Some call it “real” camping. Others prefer to haul a trailer or to rent a cabin, and there’s no shame in that. However, if you’re planning on sleeping with a baby in a tent, then there are some things you should know.
Everyone with a baby or toddler knows that the quality of the day hinges on getting a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep or a restless night can leave your little one crabby and unhappy even with the smallest of things. With this in mind, we put together some hacks to help you when sleeping with a baby in a tent.
1. Plan For ALL Types of Weather Conditions
When you’re camping, the weather can be a big deal. You never know when it might rain or how cold it’s going to get at night. Then again, it could be a lot warmer than you think it’s going to be. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to be prepared.
The trick is to bring lots of layers. Bring extra clothing that can be put on or taken off as needed. It’s also important to bring plenty of blankets. A simple fleece blanket can be used to hold your baby in the evenings near the fire and to fold on the ground to keep them warm from the cold ground.
2. Bring the Necessary Gear to Stay Warm
Besides blankets and layers of clothing, it’s also important to bring other things to stay warm. Babies can lose a remarkable amount of heat from their heads, so a comfortable hat to keep their head warm is a must. And a quick tip regarding hats: bring one that can tie so that it doesn't come off when your baby is tossing and turning at night. In addition, bring some nice wool socks to keep your baby’s feet warm.
It’s also crucial to bring a sleeping bag for your baby. Even if you plan on co-sleeping, you’ll need a way to put some space between you and your baby, especially if they are having a toss-and-turn night.
3. Emulate Your Sleep Situation At Home as Much as Possible
When it comes time to sleep, try to recreate your situation at home as close as possible. If your baby sleeps in a crib, then bring a small portable crib you can put near you in the tent. If you’re a co-sleeper, then set up your blankets, cushions, and sleeping bags to emulate your setup at home.
Either way, it’s not a bad idea to bring a small pack and play. You can use it for sleeping or just to contain a crawling baby when the need arises. Most of them are light and fold so that they don’t take up too much space.
4. Pack a Few Fun Things to Do In the Tent
Pack some soft toys for your baby to play with in the tent. If you’re stuck in the tent due to bad weather or your baby wakes up early and you’d really like to get a little more rest, having something on hand to keep them occupied is a lifesaver.
If you have space, you can bring a play mat with a mobile, but since we’re talking about sleeping in a tent, it may be best to keep it simple. Instead, you can bring something like a bumpy ball with different colors and textures for your baby to experience.
5. Set Up the Tent For Success
Once you’re settled in, it’s no easy task to move around, go out of the tent, and get something. For this reason, it’s a good idea to think about everything you might need and to set it up for easy access.
For example, keep a water bottle on hand for when you get thirsty at night or first thing in the morning. Not only is this a good defense against the hot morning sun, but your baby will appreciate it too. Another tip is to put some sort of mat at the front of your tent for shoes and so that when your baby crawls out, they aren’t immediately dirty.
Sleeping With a Baby In a Tent
Sleeping with a baby is never easy and adding a tent into the equation makes it even more difficult. Nevertheless, it’s also a lot of fun and an excellent experience for you and your baby. If you’re nervous about sleeping with a baby in a tent, then consider camping close to home. This way, you can always send someone home for something you might need or even abandon the trip altogether if the weather gets bad. Of course, you can always give it a test run and camp in your own backyard as well!