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Best Camping Gear for Babies 2022 (9 Essentials)

| Updated Jun 21, 2023

This list of best camping gear for babies covers all of the main items you'll want to bring on your next family RV trip.

Packing a diaper for one day can be daunting, let alone packing for an entire camping trip!

It can be nerve-wracking for anyone the first time they take their baby into the great outdoors. You want your baby to be comfortable, entertained, and most of all, safe.

Of course, you want to pack as little as possible but not regret leaving anything behind.

So how do you do all of that with the limited room you have in your RV? Well, here is the best camping gear for babies that will make the trip enjoyable for your little one and easier for you!

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The Best Camping Gear for Babies

You do not need to bring everything under the sun on your next camping trip with your baby. However, it is a good idea to bring a few key items. Not only will they keep your young child safer, but they will also make for a more enjoyable camping trip.

I have written many posts about the best camping gear to bring on your next trip, from wool blankets to dog harnesses. The following is is a little different- it is the first list I've written for babies!

So, let's dive in…

1. Travel Cribs

Travel cribs, sometimes called a travel cot or “pack n play,” is probably the first thing that you will want to pack.

That is because it provides a safe area for your child to sleep overnight and have nap time. Blow up mattresses and soft foam beds can suffocate young children.

Aside from children needing sleep for their health, they need a lot of sleep to avoid becoming overly tired and cranky. That means a well-rested baby is good for your mental health, too!

Travel cribs can also provide a more “normal” place for babies to sleep, helping them sleep outside of their normal environment. This is especially true for a first-time little camper.

Travel cribs can also play double-duty as play yards. They are a great way to keep babies in a secure location outside of your RV. You can easily move it to a shady spot for your baby to play in and observe their new interesting environment.

These convenient cribs come in many different variations. You can get very simple cribs, or others with attachments like a changing table or play mobile. Most come with a convenient carry bag.

The Lotus Travel Crib is very popular since it folds into a lightweight backpack. It's a great option, but so is the good ol' Graco Pack ‘N Play for a third of the price. The Pack ‘N Play also has wheels on one end so you can easily move it around. Plus, the mat is a few inches off the ground and away from the creepy crawlies.

2. Baby Carrier

Another baby product that you'll want to bring on that next outdoor adventure is a child carrier. It provides a way to carry small children, hands free.

That means the whole family can go hiking, fishing, picnicking, or on other adventures together. No one will have to stay behind at the campsite with young kids.

Not every infant carrier is created equally. You need to find one that fits your needs since some are made for longer hikes. Others are better for shorter hikes.

3. Baby Sleeping Bag

Did you know that they make baby sleeping bags? They can keep your baby secure and warm by zipping up, but allowing your baby's arms to move around.

These are great for babies that do not get swaddled anymore but are not quite old enough to have loose blankets to sleep.

They also have lighter wearable blankets for mildly cold nights.

4. Sun Protection

When enjoying nature, the sun can be a big issue. Protect your baby from any unwanted sunburns by bringing along a sun hat and baby-safe sunscreen.

A good sun hat can help keep the brutal sun off your baby's head, face and shoulders, helping to prevent sunburn.

In addition, do not forget your favorite baby sunscreen to lather on any other unprotected skin. You will be happy to know that your baby is protected while enjoying your time outside.

Continuing – Best Camping Gear for Babies

5. Favorite Toys

Bringing along any of your child's favorite toys is also a good idea.

While you want to limit the stuff you pack, having two or three of your baby's favorites can comfort your child when in a new environment. Not to mention, provide some entertainment after a long day of outdoor play.

Just keep in mind that there are going to be all kinds of new things for your baby to see and explore, so you don't have to rely only on toys. And never forget that items you already have in your RV can entertain them, like a wooden spoon and pot.

6. Extra Layers

Be prepared for cold weather by bringing lots of extra layers for your baby. When camping, the temperature can fluctuate by dozens of degrees. By packing layers, you can easily adjust with the temperature.

The sleep sacks we discussed earlier are a great option for layering as well.

7. Portable High Chair

Another one of the best baby items to bring on your camping trip is a portable highchair. It can provide a clean and safe space for your baby to eat. Especially for new, messy eaters, and babies that cannot yet sit at a picnic table without support.

Babies new to eating solid baby food or older babies that have started to feed themselves will both benefit from a portable highchair.

8. Changing Pad

It is never a bad idea to have a soft place to lay your baby for those diaper changes. Oh, and plenty of wipes too!

Rough terrain or a hard table surface is not ideal to change your baby. (Not the most sanitary either.) Having a changing pad is a good option for those diaper changes out in nature.

A changing pad is also a great way to protect your sleeping bag or RV interior from messy diapers.

Look for a diaper pad that can be wiped clean, and folds up into a small rectangle. That way you can clean up messes easily. Then stow it away without taking up much space with your gear or at your campsite.

Your everyday diaper bag's changing pad would suffice. But if you're looking for the best camping gear for babies, check out this 3-in-1 diaper bag that converts into a changing station and bassinet. It even has a shade cloth!

9. Car Seat

Child restraint laws for RVs vary from state to state, but it is always recommended to properly restrain your child while traveling in an RV.

For each state you drive through, you need to follow the car seat laws by state.

Do not mistakenly think that an RV is safer because it is bigger. RVs get in accidents too, and they don't always have as many safety features as cars.

So, buckle up and stay safe!

What is YOUR Best Camping Gear for Babies?

Let us know in the comments!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-11-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “Best Camping Gear for Babies 2022 (9 Essentials)”

November 02, 2021at1:44 pm, Josh said:

To echo the previous comment – love your podcast but it has been missing from Spotify and Castro for about a month! Manually loading the RSS feed works but for some reason it’s not picking up new episodes.


November 02, 2021at1:43 pm, said:

To echo the previous comment – love your podcast but it has been missing from Spotify and Castro for about a month! Manually loading the RSS feed works but for some reason it’s not picking up new episodes.


November 02, 2021at11:52 am, Joanne Camp said:

Since the end of September, I am no longer able to get your podcast on Spotify. The new issues are simply not there. I so enjoy your podcast. We are relatively new to RV camping, having been life-long tent campers. Your show always had the most interesting ideas, and great places to explore. How can I get the podcast on my iphone again? I am too “busy” to sit and watch a Youtube video.
Thanks, Joanne


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