I remember when we took Iris camping with us last year when she was a mere 8 weeks old, thinking "this is going to be insane!" and it turning out rather well. Granted, she didn't move and was happy to sit in her bouncy chair or snuggle in the wrap while we did our thing. This year we've graduated to a walking, "talking", eating-real-food toddler and boy oh boy is that ever crazy! Totally do-able, but still kinda crazy.
This year we joined my parents and their puppy at Inverhuron to stay with them in their tent trailer. The plus side of this was that we'd have 2 extra people to help look after Iris, along with getting to hang out with them for the week. This year we also brought Gus, who really is like another child.
The great things about camping with toddler-Iris vs a baby-Iris:
- she can wear sunscreen now! Which means we can actually go to the beach during the day!
- she's at that age when everything at the campsite is fun, picking up twigs, playing with the water jug, throwing balls to the dogs, we didn't have to pack any toys
- she's a lot more fun! At the beach we can all actually play together, plus taking her in the water was more exciting than last year
The tough things about camping with a toddler
- they need to be watched pretty much all the time. Especially since she's walking around exploring everything (hello, poison ivy and picking up caterpillars a little too roughly!)
- trying to keep a hat on her while we were outside in the sun (aka the whole time)
- crying it out just does not happen in a forest full of other people vacationing (at home we let Iris fuss for a bit when she goes down for a nap and when she wakes up too early) so naps and sleeping at night were a bit tough
- not being able to relax as much as I remembered (although having my parents there allowed us for much more relaxing than if it was just Dave and I)
We spent our days visiting the beach, throwing beach balls in the water, trying to get Iris and her feet used to sand (she would promptly lift her legs way up as soon as we went to put her down on the sand), reading while Iris "walked" the dogs (following them around while holding onto the leash), making really great food, and playing card games while sipping wine after Iris went to bed. Plus I know my parents were in heaven having a week of Iris all to themselves :) Not to mention how much we loved how my mum got up early with Iris so we could get some more sleep! Thanks mum!
What a difference a year makes! Click here to read how camping went last year.
My friend Laura's mom gifted us the bonnet and it really is the best sun hat! It covers her neck and ties up so she can't pull it off, I highly recommend one!