Baby-Friendly Camping

We have made quite a few adjustments throughout the camper and in our outdoor space to ensure Little Bird’s safety – and our sanity.

As we discussed in a previous post, our top priority was ensuring Little Bird had a safe place to sleep and play. Once we got her makeshift crib set up, we were able to tackle other baby-proofing challenges.

Outside of her sleeping arrangements, the biggest concern we had was the screen door (and the stairs that immediately follow). There is no lock on the screen door and with both Little Bird and Daisy being drawn to it like moths to a light, we knew we needed to come up with a creative solution. We have installed a grate along the bottom to keep them both from leaning directly on the screen. We would love to keep them from leaning on the door in general, but we do not live in that reality. Because there is only a sliding window and a very easy-to-open latch keeping Little Bird from tumbling out of the camper and down the stairs, we installed a baby lock (one of those that is meant for toilets and refrigerator doors), so we can keep the main door open but lock the screen. While we installed this 100% for her, I find comfort in locking it when I am here working by myself and want to keep the main door open.

Right now, all of the drawers and cabinets are Little Bird-proof in their design. We know we may need to add locks at some point, but for now, she does not bother them and she cannot open them. That is on the “we will deal with it when it becomes an issue” list.

The heater vents are all in the floor and to prevent all the things from falling down (or being dropped down by little fingers), we inserted a screen into each vent to catch the majority of things that could fall down. This screen keeps the Cheerios out of the vent system and allows us to easily retrieve anything that is “accidentally” dropped down there (like rocks and sticks and things).

We were unable to bring a traditional high chair with us, though that is what Bird was accustomed to using at the house. Instead, we bought a chair that hooks onto the table, so she is able to eat with us and still be secure. This chair is super portable, which makes it really easy to use on outdoor picnic tables as well. When we are eating on the road, such as having a picnic in a park or an impromptu snack on the tailgate, we keep a baby-sized camp chair in the truck that we can set up quickly. It has a tray and makes eating on the go incredibly easy.

Our new lifestyle has us spending a lot more time outside and having a safe, contained place for Little Bird to play was vital. We considered using our traditional pack n’ play, but it was cumbersome to set up and did not give her a lot of space to play. After some research, we found an incredible play yard that is so easy to set up, is big enough that an adult can get in and play with her, and has an adjustable canopy to keep the sun out. This play yard is essential on moving days, as it gives us a safe place for her to play while we finish packing and hooking up the camper or while we set things up (this limits the time she has to sit in her car seat too, which is always a win).

As Little Bird becomes independently mobile and starts getting more and more curious, we know there will be other safety obstacles to tackle. Unlike in our house where we had 2 flights of steps and needed baby gates and creative solutions to contain her, the camper is a true delight in the sense that there are really not many places to go or things to get into. Keeping a vigilant eye on potential issues, so we can at least attempt to stay a little ahead of her, is key to ensuring we provide a safe environment for her – inside and out, which is our #1 goal.

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