My key takeaways of camping as a parent are completely consistent with what I would consider to be my more general universal camping truths:
|Tent Peek A Boo|
Um, total understatement with a baby. The Bean basically wanted to touch and eat everything, including campfirey dirt and mud in the stream. I consider myself to be fairly chill in the dirty child tolerance department yet almost lost it a couple of times because there was no where to go that was not filthy. I kept my sanity by warming water on the stove for "baby spa" (warm wash cloth bath).
2. You may not sleep that well
Our daughter actually did pretty well. I definitely recommend camping next to a stream like we did to drown out the crying if you need some cry it out time. Our great dane was more of a problem on the sleep front because we were all crammed into a tiny tent and our dog is disruptive to say the least (doggie running dreams).
3. It will be cold in the morning
Fortunately, I packed warm clothes for all. Mini hat, thick socks, and giant fluffy fleece for the Bean. First coffee always tastes ten times better in the woods.
4. Bring a book or activity
The baby went down and we realized that we completely forgot books, cards, etc. Good thing it was a clear night for star gazing. I brought children's books, but it would have been helpful to have some other activities on hand for the Bean- crafts maybe?
5. It is all worth it and you should go more often.
Yes, it is a pain to pack everything up and wash it all when you come home. It may be a long car ride (Jeep ride on back roads for us). But the memories that you only get with this unique experience are the kind of priceless that they make commercials about. Can't wait until we go again!