What NOT to do when camping with a toddler…

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We’ve now come to the end of a very eventful summer. We’ve had a couple of short camping trips which have been a lot of fun, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about taking a toddler camping. When my daughter was a baby I remember saying to my husband that I wouldn’t want to take her camping until she was school age….why didn’t I listen to myself?!?!?

1. When choosing a location for your holiday, make sure you research the area.

This may seem like a very basic idea that most people would do before going on holiday, but we are clearly not ‘most people’. We chose our first campsite as it wasn’t far off the motorway and it was on the way to our friend’s house where we were heading. It wasn’t until we spent the day in a local town that we discovered the area we were visiting was famous for pottery. Everywhere we looked, every shop, museum and even car park had the word ‘pottery’ in it. In fact there wasn’t a single place we went where they weren’t selling these beautiful clay trinkets.

Ordinarily this would make for an interesting and pleasant holiday….not when you have a two year old in tow. ‘Pottery’ is simply another word for ‘breakable’! Not only were these expensive breakables in every single shop, tea room and tourist information centre we went to, but they were all at toddler height! Within perfect grabbing distance for my ever curious two year old who conveniently goes deaf whenever she hears the words, ‘No darling!’ Either that or she’ll simply reply with, ‘Yes Darling’!

2. Invest in a large bucket or collapsable baby bath for bathing your toddler.

This is what we didn’t do. I naively thought it would make sense to simply take my daughter for shower when I was having one. It was very early on the second morning of our holiday and I thought I’d head to the showers with my daughter: a) To allow my husband to have a lie in and b) to avoid any queues later in the morning.

The shower block had one of those sensor lights that didn’t turn on until you walked in and jumped around a bit (much to my daughter’s delight and amusement!) I assumed my daughter would be quite happy to jump in the shower with me as she has done several times when we’ve been swimming.

So I stripped us both and got her lathered up with soap first. As soon as the shower turned on she decided to have one of her toddler hissy fits, ‘No like it! No like da shower!’ stamping on the tiled floor with her soapy feet and arms firmly crossed. It was a pretty chilly morning and I wasn’t prepared to get chill blaines whilst trying to reason with her. So I picked her up and got us both in the shower…. not considering that my lathered up daughter was now going to behave like an enormous slippery piece of soap! Continuing her hissy fit, she writhed around in the shower and slipped straight out of my hands hitting her head on the tiled wall… now she really was having a hissy fit!!

Thankfully she settled within a minute or two and I managed to get her dried and dressed.

Do you remember me mentioning earlier about the light sensors? Yes? Well the lights decided to turn off just as I was jumping in the shower (apparently there were no sensors in the shower cubicles!) My daughter was thrilled by this as she knew exactly what to do. Before I could say anything she’d thrown open the cubicle door and raced out to jump around to turn the lights back on… all whilst I was standing there stark naked!!

Never again…

3. Always choose family friendly activities to do.

We found an anglo saxon museum to visit. It was thoroughly interesting…for us! Our daughter was understandably more interested in running off with magnifying glasses from the artefacts cabinets and seeing how big she could make things look!

4. Don’t invest a lot of money in a carpet for your tent if your toddler is potty training.

As always when you’re purchasing something like a tent you’re always tempted by the added extra items on offer. In our case it was a lovely, soft, cosy carpet to lay inside our tent. It really did add that little bit of luxury to the holiday.

Although my daughter is potty trained she still has the odd little accident now and again. These accidents were few and far between whilst camping as the potty was always in easy reach.

A good habit that my daughter has got into at home is pouring the contents of her potty down the toilet. What we didn’t anticipate was in the absence of a toilet she would  just pour the contents of her potty straight onto the floor. ..of our very lovely and expensive tent carpet. Oooops :/

5. Make sure you know where the potty is at all times.

Again this may seem like a very basic tip but I’m sure you don’t want your child’s potty to end up looking like ours… after it’s been driven over by your car!

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