Everything changes once a newborn arrives. Whether this is your first time caring for a baby or this is your fourth go-around, newborns undoubtedly change the way you live. If you loved exploring the wilderness, going hiking in the mountains, or generally going backpacking, you’ve probably been told that you have to put this on the back burner for a while. After all, you and your partner will be devoting all your free time towards raising your child, which means less time to see what nature has to offer, right?
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. There’s no reason to say goodbye—however temporary—to the outdoors just because you have a baby with you. In fact, many people have taken their young children along with them on their hikes, which has ultimately inspired these tiny tots to become a fellow nature lover. Here’s what you need to know about going on a backpacking trip with your baby:
Waiting for the Right Age
Although it’s possible to go backpacking with your baby, that doesn’t mean they’re ready for the great big outdoors as a newborn. You may have to wait for several more months before deciding to take them out, as they’re at their most fragile when they’re fresh from the womb. It also depends on the mother’s recovery and if she is ready to haul several kilograms’ worth of cargo, including your baby, across some distances.
Some couples wait for their baby to wait until they approach one year, which is a good age to introduce them to exciting new environments and surroundings. However, it’s ultimately up to you, your partner, the mother’s recovery, and both your endurance and stamina. Your baby may be ready to start exploring with you around nine months onwards.
How Far You Should Go
If it’s been a while since your last hike, then you may want to take it easy when you start again. For example, you’ll want your first hike to be either a day trip or an overnight thing, although this is highly dependent on your and your partner’s hiking fitness level. You may want to factor in your baby’s sleep quality and if they can sleep well while they’re in a hiking baby carrier. By considering these, you’ll find out how far you and your partner can go with a baby in tow.
Choosing the Best Baby Carrier for Hiking
Many backpacking families choose a hard-frame carrier for their baby and have a partner carry the rest of their outdoor gear. Others use a soft-structured carrier and a backpack, wearing one at the front and the other at the back.
While hard-frame carriers are durable and supportive enough, they tend to be incredibly heavy. They also need babies to have full neck and head control when using them, and it’s hard to load children onto them when in bulky winter layers.
Soft-structured carriers are more comfortable to carry around, and they encourage more natural sleeping positions for your baby. They also provide more warmth for babies while allowing you to watch over them better. You may still feel more strain when using these carriers and some chafing from the straps, although this can be remedied by choosing the best baby carrier for hiking around.
Hiking with your baby is entirely doable, although you’ll have to prepare adequately and make sure you and your partner are up to the job of lugging around more cargo—including your baby. With these tips, you’ll be ready to take your family to bask in Mother Nature’s glory before you know it!
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