little tub for them... worked great... rinse it out and put all the dirty clothes in it to go home... Lots of easy to grab snacks... peanuts, granola bars, fruit... things that they are used to snacking on...but won't melt in the heat... Have Fun and enjoy!!!! Most importantly.... take lots of pictures for memories and Let Dad help too..!!!!!

Krys - posted on 05/04/2012

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My husband and I took our daughter camping with my father-in-law when she was 3 months old. We stayed in a camper (that didn't have much space) and she slept with me on the biggest bed at night. One thing that really helped during the day was the small pack and play but we took it a slight step further to keep the bugs out and used the netting that covers the baby carrier (or stroller) and put that over the top of the pack and play. That way she had a safe bug free area outside she could play in (which also helped when we were cooking on the fire). We all had a great time.

Merrill - posted on 05/04/2012

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If you love camping then you should do it even though it's tricky with two toddlers. Our first camping trip with the kids was when my daughter was just about 1 and not walking. So we used a port a crib but it was hard. My son was a little past 3 and was potty trained but we spent a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom. My kids didn't sleep well, as the sun comes up early and there was too many noises. Just remember, You are doing it for you and your husband, not really for the kids as they won't remember. My one big tip, especially for the middle of the night, being a portable potty (the kind with a zip lock baggie that attaches) and just leave it in your tent. But if you want to go, then go and realize that logistics are tricky with toddlers.

Merrill - posted on 05/04/2012

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If you love camping then you should do it even though it's tricky with two toddlers. Our first camping trip with the kids was when my daughter was just about 1 and not walking. So we used a port a crib but it was hard. My son was a little past 3 and was potty trained but we spent a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom. My kids didn't sleep well, as the sun comes up early and there was too many noises. Just remember, You are doing it for you and your husband, not really for the kids as they won't remember. My one big tip, especially for the middle of the night, being a portable potty (the kind with a zip lock baggie that attaches) and just leave it in your tent. But if you want to go, then go and realize that logistics are tricky with toddlers.

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It's realy very hard and stressful but will create wonderful memories and you'll be glad you did it once it's over! (Just being realistic!) I went for 16 days all over France with my hubby (his choice of holiday) with Flo at 10 months and Harry 29months - it was so difficult but we have wonderful pictures and memories of the places we stopped at and have forgotten the awful bits :-) Have a wonderful camping holiday! xxxxx

A - posted on 05/04/2012

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We, too, have been camping since our 2 kids were infants. My son who did not sleep well as an infant slept through the night in our camper. I guess the sound of the great outdoors was more soothing! Definitely take stuff to keep them entertained....bubbles, exersaucer (for the little one, if they are not walking), etc. They will have a blast.

Tricia - posted on 05/04/2012

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We love going camping with our girls! We went last year when they were 8 months, 20 months, & 5 years old. My suggestion would be to go through their bedtime routine as best as you can - the familiarity of it will help alot. And don't be surprised if you have buddies trying to sleep with you that night! Try to think of it from their perspective & it'll help you not feel so frustrated (speaking from experience!). Good luck & enjoy!!

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2012

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Camping with kids is a breeze. Lots of fun. The only time it was "difficult" was when he was potty training. We just took a portable seat with us which he used and my hubby was on dumping and cleaning duty. Not a big deal at all. They will get filthy playing in the dirt and will have a blast. We've been camping with our son since he was about 18 months and still go out about every month.

Diane - posted on 05/04/2012

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It will be great...Suggestions are to plan your food ahead even preparing some and freezing such as when we go for a week I will make sloppy joes, taco meat, and other tings freeze it then all I have to do is thaw and warm it up--I also organize my cooler boxes accordint to days, making a list and putting it on top of the cooler box as to what is in that cooler ox. We have 7 boys and went camping all the time--

Laura - posted on 05/04/2012

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we go all the time, when mine was really young though i put the reins on my toddlers and tied a long bungee strap it has d clips on each end, to the back bit and tied it to the tow ring on the car, it prevented them from dissapearing which they do as soon as you turn your back,

Chrystal - posted on 05/03/2012

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Thanks for the tips guys and making me feel better about taking them. I love camping myself I just was a bit worried about my youngest being outdoors 24/7 she eats EVERYTHING but I never thought about the play pen that will be a great solution for when I need a break from chasing her around.

Kehli - posted on 05/03/2012

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I first took my twin girls camping at 7 months. They slept in the playpen and we brought a screen house to put them in during the day. Since it was warm during the day, they were able to wear t-shirts and diapers. At night they wore blanket sleepers. I had to be mindful of how much they were drinking so they wouldn't get dehydrated. We had a great time and they love being outside. They are 3 now and they get excited when I get the tent out.

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I took my daughter to the family cabin when she was about 10 months old. It was basically camping without the tent. No plumbing and no electricity. She slept in her pack in play in thick pjs. We went in late September so the nights were around 40F.

We are planning a huge camping trip this summer to Glacier and Yellowstone with my daughter (now 2 1/2) and son (who will be 6 months when we go). We are doing extreme planning. Lots of toys, the pack and play for my son.

I will second the easy meal. One thing that my husband has done since his days in Scouts is baggy eggs. You take a freezer thick quart sized ziplock and add in the eggs, meat, and veggies (leave out the cheese until the end). Then bring a huge pot of water to an almost boil and stick the bag in making sure it doesn't touch the sides or bottom. 3-4 minutes later and you have eggs. Little to no clean up, and you have some hot water to clean the knives, cutting board, and forks.

Terrie - posted on 05/02/2012

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We took my son as a baby and he loved it. Packed plenty of diapers, had things well planned out. Had his favorite toys. He still loves to camp. But if you are not a camping person to begin with, then this is not going to be fun for you so you have to think about that too.

Melissa - posted on 05/02/2012

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My son first went camping just at two years, we will be taking him again this summer as well as my second who will be 4 1/2 months old. Just make sure you have extra clothes and diapers, toys to play with in the tent if you encounter a day of rain, maybe let the almost two-year-old pick out a sleeping bag and flash light. We have been going to the family cabin since my son was two weeks old, almost the same thing only we sleep inside. We have a lot of fun though! :)

September - posted on 05/02/2012

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We took our son camping for the first time at 8 months. It was a lot of fun! We go camping every year and as our son gets older the more fun it is! :) Just be sure to bring some toys or fun things for them to play with, bug spray, snacks, water and lots of clothes. We also try to camp in a place where there is still cell phone reception in case of an emergency. Have fun!

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