Apr 15, 2013 at 10:05 am #1301761
We want to go out backpacking this summer with the latest addition to the family. He should be around 6 months old then, and I'm trying to figure out what sleeping system would be "best". Right now we have separate Western Mountaineering Ultralite bags, and separate NeoAirs XLite mattresses, for a total of 82oz. Should I get him a separate bag and pad, or should I just use quilts together (neither of us has ever slept in quilts before), etc. Price is not issue and so I don't really care if I don't reuse my existent gear, but weight is critical if we want to do it indeed. Any suggestions? ThanksApr 15, 2013 at 10:36 am #1976844
Daniel SaundersBPL Member
@bouldermanLocale: Front Range
Although this might not be the lightest overall option, it is an option. I made a child bag/quilt out of 1.1 oz ripstop and 5 oz climashield apex for my 2-month-old son. It weighs 14 oz. I plan on using a GG thinlight pad (~3 oz) for his insulation from the ground, so I'm looking at around 17 oz total for a sleeping system that should last him until he's 3-5 years old.
Here's the link to my MYOG thread with pics.Apr 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm #1976904
Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
I am pretty leery of having young kids in there own sleeping bags in cold weather. Babies are not good at regulating temperature and kick and squirm when they sleep. When we camp with our kids (currently 1 and 4) we always put them in the bag with us. Your body heat can help regulate their temperature and you can easily check on them throughout the night. If you are obese there is a serious threat of crushing you child and either way you should always be aware on current standards for preventing SIDS.Apr 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm #1977124
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Get a fat insulated jacket that fits YOU and use it for a sleeping bag for the baby (a synthetic one will launder easier if there are leaks). He'll be ready for a whole new rig next summer. You could use a quilt and just fold it to suit, even using safety pins or the like to keep it in place. That same quilt could be unfolded as he grows– lots of mileage that way.Apr 16, 2013 at 12:30 am #1977164
@stingray4540Locale: South Bay
Not backpacking, but we just got back from our 7mo olds first camping trip. I was vehemently against her sleeping in the bags with us for fear of SIDS(suffocating or crushing) but somehow my wife managed to get her into bed with her…
Anyways, it worked out, I think her mothering instincts kept her from rolling around or moving at all with the kid in the bed. I on the otherhand do not have that awarness, so baby slept on the OTHER side of mom. We were under unzipped bags though, blanket style.
Originally, the plan was to put her in a legless onesie, then a legged and footed fleece onesie, then a thin jacket, then inside a down bunting. Of course, the layers need to be adjusted to the temp, which is the hardest part because you have no idea how warm those are unless you are also wereing the same type of clothes.
Regardless of which direction you take, be aware that at that age he will be rolling around and wiggling A LOT.
All that being said, I would opt for a quilt and have the baby sleep next to mom but away from you. IF you think mom can trust herself to be aware of baby. It's a risk you have to weigh yourselves. Suffocation/crushing vs. Overheating/freezing.
Fair warning, they eat whatever they can get their hands on…
Apr 16, 2013 at 3:43 am #1977178
I'm agreeing with Dale Wambaugh – and have a good experience doing this with a 3 month old. We just placed Flora on a piece of foam matrass that we cut on her size (costs a dollar and almost no weight), then squeeze the whole package (Baby AND mat) inside my fleece (so no weight extra). Just don't close the zipper a 100% and keep her arms out. Not super warm but she's one hot girl that currently takes off her pyjama in middle of night, while kicking her blanket away (so maybe we're just lucky that her problem is rather overheating?) There's a picture of her sleeping system in an old BPL article we made: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/babyonboard.html#.UW0ssoL3U7AApr 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm #1977878
Jeremy GBPL Member
We have done co-sleeping with all our kids (now 5, 3 & 16 mths), so sleeping with them in a tent or under a tarp has been an easy transition. The boys (5 & 3) got sleeping bags for Christmas, so they will be on their own going forward, but our precious 16 mth old will sleep under a quilt between my wife and I when we get out this year. We have put them in fleece (footie onsie) pajamas as they don't always stay under the covers, but they have always slept very warm.
I had the boys out last fall and temps got down to about 25F (under a tarp) and I had tucked the boys into the bottom of an adult-size quilt & an adult-size sleeping bag and a quilt over myself. Let's just say that I didn't sleep much that night as they were constantly wiggling out of that set-up. And that's why I got them their own sleeping bags for Christmas so that i can tuck them into and zip them up when it's that cold, less chance of wiggling out. They both had stocking caps on and plenty of warm layers. Both said that they did not get cold when sleeping.
For a 6-month old, I would recommend one of the Fleece baby sleep sacks. It will help contain them and be nice and cozy for them.
As for being concerned about sleeping with your baby, I can tell you that for myself, I sleep very differently with a baby than I do when by myself. Certainly by no conscious effort, I just think it's in our nature as that's they way it's been for a million years. When you really start digging into all the anti-bedsharing statistics, it is a pretty weak argument that it is not as safe to co-sleep. Many countries that co-sleep more than we do in the US also have lower SIDS rates than we do. Just be sure to keep anything away from their face that could suffocate them (pillows, extra blankets, pillow-top mattress, etc.)
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