I grew up loving to camp! I love being in the great outdoors! When my husband and I had our first child we attempted camping. Our first attempt was with a baby. Piece of cake. She snuggled up with us and slept like a champ. A year later she was a toddler. HORRIBLE experience. We left the campsite at 4 am and went home because she thought it was time to play all night since we were all in the same “room”. We had borrowed a bigger tent so we could fit a pack n play in there. Maybe if she was used to sleeping with us- it would have worked out, but once my kids are 3 months old we move them out of our room… and they really aren’t welcomed back in. Cruel I know, but I just need my space. Well, anyways back to camping… we didn’t camp again after that as a family. We had a few more children and so the anxiety of a terrible camping experience kept weighing on my mind. Once I had my third child my husband stayed at a group camp out with our girls, while I drove home with our son (he was a baby). I slept in my bed and he in his crib. It was lovely. My husband and two girls came home the next day. They had a great adventure.
This past month we had two camp outs. One in our living room (just the three older kids) and one in our backyard (three older kids plus a parent). I’m still nursing our fourth child at night so my husband and I traded off who was in the tent with the kids. The other was inside in their bed while the baby was in her crib. The weather was perfect and the kids all slept perfectly! Next step is getting a bigger tent. We currently only have a 4 person tent and our 3 older kids and 1 parent fill it up like sardines. Someday soon we will try paying for a campsite again, but for now we may keep practicing in the backyard. Go out and famfreely (even if it is only in your backyard 🙂