Hiking with your baby - Tips for parents

At which age can I start hiking with my baby? What should I look for, when buying a baby carrier? What clothes do I put on my child and how do I plan the tour? In this blog post, we give many tips for parents, who would like to hike with their child.

Hiking with your baby, which baby carrier to choose for a hike?
Taking a break from hiking - Familiy in the forest in the autumn

When can I start to hike with my baby?

  • You can already take longer walks with a newborn.
  • It is important to pay attention to how fit you feel after birth and when you feel fine for the first longer walk with your baby.

Which baby carrier is suitable for hiking?

  • For hiking, you can use a baby carrier or a wrap.
  • You can wear your baby in front  or on your back. If you carry your baby in front of the belly, the view of the trail may be limited.
  • From 4 months, it is a good time to carry your child on your back. It can see more. Hiking with your child on your back is also beneficial for you, since you can see better the path.
  • If you are using a baby carrier, make sure that the back panel is made from a wrap fabric.
  • The back panel should have a bar reduction, panel shortening, and neck reduction to allow the panel to be adjusted continuously and grow with your baby for a long time.
  •  The bar should reach from  knee to knee.
  • Your child's buttom should be a bit deeper than the knees. The legs and buttom should form a M. This position is called the squat-spreading posture.
  • A headrest supports your baby's head as it falls asleep in the carrier.
  • For babies before the age of sitting, the back should be nicely rounded, with a Full Buckle, the straps should be attached to the waist belt.
  • Your baby's airways must be free.
  • The upper neck area should not be too wide, so that your baby's head does not tilt to the back or to the side.
  • For hiking, a carrier with a hip belt is recommanded, as the weight is evenly distributed and not only on the shoulders.
  • It is a matter of taste whether the baby carrier should have padded straps or expanded wide straps. A carrier should have been proven in everyday life before a long hike.
  • When hiking a baby carrier gets dirty quickly. The carrier should therefore be able to be washed.
  • A Kraxe can be used from the age of sitting. The advantage is that you can stow part of the luggage here. But the Kraxe also has many disadvantages. Your child is not sitting in the recommended squat-spreading posture and is not close to your body. As a result, your child's weight, including luggage, pulls on your shoulders and wearing it quickly becomes uncomfortable.
Breastfeeding your baby while hiking in a Huckepack baby carrier
Breastfeeding the child in a Huckepack Wrap Tai baby carrier

Which clothes should my child wear?

  • Wool and silk clothes are the best. Cotton, on the other hand, absorbs a lot of moisture and only dries very slowly. The resulting evaporation cold can freeze your baby quickly and catch cold.
  • Put as little clothing on your child as possible in the baby carrier, so that a good heat exchange can take place between you and your child.
  • Keep your child's feet warm, e.g. with wool socks, fur shoes, babylegs.
  • If it's still cold outside, you can put on your baby e.g. trousers, rompers, wool fleece, wool walk.
  •  In winter, a hat is important, because over the head a lot of heat is released and your baby can cool down quickly otherwise. In summer a cap with neck protection is recommended.
  • In bad weather, your child should wear waterproofen rainwear.
  • Do not dress your baby too warm.

More info about babywearing in summer you find here.

Tips for babywearing in winter you find here.

Hiking with a toddler, carriers for toddlers and preschoolers
Hiking with a toddler.

What should I consider when planning the hike?

  • When your baby is small, it sleeps a lot in the baby carrier. Allow sufficient time for nursing breaks. The first hike should not be too long.
  • As your baby gets older, it sleeps less. You should plan enough breaks for your baby to crawl or walk around.
  • Toddlers want to walk alone. Plan here short distances and a lot of time, because your child will want to discover its surroundings, turn over every stone and watch every snail. A short hiking trail can quickly become a day trip.
  • Take enough water and food with you.
  • In summer, hiking trails through the forest have the advantage, that the trees are protecting you from direct sunlight and providing shade to your baby. In winter, the forest can protect you from the cold wind or rain.
  •  Choose hiking trails that you already know well.
  • There are hikes up to max. 2000m height recommended. Slowly get your baby to higher regions, always making sure your baby is fine.
  • Plan the hike, so that you do not have too much luggage with you. It is ideal if one carries the child and maybe a small backpack and the partner the remaining luggage. With a child in front of your stomach and a big, heavy backpack on your back, it gets exhausting.
  • As a mother you should not overstrain yourself after the birth.
Take a break while hiking with a toddler
Taking a break, while hiking.

Safety, when hiking with a baby

  • Choose hiking trails without steep passages. Just when you carry your baby in front of your belly, your vision may be limited.
  • Firm and sure-footed shoes are a must.
  •  Hiking poles are recommended.
  • Always take enough water with you.
  • Make sure your baby is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • If your child is a lot in the undergrowth and explores the surroundings, check for ticks in the  evening.
Hiking in the mountains with your child, choose a baby carrier for the hike.
Hiking in the mountains with your child.

What are your experiences for hiking with your child? Leave a comment with your tips and experiences.

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