Hiking with a baby can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your little one. It’s a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, get some exercise, and bond with your baby. However, it can also be challenging if you’re not prepared. Here are some important things to keep in mind when hiking with a baby.
Safety should always be your top priority when hiking with a baby. Make sure to choose a trail that is appropriate for your baby’s age and development. If you’re new to hiking with a baby, start with a short, easy trail to get used to it. Always bring a first aid kit, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Make sure your baby is properly dressed for the weather and terrain, and that you have enough food, water, and supplies for both of you.
I truly cannot stress enough how important hydration is for both you and baby. If youre breastfeeding, baby will likely be wanting to eat more so have a plan to stay hydrated or supplement if needed. And for my formula mamas pack more than you think you'll need just in case.
Investing in a high-quality baby carrier that is designed for hiking is crucial. Look for one that is comfortable for you to wear and allows you to easily adjust the fit to accommodate your growing baby. Make sure the carrier has good support for your baby's head and neck, and that your baby is securely strapped in. Avoid using carriers that are not specifically designed for hiking, as they may not offer the necessary support or be comfortable for long periods of time.
Check out my blog here for more on choosing the right hiking carrier (coming soon!).
And if hiking with baby in a carrier sounds like a nightmare, then consider a stroller friendly hike! While you may be more limited, there are many wide and flat paths throughout many parks that would work well with a durable jogging stroller. That could be a good option for those not wanting or unable to keep baby in a carrier.
When planning your hike, keep in mind your baby’s schedule. Try to schedule your hike around your baby’s nap time or feeding time to ensure that your baby is comfortable and content. If your baby is prone to fussiness, consider bringing along a favorite toy or pacifier to help keep them calm. If your baby is old enough to walk, plan to take breaks and let them explore and play along the way.
Be aware of the weather conditions before you start your hike. Avoid hiking in extreme heat or cold, and be prepared for changes in the weather. If you’re hiking in an area with a risk of thunderstorms, be prepared to seek shelter quickly. Make sure to dress your baby appropriately for the weather, and bring along extra layers and rain gear if necessary.
Speaking of dressing your baby appropriately for weather, check out my blog post on Merino base layers here (coming soon!).
Plan to take frequent breaks throughout your hike to give your baby a chance to rest, stretch, and eat if necessary. Stop for water and snacks, and take time to enjoy the scenery along the way. Remember, the goal of hiking with a baby is to have fun and create positive experiences, so take your time and enjoy the journey!
Hiking with a baby can be a wonderful way to create memories and explore the great outdoors together. By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your little one.