Easy Tips That Make Hiking With A Baby Awesome
The majority of first-time parents have this false notion that once they add a toddler to the family, outdoor adventures come to a screeching halt. Although babies certainly reduce the pace of these excursions, this is not to mean that you can’t take them along.
There’s no right response as to when, although many urge you to go hiking and other adventures as early as you can. Parenting an infant can be tedious- not to mention stressful- and fresh air can be the perfect way to de-stress.
Having gone for hiking trips before, you already know how to do your planning. In this article, we look at easy tips that make hiking with a baby awesome.
1. Keep It Easy And Feature-Friendly
For the first couple of times, choose a hiking trail that isn’t too long or strenuous. Remember that for most kids, it’s all about the experience not the length of distance you travel. Thus the goal shouldn’t be to ascend Everest, it should be enjoying the great time outdoors.
The best hiking trail is one that has tons of cool features to keep your munchkins interested- this could be a creek where they can dip their toes in, rocks or a mini-summit to see the landscape from an elevated point.Another thing to consider when picking a hiking trail is the amount of coverage or shade it provides. Remember that it’s recommended to use sunscreen on babies under the age of six months. Walking on trails that are shaded by tons of trees means that you don’t have to worry about your toddler’s fragile skin every minute.
2. Invest In A Quality Baby Carrier
It won’t be possible to trek up the side of a mountain while you’re holding your baby in your arms. Neither will you be able to push your baby’s stroller across very rocky ground. Instead, you should consider using a baby carrier, which is easy to strap to your body. When choosing a baby stroller, go for one that is light to carry but strong enough to hold your baby. You can check out these top-rated baby carriers for hiking.
3. Pick The Right Time Of Day
Apart from the hiking trail, you should also choose a good time to go hiking. Aim to hike when the weather is calm and your child is well-rested. I’m pretty sure you don’t want a sleepy and cranky kid for a hiking partner. Ideally, early mornings are the best time to go hiking. At that time, the sun isn’t too hot and everyone’s energy levels are up.
4. Dress For A Hike
Yes, your little princess is probably going to throw a fit because she won’t get to wear her favorite Cinderella shoes. But you shouldn’t give into her demands. Hiking calls for shoes that provide sturdy support because of the terrain you’ll be walking through. Therefore, you should look for kids’ hiking boots, hiking pants, a waterproof jacket, and a hat. When dressing your child for a hike, think of multiple layers. This way, he or she won’t get chilled while out on the trail.
5. Plan For Energy Stops
Have you ever gone for a long hike? If you have, then you probably know just how much energy it requires. To prevent your child from becoming energy-sapped, plan for small breaks, during which they can have a few snacks and hydrate.
Use these stops to motivate your kids to keep moving by saying, “once we get to that footbridge, we’ll take a break”. Odds are that by the time they’ve had these snacks, they’ll be rested and energized enough to continue.
6. Keep It Fun
If you don’t make your kid’s first hike interesting, they are less likely to join you the next time. The secret to a successful hike with kids is to keep them motivated and entertained. Why not create games that both you and your toddlers can play when you’re out on the trail? For instance, you can ask them to look for signs of wildlife (bird nests in trees, fur) or to tally the wildflower species.
7. Bring A Hiking Partner
Inviting a hiking partner is a smart idea even without a baby in tow. But it becomes even more crucial when you have a toddler depending on you. Should something happen along the trail, your hiking partner can ask for help while you take care of the baby.
Another perk of bringing a hiking partner is that they can help carry the baby. Sure, carrying your child for miles is good for your biceps, but it’s also very exhausting.
8. Carry Baby Essentials
You might not have to bring all your baby supplies for a short hike. But there are some baby items that you can’t do without. These include a few diapers, wipes, pacifier- in case your toddler uses one- and a change of clothes. Don’t forget to bring several water bottles as well! Particularly if you’re nursing, you’re likely to get dehydrated pretty fast.
- It’s much easier to spot your kids when they’re dressed in brightly-colored clothes. Similarly, your child will spot a grown-up more easily if they’re in bright colors.
- If they’re old enough, train them the ‘Hug-A-Tree’ method. A tree can help to protect your child from external elements, especially if they get lost in the woods. This technique requires one to stop, sit down and stay put; thus, making it easier to be tracked down.
- Hike with your baby between two adults; this way, they are less likely to stray.
Hiking with children is an excellent way to get them connected to the outdoors when they are still young. By taking him for a hike, you give him an opportunity to view wildlife. This also helps them to unplug, which is important if you consider just how much time kids spend with their gadgets. But to have a successful hike with your munchkin, you need to prepare adequately. Carry some snacks, adequate hiking gear and spare some time for breaks. It would also be a good idea to invite a hiking buddy.