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Camping with a newborn in the winter is feasible, but it takes a little more planning and preparation than an usual camping trip. You’ll want to ensure that infant is secure and comfortable while also enabling everyone to enjoy the journey.
These ten must-know pointers should get you started.
1 – Bring Baby’s Appropriate Clothing
Make sure your infant has lots of warm clothing. Layers are useful because they allow you to effortlessly add or remove layers without having to modify your complete wardrobe.
Because newborns lose a lot of heat via their heads, a warm cap is very necessary. Warm boots and mittens are also essential. Weather may change rapidly and unexpectedly, so it’s a good idea to prepare for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions.
You may also want to carry a warm infant carrier for extended treks and hikes with your baby. Nourishing Joy provides some helpful suggestions for babywearing in the cold.
Aside from clothes and a baby carrier, carry these essential things with you on your next camping trip to ensure you’re fully prepared for any eventuality.
2 – Be ready for unexpected delays and emergencies.
While carrying light has its advantages, it is just not feasible while camping with a newborn in the cold. Pack lots of clothes, diapers, and wipes, as well as baby formula or prescriptions if required, to be prepared in case of any unforeseen delays. Make sure you have enough food and safe drinking water.
Bring along all of the basic necessities, including as flares, tire chains if there’s a risk of snow, emergency thermal blankets, flashlights, basic tools, a portable pre-charged battery for your phone, and a well-stocked first-aid kit.
Consider making a packing list at least a week ahead of time and adding to it when you think of new items. Checking each item off while you pack can help you avoid forgetting anything important at the last minute.
3 – Recognize the Risks of Carbon Monoxide
Many of these cautions may be familiar to experienced cold-weather campers, but they are worth reiterating, especially when camping with a newborn.
It is critical to never use any fuel-burning equipment in an enclosed shelter such as a tent or camper to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. This includes lanterns, gas stoves, heaters, and charcoal barbecues, according to the CDC.
Also, never sit in a running automobile if the exhaust is covered in snow or clogged, since this may quickly result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Sleeping in a running vehicle when it’s possible it’ll start snowing is especially risky since snow may rapidly gather and clog the exhaust.
4 – Get to Know Your Neighboring Campers
Take a few seconds to introduce yourself if you’ll be at a campsite with other campers nearby, especially if they’ll be within hearing distance. If they know you’re camping with a baby, they’ll be prepared for the chance of hearing the baby scream throughout the night, so it’s a good courtesy to inform them.
It’s also helpful to have someone close in case of an emergency or to borrow anything you neglected to bring.
5 – Prepare for Cold Nights in Advance
If you’re planning on sleeping in a tent, ensure sure it’s rated for cold weather camping. Winter tents are intended to keep heat in while being entirely waterproof.
To ensure everyone’s comfort, make sure you choose a tent that is large enough for the amount of people you’ll be hosting. Consider how much room you’ll need in the tent if you’ll be carrying a portable crib.
Make sure your infant is clothed correctly for the nighttime temperature. Bring a baby sleeping bag as well as a warm sleep sack for your baby to wear, and remember that layers work well for modifying bedtime clothes to keep your baby comfortable as temps change.
Hike It Baby also contains a lot of useful information about how to clothe a baby for sleeping in a tent.
It also helps to keep things as close to your baby’s normal sleeping surroundings as possible. If your baby takes a pacifier, don’t forget to bring it with you; similarly, if your baby has a favorite tiny blanket or toy that he or she sleeps with, bring it with you.
6 – Wear good traction boots.
Carrying a baby in your arms or in an infant carrier might throw your balance off a little. The last thing you want to happen when hiking is to slip and fall.
Make sure both parents have comfortable footwear with adequate traction. This is especially vital if you’ll be camping in the snow or on ice.
7 – Look after your baby’s skin
Cold weather and wind may dry up anyone’s skin, but newborns are more vulnerable to itching, irritation, and dryness caused by the elements.
Make sure you pack some baby-safe lotion and lip balm. To be sure it doesn’t create a skin response, test a little amount on your baby’s wrist a few days before your trip.
Another thing to remember while camping during the colder months of the year is to wear sunscreen. However, sunburns may occur at any time of year. This is particularly critical in snowy places, where light may bounce off the snow and quickly burn the skin.
Sunscreen is safe for babies over the age of six months, however the FDA advises against using it on newborns under six months.
Consider utilizing a product containing mineral, rather than synthetic, active components for infants who are mature enough to wear sunscreen. Look for sunscreens that solely include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active components. These are less likely to irritate the fragile skin of a newborn.
There are many mineral sunscreens on the Environmental Working Group’s Best Scoring Sunscreens for Kids list that are suitable for newborns. Focus on utilizing shade, clothes, hats, and blankets to keep the sun off young babies under the age of six months during peak hours.
8 – Recognize Potential Health Problems
Because babies can’t control their body temperatures as effectively as adults and older children, hypothermia is a greater risk for them. As a result, it is critical to ensure that they are kept warm at all times of the day and night.
A physician’s advise on identifying and avoiding frostbite and hypothermia in children may be found on the Lurie Children’s Blog. Plan to check on your baby during the day and night to ensure that he or she is warm enough.
If your child has a history of respiratory problems, you should contact with your physician before going camping. Asthma episodes may be triggered by cold temperatures. Traveling to a greater height, on the other hand, might make breathing more difficult.
If your kid requires any medications on a regular basis, make sure you carry enough to last you until you can return home. Even if your baby is healthy and has never had any health problems, it’s a good idea to check in with your physician before traveling.
He or she may be able to provide some helpful suggestions, and knowing that your baby’s doctor is aware of your plans will be valuable if you need to contact with any issues while camping.
9 – Schedule time for relaxation.
Camping with a newborn may be a fun and memorable adventure, but it will almost surely be exhausting. Plan plenty of relaxation into your days for the sake of everyone’s comfort.
Even infants that regularly sleep through the night are unlikely to do so when camping, so you’ll most likely be up a lot at night. While your infant is resting, consider napping or at the very least spending some peaceful time reading or just relaxing.
Parents must remember to take care of themselves. When it’s important to concentrate on your baby’s safety while camping, keep in mind that the cold weather will have an impact on your own skin, energy levels, and comfort.
Make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition and taking care of yourself. Nursing moms, in particular, must ensure that they receive enough sleep and keep hydrated.
10 – Take advantage of your uninterrupted time together.
This is related to the preceding suggestion. We have a hard time disconnecting from the Internet, social media, television, and other electronic devices in our modern era.
Camping with a baby has several advantages, one of which is the uninterrupted time you may spend together. Make sure your camping vacation isn’t too jam-packed with activities that you lose out on the pleasure of just being out in nature with your family.
Babies need many feedings throughout the day, so take advantage of this time to rest and contemplate, listen to the birds, or sing to your child.
When you tell folks you’re planning a cold-weather camping trip with a newborn, you’ll almost certainly get some negative feedback. It’s unlikely to be the most relaxing or pleasant camping vacation you’ll ever have, but with the right information, care, and planning, it can be a memorable experience for the entire family.
Hopefully, these pointers will assist you in beginning your adventure.
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