We first took Finn camping when he was about five months old. When I spoke to people, and later blogged, about it I was often asked about bedding. Specifically, what he wore in bed and what he slept on.
I thought I’d put a few ideas down, although this isn’t a definitive guide, more just about what has worked so far for us, and what I’m planning to do this year.
So, firstly what night clothes are best when camping? We went camping in June and July so it wasn’t too cold. I put Finn in fleece sleepsuits that I had bought quite cheaply at a supermarket. I got a size too big so that I could layer up if needed. A pair of tights (even boys can wear tights!) and a long sleeved vest underneath were fine. If it had been colder I would’ve put another top underneath, but bear in mind that tents do heat up very quickly in the morning. This year as he’s bigger I will invest in a decent fleece suit (I have just discovered Kozi Kids and love their micro fleece all in one!)
Secondly, what to sleep on-or in? We spent a while researching travel cots. At first we were contemplating a normal travel cot, we thought it could double as a playpen and be somewhere to plonk Finn while we wrestled with the tent. However, even though we’ve upsized our car, we’re still short of space. So I started looking for something light that would fold up very small. I didn’t know what I was looking for, or if anything like it even existed. Then I came across the Koo-di pop up bubble cot and all my prayers were answered! It has honestly been one of our best baby buys. It is so easy to put up, takes up very little room and folds up into it’s own small bag. Another feature I loved was the fact that I could leave the side unzipped so it was completely open and have Finn next to me. It was almost like we were co sleeping, especially useful as I was still breastfeeding last summer when we went camping. We’ve used it on nights away and even at home when we have guests (or Finn has been sick in his cot and needs somewhere dry to nap!) The mattress is quite thin, although it is possible to buy an inflatable mattress for it. This year I am going to buy a child’s airbed from Kampa, I love the raised sides and haven’t found anything else like it for toddlers. Airbeds can be cold though, so I will make sure there is a good thick layer underneath him.
As for bedding, up until now I have simply used his normal baby sleeping bags with a thick quilt (made by my lovely mum) underneath him and a couple of fleece blankets on top. Lately, I have abandoned the sleeping bags at home in favour of a duvet as Finn is very long and seems to outgrow them very quickly. (Although, I have just spotted some 3.5 tog toddler sleeping bags at Jojo Maman Bebe that have seriously tempted me!) I will probably go with a combination of blankets and duvet for now, although I will invest in a good quality sleeping bag when he is a bit older. My main advice is just make sure that you have a good insulating layer underneath your child, as that is where a lot of cold air comes up from.
I hope that has helped a little. Last year we camped with a small baby and I learnt a lot. I can’t help thinking that this year’s adventures with a very mobile toddler will be a whole new learning curve! Rest assured that I will pass on lots of tips as we go along.
Categories: Camping Tips