It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this summer. She was a real beaut here on the West Coast. Sunballs every day practically! We ended our summer off with a camping trip – our first time camping with Teddy! Freshly turned 2 years old and a mini energy ball, we definitely had our concerns – would he sleep? What would he sleep in? Would WE sleep?? Haha… the first two nights we tried to do our usual bedtime routine of 7:30pm bedtime… at the first busy and noise and light filled campground, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Teddy scream cried and we tried again and again to calm him and put him down… only to realize… we had to relax it up with his routine… and roll with the camping punches. So Teddy became a nighttime party dog, going to bed at 9, falling asleep to Rich singing him Joni Mitchell Blue.
Long underwear, fleece with hood and double sleep sack for this little nutbar!
After our grand Teddy sleeping realization, the trip was a cool breeze on a hot day – a real blast! Teddy stayed up til it was dark, and we had fun just lazing around with him at night, reading story after story, and in the day time, running around, swimming, playing with giant sticks and rocks and exploring the beaches and trees. My favourite part was making food. We were in such a rush before leaving that I didn’t think much about too much cooking equipment or utensils – or even nice dishware for my food styling obsession! (even camping, haha!). I had a blast cooking on our tiny one burner campstove and mini BBQ.
Miracle Beach, BC – a sweet provincial campground, really well maintained and private wooded campgrounds and lots of families.
Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville BC – so fun for kids! Big playground, huge beautiful beach and free weekly movies with popcorn and soda by donation at their ampitheatre.
Seals! At Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria, BC. This guy was SO close to me!
Gliding, chubby grey speckled seals – Teddy wanted to “go in!” Um, no.
Dada, I got this! I’m on a boat
Here’s what worked for us for camping with toddlers (Teddy just turned 2):
1. Throw the routine out the window. We ended up “car-napping” Teddy – we’d go for a drive around Teddy’s usual nap time, and Teddy would conk out in his carseat and Rich and I would get to explore the little towns and cities and beaches around where we were camping while Teddy was lulled to sleep by the long monotonous stretches of highway.
2. If your kid sleeps in a crib at home, try the pack and play – the comfort and security of the crib that they’re used to. Next year he’ll sleep on a blow up mattress with sleeping bag but he doesn’t quite get that blankets aren’t for playing “fort” in!
3. For sleep time, dress them warmly in layers and cover their head. We were concerned he wouldn’t be warm enough but we found that long underwear on the bottom, with a warm fleece with a hood and two medium-weight sleep sacks did the trick.
4.Camping is for exploring! We let Teddy roam at a safe distance and pick up and explore things in his surroundings – big sticks, rocks, leaves.
5. Bring books! Teddy barely played with any of his own toys – but we read a crapload of his books every day. It was a good way to calm him whenever he got overstimulated/overtired and it was fun to snuggle on our air mattress and read book after book without having to worry about anything but spending time with our son. Bring some old faves and a few new ones!
6. Try to relax! Once we relaxed on the routine, things got so much better. “Roll with it 2014” was our motto, ha!
We never camped much as a kid so I didn’t grow up going on camping vacation – but sleeping out in nature with tall trees and bodies of water close by was super tranquil and relaxing. I hardly felt at all like coming home and sitting slumped in front of the computer madly blogging or writing about cakes. It’s trips like this that make you want to quit it all, move out of the city and open up a tiny cafe in a small town. As we drove back into town Rich and I wondered out loud why people stay in Vancouver when it’s become so bloatingly and garishly expensive to live here. It made me truly wonder if we’ll stay in the city forever… What about you? City dweller or country dweller??