As most of you know, we’ve been on the adventure of our lives for some time now. (If you don’t know, you can read about how our triplet journey started here, the birth story here, and all about how the triplets are doing now at one year old here.) It seems like each new day brings a new adventure just through everyday life. Yet, we just embarked on something we have never before attempted: vacation with 5 kids under 5! The triplets just turned 1 year old and this past weekend we took a road trip to go camping in beautiful Traverse City, MI. Yes, you heard that right, camping. Camping with 1 year old triplets, a 3 year old and a 4 year old. Some of you may call it crazy, but at this point everything we do is a challenge so I’ve chosen to just embrace it!
*This post contains affiliate links that help support all our kids for the time I am a SAHM. If you see an item you like, please purchase though my link 🙂 See my disclosure for more info.*
We are a family and a team. Our two older kids deserve to get out and explore and have fun. So for us, the triplets just add more to the adventure, they don’t hold us back from it.
All that being said, there is a lot of planning and prep work that had to happen for this to actually work. The trip was somewhat impromptu, so I had about 7-10 days to make sure we would have everything we needed to survive and thrive this trip. (Enter Amazon…thank you for quick delivery!)
So today I am sharing with you what I did to prepare and stay organized for our vacation and hopefully give you the confidence to embrace the adventure and tackle camping with your multiples or many young children! (Be sure to check back to read about how our trip actually went!)
The Right Gear
When we made the decision to go for it and take on camping last weekend I knew that the right gear (as always) would play a major part in our success. One of the first things that came to mind was “How will we feed the babies?” I love, love, love our 4moms High Chairs, (you can find them along with my other must have baby gear to survive the first year with multiples here) but they don’t exactly scream ‘portability’…especially not when you’d have to pack up three!
So I went ahead and starting searching Pinterest for some version of a portable high chair and I found this gem:
Not only was this small, portable and lightweight, but it looked just like a camping chair with a tray. Too cute! The triplets were able to enjoy the “camping experience” right along with us. *wink*
I also realized that I would need to pack their baby snacks, bibs, sippy cups, bottle brush and soap, and our Boon Grass for drying, since there is no dishwasher in our in-law’s camper. To try and cut down on the things we’d have to pack I decided to only pack two sets of sippy cups (so 6 sippys vs. 12), and try to wash them as soon as they finished. I truly despise hand washing bottles or sippy cups but I survived lol!
The next obstacle to tackle was sleeping arrangements for all five of our kiddos. Thankfully we were not exactly “roughing it”; my in-laws have a large camper that sleeps ten. This is great since just our part of the family makes up seven people! There are bunks and a pull out for sleeping and room enough to squeeze in three pack n’ plays. We already had pack n’ plays for the triplets, but they had not had much experience sleeping in them.
So, per the advice of a fellow triplet mom who recently traveled with her babies, we had them practice napping in them for a few days beforehand. That way, they would not have to adjust both to a new bed and a new environment. This was a great idea and the triplets ended up sleeping just fine; they were pretty worn out at the end of each day.
We put them to bed as close to their normal bedtime as possible in the camper, while the rest of us stayed outside by the fire making s’mores (YUM!) Before putting the triplets to bed we made sure to get PJ’s on and grab our toothbrushes so we could brush our teeth in the campground bathrooms. When it was time for the rest of us to go to bed, we quietly snuck into the camper to our beds. The babies were so worn out they never woke or even stirred!
*Tip: I would never normally let the triplets miss a nap because they would get way too cranky, however, I really wanted them to sleep deeply enough at night that the rest of us could sneak in the camper to go to bed after they were asleep. So, I did not put them down for a nap while we were camping. They were so busy and distracted at all the new things that they stayed happy despite it.
Ok, so let’s be real, the beach without kids is not the same as going to the beach with kids lol! I had seen this play out before when we only had two kids and I was determined to make it as low stress as possible with all five. There were two items I knew that we’d need for the beach and two items I knew that we’d need for the water.
For the beach I wanted to be sure that the babies were able to stay cool in the shade. We already had our Summer Infant Pop n’ Play Portable Playard with the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Full Coverage Canopy but I also decided to purchase a sun shelter. I had heard about the sun shelters in one of my “moms of multiples” groups on Facebook and found one at our local Aldi store. While I think it will be useful in the future, the one I found wasn’t big enough to put the playyard wasn’t big enough to put the play yard in it which was a bummer. If I could do it over I would look for a bigger one like this one, Oileus X-Large 4 Person Sun Shelter.
For the water we packed our Puddle Jumpers for the “big kids” and our three infant floats for the triplets. Everyone had a great and safe time!
*Tip: This trip would have been a lot harder without the extra set of eyes and hands from my in-law, our kiddos grandparents. They say it takes a village, well this is even more true with multiples, especially when going somewhere new. If you have friends or family willing to come along and help, it will make everything easier!
Of course, we cannot forget about the question of “How do we transport three babies everywhere?” I decided to pack our Peg Perego Triplette Stroller for going downtown and into sourvenir shops and our Step2 Choo Choo Wagon for navigating the beach sand. I am so thankful that we have our “bus” (aka: Ford Transit 350 XLT) that can actually fit all of this gear that we needed, even the big stuff! The bus was loaded down lol!
If you don’t drive a bus like we do, then you may have to pick and choose what you want to bring depending on the available trunk/hatch space that you have.
The Essentials are still Essential
Before leaving for your trip don’t get so caught up with the “big things” that you forget the essentials! We packed Honest Co. baby wipes for wiping the triplets down each night and after meals. I also just decided to pack a whole box of diapers and wipes so that I knew we would have enough…you never know when all three might have poopy blowouts! Thankfully the camper had a working fridge because the triplets now drink cow’s milk, but we had to find the nearest grocery store to purchase some since we couldn’t transport it in the bus the whole way there. Lastly, I decided to bring our video baby monitor and sound machine.
There you go, my go to gear and tips for surviving and thriving while camping with multiples or many young children…in our case, both! The question is, are you brave enough to embrace the adventure?
Did you ever attempt to go camping with a young baby or babies? If so, tell me about it in the comments. Also, be sure to leave any go-to gear that you would recommend to other mama’s for camping with kids that I didn’t include here.