If you are like me, I cherish my toddler's every slumbering moment. Nap time is "me" time. Kind of. Nap time is when I catch up on laundry while I binge watch Grey's Anatomy. It's the time when I wash my hair for the first time in seven days. It's the time when I actually eat an entire fresh meal, sit in my favorite chair for five whole minutes, and praise the good Lord for inventing nap times and Dr. McDreamy! Like I said, I really like nap time. That's why I often stress when my rambunctious boy child doesn't fit a nap in. Camping can definitely throw parents and children alike a curve ball in the nap department, but here's what I've learned.
If they don't nap, they sleep like logs all night:
I'm sure you've already thought of this one, but I am here to reaffirm, it's true. Your children will sleep like a log 90% of the time while camping without a nap. There is something about the fresh mountain air, the multitude of exciting things to explore, and the fact that most parents usually let children do all the fun things they wish they could do at home, on a camping trip (i.e. eat dirt, play in dirt, roll in dirt, throw rocks, etc). So if all else fails, don't fret, your kiddos will sleep all night long!
Go for a drive:
Napping in a tent with all the unfamiliar sounds of nature, people talking and perhaps an annoying mosquito or two, is a tough task for an adult, let alone a child. Try going for a short drive to explore some backcountry roads. Take in the scenery and listen to your favorite tunes. When your child falls asleep, give your partner a high five and call it a success!
Take a hike:
Babies love riding in the pack and feeling the soothing motion of rocking back and forth while their parent walks. It is especially handy if you have a comfy pack
for your baby to ride in. If you are headed out for a hike, try to schedule it during your child's nap time and you may just get lucky with a hike nap!
Stick to your method:
If all else fails, stick to the same method you use at home. Do you nurse your child to sleep? Lay with them? Tickle their back? Do you simply lay them down with a fun, whimsical story? Whatever you do, try out your nap time routine in your trailer, tent or cabin. Do the same things you do at home at your campsite. It never hurts to try!
Napping on a normal day can be tricky in itself. So when trying to squeeze it in on a camping trip, try to stick to as normal a schedule as possible. Obviously the environment will be different, but try to abide by your typical routine. I'm not saying it will be a breeze, in fact, the first day it may not work at all; but children are resilient and they can adapt to change. The more you camp and/or travel, the easier it will be for them to go with the flow. For more tips on camping, exploring and adventuring with your family, check out my other articles on the Baby Cubby Blog!
Written by Lindsay Helm