How to Prepare For Your First Hiking with Baby Adventure
Hiking as a family is a great adventure and a time to bond after long hours of work. Some parents give up all the fun trips after delivery. You may not enjoy the adventure in the last stages of pregnancy but hiking with baby is possible in all seasons. All you need is to pick the right gear for the baby and the right location. Read on and learn to prepare for a hiking adventure with kids.
(A) Hiking with baby gear
The first thing you must get right before leaving the house for a hiking trip is the right gear for everyone. The gear depends on the location and weather. For instance, when hiking in hot weather, overdressing the baby will lead to discomfort. You will not enjoy the trip as long as the baby is uncomfortable. Before we discuss the right gear, let us consider the benefits of hiking with kids.
1) Benefits of hiking with baby
The whole journey from trying to get pregnant, nine months of pregnancy, delivery, and taking care of a newborn is stressful. Parents are either at work or at home during this period. Hiking with baby is a great way to get fresh air. You have been in the house for more than a year with no social activities.
Going for a hike breaks the monotony of baby-related activities. Are you worried about the extra weight gained during pregnancy? Well, hiking plays a double role of a family fun activity and an exercise. Climbing hilly terrains regularly with the baby weight on you will keep both mom and dad fit.
Hiking also builds your confidence as a parent. A common fear among new parents is stepping out of the house for the first time with the baby. Preparing for the doctor’s appointment is a challenge to many. If you can go on a hike with a young baby, you can travel to any destination confidently. You will learn how to take care of your baby beyond the convenience of your house.
Here is one more benefit of hiking as a family. Both parents and kids make new friends on the trip. It is an opportunity for parents to grow their social network while fulfilling their parenting responsibilities.
2) What to take hiking with kids
If you have been going on hikes before hiking with baby, then you know you need a first aid kit. You need enough supply of water, food and extra clothes. Sometimes you leave the house on hot weather and it starts raining on the mountains. Hence, you need warm clothing for all kids at all times.
For the baby, remember to pack the diaper kit and enough changing clothes including receiving blankets. You will need to protect the baby’s sensitive skin from harsh sunrays. Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bug spray will protect the kids from bug bites.
The baby may need a toy or two to play with as you explore the environment. Do not forget the baby carrier when packing all these items. You need an ergonomic carrier that fits the baby’s weight and body structure perfectly. The best carriers come with a hood for protection from the sun or rain. However, it helps to carry a raincoat or cover in case you need it for better protection.
(B) Winter hiking with baby
Preparing for hiking with baby in a hot season is easier than preparing for a winter hike. You do not need to postpone the fun to summer or spring. You just need to get the right gear for the baby and study the weather patterns of your destination.
1) How to dress baby for hiking
Some states experience extremely cold temperatures during the winter season. If your state falls into this category, it might help to choose a different location for a hike. However, the most important consideration when dressing the baby for such a hike is warmth.
Put on enough layers and pack extra layers. It is better to remove some layers when the baby seems overdressed than to run out of layers in cold weather. Make sure the hands, feet, and ears are well covered. You can tell if the baby is warm enough if these parts are cold.
2) Dressing baby for winter walks
The cold temperatures in winter limit the outdoor activities for the family. However, you cannot keep the baby or kids indoors for all those weeks. You can take a walk even in winter as long as the baby is warm. Layers upon layers is what every mom needs when stepping out with a baby in this weather.
Ensure that the baby’s ears and hands are covered. Footed-fleece pajamas, snow pants, and heavy coats will keep the baby warm. You can wear the baby to add on to the warmth and add a throw blanket or flannel. If you choose a carrier for the walk, wrap the baby in the blanket while warmly dressed. The best carriers for hiking with baby have a large hood for protection against falling snow.
(C) Toddler hiking gear
Your baby will soon grow into a toddler and the hiking adventures should continue. In addition to dressing the toddler for the season, think about the distance. Hiking boots are necessary because the toddler may prefer to walk. However, you still need a toddler carrier that can withstand rough terrains.
Buy a backpack for the toddler to carry some essentials items including snacks and water. You will also need a rain cover, sleeping bag and pad, and change of clothes. Toddlers can be messy especially in the wild. Always prepare for cold temperatures even when hiking in summer. A situation or incidence may force you to spend a night in the wild with your family.
Hiking with baby can start at any age. Start purchasing and packing the items you need early. Consider the weather patterns in your destination but prepare for sudden changes. Remember to pack enough food, water, and fully packed first aid kit.
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