Infants and Toddlers – What worked for us, and what did NOT

Children, Infants, and Toddlers

If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.

~ Vince Gowmon

Camping with young children. We started a bit later, when Maddy was about 2 and a half. We ventured to beautiful Green Lake as an experiment and Maddy did amazing. It dropped to a nice +8 at night, a cool and crisp summer temperature, and yet she slept all night giving us peace and tranquility in a shared double sleeping bag. Oddly enough, that was our only camping experience with Maddy until…

…Fast forward to Spring 2018. Alyssa and I decided we wanted to make camping a way of, and a significant part of, our lives. With two young kids we didn’t want to tent. For me, after 14 years in the army now, I’ve roughed it more times then I can count, I wanted to be comfortable and cozy, having the comforts of home with me. Alyssa didn’t want to deal with the stress of tenting with two young kids, one who adores and the other who laments co-sleeping.

Lac Le Jeune, BC

In July of 2018, we put Jacob through sleep training. We had struggled for YEARS to get Maddy to sleep through the night, and while she does not, she continues to struggle to get to sleep. For Jacob, he took to it fast. He is a fidgety child, and does not like to co-sleep. For this to work, we had to build him a routine, and that had to be adhered to regardless of where we were and what we were doing.

Kids sleeping quarters on the Profil. Note Maddy’s tight access.

So, how does camping work with young kids? Its about building a camp routine. Its something we also do in the army, it builds a level of predictability, in a world full of unpredictables, so to say. Having a trailer with a bathroom allowed us to keep to that routine, nightly warm bath, followed by his nightly bottle, followed by his blanket sack, and finally bed, in his own bed, in a warm and comfortable location. Lots of trips last year were in rainfall, a lot of rainfall. The Profil allowed us to isolate from the outside climate after enjoying our campfire, and to have a warm place to lay Jacob down once his night routine was done. This often resulted in us getting ready for bed at 8pm, doing pretty well everything except for brushing our teeth (as we were still going to be outside roasting some marshmallows!!).

Being in close quarters in the trailer also allowed Maddy to be comfortable falling asleep by herself, not to mention she LOVES top bunk entitlement for being the big sister. Speaking of routine, we also kept to Jacob’s daytime routine as much as possible (still do!). This also involves a nap at about 1pm daily. Rain or shine.

Lake Louise, AB

MEAL PREP. Know what you’re going to make. You know best what your kids will, and absolutely will not eat. Prepping breakfast sandwiches the night before worked GREAT, especially when trying to get young kids going so you can visit a busy attraction earlier (a must at Lake Louise).

So what didn’t work? Noise. Broken routines. And, a hungry child. Trailers dampen noise, buy by no means do they isolate or eliminate it. What helped us is having a white noise maker to damped or in some cases drown out noise. And for the first while, forget about planning a hike immediately after lunch if that is your child’s routine, unless you’re okay sacrificing the bedtime peace to do it.

Bear Country, Banff AB

Why do we do it? And why am I doing THIS? I want more people to do it. I don’t want people to feel having children in any way impedes what you want to do in life, what you want to see, and I want to help others enhance their children’s lives as camping has done so for ours. In a world where nature seems so distant on the nearest tablet, camping brings nature to our front door. The more they know about it, the more they will care about it. While we are in NO way experts, if there are any questions that can be answered, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If there is anything I can touch on, please leave a comment and I will work on a blog for it. Thanks everyone! Questions about RV’s? I love to research them! Or, ask the friendly, no commission sales team @ BCRV Sales in Chilliwack.

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