I recently had a friend ask how I deal with a child that still takes naps while adventuring. After 4 kids and many failures we have found 4 ways that have worked pretty well for us. I will start by saying that each kid is different, so one way might work for one kid and not the other.
#1 - Go on a drive and explore
If my kids aren’t strapped down they don’t slow down. Going on a drive is a great solution to be able to explore an area while letting your toddler/baby get a little shut eye. We’re often exploring new areas so we’ll sometimes plan a morning hike and than plan a scenic drive so we can enjoy our surroundings and get a lay of the land. We have found that this works – especially well when we are visiting any of the National or State parks and there are lots of areas/lookouts/etc. to explore. This is even great for my older kids as well because it gives them time to relax, snack, regain their energy and get a little snooze in if needed.
#2 - Go on a hike with them in the baby carrier
1. Make sure you have the sun visor that comes with the baby carrier or a hat, plus sunscreen.
2. Have an extra layering piece or small blanket to prop their heads up in a comfortable position. My baby carrier allows me to move Shem up or down in the carrier, so when it’s close to his nap time I’ll move him down lower for better head support.
3. Most baby carriers have a kickstand… I use this A LOT!! If Shem has fallen aleep and I want to relax I put him and the pack in some shade and either chill next to him or play with the kids close by. I use it like a highchair as well… keeps Shem from crawling all over the place, so I can feed him.
#3 - Let them nap by you while you enjoy the view/shade/etc.
This is definitely my favorite solution… what mama bear (or papa bear) doesn’t like to snuggle a non-wiggly baby?! I love hiking to a beautiful area, holding Shem in my arms and rocking him back and forth. Once his eyes close that’s when I get to lay down with him on my tummy and enjoy these rare squiggle-free moments.
#4- Fully commit and just take a nap in the tent!
Let Dad go fish, watch any other kids you have, or….do whatever! Let him figure it out while you relax! This can be the most challenging if your kids take awhile to fall asleep, want to be out playing with their sibling(s). If you try it just make sure your tent is in the shade – otherwise it’s likely to get pretty hot in there!
You don’t have to stick to their nap time schedule, be flexible and most of all be patient!! We’ve found that when you’re out and about, our kids usually won’t adhere to their typical schedule. This often makes for tired kiddos at the end of the day! If you keep your day filled with activity, they don’t seem to have time/attention to get cranky.
Every mom and child is different so find what works for you! If you already have then please let us know in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by! #plantwildroots #wildrootsrundeep
Great content! Great photos! We love the Osprey day pack for our little man’s naps. Keeping easy snacks in a reachable pocket is huge for our hiking success in the pack. Definitely had a steep learning curve on a month long “camping” trip last year with our 8 month old. Inspiring posts, good work!
As a registered backpacker, if you were to go missing, there’s at least a record of which campsite you would be at.