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Old 04-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #1
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Camping with toddlers.

We took our 2 year old toddlers camping this past weekend.... ugh. Lol. Last year they did great, when they were smaller we could put them in a pack and play no big deal. Now they are to big for it and oh my... they are in to everything, want to see everyone. Saturday night we basic lyrics had to pin one down (holding and cuddling of course) and make her sit still, she was fighting sleep so bad. It was around midnight when we got her to crash. What are some tips yall have?
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:25 PM   #2
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Wait a year or two?😄😄😄

Lots of activity during the day to tire them out sometimes works. With some of ours a ride in the car sometimes helped.

It's just not easy sometimes.


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Old 04-25-2016, 05:34 PM   #3
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Even during the terrible twos children are starting to develop reasoning along with a formidable amount of will - usually expressed in the ability to wail "NOOOOOOOOO" and sound like an air raid siren. The morning AFTER one of those "I can't sleep I won't sleep" nights - you've got to have the strength of a samuri, and the willpower and strategy. DO NOT let the children sleep in late or skip any activity or take a morning nap. Drag them everywhere for a couple of hours at least, then ask them "Why do YOU think you're not having as much fun as you'd like? What can YOU do tonight to make sure that you're feeling better tomorrow? A little gentle guidance and they'll "plan" to go to bed on earlier. You of course will have to remind them of what they so wisely decided... and nudge them into tooth brushing and PJ's, but they'll go a bit more quietly.

I am not a parent. I have the utmost respect for anyone who signs up for that 25 year enlistment. (Raised a sister for about 6 years - ooof!) NOT being a parent has taught me that the deep obsessive bonds parents feel for their young are both wonderful, and really create one big problem - Anxiety. "I must be a bad parent if I can't get them to fall asleep or eat their peas or want to hug me every time I want to show my mother-in-law that her son didn't marry a total klutz."

I was flying home in a 3/4 empty plane once and immediately behind me were a young couple with a whimpering baby. The parents were killing themselves trying to comfort the baby probably thinking that the altitude change had caused an earache... I didn't want to say anything or make a fuss and ask the attendant to move my seat, but after almost half an hour I finally I got up, walked back, sat cross legged in the aisle and said to the harried mother "here hand her to me for a minute". I plopped the kid on my lap, leaned back and for about 8 minutes simply relaxed and mimed to the parents "breathe" and "be still" or something similar. Nine minutes later - mom and dad were drooling more than the kid, but baby was down for the count. I gently put her back in the carrier and crept back to my seat.

Two year olds are a lot more wiggly and strong... so with them you sit quietly in the darkened room and pick them up and put them back in bed somewhere between 4 and 28 times... no expostulations or impatience... it's just an hour of "how to fall asleep" lessons. You'll be just as patient when you're teaching them to tie their shoes - so no drama. DULL makes sleepy!
Staying in "zen mode" isn't easy especially if you had parents who "solved" the problem with a swat or a round dozen... but you're TEACHING a behavior.

A shot of apricot brandy may help too... for YOU not the kid!
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:06 PM   #4
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Was on a flight with a harried mom and child. Mom had been up traveling 36 hours straight. I introduced myself, took the baby on my lap, and convinced him to relax and sleep. Mom conked out in about three heartbeats for the rest of the 8 hour flight. It helps to have had four of your own, and remember how hard it could be. Baby slept just as long. I suspect her anxiety went straight to the baby and kept them both stirred up.


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Old 04-25-2016, 06:10 PM   #5
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I thought about Brandy the other night... for them... haha. They are so good at home, we have a routine and it's easy to follow. Put in crib, turn on TV with timer, close door walk away. Harder in camper with no way to really confine them lol. They do pretty good, just hyper and excited about something new. Until they get used to it... I'm sorry to any campers in the same campground as i! We have learned some minor lessons, like keeping the door dead bolted as someone knows how to work the lever and has fallen out on her head a time or two. (You would think after twice she would learn not to do that) have to keep the door to the bathroom closed because they will play in the toilet (ew!) It's easy to baby proof a house, harder for a camper! You have to teach a stubborn 2 year old to just leave things alone instead of just making it unaccessable...
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:14 PM   #6
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Been taking our grandaughters once a month since they were 18 mo and 3yrs. Most nights are very easy if we keep them busy all day. Playgrounds and hiking, followed by more playgrounds and hiking. We keep a good selection of age appropriate dvds for bedtime ONLY. Seems the bedtime movie makes them look forward to settling down for the night. They start looking through the movies right after supper in anticipation.

We have puzzles, mr potato head and other low key activities for rain.

We really enjoy having them, and they are learning to play without ipads and video games. Again, they know the movies are for bedtime only. We just keep them busy and tired, and they are ready to settle down by dark.

We had to remind ourselves that camping with them is for them. When the girls are not with us, we call it adult camping. A completely different camping
experience. We love both versions equally. Just pack differently.

The girls are now 6 And 8, and they anxiously look forward to our monthly camping experience.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Even during the terrible twos children are starting to develop reasoning along with a formidable amount of will - usually expressed in the ability to wail "NOOOOOOOOO" and sound like an air raid siren.
A skill they will sadly reacquire somewhere around the age of twelve…

I'm reminded of a stay at Fort Pickens Campground last year. Clear across the loop from my campsite was a family with a preteen. As they were packing up their pop-up to head home, this kid wailed at the top of her formidable lungs, over and over, "I DON'T WANT TO GO!" while doing everything she could to unpack everything they were packing up. Everybody in fifty-six campsites had to listen to her. Even going inside and trying to drown her out with air conditioning and television didn't work. I could still hear her from hundreds of feet away. The loudest human scream on record is 129dB, and this kid had to be pushing that limit.

That performance lasted for an hour or so, when suddenly it changed to another hour or so of an endless refrain of "YOU RUINED MY LIFE!" Clearly the parents must have said or done something to the kid, but it clearly didn't shut her up.

No idea how she could keep going at that volume for hours on end without even stopping to get a sip of water and without developing laryngitis. But when the family finally pulled out of the campground about two hours after the official check-out time due to her interminable tantrum, and with the girl still screaming her lungs out in the car, I'm sure the whole campground— and even folks on the other side of Pensacola Bay who surely heard her— must have breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief. I know I did!

Compared to that, give me a two-year-old any day!
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:28 PM   #8
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We have 2 children - 8 & 10. We tent camped for the first 3 years when they were first born. When we got the airstream (they were 1 & 3) life definitely got easier... Especially when it was cold. Or raining. Or both cold and raining

They'll settle in and love it - just bring indoor and outdoor games, their favorite toys, a shovel so they can dig dirt and look for bugs and stuff, etc.. We do our family movie nights in the airstream...

Hey you could be at home telling them to get their face out of an iPad or television but instead you are out exploring the world with them. Good for you, they'll take these memories with them forever.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:53 PM   #9
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I love making memories with them! They are camping in the exact same camper I camped in when I was a baby! These are pictures from this weekend. They loved it, and just didn't want to miss anything. They didn't take a nap all day Saturday. That's when we had the problems.... to much to see and do and they didn't want to miss a moment! I just can't wait till they are slightly older, listen a little better, and I don't have to be on top of them 24/7!!
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:25 PM   #10
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2 Year olds are so much fun! But exhausting. I second the tips about tiring them out. Go fishing, shovels and pails, chase them around. The world is theirs, not yours. By four, they can actually hike on their own, especially if they know there is buried treasure or pirates or something to watch out for. My kids are now out on their own and they love to back pack, explore, whatever, and they still love to spend time with us camping. And now they are the ones running us ragged.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:31 PM   #11
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2 yr old and 1 yr old here, been full timing for a year. Started out two under two. Let them play.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:48 PM   #12
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Maintain the routine. Maintain the routine. Maintain... you see the theme.

We've got three kids, three year old twins and a five year old. We took them camping from a very young age. The first year with the twins, when they still woke up at night, was not much fun - we went to bed with them at 7:00 so we would get at least some sleep.

Now, things are much easier, they are turning four this summer, and we love the camping experience.

But rule #1 remains - don't change the routine. Dinner at 6:00, at the latest, shower, then bed by 7:30. Story, black-out curtains up - done. We block out outside noise with a white noise generator. They wake up around 7:30 to 8:00 the following morning.

No kid stays up until midnight, unless the parents allow it to stay up until midnight. Kids thrive with predictability and routine makes them feel secure. It's a parent's job to provide that security.
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:43 AM   #13
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My kids are 4 and 3. They've been camping regularly since 6 months old. Last year we did over 30 days and 7500 miles. My goal is at latest one camping trip per month and they look forward to it.
I agree with sticking to routine as far as time and getting ready for bed goes and wake up time. I admit that while camping I often put then to bed on double gaucho with me laying there and then move them after they go to sleep. This keeps them from getting up and ensures there are no other distractions in trailer. After a busy day of play they are usually asleep in 10 minutes or less and easily moved.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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I think their problem this past weekend was that it was the first trip if the year, and what worked last year doesn't work now. We have to figure out how to do this all over again! We have a soverign, twin beds, rear bath. The girls get their little couches in the front of the camper, so they can get up and run. We have to figure out now how to get them to lay down and go to sleep. They are in cribs at home slander not toddler beds so they don't understand the concept yet of its time to go to bed don't get up.
I can't wait till next time we go, we will have so much fun. The girls get to get out and explore this world some more and they love every minute of it. We just need toddler friendly things to do for stubborn hard headed twin 2 year olds! Lol
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