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Blog: Traveling With Kids
Camping with noisy children

It's one of the worst things about camping - the walls are fabric thin!  As a parent, when your child wakes up in the middle of the night and starts to cry, you hope desparately that everyone else either stays asleep or is hugely generous and forgiving.  Then when your little darling wakes up with the sun and starts to bounce of the walls because she's so excited about camping, you again hope that everyone either stays asleep or is hugely generous and forgiving and you start to wonder how many people you should offer pancakes and coffee to in order to mollify any grumpy neighbors.

If your kids are waking up, make sure they are not cold.  It is much colder in tents at night than at home (except in the middle of summer in the desert) and kids do get cold easily as they tend to throw the covers off as they move around in their sleep. (How do we learn not to do that?)  Solutions are to make sure they are dressed warmly to start with, use hats (which may need to be put back on), use warm sleeping bags and put an extra blanket under their sleeping bag.  Use heat reflecting blankets if you think it's going to be really cold.  We have down jackets that we use as extra blankets for the kids when it's REALLY cold.  And be prepared to bring them into your sleeping bag (heeding the dangers of co-sleeping, but I think it's better to have a warm and happy child!)

Prepare them ahead of time to let them know that sound carries very well in a campground.  Remind them that they want to be good neighbors and remind them in the morning to keep their voices soft.  You can even make it a game to see who can be the quietest (this doesn't always work, but hey, some peace and quiet is better than none at all, right?)

If your kids are likely to be up late, let them know ahead of time of the quiet times of the camp, so that they know to expect when to be quiet.  Do try to get them to calm down at least half an hour before the quiet time.  It does take time to wind down.  Sitting quietly round the fire after marshmallows and S'Mores can have a soporific effect.  Try to stop the sugar intake an hour before bed if possible.  Otherwise you'll be fighting not only the exciting nature of camping, but the extra jolt of energy from all that great camping food!

And when its the middle of the day, let your kids be kids, make as much noise as they want to, run them around and tire them out (and get them to bed early to avoid any meltdowns) - we've found that's the best way to get a quiet evening!

posted on: 5/8/2008 1:00:00 PM by Katherine Macey
category: Travel

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Traveling With Kids

by Katherine Macey

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About Katherine:

Katherine Macey, Ph.D., is a professional organizer who is passionate about helping people improve their lives and achieve their goals. She works mainly with academics in their offices and with residential clients in their home offices.

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