So this summer we went camping for the very first time as a family- with Isla who was 5/6 weeks old! I know… sounds crazy doesn’t it? To be honest, Isla and I had a quick recovery after Labour so it didn’t feel like she was just 5 weeks, we had slipped into a nice routine.
I think we had decided to go camping around the end of my pregnancy. Myself and a friend, Emma, thought it would be lovely to kick start the summer holidays with a camping weekend away with my new little family and their family too. So all in all, we had 4 adults, 1 teen, 2 girls, 1 younger boy and a baby!
We were so excited in preparation for the trip! We completely copied Emma and her family, after her husband gave us a pretty decent demonstration of their tent, how to put it up, and take it down! All in their back garden! So we decided to go with matching tents!
The weeks leading up to the trip, Emma and I, had been busy buying and comparing all the equipment that we needed- I basically copied everything they got, so I didn’t feel left out! Then I had to consider all of the things I needed to take for baby Isla as I didn’t want to traumatise her on her first camping holiday. We had the same tent and same cooking equipment!
Here’s a list of essentials for anyone camping with an infants and young kids;
- Sterilising tub with sterilising tablets. The tablets were great! All we needed to do was to fill the tub with cold water, put the tablets in for 15 minutes, then add all the prewashed bottles. The bottles would then stay in the water until they were needed, and they would be fine for 24hrs!
- Carrycot! We used the one from our pushchair which was amazing! I doubt she even realised she wasn’t at home.
- Lots of blankets and sleeping bags. When I say sleeping bags, I mean the baby ones that clip at their shoulders. She would have one of these with a thick knitted blanket. Yes it was July, but it was still very cold in the evenings.
- Battery operated fan! Although it’s cold in the evenings, when the sun comes out and your in a tent, the temperature can rise very quickly!
- As Isla was only 5 weeks old, we were dressing her in sleepsuits, and I would highly recommend this, as they keep with babies warm, without having to add too many layers. Olivia lived in onesies and trainers. Lots of hoodies too! We didn’t take wellies which was a huge mistake as we were having to tumble dry trainers quite a lot! Also waterproof rain coats!
- Mits and socks. We put mits and socks over her sleepsuits during the nights, as her hands were getting quite cold. Like any new baby, she had them waving in the air most of the time so it was impossible to keep them covered and warm with a blanket.
- Ready made baby milk. Lucky for me, I was breast feeding as well as bottle feeding, so I had the luxury of being able to breast feed her at night and not mess around with bottles. And for the kids, lots of dry fast snacks! After all, your on holiday so you don’t want to be doing too much cooking! We were lucky to have a fish and chip shop on site, as well as a convient store! Bonus!
- In the day we would use the stove to heat the milk, or use a Thermos to take it out and about with us! The Thermos saved our lives, and so much time and hassle.
- I did bring a baby tent, for her to lie in during the days when it was really hot! Ha ha ha! We had the worst storm that weekend!
- And finally, a sun hat and a winter hat. One for the day and one for the night!
The site that we stayed on was in Charmouth, Dorset. Once the clouds and storms left, we were surrounded by beautiful fields, and lovely landscape views. We were next to some wild animals, but as two families we could not agree whether they were cow noises or donkey noises that we could hear. The site had a nice shower and toilet block, with a kitchen and laundry area! There also was a clubhouse that we went to one evening. It was clear that professional campers had bought nice evening clothes to wear to the evening shows, as we all turned up looking like we were on a Bear Grylls survival weekend.
We spend a day down at the beach… which was beautiful… well, I can only imagine it’s beautiful when it’s not chucking it down with rain! But we all got through it, and it was a bit of a laugh! Everyone was soaked through except Isla of course, who was covered by her rain cover!
Overall it was a fun packed weekend, of getting to know nature with a pinch of prosecco and bbq food! And also getting to know my new baby, and having a bit of time out from our manic lives. Can’t wait to go on a few more adventure camping holidays with the Hanlons!
Huge thank you to the Hanlon Family, And sorry for picking the worst weekend ever to go camping!