making camping & co-sleeping safe for 7 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-10-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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We were hoping to go tent camping this summer (had great fun last summer with our then 3 1/2 year old) and are thinking through if we can pull it off this summer now that we have an infant.

Our usual sleeping arrangements at home with the babe are baby co-sleeping in mom & dad's bed. Now that she can roll she chooses to sleep on her front (usually not touching/snuggling with anyone). When it was colder, we all wore extra layers to sleep, and kept the blankets down low for safety, so they only covered half our bodies.

I'm having trouble envisioning how to do this in a tent -- it often gets quite cold at night here in upstate NY, even in July/August. Last summer to be comfortable while we slept, we bundled up in many layers and hats, AND had our sleeping bags pulled up to our chins (or even over our heads in some cases).

From reading other threads on this subject, I can see that it makes more sense to make a firm surface out of layers of comforters/blankets (rather than air mattresses), and use blankets on top (rather than each person zipped in a sleeping bag). But it gets way colder in a tent than in our bedroom. I'm worried about the safety of having the blankets pulled up near the baby's head. Also, it seems like the surface we're sleeping on would inevitably get scrunched -- all the issues with blankets and such that we try to avoid to keep co-sleeping safe, especially for a baby who sleeps on her front. Or at 7 months, is she old enough not to worry about this stuff so much anymore?
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#2 of 6 Old 06-10-2012, 04:38 PM
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When we took ds camping for the first time he was 5 mo old and it was pretty cold (we live in Canada). We bundled him up in a snow suit and he slept great.


When we took dd camping, she was 8 mo old and could roll and move so we didn't worry about blankets being near her head.


I slept in the same sleeping bag with them when they were babies. It was easier for nursing.


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#3 of 6 Old 06-10-2012, 07:36 PM
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We recently camped with our then-9.5 month old, and there was snow on the ground when we arrived at our campsite (memorial day weekend, but central Oregon mountains), and overnight forecasts in the 30s. I picked up sheets of home insulation at home depot (the white somewhat-hard foam with a silver backing) and laid three down in the bottom of our tent, which made a HUGE difference in how warm we were. Then we just had our double sleeping bag with babe between us. DP pulled her side up to her chin, my side was mid chest, and I kept babe higher up unless we were nursing ( then I'd scoot up, instead of pulling him down like at home). He had on a base layer (this Patagonia set we got as a gift when he was born--basically long underwear) and a fleece zip up footed suit with mitts built in. It had a hood, but that drove him crazy, so he was hood and hatless despite my best efforts. But we had pillows above his head to block drafts. He was not perfectly cozy--he woke three times to nurse when he normally only wakes once, and he whimpered a bit very briefly when he woke--but he did sleep all night and his body was very warm. His nose was a little cool, but not to a worrisome degree. The tent overall was quite toasty. I was quite happy, especially since we had almost bagged our plans at the last minute when we saw the forecast. We stayed two nights, even!

But get the cheap-but-effective insulating pads. I got the one inch thick stuff, and spent $8 on three of them, almost enough to cover our whole tent floor (it's a two person tent).
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#4 of 6 Old 06-13-2012, 09:04 AM
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The insulation underneath to have a firmer sleeping surface sounds like a really great idea.  (There was this time we were camping, and it rained at night, plus our air mattress was dead, and you could feel the freezing rain running underneath our tent all night  **shiver**.  Would have totally solved that problem.)    


Using one of those cheap in-bed co-sleepers (or a large enough cardboard box) might be another option a 7 m/o is small enough for to have in-bed and help keep space around the baby. 


Bundled up enough but on top of your sleeping bags/bed (in one of those baby sleeping bags) might also work.

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#5 of 6 Old 06-15-2012, 10:14 PM
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We have used those foam fold up pads (they fold up 3 ways) for car camping and work way better than the plastic blow up ones. We've just collected a few over the years from various places. But I did see them for sale at Costco here in California the other day.

We took our 7 month old camping in Death Valley in April, sorry can't help with the cold it was so hot at night then. But did do camper camping (no heat) sleeping a few times over this winter. I just bundled him up with hat, cozy top, even socks on his hands for sleeping at night. I did have a blanket over him and another over him and I. My husband had his own blanket. I kept waking up all through out the night checking and he seemed toasty and happy. His nose did get a bit chilly, and I did get chilly nursing him during the night because I moved up and out of the blankets, but wearing a zipper sweatshirt with a hood helped that.  

This article is kind of fun and inspiring for camping with babies,

Have fun!

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#6 of 6 Old 07-09-2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AmyPDX View Post

 I picked up sheets of home insulation at home depot (the white somewhat-hard foam with a silver backing) and laid three down in the bottom of our tent, which made a HUGE difference in how warm we were. 

Great idea!


I put babe in pajamas and a fleece suit (youngest was 9mos) and shared a sleeping bag for night nursing. Babe slept great. I hardly slept at all with the constant checking on dd/ds to make sure the sleeping bag wasn't around their face, and b/c it was cold not being able to pull the sleeping bag around my neck. It was well worth it though for some great trips!

Mama to dd 03/07 and ds 12/09

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