Camping… with an eleven month old, two dogs, a husband, and cloth diapers

July 3, 2011

On Friday, my husband and I packed our vehicle to the gills and headed out on our first ever family camping excursion. I was a bit anxious and worried about it; camping with our dogs was already a lot of work, and then you add in our son? But my husband was really looking forward to it, and I didn’t go camping at all last year (between being very pregnant and then having a newborn, no way!). Let’s give it a go.

We chose the perfect location for our first camping trip: my uncle’s camp. It’s only about a half an hour away from home, and they have an actual camp. And running water. And electricity. We set up our tent on their property, but just used it for sleeping. It was really hot and humid on Friday, so we ended up spending a lot of time inside their camp with the fan on. Not exactly roughing it, but oh well. We decided to stay out there on Saturday night, too (after going back home for a little while to recharge our batteries, and get more diapers and food and stuff, since we had originally just planned on staying for one night).

We took Grant out on his very first boat ride(s). My aunt and uncle have a pontoon boat, so it’s nice and roomy and slow. The dogs settled in nicely and enjoyed the ride. Our son? LOVED IT.

We stayed up way past his bedtime, but it was worth it. He slept wonderfully in the tent, too. And he got to see his first fireworks (both nights!). While we had a few hiccups (that weren’t at all his fault), it was such a fun experience and I can’t believe how smoothly it went.

And our dogs? They were (almost) perfect angels. They’re beagles, and they were in their element. Even our wild child was on her best behavior. They are exhausted and have been sleeping all day long.

Today is a day to regroup. Lots of laundry. Lots of housework (we left the house in an utter mess when we left, while trying to get packed and out the door). Plus we’re having a BBQ tomorrow for the 4th of July, so we have to prepare for that.

Grant is catching up on his sleep now. He took an epic 2 1/2 hour nap this morning when we got home, and he’s taking a nap with his daddy right now. I’m the only one in the house that’s awake! haha… early to bed tonight.

Now, to reflect on camping with a small child, and with cloth diapers.

1) It was very hot out, and there were a lot of bugs. I was “prepared” but not really. I’m not sure what I would have done if we had to stay outside the whole time… like if we were at an actual campground or just out in the woods. It was a blessing to be able to go inside. Especially because our son is at that weird in-between stage. He’s not quite a baby, he’s not quite a toddler. He doesn’t want to be held all day, but he can’t walk around yet. It was nice for him to play with his toys and crawl around indoors.

2) Cloth diapers? No problem at all. I just brought plenty with us, put all the dirty stuff into zippered wet bags, and we were good to go. They are in the washer now. Unless you were going to go for a long time and had no way to wash, I don’t see any need to go with a disposable diaper in this situation. He seemed so comfortable in cloth, especially with the heat. And nothing got stinky. I can’t imagine camping with disposables, actually. The smell of them just really gets me, and at least with cloth they have air circulating.

3) Co-sleeping is the way to go, if possible. I wouldn’t have liked tenting out with a smaller, younger baby. The first night was nice and warm, but the second night got pretty cold (in the 50s). It was nice to have shared body heat, and to be able to constantly check on him to make sure he wasn’t too cold. We used an inflatable air mattress, and he snuggled with me on my side of the bed all night long. He slept really well both nights, but I only slept well the first night. The second night I was too worried about him getting cold. It was nice to know we could go inside the camp if necessary, though.

Okay, time to tackle some more housework. I am tired, but it’s the good kind of tired. And today I am just feeling so thankful for our family. And I’m feeling happier with our dogs. And I am so so so proud of our son. He was seriously awesome, even in some new situations and circumstances that tested his patience (I won’t go into details, but there are some really annoying people in this world!). I just love him so much and feel so honored to be his mommy. He is so sweet and so much fun!

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