Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning hiking with a baby. These simple tips will help you get the most of your hike.
My kids are now 10 and 8 and sometimes I remember hiking with them when they were babies. I marvel that I could put my daughter in a baby bjorn and wear my winter coat over her to keep us both warm hiking during the winter. At their current age we can finally hike as far or as fast as I could at that point. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind about hiking with a baby.
Planning Hiking With A Baby – Easier At This Age Than As Toddlers
In some ways hiking with an infant is a lot easier than hiking with a toddler or even a young child. This is because at this age you can simply carry them the entire time in your baby carrier (whatever method you choose, but it could be a Baby Bjorn or if they are big enough a backpack).
Here is the baby bjorn, which is great for young babies. They can be on your chest facing in at first, then facing out when they get a bit older and have a strong neck.
An ergo baby was our carrier of choice once the kids got older. They can be on your front or back when they are bigger. It is also super easy to get them into and out of this once they are older. This makes it ideal with toddlers as they want to walk until they get worn out, then up they go and you are off again.
Granted you will still have to stop and give them breaks, taking them out and setting them on a blanket to crawl, feed them, change them, or just to hang out. You can learn more about what I recommend as far as best gear for hiking with a baby here.
Planning Hiking With a Baby – Most Babies Can Stay In Baby Carrier An Hour Or More
Most babies are content at this age to stay in a baby carrier for a long time. Basically, if you feed and change them right before you start hiking you should be able to hike for 1 to three hours. Check out these other tips on hiking with a baby.
Best of all is if you can time your hike so that you are hiking during their naptime. Ideally, as you start hiking they will just fall asleep in the baby carrier and sleep the whole time you are hiking.
My point though is that you can still plan on doing hikes that are a bit longer in distance or time. As the babies grow and get older they are not going to be content in the baby carrier.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this and you know your child best and are ultimately the best judge of how long they will be comfortable in a carrier to determine how long/far you can hike.
Planning Hiking With A Baby – Pick A Hike You Are Comfortable With
Ultimately, you should pick a hike that you as the adult are comfortable with hiking yourself. If you are a seasoned hiker don’t pick super short and easy trails just because you have a baby now. If you are comfortable with the terrain and distance then you should be fine.
Likewise, if you are new to hiking you should stick to shorter and easier trails until you are comfortable hiking.