Camping and still achieving great sleep for your little ones? Some said we are nuts. I always get asked “won’t your children go off track with a interruption of schedule?” I am here to tell you that we camp as much as we can with both my children 7 and 13months (4 months at our first camp)
We had VERY successful naps and nights. All children slept 11+hrs and my then 6 month old slept his first night of 12 hours!!
Here are my tips:
- Arrive early: give yourselves time to set up so that you can have your children in bed at an appropriate time so that they do not become over tired.
- Too hot or too cold: pack weather appropriate sleepwear. If you don’t have a furnace or AC in your camper to keep you warm or cool then be sure to pack appropriately
- Don’t be woken by the birds or the other campers music or chatter: pack a sound machine (I love sound machines with batteries). This will be your BEST friend! Keep it on rain and turn it up a little bit louder than normal
- Sleep in comfort: mimic their sleeping conditions. Bring their snuggly buddy, their pillow (if they use one), small flash light if they sleep with one, and their favourite blanket. Don’t forget anything they are used to during their sleep at home.
- If you’re camping with little ones who still take a bottle, be prepared BEFORE bedtime. Nothing fun about trying to make a bottle in the middle of the night and in the dark! We boiled water and kept it in a flask since my little one likes warm bottles.
- Naps: naps can be tough. They are having fun and don’t want to take a break. Get that nap in there so that they don’t become over tired. It may take them a little longer to fall asleep but help them get those extra zzzz’s. Quiet time will also help them become less stimulated and less irritable. It is ok to do a nap on the go if they take 2 naps, do the first one in the camper or tent and the other one can be on the go.
- Bedtime: Continue with your regular routine. You may not have access to a bath- you can do a wipe down, jammies, books/songs and cuddles are all things you can bring with you. If nap-time was a fail, bump bedtime up accordingly.
- Nutrition: toddlers and kids are busy bodies, keep them fueled with nutrient dense food so they aren’t hungry in the middle of the night and wake early to eat. Pack healthy snacks packed with protein!
- Don’t be worried: Summer is too short to not enjoy it! Get out there. Once you have a great independent sleeper, anything that goes off track for one weekend can be adjusted as soon as you get back to your regular routine.
- Enjoy yourselves. Once little ones are in bed, enjoy a little mommy or daddy time by the fire and relax! If you are still nervous then try camping out in your backyard or campground close by. If you have a trailer and it fits in your driveway, you could even set it up right there!
Kids will have a blast either way. Our first camp of the season is always under an hour away from home… just incase!
Khudeja Williams is a Paediatric Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and owner of Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting. I work closely with parents to help them help their little ones get the healthy, restful sleep they need. Follow Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting on Instagram and Facebook. Let’s get your family the healthy, happy sleep you all deserve!
The advice provided by Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting is not a substitute for medical advice. The advice on this website is provided solely for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health practitioner with questions regarding medical conditions or the health or welfare of your child.