Hiking With Babies And Kids

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Photo Credit: Future St via cc

Hiking with your baby or toddler is not only possible but can also be lots of fun.

When your baby arrives it does mean that your life really won’t be the same again, and lots of things you loved doing might have to take a back seat for a few years, but if you are like me and you enjoy the outdoor’s life and like nothing better than a good walk through the hills, mountains, woods around and about your local countryside then you don’t need to let this particular hobby come to an end.
Tips for Hiking With Babies
Here are some tips which will hopefully make walking with your little one both a possibility and  a pleasure
  • Check The Weather Report
    This is really obvious, but I guess it sometimes worth stating the obvious when it comes to the wellbeing of our little ones.
    You and your other half may have no worries about hiking in the wind, rain or cold, but baby is another matter altogether.
    When a baby is being carried in a carrier they are not active, and are therefore not generating heat, we as adults can regulate our body heat but babies can not, and without activity it is easy for them to lose heat quickly through their hands and feet.
    Make sure you pack for bad weather even if its not forecast (especially if you are reading this in Britain with our crazy climate!)
  • Check On Baby
    On the walk or hike make sure you take regular breaks and use them to check on baby.
    Check their arms and legs, making sure they are warm enough but not overheating, check their nappy, check they are happy and not hungry.
    On some of these regular pit stops it is always worth letting baby out of the carrier for a while, let them have a lay, sit, crawl or toddle around and explore.
    A break from the carrier will do them and your back wonders, and sometimes just gazing at the trees, clouds, or sights will keep them happy for a while
  • Change When You Can Change
    Often our hiking adventures will involve places which probably have less baby Changing Facilities than the local shopping mall!
    My advice is to change their nappy whenever the opportunity strikes.
    Take a long pad or thick blanket with you for changes, and take loads of nappies and wipes which will last you the entire trip.
    You’ll probably be on a trail without rubbish bins, so its worth taking a ‘wet bag’ which you can keep the dirties in until you can find a bin to put them in.
    It is always worth taking an extra set of baby clothes out with you too, just incase you have an overflow!
  • Double The Trouble, Double The Time
    Everything with a little one tends to take twice as long as it used to. Trying to rush for a train can be a nightmare!
    When you are off for a hike with your kids make sure you have planned ahead knowing its gonna take twice as long as you think. Carrying your little one will slow you down a little, and with all the extra breaks and the longer breaks you are going to be taking things will just take longer than before.
    When hiking with adults everything can be a little bit goal oriented, try to flip this and make hiking with kids more experience oriented, I can guarantee that if you go into the hike planning for extra time and more experiences you are bound to have a lot more fun
  • Choose The Right Carrier
    Choose the right carrier for both you and baby when hiking.
    It is best advised to carry your baby on your back when hiking, it will be more comfortable for you, our bodies are built to carry loads on our backs, and it will be safer because you can keep an eye on your step and your feet easier with baby back there.
    Framed Soft Structured Carriers like the Bushbaby Pinnacle or Bushbaby Elite are designed for outdoors adventures, or a Littlelife top of the range Voyager might be just what you are after.
Pack Your Kit With Care
Here is a quick list of what I think every hiking parent should make sure is in their hiking kit
  • Basic Hiking Kit, emergency shelter, food, water, first aid kit
  • Enough nappies for the trip, and then a couple more
  • A Wetbag or a few ‘self seal’ bags for wet clothes/dirty nappies
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash
  • A blanket for a changing mat, or to use if baby is cold
  • Change of baby clothes
  • Cold Weather extras – Warm clothes, hat, socks, mittens
  • Warm Weather extras – Sun Hat & Baby Sunscreen
  • Wet weather extras – Poncho or Rain Cover for your Carrier
  • Snacks for baby. When your little one is on solids, snacks can keep a fussy child happy when on the go
  • A couple of toys you can clip to the carrier
  • A Babywearing Mirror to keep an eye on the little one whilst you are walking
  • Babylegs, leg warmers which can keep your kids legs warm or keep the sun off them, they cover up the gap between the pant leg and the sock which comes so easily exposed when Babywearing
A final word of advice it to keep an extra eye out for low branches or twigs, remember that you have a passenger and that they might be a bit higher up than you, so try your hardest not to get them smacked in the face by a low flying branch or swinging twig whizzing back at them.
The countryside really is beautiful and should be loved and appreciated by all, its only by teaching our youngsters how wonderful our world really is that will lead them to caring for it and keeping it alive in these tricky environmental times. Taking your babies and small children hiking will introduce them to the countryside and create a happy future for you, them, and the environment.