Each year we have been joining my family for the weekend on their annual holiday in Lincolnshire and this year was no exception, we couldn’t wait to take Little Mr on his first family camping holiday.
With the promise of sunshine over the weekend, we packed as lightly as possible (ha, this is impossible with a 5 month old baby) and headed off in the car over towards the East coast. After a couple of hours in the car we made it to the campsite to be welcomed by my family who had kindly put up our tent for us. Winner!
We enjoyed a fabulous barbeque courtesy of Money Supermarket (blog post to follow) and before we knew it was time to put Little Mr to bed in the travel cot and zip him in for the night. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, it was dry and mild but from previous experience it can get quite cold during the night so I took plenty of blankets for his cot just in case he woke up cold but thought he would be comfortable in his sleeping bag.
Even though our tent was right next door to my parents caravan, the door was facing away from us so I had visions of someone stealing my baby whilst we weren’t looking. Of course it was very silly as he was perfectly fine but doesn’t harm to check does it? We spent the rest of the evening around the fire pit catching up on family gossip and news whilst toasting marshmallows.
Little Mr slept so well. He woke up at 6:30am which was absolutely brilliant. The tent was quite light and there was already movement on the campsite as people were off early to get in the Waddington Airshow queue so it was no wonder he woke up early. After a quick feed using the Tommee Tippee steri-bottles (which are so useful when camping) he fell back to sleep for another hour. Woop!
Every year we always take a drive over to see our family friends J & J. They are the loveliest couple and once they both retired they decided to up sticks and live by the sea. Their home is absolutely beautiful and it’s always so lovely to see them. This year they got to meet Little Mr and they were besotted!
The afternoon was spent on the beach with the whole family, enjoying the view, making sandcastles and catching the rays (some of us caught them more than others, eh Shilts?) Little Mr also got to dip his toes into the North Sea for the first time and got sand between his toes. Not sure what he made of it really, he just looked at his feet bizarrely as if he wasn’t sure what was going on. (Little Mr’s first – trip to the beach blog post coming up soon)
Back at the campsite we had a chippy tea courtesy of my Nan and Grandad followed by family fun around the firepit. My 5 year old nephew was on fine form, he was asking us to tell him jokes so after a small pause whilst we all tried to think of clean ones, we came up with some jokes. K was creasing with laughter so I asked if he ‘got’ the jokes we were telling him and he just looked at us innocently and said ‘No!’. We were all belly laughing it was so funny. Nan made us some campfire twist treats (some sort of dough we had to stick by the embers of the firepit to cook) and Mom dished out more marshmallows. Dad got his iPad out and showed us a star gazing app that he had downloaded. We spent the next hour looking skyward for star constellations and satellites., we had great fun!
We spent another pleasant night under canvas and unfortunately it was time to drop the tent and pack up. It was so so hot. By 10:30am, the temperatures were already in their mid-twenties and we had a grouchy baby on our hands. Thanks to songs from K, Little Mr perked up a bit for our goodbyes and our journey home.
We had such a fab weekend away, mostly due to the company and the weather but I like to think we also had a head start due to us packing well for the weekend.
If you’re thinking about going camping with a little one, here are my top tips for a stress-free family camping trip…
1) Take a pop up travel cot for little ones to sleep in. There are so many available on the market now, just check what space you have and choose a cot to suit
2) Take lots of blankets. Little Mr slept in his sleeping bag with a blanket underneath him. On the second night under canvas I popped a small blanket on his feet (in the sleeping bag) to add an extra bit of warmth.
3) If space allows, take your pushchair. We popped Little Mr into his Britax Affinity pushchair whilst we took the tent down and he happily lay in the shade whilst we were busy.
4) If you’re formula feeding, take Tommee Tippee steri-bottles or similar with you. They’re single use only so can be used and thrown away.
5) Similarly, if you’re formula feeding, check to see if the brand of milk you’re using makes ready made cartons. We used SMA ready made bottles this weekend and was perfect for us on the go.
6) Bath the little ones in the washing up bowl, they’ll have great fun
7) Don’t worry about the mess, you will get grass in your bed and damp pyjama trousers but that’s all part of the fun of camping
If you’ve been camping with a little one I’d love to hear your stories..x