Camping with a newborn can be a very intimidating experience especially when it is your first. It definitely requires some more packing including somewhere for the baby to sleep. Camping beds for babies are a good option and these sleeping bags for babies over 6 months of age are a great!

It is totally worth it to take your baby camping.

It was refreshing being in the great outdoors as new parents with our 4 week old especially since we did a lot of camping pre-baby.

It’s nice to know you don’t have to stop the activities that you love.

Babies also really love the fresh air and being outside.

My parents took me camping when I was 6 weeks old and it clearly had an incredible impact on my life. I believe that the outdoors is a natural soother for babies so why not get them out camping as soon as you can!!

Update: I now have two kids! We went camping with our second when she was only 3 weeks old. Going camping so early with our first made it a lot easier and stress-free with our second.

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*All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links in which I receive a small portion of the sales to go towards our family taco fund!

10 Tips for Camping with a Baby

1. Expect to worry

Don’t worry about worrying. This is going to happen. Don’t let the worrying stop you from going camping with your newborn, because the next time you go camping it will no longer new. You will worry less.

I remember putting our 4-week old baby down for a nap in the tent and saying to my husband “Do you think she will be alright?” Really what I was worried about was would she be too cold or too hot… She’s so tiny and is probably lonely without me! 

For our first camping trip, I worried whether she was too cold or if she was too hot.

Was she breathing? I just checked her… Better check again.

Now that I have gone through the worry of that first car camping experience I would do it again in a flash and cannot wait till I get to take her again next time. Next time maybe overnight hike?

2. Weather

Look at the weather and only camp in a temperature that you feel comfortable camping in with a baby.

When our baby was born it was 30 degrees plus outside and our apartment was boiling.

Getting out was necessary. 

I remember going to the beach with my husband during the first week of her life and telling him to protect her from the sun. 

As new parents you tend to worry about the elements.

When we decided to go camping with a baby I had to make sure that the weather would not be a problem.

The weekend forecast was sunny, blue sky’s, and hovering around 20 degrees Celsius.

The coldest it got was about 10 degrees Celsius at night, during the day it hovered around 15-20 degrees Celsius and we knew that it was going to be a sunny weekend.

It was nice for us to know that it was not going to get too cold.

3. Sleeping

Echo Valley Provincial Park Campground

You may not sleep the first night, or at least not very well because you are worried about your baby.

But, I guess as new parents do you ever really sleep?

I remember my husband waking up in the middle of the night at home thinking he had just been holding our daughter.

She was still in her bassinet fast asleep and we laughed so hard because of our sleep deprivation.

Camping adds another element to sleep.

You will most likely be checking on your baby multiple times to make sure they are still breathing.

This changes after you have your second.

I slept so well when we took our second baby camping at 3 weeks old.

We have our three-person ‘roughing’ it tent and we also have our big ‘glamping’ tent for luxury car camping.

When we went we took our big ‘glamping’ tent. At home, our little babe slept in a moses/wicker bassinet.

Since this was easy to transport we decided to have her sleep in the bassinet in the tent.

We put her at the top of our heads but you could also put the bassinet between you and your partner.

There are some other great options in the post Best Camping Beds for Babies.

If your baby is a little older you could put them beside you in their own sleeping bag or sleep sack.

4. Clothing

OH, baby clothes are so cute and I am definitely a fan of headbands and barrettes.

Unfortunately it’s best to leave these at home and bring the necessities. 

Someone once told me on a cold day they bundled up their baby on a walk outside.

Their baby was screaming and screaming until they got home and realized that their baby was actually too hot.

He settled down once the layers were taken off.

The key here is not to overdress.

We had our little girl in a onesie and a sleeper.

She slept inside a fleece sleep sack and then we put on two blankets.

She also wore a wool toque which keeps the warmth in and the cool out.

It was about 10 degrees at night.

5. Breastfeeding

Unfortunately breastfeeding in the middle of the night was not very comfortable but it all added to the experience.

Expect this to be difficult especially if there is a little chill in the air.

Breastfeeding by the fire in a nice camper chair with your newborn is an excellent bonding experience. 

Since you are car camping you are able to bring a few luxuries along to help with breastfeeding.

I brought along my ‘breast friend’ breastfeeding pillow that my sister gave to me.

Thank goodness for sisters :). 

Also, try really hard to remember a camping chair

Breastfeeding in the camping chair during the day was WAY nicer than trying to breastfeed on a log or at the picnic table or sitting on the ground. 

We also brought the chair to the beach where I got to breastfeed and soak up the sun.

We also set up the chair in our ‘glamping’ tent at night.

If I were to go now I would breastfeed my baby lying down but in the first few weeks I did not have that skill nailed down quite right yet.

A friend also did suggest bringing extra pillows to use as support while breastfeeding and/or leaning against someone also is helpful 🙂

6. Camping Neighbours

Choosing a family-friendly campground is important. Number 1, you want a place where there are other families that understand that babies do cry.

 I have been car camping a lot throughout my life and there are always families in RV’s with toddlers or teenagers which means that they had newborns before. 

Number 2, you don’t want a party campground where your neighbours are pumping up music til all hours of the night.

Pre-baby my husband and I stayed at a surf campground in Ucluelet and our neighbours were pumping techno till 12 am.

Not exactly baby-friendly.

Also going camping with friends is really fun as well.

We went camping with our awesome outdoorsy friends that have a 3-year-old and a baby boy that was born 3 days before our daughter.

It was so nice to go with another family and to have that support.

When the two babies got a little fussy the husbands would take them walking and the girls got to chat by the fire.

When dinner needed to be made the boys made the dinner and chatted while the girls breastfed the babies near the fire.

7. Where to go

For the first time, choose somewhere close to home.

We are lucky that we live in Vancouver and this location provides fantastic camping very close.

We chose Alice Lake campground primarily because our friends invited us to go with them and it was only about a 45-minute drive away.

It is a very family-friendly campground with tons of amenities and a lake nearby. 

It is also right near Squamish which is a town with hotels and lots of amenities if camping did not work out.

8. Packing for baby

Pack what is necessary and make sure you have extra clothing in case there is a blowout. Make the clothes easy and unless your doing something fancy be practical. 

For one-two days of camping, I would bring 3 sleepers and 3 onesies.

After that for every extra day I would add one of each up to 1 week.

Keep the clothing nice and simple because you are camping.

I would add a toque, sweater, and pants unless I have a warm full-body suit to use as well.

A baby carrier is really nice to have along.

See the sleeping section for ideas of what the baby should wear at night if it gets chillier.

But remember that a general rule of thumb is that your baby should have one extra layer than you have on.

For babies over 6 months, consider using the warm the  Morrison Outdoors Little Mo 40 Sleeping Bag. Use the code “BTBA” for 10% off one of their sleeping bags! Check out a full review of their toddler and baby sleeping bags here.

For 20% off your entire purchase at Baby dee dee use the code BORNTOBE20 at the check out in the link here. Code is only valid one time!

9. Changing

Our first camping trip was also when we learned that you don’t have to change your baby in the night unless they really need it. 

This was, at least for us, excellent knowledge we got from the friends we went camping with.

It also prevented us from having to unbundle our lil babe in the nighttime chill just to change her lil booty.

 Bring 10 diapers a day and then add a few just in case and a changing mat.

Bring a garbage bag for dirty clothes in case of a blowout.

10. Be prepared

Try to have an easily accessible bin packed with the camping essentials.

If you don’t have it already prepared you will be less motivated and less likely to go.

We used to go camping a lot before our daughter was born.

We went car camping, backcountry camping, canoe camping, surf camping, etc. 

We even went and canoed to an island and camped just one week before she was born.

I was more like a beached whale at that point and pretty sure I just slept the whole time but the fresh air was amazing. 

That means that before our daughter was born we had talked about how important camping was to us and how we felt introducing a young baby to the outdoors was very important for their overall health as well.

Now we just needed to make sure that we were prepared.

When we used to go camping we had all of our car camping gear easily accessible in a bin so we could go on a whim.

Whatever could not fit into the bin we had in a specific spot in our house so that it was easy to grab.

That meant that when our friends asked us if we wanted to go camping that night with our 4 weeks old we were able to say yes.

All we had to pack was our overnight clothes and our baby’s stuff. If you don’t have it already prepared you will be less motivated and less likely to go.

Looking for a sleeping bag for your baby or toddler? Check out these sleeping bags here.

Need a tent that will fit the whole family? Check out our favourite tents for families.

Looking for a camping bed for your baby? Check out these camping beds for babies!

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8 thoughts on “10 Tips for Camping with a Newborn”

  1. a close friend is camping as I type, with her 5 kids, the youngest being only weeks old. Looking forward to hearing how it all worked out!

  2. My husband and I both love ta be outdoors every chance we get! We both love ta go camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, horse back riding, bike riding and even canoeing any chance we get! We especially love ta go camping and fishing! We’ve been together for 3 years and 5 months, and have been married since November 2017 . We are expecting our first child a little boy, I am currently 8 months and 34 weeks along, and our beautiful little bundle of joy is due May on 17th! Anyway this summer we are going camping with my parents and some very close family friends and will be taking our son along with! Your article is very inspirational and helpful and I just wanted ta say thank You for sharing it, and that my husband and I can’t wait ta use the tips you’ve givin us in the article!!!!

  3. Thank you for this post! My husband and I are having a baby August 21st and planning a camping trip for labour day weekend. What month were you guys camping? Also what did you have on your baby at the beach?

    1. When we camped with out first she was 6 weeks old so it would have been around labour day weekend! With a newborn on the beach it depends. If it is hot out I would have them in a diaper and then swaddled or held in a blanket (if you can make it a U/V protected blanket). I would try to sit in the shade with the baby as much as possible. If you want to be in the sun try to bring either a baby U/V Tent or a U/V family beach tent to create shade and cover the babe from any windy sand depending on the weather. You can also bring the car seat or carry a stroller to where you are sitting to have the baby sleep in there while you are on the beach. Just do not cover with a thick blanket as that will make them too hot. I would either have an umbrella over them of put them in the U/V tent. The biggest thing is to keep them out of the sun with their newborn skin!

  4. I’ve been trying to figure out if it would be okay if I went camping with a 2 week old newborn. I would really love some advice if it’s okay and if so what should I bring with me. I really want to go but I’m afraid she might be too cold at night and afraid about the bugs that can be carrying viruses . Please reply back My family is planning on leaving on Friday and today is Wednesday.

    1. Hi Jetzany, We have been camping a lot with our kids. We started when our oldest was 6 weeks old and went when our youngest was 3 weeks old. The first time you will always be extra worried and you will check them 100 times (you might not sleep the best). Make sure she is in layers but remember that babies can actually run hot. Make sure she has a toque! Let me know how it goes. What kind of bugs are you afraid up?

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