(This post has been updated to address some of the concerns parents had in the comments with sleeping a baby in their infant carseat.(September, 2017))
Recently, I was asked by a few friends for any tips on keeping their babies warm at night while camping. This might well be one of the most challenging aspects of camping with a baby!
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm
- When our kids were under 1 year old, we slept them in their infant car seat, with straps fastened. They were very warm with a J.J. Cole Bundle Me (http://jjcolecollections.com/original-bundleme) in there with them.
HOWEVER, recent guidelines suggest that we should not let a baby sleep in their carseat for prolonged amounts of time. Pay special attention to this warning:
Never allow a baby, asleep or awake, to remain in a seat when the straps are loosened or unbuckled, so he can’t maneuver into a position that compromises his breathing.
This being said, I would sleep baby in a travel bassinet (link at bottom) right by my side, so I could address their warmth throughout the night. (We aren’t big co-sleepers). I would layer them as mentioned below.
2. Depending on how cold it is at night, I usually layer as follows – onesie, light weight long johns (we have REI brand), fleece pants and top, long sleeve sleep sac, sleeveless sleep sac, down coat/vest, hat… and yes, then they cannot really move. And this is the most layering we have done – probably 40 degrees at night. I would probably just use sleep sacs and a hat- with a tighter fitting long john or sleep n’ play underneath if it was 60ish degrees. We have a lightweight Patagonia hooded long john top (pictured) that I LOVE because I can pull the hood up to keep Esme’s head warm at nights, yet it isn’t so bulky that she fights it or has it pull down over her face while she sleeps.
4.You can test how cold/hot they are by feeling the back of her neck, that is how I usually check throughout the night, cause it will be coldest 3-5am.
5. Don’t layer them up too early, they’ll sweat, then get really cold. We’ve made that mistake. Often, when I wake up to pee at 2am, I add a sleep sac or hat before I go back to bed.