Monday, July 28, 2014

Camping Series: Part 2- Camping With a Toddler

Camping with a toddler has been an adventure. Khloe really has been great on these camping trips, but she's a busy little bee and keeping her occupied is always a challenge. I've found a few tips and tricks that have helped along the way. Here's my top ten list of tips for camping with a toddler. 

1. Keep them busy!- Bring lots of toys, games, ect.  A couple of our favorites are bubbles, coloring books and dirt trucks.  Khloe also loves going on the boat or just swimming wherever there is water... or a mud puddle :)  Try to go to a campground with a good playground.

2. After dark games/ activities- I know for us, it usually gets dark before Khloe goes to sleep and as much as we like just sitting by the fire, her- not so much.  Glow in the dark anything is so exciting for kids.  We like glow in the dark bubbles (you can buy them at Walmart), glow sticks, flashlights, and toys that light up like Dream Lights.  You can also buy glow in the dark paint and put it on balls and other toys.

3. Bring lots of snacks- I actually forgot to bring snacks on our last trip and it was a disaster.  Never again.  Individual bags of corn chips, fruit gummies, graham crackers and fruit are some of our favorites, and you don't have to keep them cold.  Oh, and we also have the occasional chocolate chip muffin.

4. Bring familiar toys & special comfort items- For Khloe it's her binky. We're actually working on weaning her now, so she probably won't have it next time. I also pack her blankie and a doll that she sometimes sleeps with. They'll be in a different environment, in a different bed and that can be a tough adjustment for little ones.  Make them as comfortable as possible if you want to sleep.

5. Lots of sunscreen & bug spray- pretty self explanatory.  Protect that baby skin from sun and bugs!

6. Even if it's hot, bring pants, a jacket and rain boots- Even if the days are smoldering, a lot of times it's a little chilly in the mornings; the boots will help guard against wet feet from dewy grass.

7. Shower time is the devil- So, the first time we took her camping, Chris went into the men's bathroom to take his shower and I went into the women's with Khloe to take ours.  All there was were two curtains guarding us and our birthday suits from the rest of the people in the bathroom.  Khloe had sandals on because I was paranoid about her feet on the shower floor and I was trying to bath both of us.  First she kept wanting to sit on the floor and I would scream "NOOOOOO!!" So, I ended up holding her the whole time.  She's not used to showers since she usually takes baths and she hated the water hitting her in the face.... so I couldn't turn the water on without her screaming.  After soaping her up with no water, I had to hold on to her while she screamed and wiggled trying to get loose while I rinsed her.  Wet babies are very very very slick!  No joke.  They should give you that warning when you leave the hospital with them.  Finally it was my turn to get clean.  I couldn't very well take her out to Chris while I had no clothes on, so I had to continue holding her while I dry soaped.  One last screaming/ wiggling/ fighting match and it was time to get dressed.  Another adventure all it's own.  When we finally got out, my first words to Chris were "NEVER AGAIN!"  After that I found that most campgrounds have a room connected to the bathrooms with a big laundry sink in them.  Perfect size for bathing a toddler.  Look for a sink.  You've been warned.

8. 3-in-1 soap- Less steps the better for shower/ bath time.  I took Khloe's Suave 3-in-1 kids soap for her and I both instead of taking soap, shampoo and conditioner.  

9. Learn to change diapers while they're standing up- No joke.  When we got to our first campground I realized there was no place to change Khloe's diaper.  Our tent was 900 degrees and the truck was full.  So, I stood her up and changed it while she was standing.  Now I do it all the time. There is rarely a time when she wants to lie down long enough for me to change it, but she's okay with a couple minutes of standing still.

10. Bring a tablet with one of their favorite shows ready to go- We keep this as a last resort, but it's nice to have the option.  If she's having a night when she's restless and nothing else will do, we can break out the Bubble Guppies and she calms down.  

Best. Picture. Ever.

I hope these help you out.  We're still learning as we go, so I'll let you know if I discover any other helpful hints!  

Don't forget to check out the rest of the camping series!

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