This post is a guest post by Angela Worley of lavidamom.com.
One of the joys of being a parent is sharing your hobbies and passions with your kids. You can only hope that as they grow, they will share your love for them. The outdoors has something for everyone no matter the age. If you’re an avid hiker or are taking up hiking as a way to connect with your baby outdoors, here are a few items to take with you to make the day’s hike comfortable for both you and your baby to enjoy together.
A baby carrier
A baby holder is a must for hiking trips. Trails aren’t meant for strollers so they become somewhat of a nuisance. Being able to carry your baby on your back gives your hands the freedom they need, while keeping your baby close to you. Even though you’ve got the convenience of hiking with a baby using a carrier, make sure you always stay on safe trails and avoid any loose rock or high speed activities. Whether you’re new to hiking or a seasoned pro, always keep your trips just long enough for the both of you to enjoy. Longer, more adventurous hikes should be done without your baby as there are many safety factors at play when it comes to nature or unknown trails.
A waist pack
Because hikes with a baby shouldn’t be long and extensive, you don’t need to take much with you. The ideal length to go hiking with a baby is less than 2 miles. Besides water and a baby bottle, you should also bring some wipes and a diaper in your waist pack. Along with some hydration, you should also pack a snack for you and your baby, especially if you’re still nursing. Pouches of pureed fruit are always a hit with babies and convenient to pack. Some trail mix or a granola bar are also great snacks for parents to enjoy on their walk. Small travel-size toiletries like hand sanitizer, bug spray, and sunscreen should also be packed.
Walking or hiking shoes
Nothing ruins a good hiking trip like uncomfortable shoes. Manufacturers like Jack Wolfskin specialize in shoes to make walking and hiking more pleasant. Make sure that the shoes you choose are meant to help you carry some extra weight as you’ll be carrying your baby the whole way. If you’re a beginner, or someone who needs extra support for weak knees or less developed-muscles, hiking boots are recommended.
The best times to go hiking with a baby are during the early morning hours when the sun isn’t right overhead. Even with a hat on, babies shouldn’t be exposed to the sun in such a way. Make sure you dress properly for the weather with light jackets and hats. Pants that are stretchy enough for a baby to sit in their carrier comfortably are also recommended.
A group of friends should always accompany each other on hikes, especially when babies are involved. This is for the safety of you and your baby. If you have a group of friends that enjoy the outdoors as much as you do and have babies too, plan on taking hiking trips together. It will give you some time to bond while also creating friendships for your babies. Bring a rattle or a toy that your baby can stay entertained with, while conversations with friends entertain you.
Be aware that sometimes a baby will not be in the mood and fussiness will kick in. If that is the case, know that it’s okay to turn around and head home. While this is a short list for quick hikes, always make sure to have a fully stocked diaper bag in your car for anything unexpected that may occur.