02 July 2008

Family camping hack: Bring a jumper seat for crawling babies

From Damselfly:

We took our boy camping when he was eight or nine months old. (I blogged about it here.). He was crawling, but we didn't want him crawling around in the dirt -- our campsite didn't have much grass, only rocky dirt. Between being cooped up in the car seat for the drive to the campground, and then not being allowed to move around on his own, my son refused to go to sleep! He hadn't had a chance to get rid of any energy and was too keyed up. My husband and I decided we should have brought his Jumperoo so he would have gotten to move around. An odd piece of camping equipment, to be sure, but ....

We also thought the Pack N Play would have been handy. We had planned on letting him sleep on our queen-size air mattress, but didn't count on it not staying inflated well enough, so it rolled him around every time he moved. It was a very long night.

This camping tip reminded me of my son's first experience camping. He was a crawler at the time (and FILTHY because of it), and, even though we managed to shove the portacrib into the tent, he barely slept. Then, there was a freak snowfall the next morning. It was a long two days, let me tell you.

More: Family camping tips at Parent Hacks

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An opposite hack would be to embrace the dirt! or maybe I'm slovenly!

We brought our pack-n-play with us camping last weekend - gave our son a place to play while we set up/tore down camp, etc. and a familiar place to sleep. Even so, we still had one sleepless night - I think it's a requirement when camping with a baby!

We brought the Bumbo seat with us to the Boy Scout picnic. Youngest is 6 months old and crawling/rolling - so she does not stay on a blanket anymore. The Bumbo is surprisingly versatile, serving as a "high chair" (on the floor, with a recieving blanket "splat mat" under) when we went on a family road trip in early June.

Instead of a jumper, we bring a giant tarp and spread it out in our campsite. Then our daughter can crawl pretty much to her hearts content.

We do generally embrace the dirt but with most government campsites being gravel it's not a great surface to crawl on and she tends to eat rocks.

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