Camping and still achieving great sleep for your little ones?
Some said we are nuts. I always get asked “won’t your children go off track with a
interruption of schedule?” I am here to tell you that we camp as much as we can with
both my children 7 and 13months (4 months at our first camp)
We had VERY successful naps and nights. All children slept 11+hrs and my then 6
month old slept his first night of 12 hours!!
Here are my tips:
Arrive early: give yourselves time to set up so that you can have your children
in bed at an appropriate time so that they do not become over tired.
Too hot or too cold: pack weather appropriate sleepwear. If you don’t have a
furnace or AC in your camper to keep you warm or cool then be sure to pack
Don’t be woken by the birds or the other campers music or chatter: pack a
sound machine (I love sound machines with batteries). This will be your BEST
friend! Keep it on rain and turn it up a little bit louder than normal
Sleep in comfort: mimic their sleeping conditions. Bring their snuggly buddy,
their pillow (if they use one), small flash light if they sleep with one, and their
favourite blanket. Don’t forget anything they are used to during their sleep at
If you’re camping with little ones who still take a bottle, be prepared BEFORE
bedtime. Nothing fun about trying to make a bottle in the middle of the night and
in the dark! We boiled water and kept it in a flask since my little one likes warm
Naps: naps can be tough. They are having fun and don’t want to take a break.
Get that nap in there so that they don’t become over tired. It may take them a
little longer to fall asleep but help them get those extra zzzz’s. Quiet time will
also help them become less stimulated and less irritable. It is ok to do a nap on
the go if they take 2 naps, do the first one in the camper or tent and the other
one can be on the go.
Bedtime: Continue with your regular routine. You may not have access to a
bath- you can do a wipe down, jammies, books/songs and cuddles are all things
you can bring with you. If nap-time was a fail, bump bedtime up accordingly.
Nutrition: toddlers and kids are busy bodies, keep them fueled with nutrient
dense food so they aren’t hungry in the middle of the night and wake early to
eat. Pack healthy snacks packed with protein!
Don’t be worried: Summer is too short to not enjoy it! Get out there. Once you
have a great independent sleeper, anything that goes off track for one weekend
can be adjusted as soon as you get back to your regular routine.
Enjoy yourselves. Once little ones are in bed, enjoy a little mommy or daddy
time by the fire and relax!
If you are still nervous then try camping out in your backyard or campground close by.
If you have a trailer and it fits in your driveway, you could even set it up right there!
Kids will have a blast either way. Our first camp of the season is always under an hour
away from home… just incase!
Khudeja Williams is a Paediatric Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and owner of Sweet Dreams
Sleep Consulting. I work closely with parents to help them help their little ones get the healthy,
restful sleep they need. Follow Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting on Instagram and Facebook. Let’s
get your family the healthy, happy sleep you all deserve!
The advice provided by Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting is not a substitute for medical advice. The
advice on this website is provided solely for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of your
doctor or another qualified health practitioner with questions regarding medical conditions or the
health or welfare of your child.