Are you planning for a hike with your baby? Are you wondering if this could be a happy experience?
Well, hiking with a baby is possible – if well-prepared!
Walking is the first outdoor sports activity that the whole family can practice. This simple activity is adaptable to all ages and all physical conditions; hiking allows you to get back in touch with the surrounding nature while respecting everyone’s rhythms.
To make hiking with kids and little babies possible, we gathered some organizational tips for you!
Let’s get started..
Adapt Your Trip Schedule To Suit The Baby
The duration, the height difference, and the altitude must be adapted to the child’s age.
For starters, it is generally advisable not to exceed 10 kilometers per day.
Even if your baby is snug against you, consider taking approximately 10-minute breaks for a bit of snake every hour.
It is recommended not to exceed 1,500 meters in height with a baby less than a year old, oxygen being less present on the peaks.
You will also have to make rest stops from 1000 meters!
Give your baby more frequent breaks with a feed or a bottle of water to activate his sucking reflex and unblock his little ears!
Choose a Practical Baby Carrier
Baby sling and carriers have the appreciable advantage of adapting to any age, the wearer’s size, and that of the baby.
It requires the learning of the different nodes but allows the distribution of the load ideally and respects the child’s physiology.
When the child catches his feet with his hands from about six months, his hips are wide enough to use a preformed physiological baby carrier.
As soon as the child is seated, you can switch to the classic hiking baby carrier, favoring those with toe clips.
Do not forget the baby wearing clothing, covering the wearer and the child.
Finally, while the baby is in a carrier, it is better to avoid going out in too cold or hot weather..
Choose Comfortable Baby Clothing
The 3-layer system is required for adults as well as for children when going for a hike!
- A first contact layer should promote breathability: it’s the baby’s bodysuit, warm underlayer, or mom’s technical t-shirt!
- A second middle layer should preserve the warmth, transfer moisture to the outer layer and dry quickly, like a fleece.
- A third outer layer must protect from the wind, external humidity and evacuate internal moisture: this is the waterproof and breathable jacket or coverall of the Gore-Tex type, ideally combined with anti-UV treatment.
Keep in mind that all baby’s parts must be protected, from head to toe!
Get Some Useful Accessories and First Aid Kit
Whatever the season, think about the rain and the sun: the wide-brimmed bob is well suited for hiking, as is the cap with a neck protector.
Do not forget the total mineral sunscreen (especially for the hands and face) and sunglasses (index greater than or equal to 3).
Most importantly, ensure a regular diet during the hike and keep the child’s pace, both for naps and meals.
Breaks are a must!
So consider getting a thermos meal box, insulated water bottles, and a waterproof opening on one side!
As for the first aid kit, make sure to include:
- Physiological serum and compresses
- Disinfectants such as chlorhexidine,
- Oral rehydration solution.
One parent carries the baby, the other the bag… and the most beautiful horizons await you!
If you are familiar with the place that you’re going to for a hike, your trip with a baby will be more relaxing.
Some hiking places are more accessible to go to with kids than others.
That’s said, we highly recommend you educate yourself about the area, place, and conditions of the hiking destination before you take your kid with you.
Some parents prefer using baby strollers rather than carriers and slings, depending on the destination status.
These tips are intended for children who do not have pathologies or allergies that are contraindicated when hiking.
If you are unsure about your baby’s ability to hike with you, talk to his doctor to discuss everything before you start packing!
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids. Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.