I optimistically took my first born camping at Robin Hood Bay in the Marlborough Sounds at the tender age of 3 months old. The amount of paraphernalia I took in hindsight makes me giggle. We borrowed a friends big dome tent and loaded up the station wagon with all the “necessities” like a bassinet, a rocker (!), a mountain buggy (pram) and various back and front packs. I was really green to parenthood and camping! During the day things went pretty well, although any parents who have tried to get babies or toddlers to nap during the day in a bright and warm tent will understand that challenge! We saw orca and I even got in a cheeky surf. Not too shabby so far right? Until night time when my baby cried all night long😢 I felt so conscious that we were keeping everyone in the campground awake, fortunately (?) it was very windy so that added to an already noisy night or conversely spread the noise further!?😂 The next morning no one seemed to be giving us the evil eye, but after that exhausting night I sure didn’t feel up to enduring another one like it so we packed up all of our belongings, loaded the car back up and went home early.
It took me 5 years to brave camping with the family again! But last year we spent a week in Waikauwau Bay with my two children aged 6 & 8 and experienced one of our most memorable family holidays.
Trial and error, but always trying. I’m sure some more savvy camping families will have some great tips at “how to succeed at camping with babies”, which we’d love to hear, so please tell us your tips!