If you were an avid camper before baby, then you likely want to hop right back into it – but how in the world do you find a safe baby sleeping bag that will keep them warm too?
After all, a good night of sleep can make or break the next day, especially if you have tons of activities planned (hiking on three hours of broken sleep is hard guys… trust me!)
But if you surf Amazon, you’ll likely see a whole lot of everything BESIDES sleeping bags that are ready for camping – things like swaddles, stroller buntings, “warm” buntings that are made from simple cotton and polyester…
It then gets kind of scary to think about camping, because you worry about keeping your baby warm safely, and if that’s even possible!
Guess what guys – it is!
New designs have
Let’s dive into the different sleeping situations to keep your baby warm and cozy on your next camp trip!
I wanted to let you know that I am an Amazon affiliate, and will get a very small cut if you purchase anything through these links. But these items are all awesome so don’t worry! More info about this is here
How to sleep with a baby while camping
There are a couple of options we’ll cover, each with their own pros and cons.
If you’re sleeping with a young baby, it’s always important to make sure that you avoid using too many blankets and have a solid, flat sleeping surface.
I have always
What clothes should baby wear to sleep while camping?
The amount of warm clothing that your baby needs to wear will depend on the sleep situation, however most times there is a fairly common minimum that looks something like this
- Short sleeve / long sleeve base layer – Depending on the temps, you can put a long or short sleeve base layer (no legs) that goes on underneath everything. While there are lots of really nice, fancy ones for babies (check out Patagonia kids! They’re great!) you’ll probably be fine with just a simple cotton one.
OnsiePJs (with feet) – onsieswill be your best bet for keeping them the warmest since it’s one continuous piece of clothing and will contain their body heat the best!
- Warm Sleep sack– A wearable blanket will always be safer than trying to layer blankets on them! I love this wool sleep
sack ,and this cozy swaddle for younger babies!
- Hat and mittens – A simple cap and mittens will do
alotto keep your baby warm while camping, especially for babies with little hair!
- Socks for wear under
onsiePJ – This is just nice for an added layer of warmth. Check out this wool blend set of 6 thtis a good mix of wearable (not too itchy!) but still warm!
- If spring or fall, a camping baby sleeping bag – In most places, summer temps don’t fall so low at night that you need this, however, if it’s getting below 50 F, I would recommend getting an actual sleeping bag for your baby. This is the ONLY sleeping bag for
babyI would recommend that is durable enough as well as gentle and warm for the outdoors!
- Bonus: Slippers for cool mornings! – I absolutely love just being able to slip these on the babies feet in the mornings so that they can keep their cozy
onsie pjson, but not wreck the footie parts of them (as well as have an additional layer of warmth on their feet while walking on the cold ground in the tent!)
Before we go on, don’t forget to download your 9 page kids camping planner!
There’s ALOT of stuff to remember to do and pack if you don’t came often – after camping with my three kiddos so many times, I got it down to a science and want to help you!
Here’s what you’ll find in this camping planner!
- Camping Checklist for making sure you pack everything!
- An activity planner to beat boredom at the campground
4 daymeal planner + shopping list so everyone stays happy and full!
- An easy guide to picking a campground to ensure the safest and
camping experience for your baby or older children! funnest
- 4 camping and hiking songs they’ll love!
- 3 crafts and activities to making camping with your baby even more fun!
Start with a good insulating ground layer (that also adds comfort!) in your tent
It’s always important to always lay a good a base, and if you’re tent camping, that means using a sleeping pad of some sort!
Here are some options for that insulating sleep base (from cheapest to most expensive!)
- Thick blankets, wool preferable – Just fold them up nicely under the base of your sleep area!
- Memory Foam Pad – These are fairly cheap and are nice because you can cut them to the perfect size! See the economy choice and the super awesome, camp ready, comfy choice!
- Sleeping Pad – These are normally
self inflatingto very little inflating (like 6 breaths) pads people use under their sleeping bag. Ideal for co sleepingor baby sleeping on their own pad! This is a pretty high rated sleeping pad peple love!
Camping Baby Sleep Set up #1 – Have your baby sleep in a pack n play
This might be the easiest choice if you don’t feel comfortable co-sleeping, but also don’t want to spend any extra money on sleep set up for your baby!
It’s nice that baby is off the ground, and it offers more opportunity for insulation under the pack n play mattress!
I’ve seen some people get those memory foam pads and cut them to size into two pieces – one for under the pack n play on the ground, and one under the mattress of the pack n play!
Recap for my skimmers on how to camp with a baby in a pack n play
- Multiple insulation opportunities – Insulate the ground under the pack n play and under the pack n play mattress itself for even more warmth (and to protect from the cold draft that will be moving under the pack n play!)
- Blackout Pack N Play add on – I love love love this because summer days are long, and it can be pretty hard to put your baby to sleep while camping if they are used to the darkness, and it’s still light out! Check out this
black outcover here if you’re concerned!
- Day use opportunities – This is multifunctional because if you choose to use a pack n play, you won’t need any additional “containment” device that comes in SO handy during chore time when it’s not safe for baby to be roaming!
Camp Sleep Set up for Baby #2 – Sleeping Pad
This is a great option if you have a smaller tent, have limited packing space, or plan on hiking around while you’re camping and so need to take your stuff with you!
Related: A nice sleeping pad can do wonders for your next family camp trip – find out the rest of the handy camping baby gear that can also help with that!
Depending on if weight is a concern for you, there are plenty of sleeping pads that will get the job done!
Here are some options and infofor sleeping pads while tent camping with your baby!
- Minimal Base that goes on the ground (either by itself or paired with a nicer
self inflatingsleep pad)- Therm a Rest’s classic sleeping pad is about as basic as it gets, but it does get the job done! If you’re just getting into camping and don’t want to spend a bunch, this is for you! You can sleep on JUST this pad, but it will likely be more comfortable and warmer if you get some other kind of sleeping pad!
- Single Self Inflating Camp Pad (1.5
inch) – This is a great sleep pad that is is not from a name brand, but it’s a diamond in the rough! It packs super small, and is great if you’re looking for a less bulky option that still performs! It is also extremely comfortable, and obviously much cheaper than the next camp pad!
- Double Self Inflating Camp Sleeping Pad (1.5
inch) – If you don’t think you can squeeze onto a single camp pad and intend on co sleeping, this is for you! It’s still comfortable without the bulk, and requires little assistance to get it inflated!
- Single Self Inflating ULTIMATE Comfort (4 inch mattress!) – Not gonna lie, this is going to be the most comfortable sleep pad for baby and you
thinghere! If you plan on co sleeping, this might be your jam because it is really warm, and it is so thick it makes it easier for achy joints and such we get from sleeping on hard or uncomfortable surfaces! It rolls into the size of a sleeping bag, and is quite durable!
Baby Camping Sleep Set up #3 – Co sleep
My favorite of all, especially since I nursed my 3 babies and it made camping so much easier to not have to leave the warmth of my bed to feed them!
Een if you co sleep at home, you may not feel comfortable doing so while camping depending on the situation.
If you need to use a sleeping bag because it’s so cold, I would not recommend co sleeping because it’s way too easy to be half asleep and end up covering your baby’s face in the night with the bag.
To me, the only safe way to co sleep while camping is out of the bag, and on a safe surface such as the pads I mentioned above!
Co sleeping is a great option if your baby is having a tough time sleeping by him self somewhere new, if you’re nursing, or you just want added warmth on super cold nights!
Here are some tips to safely co sleep while camping with your baby
Stilldress your baby warm – Your baby still needs to be dressed warm, especially if they are at the age of moving around! I would probably still use a baby camping sleeping bag, especially if you have movers who don’t stay next to you (and get your warmth!) while you sleep!
- Minimal blankets – Try to use minimal blankets as this will reduce the risk that your baby gets tangled in them overnight, or you accidentally pull them over your baby’s head
warmabove your torso – If nursing, sleep with your torso out of the sheets so that you don’t, in your half asleepstupor, pull your baby down to nurse consequently putting him under the blankets.
The Best Camping Baby Sleeping Bag
Now that you know all the different sleep set ups to camp with your baby, what to dress them in to stay warm at night… now it’s time to learn the most important part, the best sleeping bag!
If you notice, this list is rather short.
That’s because there is only one official inftant to 24 month sleeping bag for camping babies – everything else is just warm swaddles and such. You might even find stroller buntings on that list in Amazon!
Related: Find exactly what else you need to pack for a stress free camp trip with your baby!
Morrison Outdoors has just released the
Here are some of the deets on this baby camping sleeping bag
- AAP approved – It meets all AAP SAFE Sleep Guidelines, and even has an optional swaddle fitting for younger babies who are more comfortable this way!
- Perfect fit design – The collar is comfortable but snug so that your baby’s head won’t slip inside, and there is a
roll up bottomto shorten the length of the bag so it fits just right!
- Easy to wash – Machine washable with premium 1.1oz ripstop nylon with baby-safe waterproofing that provides excellent accident-resistance while maintaining breathability.
- Best for 3 to 24 months old babies – This sleeping bag is ideal for babies that are 3-24 months, and has a zip for easy diaper changes (no more exposing them to the cold and haing to take off 5 layers of clothes!)
While it is nice to have some basic, dependable wearable blanket layering options that I listed at the start of this article, if you are an avid outdoor family you can be prepared for anything (early spring and late fall camping especially!) with a
Until the end of February 2019, the sleeping bag will be on kickstarter – when it hits Amazon I will update this link!
RV and travel trailer camping parents – I haven’t forgotten about ya!
While camping with a baby in a much more controlled environment is easy easier than tent camping, there are still some challenges to hurdle!
We camp in a relatively small pull behind (18 ft) that has a queen and two bunks with hardly any walking space! That meant there was no room for a pack n play, so we had to figure out how to modify one of the current sleep areas to fit our twin baby girls!
I wrote a whole article on how we transformed our queen bed into a darkened, sound resistant and warm sleep area perfect for use when RV camping with our twin babies here! (If you have toddlers, there is another article I wrote about safe toddler sleep and DIY in campers here!)
Here are some quick tips to make RV sleep with a baby work!
- Add a bed rail to a bottom bunk – This will keep
babies contained during sleep – In fact, you might even find some bed rails that are tall enough to leave no gap at the top for even standing babies to get out! Adding the bed rail essentially converts the bottom bunk into a giant baby crib! nonstanding
- Use a baby tent on a big bed – Baby tents like the Kidco Peapod are another great option for young babies who aren’t rolling too much yet! Just pop it up on a spare bed you have, and it’s ready!
- Co-sleep in the biggest bed in the RV! – I always add bed rails on any exposed sides of the bed for safety and follow the same rules as tent camping while
co sleeping. Minimal blankets and a firm surface! BONUS: it can serve as a play area during the day (with supervision) for babies to play inside!
- Use white noise – Hanging out in the camper after all the kids are in bed is a favorite, and we love using the white noise machine our kids now and love at home while we’re out camping so that we don’t have to worry about waking them while we’re doing chores or talking!
Additional sleep tips to make camping with your baby a success!
Sleep is definitely the biggest concern when it comes to camping with your baby – after all, it probably took months of sleep deprivation to get them to where they are now right??
How to set your next camp trip up for success and get your baby to sleep!
- Always be sure to make bedtime while camping as close to bedtime at home – Make sure to bring any special
lovies, blankets, noises, books etc with you and keep a similar routine!
- Accept bedtime will likely be later – Camping is super exciting, and it’s hard to calm down after it! With the added extra light that babies likely aren’t used to during sleep time,
bedmight not happen till it gets dark unless you have a pack n play black outor are in a RV
- Bring a stroller they like – This is especially true if your baby sometimes falls asleep in them. Even if your campground doesn’t have much
stroller friendlytrails, just pushing them back and forth with a blanket (if you can do so safely) over it can really help calm them should they have trouble falling asleep
- Prepare to
nurse / feed/ lay with them to sleep – At home, you can likely close the door and let them fall asleep. Camping? They can hear everything, and you sometimes need to get back in the tent or camper to get some thing! Just know you might have to spend extra time to get them down. Don’t worry though, it’s unlikely a couple of nights doing something different will ruin any good habits they have!
- BRING A CARRIER – Probably the most important, because sometimes it’s nice to not spend an hour and a half getting a baby down (especially if they are resisting and you’re not making any actual progress!) Front carriers are good, but my jam has always been backpack style carriers because they often have “shades” that I can safely drape a blanket over to help darken and quiet things for them while I am still able to go about my business at camp!
F.A.Q. regarding baby
sleep while camping
- How cold is too cold to camp with a baby? – Once temps start getting below freezing, many sleeping pads are no longer rated as functional, so under 30 F. Obviously, if you don’t have the right gear such as wool layers and a good sleeping bag then that temp will be much higher!
- How do I keep my baby warm at night while camping? – A combination of proper warm layers and a
well insulatedsleep area can do wonders to keep baby warm! Make sure to get a good sleeping pad for your baby to sleep on so they are insulated from the cold ground!
- How do you get a baby to sleep while camping? – Being honest, a combination of exhaustion on the baby’s part, patience on your part, and some planning and realistic expectation ahead of time. Make sure they are cozy, comfortable, fed, and if nothing else works walk them to sleep or lay with them in teh tent or camper till they sleep!
- What kind of baby sleeping bag do I need to camp with? – Depedning on the temperature lows at night, you may not even need an “official” baby sleeping bag like I mentioned above! If it’s 60’s F or above at night, you could get away with a onsie, warm footie pj on top, then a blanket swaddle with a hat and gloves. If it’s 50’s F at night, consider investing in nicer layers that are made of wool that insulate as well as vent and breathe. However, if it’s getting below 50 F, consider investing in an actual sleeping bag to ensure you baby stays warm without having to use a ton of layers and unsafe blankets! (These are all my opinion regarding the temps, so make the best choice for your family!)
Do you feel a LITTLE LESS nervous about how to get your baby to nap and sleep while camping? I hope so!
If you feel like I missed anything, please don’t hesitate to comment! I want to help everyone out as much as possible!