5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 1

By Margaret Smith

Camping is a fun and inexpensive activity that lets your kids spend time with you and the great outdoors. But as with all things when children are involved, there are some challenges that lay ahead when planning a family camping trip.

One of these is getting children to sleep well in their tents, especially when they aren’t so used to roughing it just yet. So whether you’re a pro-camper bringing your kids along for the very first time or just looking to try something new with your family, here are five great ways to get your children to sleep easily while camping.

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 2Plan to sleep well

Invest in lightweight, durable, and comfortable sleeping pads for you and your family, and make sure to plan out sleeping arrangements. For families traveling with toddlers, the Travel Channel recommends bringing along a pack and play to serve as a familiar bed for sleeping and as a playpen during the day.

Stay close to your usual bedtime routine

5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping 3Kids tend to eat and sleep on a schedule, so be sure to stay close to their routines whenever you are camping. If they brush their teeth, get into pajamas, and read books while cuddling with you in their room before sleeping, make the necessary preparations so they can do the same when you are in your tents. Let them bring their favorite stuffed animal and blanket along to give them a sense of familiarity and make it easier for them to fall asleep.

Use white noise

Although some campers enjoy letting the music of nature lull them to sleep, young children and first-timers might not be as open to the sounds of Mother Nature’s critters in the dark. ParentMap Magazine suggests solving this issue by using a white noise app or music player to drown out unpleasant sounds and comfort your children as they try to sleep at unfamiliar spots. If possible, choose a campsite that’s well away from campsite entrances, loud gathering spots, or main roads to minimize noise.

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Wear them out

Sleeping in a tent can feel a lot more refreshing after a full day of hiking, swimming, and playing, as opposed to simply relaxing around the campsite all day. Enlist your children to help set up camp with easy tasks and give them fun activities to play and explore nature. Set up a rock tower activity or nature scavenger hunt like what Bryony Sumner did with her kids. These are a great way to get them to rest naturally in the evening after a fun-filled day.

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Have a fireside story time

Let your children wind down after the aforementioned activities by treating them to a fun campfire. Singing songs, sharing stories, and spending time simply gazing at the fire at the end of the day can help them relax and set the mood for sleep. To make the most of the evening and get better sleep, Leesa recommends keeping away all smartphones and tablets. Not only will this get them to be fully present during your family bonding hour, it also keeps them away from blue light that can mess up their body clock and keep them from sleeping later on.

 

Although camping with children can be daunting, kids can surprise you by how well they can adapt to their environment. With proper planning and the right attitude, your outdoor trip will be a success. And while you’re here, be sure to go through Camping For Women’s checklists for camping with children as well so you won’t forget anything!

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34 thoughts on “5 Great Ways to Get Your Children to Sleep Easily While Camping

  • July 16, 2018 at 8:37 am
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    Good tips I’ve gotten here. Toddlers are probably the most difficult task to handle during camping. My kid is a very stubborn one, maybe I’ll have to make an additional effort now using these tactics to get her to sleep.

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  • April 26, 2018 at 12:24 am
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    Great tips! All the things my parents used to do with us – well – except the white noise. No white noise back in the day but my dad used to always camp by streams so the sound of the water and crickets put us to sleep. And of course, not to many smores right before bed which was always a disappointment to us

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  • April 25, 2018 at 8:29 pm
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    I love camping and this made me reminisce about all my lovely family camping trips when I was a child. Totally agree about investing in decent camping sleep stuff, it makes all the difference. Fireside story time might be my favourite one of these ideas though!

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  • April 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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    I love this! We have a lot of plans to go camping this summer with all three of our kids!

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  • April 25, 2018 at 12:49 am
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    these are great ideas-we havent tried camping yet but i imagine it would tire the toddler out!

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  • April 24, 2018 at 10:47 am
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    Don’t have kids yet so maybe don’t realise the importance but all of the ideas sound fantastic especially the white noise bit, which might be applicable to us adults as well!

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  • April 24, 2018 at 2:40 am
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    To wear mine out, I used to make her play in a lot of water. She used to get so sleepy that by the time she was in front of the fire, she would doze off. Good tips for the parents. You have captured it well through your experience.

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  • April 23, 2018 at 10:49 pm
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    I don’t know about children but I can’t sleep well at night if I am not in my bed, at my home. But your tips are really great and practical not just for kids but for anyone like me!

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  • April 23, 2018 at 8:05 pm
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    I’ve never tried go camping with my youngest. My oldest 2 daughters have slept inside a tent, inside. They think it’s so fun. It would be good to try these tips out for real when we go out in nature.

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  • April 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm
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    The white noise is so important! My kids get so freaked out when they hear “nature” because they are used to a quiet environment.

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  • April 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm
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    I love this advice and I definitely need it. We have multiple camping trips planned for the summer and my kids are not great sleepers under the best of circumstances. We actually do always use white noise which helps a lot so I’m glad you mentioned it. Fireside storytime sounds like fun and something we will definitely need to include in our summer campouts!

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  • April 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm
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    We have camping in our summer plans and these are great tips to be able to get the kids to sleep. Thanks!

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  • April 23, 2018 at 6:54 am
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    Very useful tips for anyone camping out with the kids. While I don’t have kids, I’ve seen people close to me tiring themselves out trying to get their kids to sleep. I think these tips like wearing them out, would work wonders even in a non-camping scenario!

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  • April 23, 2018 at 4:07 am
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    The fireside tents look so good. Can imagine spending a quiet time there. These tips are amazing. Will forward them to my sis who goes camping with her kiddies. Psst… love the idea of using white noise. Cheers!!

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  • April 22, 2018 at 11:55 pm
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    We don’t have kids yet but these are some great tips! I’ll make sure to share them with my SIL!

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  • April 22, 2018 at 10:37 pm
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    Wearing them out is a good tip for any event or trip. Tired kids make for happy parents night sleep

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  • April 22, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    Great tips! I am so excited to take my girls on their first camping trip soon!

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  • April 22, 2018 at 8:05 pm
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    I like the “wearing them out” idea. 🙂 I’ve got little ones right now, and I have to admit, camping is not my favorite thing to do with them because of how difficult the sleep issue is! White noise is such a life saver!!

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  • April 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm
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    These are great tips. I just know from personal experience that I can’t sleep if I’m not sleeping in my bed. Regardless of where it is.

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  • April 22, 2018 at 4:39 am
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    This is a wonderful overview on how to get your children to sleep easily during camping! Story time around the camp fire is a great idea and would be such a wonderful experience for the kids. I also agree with you about investing in good quality pads – not only will it help your kids sleep well, but also the adults can get a good night’s rest too!

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  • April 22, 2018 at 3:55 am
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    I don’t have much experience camping, as my country (Singapore) is mostly urban throughout the entire country. Nevertheless, great tips you’ve consolidated here to engage your children and allow them to get their well-needed rest before heading out for another day of outdoor activities!

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  • April 21, 2018 at 11:26 pm
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    What a great idea to enlist your children to help set up camp with easy things to do. Then you can give them fun play activities as you explore nature together as a family.

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  • April 21, 2018 at 9:33 pm
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    I am so excited that it’s almost time to start camping again! I have planned a ton of activities to do with my kids this summer. I love that you added to wear them out. That is definitely something that will help them to sleep better. Great post!

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  • April 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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    These are all great tips and things that we are mindful of while camping with our three little ones!

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  • April 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm
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    We have a been bringing our son camping with us since he was 6 months old and the white noise maker is definitely helpful ! We also bring his stuffed animal giraffe that helps.

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  • April 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm
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    These are some really great tips! Using white noise seems like a really great idea.

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  • April 21, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    These are really useful tips. When my kids were still young and we went camping, getting them to sleep was a big issue. I guess it was hard for them to sleep in an unfamiliar place and not in their own beds. Plus of course, their level of excitement and sensory stimulation was still high even at night. I will pass the link to this article to my friends who still have young kids.

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  • April 21, 2018 at 7:03 am
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    Excellent tips! We have been camping every summer ever since my daughter was born and let me tell you…she slept like a pro every year! Perhaps we are lucky having a kid who loves to sleep in a tent? But we parents however sleep very badly!😭 But we still do it because in spite of sleepless nights we love everything around the camping life style!

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  • April 21, 2018 at 1:05 am
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    These are great tips for those who enjoy camping, especially with kids. I have never (and never will lol) go camping but I like the idea of camping in the backyard. I heard “glamping” is fun!!! 🙂

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  • April 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm
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    Great tips! Thanks for the mention too – we definitely agree that wearing the kids out during the day is one of the best ways to get them to fall asleep easily at night. And not too many marshmallows around the fire lol!
    I love the tip about routine – I think this is so important even when travelling – it really helps kids adapt to new situations and makes them feel secure. Little things like you suggest – reading books/brushing teeth are really good to keep doing on the road.

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  • April 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm
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    Great tips! My kids, who are now 21 and 19, look back on our camping trips with fondness. I definitely did a lot of these as well!

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  • April 20, 2018 at 8:20 pm
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    we use white noise in and out of the home haha!

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  • April 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm
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    Thank you for your tips! I haven’t yet taken my kids camping and my husband really wants to lol. Maybe we will one day soon. I’m thinking that we should try in the backyard first :-).

    Reply

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