9 Tips for an Enjoyable Hike With Your Baby

Whenever I’d hike with my family, I’d ask myself, “how can I make hiking with a baby enjoyable for both of us?” Hiking has always been our happy place, even before having our newborn Quinn.

It was never an option for us to sacrifice hiking because we had a baby, and so it was important to figure out how we would make our hikes fun as a family of now three.

We went on a couple of hikes before our daughter turned one year old. We’ve learned a couple of tips from our hiking journey that could help others as well.

Table of Contents

General Tips for an Enjoyable Hike With Your Baby

Choosing a Suitable Trail

It’s important to choose a trail that’s suitable for you and your family. When our daughter Quinn was only four months old, we went on our first trail at the El Dorado Nature Center Park in Long Beach, California.

For instance, if your newborn was around our daughter’s age, he or she would sleep a lot. We had our daughter, Quinn, in a stroller because the El Dorado Nature Center Park trail was flat, which allowed her to stay asleep during our hike.

We also knew that based on our daughter’s age at the time, we had to pick a hiking trail that was short in length with barely any inclines. The El Dorado Nature Center Park had everything we needed: an easy hike, great scenery, resting spots so mom could breastfeed, and enough physical activity to complete 2 miles of walking.

As our daughter got older, we went on a bit of a challenging yet easy trail known as Torrey Pines in San Diego, California. Since there were inclines and a couple of rocky pathways, we used a carrier for our daughter instead of a stroller. We liked that Torrey Pines had multiple routes for us to take with spectacular views compared to the El Dorado Nature Center Park. We also liked the hike on a cliff next to the ocean.

Overall, we had a great experience from both hikes (El Dorado Nature Center and Torrey Pines), and that’s by understanding our baby’s overall development, our own physical condition and choosing the right trail.

Prepare Your Baby and Yourself for an Enjoyable Hike

Proper preparation for you and your baby is also a factor in an enjoyable hike. Preparation would include appropriate clothing, diapers, wipes, snacks, and an aid kit.

  1. Appropriate Clothing: It’s important that you dress your baby appropriately based on the weather conditions of your hike. For example, if it’s in the summer or it’s hot, consider covering your baby with a sunhat as you don’t want him or her to get too much exposure from the sun. For us as parents, it was (and still is) our priority to protect our baby from the sun once we stepped out of the vehicle and into the outdoors.
  2. Diapers: We’d always bring a handful of diapers because we knew that our baby would get wet a handful of times during a hike. For short hikes, we’d change our baby before the hike and after the hike. We would only use Coterie diapers as well, as they provided more comfort and absorption. We noticed that our baby Quinn wouldn’t leak whenever she had the Coterie diapers on compared to other brands such as Huggies. If you plan on going for a longer hike, then I’d recommend using the Coterie diapers as well due to their absorbency.
  3. Wipes: Wipes are great to have whenever you go on a hike with your baby. You don’t know what your baby will touch, and at the same time, you’ll need it when you change their diapers. We love the brand Pampers as it’s cheap and doesn’t seem to cause any rashes or itchiness on our baby’s skin.
  4. Snacks: Snacks are great to give to your baby to prevent them from getting fussy. If our baby would get fussy during a hike, we’d find a resting area or a bench where we would give her a snack. Every time she’d have a snack, she would stop being fussy. We loved giving our baby Happy Baby Teethers as a snack. We didn’t start giving this to her until after we consulted our doctor.
  5. Aid Kit: Anything can happen during a hike, so it’s great to have an aid kit. The aid kit should be for the entire family and not just the baby.

Using a Good Carrier for Comfort and Safety on Your Hike

You want to invest in a good carrier that fits comfortably for you and your baby. My girlfriend and I wore two carriers while hiking at Torrey Pines. I was wearing the Ergo Baby, while my girlfriend used the Baby K’tan.

We would switch from carrying our baby from time to time if we were tired or wanted a break.

Since we weren’t doing hikes that were extremely challenging, we didn’t see a need to invest in hiking carriers just yet.

We didn’t see the need for a hiking carrier when we only hiked trails with short distances and flat terrain.

Taking Breaks on Your Hike to Ensure Comfort and Hydration

Hiking can be tiring and even more tiring with a baby as you’re carrying or pushing them in a stroller majority of the time. Try to find hikes with benches or resting areas throughout the hike. And also, try to find hikes with shade so you and your baby are not overly exposed to the sun.

In general, taking breaks makes a hike more enjoyable as it helps everyone from getting exhausted at the end of a hike.

We walked an easy trail in Ojai, California known as Meditation Mount. The great part about this hike is that there were grassy areas as well as benches for us to take breaks and for us to soak in mother nature.

While taking breaks, we would give our baby snacks and, sometimes, breastfeed her as needed. It’s a win-win situation for all parties: you get to catch your breath, and the baby gets to eat.

Enjoy The Scenery on Your Hike With Your Baby

Find a hike with great scenery for you and your family. Our hikes have always been enjoyable because of the beautiful views that Mother Nature has to offer.

If everything doesn’t go as planned, such as being unprepared or not taking enough breaks, then at least have a hike with beautiful scenery.

There’s something about taking nature all into where you can just forget about the past for that very present moment.

Be sure to have a camera ready so you can share these memories with your child in the future.

Staying Hydrated

No matter how easy the hike can be, always stay hydrated for yourself and your family. I recommend that you bring Hydro Flask with you at all times. The last thing you want is for you and your family to panic when you’re out of the water, and you’re nowhere near the end of a hike.

Staying on The Trail to Ensure Safety and Avoid Getting Lost

It’s important for you and your family to stay on the trail. It’s for your own safety, and it’s also to protect the environment. There’s a reason why there are marked trails so that you can avoid damaging plants or wildlife.

There have been many stories of missing families or solo hikers because they took their own trail and got lost. Now is not the time to get lost, especially with a baby.

Educating Yourself on Hiking Safety and Local Wildlife Before Your Hike

It’s important to educate yourself before going on a specific hike. I have always researched online with my go-to sites or apps, such as AllTrails, to be aware of any potential hazards, such as wildlife or hazardous plants.

It gives me peace of mind about what to expect from a hike, and in return, I can focus my mind on enjoying the hike itself versus worrying the whole time.

Having Fun

At the end of it all, it’s on you to have fun. I think if you take all the tips I’ve mentioned into consideration, then the rest is up to your mindset.

If you’ve mentally prepared yourself that you’re not going to enjoy hiking, then you’ve already made up your mind. As opposed to going on a hike with an open mindset or allowing your mind that you’re going to have an enjoyable experience with your family

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

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