Have You Camped With Baby?

In the last six years of our lives, our family has camped once with an infant. Sort of. We rented a yurt in a car campground. Does that even qualify as camping?

What do I remember about that outing? How desperately I had longed for the smell of woodsmoke during those previous years that we hadn’t camped. That my three-year-old son found a snail on the paved path the bathroom and reveled in the discovery for about twenty minutes, and that spaghetti cooked outside on a camp stove tastes infinitely better.

I also remember that the night was horrid. My daughter fussed and nursed all night and just when we settled to sleep at dawn, a flock of crows alighted on our yurt roof and loudly cawed us back into consciousness.

Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Two weeks ago we headed out again. We had just scored a six person tent for ten bucks at a garage sale and were ready to give it a whirl. This time we went to a forest service campground with another family who have children the same ages as ours, six and three. What a difference! The herd of kids played all day while the adults sat around the campfire and shared stories. We packed far too much and found that getting ready and cleaning up were horrible chores, but while we were there, what a delight! If I would have known what I know now, I would always camp with another family.

Have you taken your infant or toddler camping yet? Are you worried about screams in the middle of the night in a packed campground?


  1. Yes! We took our then 6 month old camping at the beginning of June. She actually did really well. She did wake in the middle of the night and cry on the second night we were out, but it could have been a lot worse. We are taking her again this weekend.

  2. We have an annual family camping trip mid August – and this year we’ll be taking our 7 week old baby. I’m a little nervous about it – it’s a fairly long car ride (she hasn’t driven more than 45 minutes in the car yet), and some years it rains. My partner and I have said that if it seems like too much at any point – we’ll just head back home… but I’m hoping it turns out fine. We’ll be on private property, so we’ll only be annoying the rest of my family if she cries. It’s probably crazy – but we’ll see how it goes…

  3. We go camping with our little guy every summer. The pack n play was key to night time for us. Now that he is 3 we make sure to bring a bucket that fits his potty seat for those last minute ‘I have to pee’ moments.

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