For many people, becoming a parent means giving up many activities that they used to do for fun. One such activity that they may stop doing the moment the baby comes along is hiking. This is because going for long walks in the outdoors with an infant seems like a tall order for them, despite the fact that it is not. At the same time, they do not welcome the idea of leaving their infant back at home and go alone. Mothers or fathers find themselves at crossroads, with giving up hiking as the easiest way out. But the reality is that a person can hike with a baby and still have fun, just the same way he/she used to, alone before the baby came along. It is not a hassle as it sounds. Read the following tips on how to hike with your baby:
1. Consider the Age of Your Toddler
At what age is it safe to go hiking with my baby? The answer is 6 months and above. Your toddler’s hiking requirements will depend on his/her age though. For instance, if the baby is only 6 months old, he/she will have more outdoor requirements than if he/she is 3 years and above.
2. Buy the Appropriate Baby Hiking Clothing, Gear and Accessories
Once more, the right hiking clothing, gear, and accessories depend on the age of your child. For example, if your baby is only a few months old thus still can’t walk, you may need to buy a baby carrier if you do not have one. You will need it for carrying your baby on your back. But if he/she is a few years old and can walk, then you will not need that. Even the hiking clothing and gear for kids vary according to age. Younger babies need to stay warmer even in the outdoors because they can easily be affected by cold conditions, including breezes. So, their hiking clothing is a bit heavier and warmer. The opposite is true for older babies.
3. Carry More Food and Water
Children burn calories faster than adults and for that reason, they will get hungry quicker than adults. Your child will require food more often times than you will. Therefore, carry enough food to feed him/her everytime he/she feels hungry. A higher metabolic rate and the fact that kids are more vulnerable to dehydration are the two primary reasons why they have special water needs. Your baby will get thirsty more often than you. Therefore, carry more water to sustain his/her hydration needs.
4. Check Your Baby’s Health Before Leaving the House
To see your child develop a fever, a headache, stomachache or any other health complication when you are on the trail, far away from home or any health centre is the last thing you want. It can be traumatising, scaring and panic-causing, to say the least. To avoid a possibility of that, check your baby’s health before setting out.
5. Carry a First Aid Kit with Emergency Drugs
A first-aid kit is an essential item that should never miss in your hiking backpack. This should contain a few emergency drugs among other stuff. We know that kids are more vulnerable to environmental diseases associated with infections, allergies among other things. Their higher vulnerability to diseases is attributed to the fact that their immune systems are not as strong as adults’. So make sure you have a few emergency drugs like painkillers, antiallergic drugs, antibiotics among others at your disposal before setting out. These drugs can help with emergency illness situations that may affect your baby even as you cut short the hike.
6. Long-Distance Hikes are a No-No
Maybe personally you are a hardcore hiker that can go lots of miles on a trail. But when you go for a hike with a baby, keep it short. Be aware of how far you have gone on the trail because even the unstoppable kid can become tired along the way and need carrying all the way back. If that happens, then it would be a difficult moment for you, especially if you had gone too far.
You do not need to stop doing what you love most—hiking, just because you have become a parent. You can continue going hiking, only that this time you bring along your little one. If you take the advice in this amazing how to hike with a baby guide, you will enjoy the best countryside trail experience with your kid.