Hot tips for camping
It’s approaching 12.30pm and I have just finished making my 3 children lunch in our caravan, I hear a faint shhhh shhhhh approaching my caravan. Ah huh Kelly must be bringing James over in his push chair for his nap. Stepping outside, sure enough 6 month old James is in his double buggy with his sister Maddie and the Baby Shusher has worked its magic, both children are taking a nap, and Kelly has only walked about 100m!
The shushing sound became like a bell on Kelly’s collar, I always knew when she was approaching with the kids as the distant sound of shhhhhh became clearer. Anyone who has been camping over the summer in NZ understands it’s not quiet, and tents during the day are not very sleep inducing, unless your goal is to cook your baby to sleep!
The Baby Shusher featured in a lot of my friends and families camp sites, and no this blog was not sponsored by Baby Shusher! My sister used it each nap time and night time for her gorgeous 1 year old, she used it so much her neighbours came over and asked what the shushing sound was! The same neighbours also snored so much that her husband used the shusher to block them out and allow himself to get back to sleep.
I personally used the shusher the first night to lull my 6 year old and 3.5 to sleep. They tend to get over excited on the first night camping in a new place. I use the herb farm lavender sleep cream on their temples which works as a great placebo as I tell them it’s magical camping sleep gel, a good bed time routine and the Baby Shusher ensures they get a decent sleep even on the first night.
We also use the power from our caravan to ensure the kids can take their gro clock and know when it’s time to get up. I always take my youngest’ s merino kids sleeping bag, as hot evenings turn into cool nights when you are sleeping in a tent over summer. We leave a dim torch going in the corner if the children request a night light, but they are usually so shattered from long days at the beach they sleep like logs!
Naps can be a challenge while camping, but like Kelly if you need to get the kids off to sleep in the pram this is a great solution, as is how little Eve got to sleep. She is nearly 2 and settled best on the first few days if mum or dad lay down and took a nap with her. What a great excuse for a lunch time nap!!! Day 3 she was happy to go to sleep in her porter cot in her tent on her own, mum and dad pleasantly surprised she even coped without blackout solution. Keeping calm and adjusting to what your little ones need ensures a stress free holiday and everyone remains well rested.
Baby Addison who also loved her shusher had a snooze shade over her cot and took her morning naps frequently in the ergo carrier. This meant we could hit the beach with the older children nice and early and be back for lunch, keeping out of the midday sun.
Even Paxton who is nearly 5 took a nap! Paxton is usually a pretty low sleep needs child, but long days running around the beach and in the sun (nothing like a serotonin boost from the sunshine to raise your melatonin levels) meant Paxton settled earlier at night and even took a spontaneous nap in the day! (see below). Mum followed Paxton’s cue’s knowing he needed the extra sleep.
My middle child was struck down with uncontrollable vomiting and needed an emergency Dr to be called out, a quick injection and lots of fluids to fight the dehydration saw her recover quickly. But due to her late night seeing the Doctor and knowing her body was fighting an infection she had a couple of lunch time naps (she is 6!), and a few early nights on top. Instead of allowing her to sleep with me when she was sick, I stuck to my golden rule of going to the kids, not bringing them to me. I slept in her room in the tent to keep a close eye on her. We were all back in our beds the following night.
Baby James who loved his pram naps was having a sleep regression pre-holiday due to an ear infection. He had previously slept through the night but was now waking 2 hourly to be fed to sleep, mum knew (perks of holidaying with Baby Sleep Consultant!) that he was regressing and not hungry, but she made the choice to not wake the camp site and quickly feed James back to sleep. This meant Mum got some sleep and wasn’t stressed about James, and the campers didn’t have to formally request she leave!
The good news for anyone who’s baby regress’s on holiday is that the skill of sleeping is not completely lost I promise! James’ mum started sleep training the day she got home and James slept through with one quick feed on night one! So don’t panic, sleep is not lost for ever!
The last camping sleep regression belongs to toddler Beau (age 3.5) who shared a tent with his parents then decided once he got home he would prefer to continue sleeping with his mum and dad…… last I heard mum had re-established some bed time rules and was Baby Shushing him to sleep in his own bed!
All hail the Baby Shusher!
I hope you have enjoyed your camping holiday’s this summer. If you have a trip coming up here is a re-cap of my hints and tips!
- Take good white noise like the Baby Shusher.
- Take warm bedding.
- Try some magic sleep gel for over excited kids.
- Allow tired children to catch up on sleep.
- Do what is most relaxing for your family to achieve sleep.
- Any sleep regressions will quickly resolve once home again.
- Try a blackout solution like a snooze shade.
- Try taking a nap near your toddler to demonstrate what you are asking them to do!
- Take a potty for young toilet trained children who will be scared to go to the toilet.
- Allow sick children to catch up on lost sleep to recover.
- Have fun and enjoy your holiday.
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