Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eight tips to surviving the outdoors with your toddler...

Because sometimes the real danger is the screaming toddler in footed jammies!

    As a mother of three, two of which I raised up from newborn I am not immune to all nighters! Three insanely long nights in particular stick out in my mind...The first two would be the deliveries of my babies. My babies take a long time to get here. Seventeen and fourteen hours of anxious anticipation!

    The third insanely long night of my life? 

    That would be the first night my family of five crammed into our new camping trailer for what we hoped to be a restful nights sleep....

    Sweet baby K was convinced that camping's sole purpose was... baby torture! As we listened to her scream, a scream that was not from this earth I felt my last nerve snap! Wondering if this was what we were in for...long nights of  sleepless screaming! It is funny how dedicated we become when sleep training our little ones. Training them to have the confidence to sleep in their own bed and to fall asleep on their own...

    Take them away from their comfort zone and all that confidence is lost as they try to figure out why, and where, and what the?! 

    But dedicated campers and parents are we! Here are eight tips to make your camping trips a little easier this summer season!

Tip one: Get your toddler used to the idea of sleeping in your tent or trailer! Baby K and I took a nap in our trailer yesterday. I let her lay by me and look around. Once she was drowsy I slipped her into the small bed we had crafted for her of the side of our bed.

Tip two: Camping only toys! Grab a tote full of your baby's favorite toys and store them with your camping gear! Toys that she only plays with while camping. This builds excitement as she looks forward to the next time she plays with them!

Tip three: Let her explore! This is hard for me as I am a helicopter mom of sorts! Dress her  in long pants, light long sleeved shirts with shoes and socks then let her roam safely  within eyesight! The new sights and sounds will fascinate your baby and wear her out!

Tip four: Anticipate getting no sleep! If you are prepared to comfort fears and anxiety you will be a much better parent at three in the morning. Lay down in the afternoon with your child and gear up for whatever your baby has in store!

Tip five: Recruit older siblings and the hubs. If you are like me you have the main responsibility for baby. However, I am also fortunate to have an amazing husband and two older kids that are just waiting for me to hand over baby. Hand her over for a hike with daddy while you prepare meals then switch off. Help your husband relax too! He will also be a much better parent and support system at three in the morning!

Tip six: Breath! Your little one will soon get used to the idea and learn from your reactions whether camping is a good or bad thing! Smile! Relax!

Tip Seven: Pack for safety as well as comfort! Recreate the creature comforts of home and pack small travel size portions of baby's favorites! Remember pain and allergy relievers!  Our Sweet baby K was cutting top molars and we were so grateful for infant Advil!

Tip eight: Remember fire precautions! We got in the habit of not even allowing our little one to play near the unlit fire pit. That way when we did roast hot dogs she already knew it was not an area she was allowed in. Use caution with hot dogs and warm foods.

    Enjoying activities year round with our families is indeed a privilege! Learning the little tricks of traveling with kids is worth it's weight in gold!

How do you survive summer travels?

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