Want to camp with the kids, but worried it’ll be a sleepless disaster? Bundle Bed Founder, Lucy Bartlett, offers her top tips for getting a dreamy nights sleep, fuelling adventures the next day.
Does the idea of camping with the kids conjure up images of children rampaging across the fields delirious with lack of sleep? Camping doesn’t have to be an exercise in endurance! One reason I created Bundle Beds was to make travelling and camping – especially with children – easier and less daunting.
We actually find that our two (aged 6 & 4 yrs) sleep really well after a full day out in the fresh air, even more so now with our Toddler Bundle Beds. After a few camping trips this Summer, we thought we'd share with you a few tips for ensuring a good night's sleep...
1) Make it feel like home
Whilst camping is often about exploring new places, creating a familiar sleep space keeps kids feeling safe and secure at night. Bring a favourite pillow case or blanket from home – my boys have their own Bundle Beds with bumpers that they sleep on whenever they are away from home, camping or not. Consider a practice camp-out in the living room or garden with any new gear.
2) Have a similar bedtime routine
We still put the kids to bed reasonably early when camping, as unfortunately they don't yet understand the concept of a lie in! (They're usually in bed by 7pm at home, and we usually get them into bed by 8pm when camping). We try to stick to a similar routine to back home, so give them a wash in the campsite showers (they do usually have a bath, and we used to use a bucket when they were babies!), brush teeth, get them into PJs and then have bedtime stories in their Bundle Beds.
3) Try using audiobooks
Once we've read them their stories and given them a kiss goodnight, we play them an audiobook to listen to whilst they go to sleep. We've found that this helps to block out the noises on the campsite, and helps them to relax and drift off. We use Winnie the Pooh, Paddington & The Tractor who wants to Fall Asleep, all downloaded on the iPad before we leave, and we pop it just outside their "bedroom" so that they can hear it, but aren't tempted to use it! A Bluetooth speaker to play it through would work well too.
4) Look for a blackout solution
Summer nights are long and bright, which I love, apart from when trying to get the kiddos to sleep! We bought ourselves a Dark Inner Tent for our bell tent, to make the kids "bedroom" darker, even when it's still light outside. There are also some brilliant blackout tents available to buy now that mean that bedtime doesn’t have to wait until the sun goes down.
5) Keep the kids warm
Keeping cosy under canvas is a number one priority, especially to ensure everyone has a great night’s sleep. Even on the sunniest days, evenings can be chilly. As kids go from having fun to teeth chattering-ly chilled very fast, pre-empt the cold. Pop on their coat, or put them in a onesie, as soon as the sun begins to dip. For bed, I dress the boys in long sleeved PJs (Muddy Puddles Thermal Baselayers are perfect for this) with a onesie and a pair of socks over the top. If I can convince them to keep it on, I’ll also add a beanie hat. As well as adding layers on the top of your kids sleep set-up, don’t forget to insulate from the ground and add blankets underneath – a picnic blanket with a waterproof layer is brilliant. I’d recommend ditching the double height airbeds which let the cold in from under you and opt instead for a self-inflating mattress (or of course a Bundle Bed!).
6) A comfy bed
And of course... Bundle Beds really do ensure a great night's sleep for the kiddos! For the littler ones, you face a tricky in-between stage when your toddler is too big for a travel cot but not quite ready for a standard bed. This NEW Kids' Travel Bed solves your dilemma. Smaller and lighter than the Classic Bundle Bed, but with the same top notch materials and super soft bedding, the Toddler travel bed creates a familiar, safe, sleep space for children. With an integrated waterproof sheet and the option to add-on clever inflatable safety bumpers, you'll sleep soundly too. For older ones, our Classic Bundle Beds are a fantastic option... With the pillow and duvet buttoned in top and bottom, there is no losing bedding in the night. The bottom of the bed can be zipped up slightly around the kids feet, to stop their duvet slipping off them at night, and they really do feel like your own bed, away from home.
7) And a few extra camping tips…
For your first adventure, make it easy and book for a couple of nights at a campsite nearby. Consider a pre-pitched tent or a glamping pod and then you won’t need to set-up and pack-down either. I’d suggest asking for a pitch closer to the toilets and wash facilities to make life easier – and bring a trolley for loading up kids and their paraphernalia. An electric hook-up for charging devices is an essential for me. Don’t get overwhelmed by kit - You really don’t need it all! Take a look at these camping gear essentials or borrow from friends and family to test out what you like. Happy Camping! ⛺
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