We have a 10 month old baby boy who spends lots of time with me in the garden on a site that is not near our home. Now that the Georgia summer heat and humidity is on its way, I need to keep the mosquitoes off of him and give him a place to safely play that he can't escape from. I was thinking of getting some sort of tent, but thought it would be prudent to see what other people are doing or have tried.
I have a backpack with a....wow I can't think of the name. Thing you pull over to shade them...... Anyway, Daughter is 2 and still wants to be in the backpack. Otherwise they just kind of play next to wherever I happen to be. We don't have Georgia heat or sun though. I think a tent couldn't hurt.
My little guy hated being without me, and so it was wearing him (which was too hot later in the summer), placing him in the shade while he screamed for me, or just not going out during the heat/bugs. Needless to say, I got very little gardening done last year (my guy is 20 months old, now). I did see this idea posted around, and if your guy will play happily by himself, it may work wonderfully for you!
As for bugs, rubbing garlic on clothing/skin works pretty well at keeping most mosquitoes at bay for us. It doesn't work perfectly, but it helps a lot! My husband needs it more than I, as mosquitoes love him. So, he crushes the garlic, cuts it in half, and then rubs the cut side all over his exposed skin. It seems to help with the hornets, too. I just put a little on myself here and there, which is enough for me.
Not near your home? As in a long walk across your own acreage? Or some other plot of land you have to drive to?
Playpen with a sheet for shade works but most are not small enough mesh for skeeters. You can also use a cheap mosquito net made for a bed over the top.
Lots of mosquito solutions for campers that work, look at rei or campmor for ideas.
Do not leave anything in the garden overnight, otherwise something will take up residence inside. Usually ants.
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My wife has brought out a pack and play setup like in the picture above. I have tried the backpack with mixed results.
With my youngest I just sat him next to me on the ground in the garden and he would be happy just checking things out for a bit. After a while he would need a change of scenery so we would go to the other side of the garden. Garden tools in their hands are always a plus as well.
Regarding the mosquitoes plant things like catnip, lemon balm and citronella and that should keep them at bay.
Four tomato stakes, and a surplus army cot mosquito net. You can find them for around 15-20 bucks. Super transportable. I used the exact setup with sticks and net, to sleep under, while traveling and camping. Also used it to keep birds out of my blue berries.
I'd say that the times of day where the heat is too much for babies, maybe it is too hot for grownups too? Most parts of the world baby sits on momma's back in some kind of babyccarrier (sling, wrap, Asian babyccarrier) while she works - you can get those in sun factor cloth too AFAIK. When it is too hot to do that it is time for siesta. We live in Spain and during the summer months we do gardening work morning and evening - midday is spent indoors or in the shade, relaxing and eating.
Mosquitoes don't like citronella- I rub myself with a citrus leaf when the sun goes down (we only have mosquitos out in the evening), and that keeps them off of me until bedtime - we have netting in the bedroom. It only lasts 4 hours, so it will need to be re-applied once in a while.
When I was in India, I saw everyone using these little pop up mesh tents for the babies. They might be too small if your little guy likes to walk and crawl. I would probably use a bigger tent or a playpen with a cover. They have mosquito nets for pack n plays if you have something like that already.