Tag: Family

Best Camping Gear for Babies

bridal veil falls

Over the long weekend we took an awesome trip up to Yosemite National Park with a group of friends. I was feeling a bit of trepidation about the trip because A) it’s a long drive with a 1-year old and B) I was nervous about how Baby Brownie would do sleeping at a campsite. It turns out, I worried for nothing. I guess Baby Brownie is just an amazing night sleeper because she went right to sleep at 8pm every night and woke up at 7:30am.

We had an awesome time biking around the valley, admiring the view at Glacier Point, cooking meals at the campsite, making s’mores around the campfire, and spending lots of quality time with friends.

We did bring some key baby gear, however, that made camping much easier, and I thought I’d post about them here in case some other brave parents are taking their babies camping this summer!

essential baby camping gear

baby camping gear

1. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

I’ve posted about how much I love the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light┬ábefore, when we flew to China and Baby Brownie was just 8 months old. I still love it, and at 14 months, my daughter still fits in it just fine. The Baby Bjorn Crib takes about half a minute to set up, and maybe a minute to fold down once you have it figured out. It’s lightweight (though it is a bit bulky, but that’s not really an issue when you’re car camping) and folds down into a convenient carrying case.

I like how the fabric and mesh of the crib is breathable but comfortable and soft. It’s not a plasticky, rustle-y, tent fabric like many of the other travel cribs out there, so it doesn’t make noise when the baby moves. I also like how the mattress pad is an actual pad, rather than an inflatable mattress; it helps to keeps baby warmer. I added a fleecy plush crib sheet to help keep Baby Brownie warm. You can just have the travel crib right in your tent or camper, and baby has a nice, enclosed place to go to sleep.

2. Sleep Sacks

Baby Brownie is used to the HALO Fleece SleepSack, so that’s what we used. They’re not as warm as I’d like, especially for camping in the mountains, but Halo doesn’t make padded sleep sacks (you can buy padded, duvet-style sleep sacks online, but we just used what we had). I just layered lots of PJs on Baby Brownie — first a long-sleeve onesie, then a fleece footed sleeper, then an extra fleece pullover to keep her arms warm, and then the fleece Sleep Sack. I had an extra blanket to put over her but by the morning it was bunched in a corner of the crib, so it wasn’t much help.

3. Wee Ride Kangaroo Bike Seat

One of our favorite parts about camping in Yosemite was riding bikes around the valley. We’ve tried bike trailers before but found that our toddler didn’t really enjoy them because she couldn’t see anything. With the WeeRide LTD Kangaroo Child Bike Seat, our daughter could see everything and was safely strapped in front of her daddy. Although this seat won’t fit an older child, it was perfect for our 1-year old. We loved that sitting in front, she could see everything, and it seems safer in case of a fall, so my husband could catch her and keep an eye on her.

wee ride collage

4. Baby Food Pouches

I’m so glad we brought plenty of baby food pouches like these Happy Baby Organic Baby Food Pouches. They were so handy when we were on the trail (or in the car) for a snack for our toddler, or just to supplement a meal and to add fruits and veggies. Although Baby Brownie is eating solid food, sometimes camping food isn’t the most nutritious. We also brought healthy finger foods like cheese sticks, bananas, grapes, and crackers.

Are you planning to go camping with your little one this summer? What’s your baby camping gear essential?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Turn Your Kid’s Pants into Shorts (in 3 Easy Steps)

Here’s a quick project that took me all of 15 minutes, and helps reuse something you would otherwise give/throw away, use as a rag, or lose in the bottomless black hole you call the closet (or is that just me?).

With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve really been wishing that my toddler had fewer long pants and more shorts. She’s going to outgrow her long pants before the weather gets cool again. Well, duh, I told myself, why not just shorten the pants?

turn kids pants into shorts

You’ll need:

1 pair of jersey cotton pants
sewing machine
thread that matches pants
scissors

I love the neon pink polka dots on these pants but they were kind of a weird shape on my girl. She has skinny legs so the pants ended up baggy around the thigh, but weirdly tapering at the ankle. So I decided that this pair would be a perfect candidate for a redo, and if it didn’t work out, oh well.

IMG_4043

Warning: I am not a seamstress. Not even close. I’m a total amateur who has to look at the manual every time I try to thread my sewing machine. So if I can do it, you can too!

Turn the pants inside out. Fold the pants in half lengthwise and snip off the bottom portion. I just eyeballed it, but remember that you’ll lose more length after you hem the pants.

cut off pant legs

Fold up the cuffs at the bottom of the legs. You could be all fancy and zigzag stitch them, but the knit t-shirt material won’t fray, so don’t worry about it.

diy baby shorts

Besides, who’s going to be snooping in your baby’s wardrobe criticizing your hemming skills? (uh…don’t answer that question.)

Just sew around the hem with the sewing machine. Let the machine pull the fabric through to avoid stretching the fabric. Just make sure you don’t sew the leg shut. If you want to be fancy, you can sew in a double seam (just add another seam next to the first).

hemming shorts

(I forgot to take a picture while I was sewing, so I faked the above picture.)

And it’s as easy as 1…2…3!

turn kids pants into shorts

Is it perfect? Nope. I’m incapable of sewing a straight seam. Does it work and are they comfy? Oh yeah.

I tried to get a pic of my daughter modeling the shorts but she moves too fast. This is the best I could do and it’s a little blurry.

IMG_4062

Of course, when you hem your shorts you will use a matching thread instead of white, unlike me, right?

The shorts are a little loose and flowy which is actually nice for this warm weather. They are the perfect play pants now.

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