One of the best ways to be outdoors is by taking your baby or toddler hiking. Hiking creates an avenue to enjoy the fresh air while getting your children out in nature.
Even so, hiking with a baby can be more challenging. To make hiking with your infant easier, here are ten tips for outdoor adventure with baby:
1. Start with a quick hike close to home
If you are taking your baby out on a hike for the first time or you can’t seem to let go of the idea of taking your baby out in the wilderness, we recommend that you first try a quick hike close to home.
Whether it just a quick walk around the block, see how your toddler will do on the walk and slowly start getting comfortable about the idea of hiking with your child.
2. Dress the baby appropriately
You have to make sure your baby is covered up before taking him outdoors. Hiking can get tricky because you are not certain that the weather will remain the same. Hence, it would be best if you were prepared for any weather. Most importantly, protect his skin and eyes from the sun using a floppy hat. Layer him well if you aren’t sure how cold it could get.
3. Bring a carrier for the hike when the baby is napping
If your baby naps in the morning after breakfast, you can skip breakfast drive to the hiking spot while he is still awake and happy. When he falls asleep on the ride, wear him in a carrier when you get there while you hike. The baby will nap nearly throughout the hike, only waking up to eat. This will make hiking with a baby easier because it will be as though the baby isn't even there.
4. Buy a jogging stroller
If you haven't yet, purchase a jogging stroller made for outdoor terrain before your hiking adventure. Whether your toddler prefers to walk on the trail, the stroller will come handy when he gets hungry, tired, or needs a break. A stroller also makes it easy to carry a diaper bag, snacks, and water bottles, so you don't have to do on your back.
5. Carry Snacks
Consider bringing cheese slices, whole wheat crackers, fruit, nitrate-free lunch meat, hard-boiled eggs, applesauce pouches, and a piece of chocolate. Pack snacks the night before, so you don't have to waste time doing so in the morning.
6. Bring nature photos of what you might see along the trail
Your baby could get bored, tired, or sweaty quickly while on the hike. It will help to make a game out of spotting birds or animals to keep him busy and happy. Bring nature photos you and point out all the birds and animals you can see and talk about the type of species, what they eat, and where they live.
7. Choose the hiking trail wisely
Choose a hiking trail that isn't too treacherous or steep; make sure you are able to navigate the trail quickly. Opt for trails that have a gentle slope or are mostly flat. Consider the shading as well rather than expose you, baby, to sunscreen too early in his life.
8. Keep the baby hydrated and cool
While you make sure your baby is warm and fed, you also need to make sure they remain hydrated and cool. Carry an ideal drinking water bottle or container for when it gets hot out there.
9. Take breaks
Despite your hiking terrain, you should make sure to take a break and sit down for about 10-15 minutes when you get to your destination or when you need to eat your lunch. Breaks allow the kids to gain back their energy and reset for the rest of the hike.
10. Carry bug spray or insect repellent
Whether you are into essential oils or not, there are many good bug sprays or insect repellent out there. We recommend buying the natural options if you intend to use them on your baby. Before applying bug spray on your toddler, consult your pediatrician or doctor, so you know the best fit.
If you are hiking in a bear area, remember to carry bear spray. Talk to the local park ranger in this case and find out what you should carry on your belt.