26 February, 2020
Last updated on 13 November, 2021
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Posted by Spaceships Crew
Are you worried that with a baby on the scene your camping days are over? Well, delete these thoughts and worries from your mind, because taking your baby out into the great outdoors will be an amazing time for all. Sure, it is a little different from the carefree days and nights you might have spent before kids came along. But by following these tips, camping with a baby will be a memorable and hassle-free experience.
Bring a child seat (or hire one)
This is an absolute must! For safety reasons but also to make the trip more comfortable for the little one. If you already own one, then great. If not, then rent one from your favourite campervan provider. Make sure it is the appropriate size for your baby or child and can be used in Australia. If you bring your own baby seat or booster seat, please be aware of the Australian rules for these car seats.
A baby of up to 6 months must be travelling in an approved rear-facing child car seat.
Between the age of 6 months and 4 years, the child must be seated in an approved rear or forward-facing child car seat.
When the child is 4 years or older it must be seated in an approved forward-facing child car seat or booster seat.
As soon as the child reaches a length of 145 cm it can use the adult lap-sash seatbelt.
All details of the rules & regulations for using a child/baby seat in Australia can be found on the website of Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP), "a consortium of government agencies and motorist organisations who share a common interest in improving safety for children travelling in vehicles".
Your campervan has plenty of storage space but it isn't infinite: pack light!
Pack light, as always
Spaceships campervans come with a surprising amount of storage. There are spots for stashing strollers and backpacks. But keep in mind, you will be living in a van. No matter how spacious that van is, it is still not a mansion. You’ll be living in tight quarters, and won’t want to be weighed down by unnecessary stuff.
When it comes to things for your baby, be sure to bring only the essentials. Think you’ll take a lot of long walks and the stroller is a must? That’s great, bring it along! But the playpen? The big wheel? The set of giant building blocks? These items are unwieldy and probably unnecessary for your trip.
Try to think of what your baby really needs to stay happy while on the road. There are probably smaller toys that can be stashed in a backpack that will keep them just as entertained as the larger items you’ll have to leave at home.
Be prepared for spontaneity
You may be planners by nature. Perhaps you chart out your whole itinerary in advance, with proposed departure and arrival times and everything. Maybe you even think of what parks or rest areas you’ll stop at for lunch. Well, we're sure you can imagine that that type of micromanagement is no longer possible when you’re camping with a baby. At any moment it might be necessary to stop and change a nappy.
Sitting in traffic or driving a long stretch with an unhappy child can be miserable, so when there are signs of unhappiness consider just stopping in the first pleasant spot you can find. The little one will have some time to play or eat and you guys will be able to stretch your legs. It's a win-win for everyone. Just take it slow & easy on your campervan road trip with a baby. This might seem frustrating to habitual planners, but with a positive attitude, you can craft a makeshift picnic out of the ordeal.
Campervan road trip with a baby tips: don't drive too far and stop often. Be spontaneous!
The Spaceships campervans that can be fitted with a child or baby seat are the Beta (standard) campervan and the Beta 4-berth (rooftop tent) campervan. Your campervan will have a double bed and even an empty space for a small travel cot. You can always have the baby sleep in the travel cot, leaving mom and dad to enjoy a little space of their own in the bed. Alternatively, the bed is plenty big enough to keep the baby there with you. Or, if the baby starts the night in the cot, you will always have the option of bringing it onto the bed for a feeding or a communal night's sleep.
Keep everything organized
No matter how light you pack, travelling with a baby means you will be bringing more along than if you were heading out on your own. To avoid headaches, be sure to keep all of your things neatly organized. Take advantage of the storage area of your campervan. Anything you use one a regular basis (nappies, wipes, etc.) should be stored near the front of the storage box for easy access. That way, you’re not digging through all your luggage every time something comes up.
Also, choose a layout for your things and stick to it. That way every item will always be easy to find. Nothing is more frustrating than digging maniacally through your luggage in search of that pesky pacifier while the baby wails away in the set beside you.
The delights of camping with a baby
So sure, hitting the road with the little one has its challenges. But by following the tips laid out above you can make it a lot more simple. At the end of the day, a camping trip with your baby should be a remarkable, beautiful experience. If you're into camping, presumably it’s for a love of nature and an affinity for the open road. Well, this is your chance to pass these passions on to your child. Every time those little eyes open wide in wonder or that little mouth giggles with delight, you'll be very glad that you chose to take your baby on this latest adventure.