We are looking forward to taking the Parrot Street support crew away for a few nights under canvas this summer. Camping with kids is a great way to switch off from the usual digital distractions - and the perfect opportunity to get stuck into a good book! But we know from experience that making sure everyone gets enough sleep can be a challenge. We asked Bundle Beds Chief Bundler, Lucy Bartlett, to share her top tips for sleeping when camping.
Camping doesn’t have to be an exercise in endurance! I know that the idea of camping with the kids can often conjure up images of children rampaging across the fields delirious with lack of sleep; tantrums due to tiredness; no downtime for the adults…
One reason I created Bundle Beds was to make travelling and camping – especially with children – easier and less daunting. In fact, our two little boys (5 & 3 years old) tend to sleep better - early risers at home they have been known to sleep past 8am on a camping trip!
Here are our top tips for ensuring a good night's sleep...
Keep if familiar
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 – our boys have their own Tot-2-Ten 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.
- 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. We’ll be using our Parrot Street Book Club books for this!
- Block out the noise & light
Using a Bluetooth speaker to play audiobooks (mine love Winnie the Pooh and The Tractor Who Wants to Fall Asleep) whilst they drift off distracts from the general campsite noise – and a blackout inner tent for ‘bedrooms’ is a non-negotiable to avoid being up before the lark.
- Keep them cosy
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, 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.
- Choose 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.
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.
If you're struggling to know which bed to pick, then do take a look at our comparison chart for Bundle Beds to help you decide...