Six tips for hiking with a baby

Hiking with a baby sounds like an impossible task. Hiking in itself is exhausting and when you couple it with a baby tagging along with you, it becomes all the more challenging. The idea of taking your baby out in the wilderness scares some parents. But, however difficult and scary it may seem, hiking with a baby isn’t as big a challenge as you think. We are here to make that job a tab bit easier.

New moms or dads tend to have reduced levels of activity or physical exercise once they welcome a little bundle of joy in their lives. The amount of mental and emotional stress takes a toll on their body and the task of nurturing a baby in itself is exhausting. The fact that the baby’s survival depends on them, makes parents forget about themselves and their health.

But, hiking is an activity that solves a lot of their problems. After being cooped up inside the house for several days, hiking brings a fresh change for both, the parents and the baby. Going out for a hike allows them to come out of their tiresome routine and explore nature. A whiff of fresh air replenishes the exhausted parents. It is far more appealing than those sleepless nights and endless diaper changes they have gone through. Also, it accounts for the physical exercise that is much-needed by their bodies.

As a matter of fact, babies love the new experience as well. They are used to seeing the same people and surroundings every day for their entire life, quite literally. And the chance of going on a hike lets them experience new things. Feeling the warmth of the sun or a cold breeze, hearing new voices, seeing the wide array of colors of nature or even smelling different odors turn on all their senses.

Here are some tips for you to make the most of a hike with a baby on board.

1)      Start slow

Don’t get too ambitious and plan an exhausting hike for your first outing with the baby. Start slow and choose a shorter trail which will allow you and your baby to get used to the idea of a hike. While considering a shorter hike, make sure that it doesn’t have a challenging terrain. Pick a hike trail wisely which is safe for the baby and has gentle slopes. Also, a well-shaded trail is always better for you and your baby as compared to the one where you are in the sunlight for a long time.

2)      Choose an appropriate and good quality carrier

It is not possible for you to hold your baby for the entire trail. The baby slings or wraps that you might use at home or for running quick errands aren’t a suitable choice either. You need to make sure that your baby is getting the right amount of back support. Also, carrying a baby takes a toll on your body as well. An appropriate baby carrier that can be strapped around your body provides a proper back support to the baby and reduces the stress on your body. Invest in a good carrier have a great hiking experience.

3)      Carry the essentials for your baby

Imagine that while you are hiking, your baby decides to pee and when you look for a diaper, you can’t find the diaper bag because, for some reason, you left it in your car. No parent would ever dare to imagine this situation, let alone be in it. So, cut yourself some slack and make sure to bring the diaper bag packed with all the baby essentials including diapers, wipes, pacifiers and a pair of clothes which you need after the hike.

4)      Bring a Hiking Partner along

Hiking with a baby can be all the more challenging if you are alone. It is always wise to go with a partner because four hands are always better than two when handling a baby. You and your partner can take turns to carry the baby which makes the hike a much easier one. Also, in case of an emergency, your partner can run for help while you stay with your baby.

5)      Comfortable and appropriate dress for the baby

The last thing you want to do is make your baby cry because they aren’t comfortable. Make sure to dress them up in breathable clothes because after all, they are going to be stuck in the carrier for a lot of time. Carry suitable covers or hats for proper sun protection. Keep them covered to protect them from the sun or insects because it is not advised for you to use sunscreens or insect repellents on your baby’s skin.

6)      Preparedness

Before you hit the trails, make sure that your baby is well-fed and well-rested. A fussy baby isn’t what you are hoping for. So, make your baby as comfortable as possible. Also, be ready for a nursing session on the trail because you never know when your baby suddenly becomes hungry. Make sure to wear the right clothing to nurse your baby. A nursing tank that can easily be snapped is a great choice. Carry a cover up if you aren’t comfortable nursing your baby in public.

If you are still in doubt whether you should take your baby out in the wilderness or not, start with smaller adventures instead. Go for a walk in a park or around your neighborhood. It will have the same impact on your baby. Keep a close eye on them and their reactions. If they don’t seem happy about their new adventure, a hike is off your to-do list for a long time. But, if they love going out, it will be an indicator that you can take your chances and a plan a hike for you and your baby.

So, don’t get too overwhelmed and remind yourself that hiking is something that you would always want your child to experience and for that, you need to start somewhere. Make sure to follow these tips to make the most of your adventurous hike without leaving your little baby out of the fun.

Mandy Wright
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