Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Hello Motherhood! Tips For Hiking With Kids

5 Tip to help you start hiking with kids

I was an avid weekend road trip warrior when it was just my husband and I. Friday would roll around, and off we went. At the time we lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. We would drive all over the tri-city area exploring and adventuring. It quickly became one of my favorite things to do and I instantly fell in love with hiking.

I am not a fan of sitting still and being closed off in a building somewhere working 40 hours a week. However, that is what I do when I am not traveling around or being a weekend road trip warrior. By the weekend I am itching to go out and hike. I get a huge sense of happiness from being outside on a mountain.

hiking with kids

Then Comes Baby

My husband and I decided to start having a family and were blessed with our first son in 2015. I can’t tell you how excited and proud we were with the opportunity to be parents and raise our family. I am not going to lie to you though and say that my pregnancy wasn’t riddled with anxiety.

I was about to transform from an avid weekend explorer to a mom who “needed” to stay home and take care of our new baby. I kept thinking about how a new mom can’t be out there hiking while her baby is trying to develop and grow properly. They need shelter, a routine, consistency, etc.

How am I going to get “me time”?

Some people might call the goal of “me time” selfish, but I knew that I wanted to maintain a piece of my old self in my new role as “mom”. I knew deep down that I would be a better mom and a happier mom if I could do small things that made me happy every now and then.

Why couldn’t I be a mom that travels with our baby and a mom that attempts hikes that are within safe and comfortable limits?  It took me awhile to believe in these ideas, but, eventually, I did. Of course, I can be a mother that raises a healthy baby with structure and still hikes up a mountain. I wasn’t about to sit at home and become depressed because wasn’t exploring, knowing that that is what makes me happy.

It can be done. I am proof.

Now, some changes do need to happen before you head out the door with your baby. You can’t just get into the car and whimsically drive to some mountain to go hiking with kids unprepared. There needs to be a little bit of forward thinking and planning—then you can jump in the car and go.

Thinking about hiking with a baby or toddler for the first time?

hiking with kids

5 Tips to help you get started hiking with kids

  1. Find a great, supportive baby carrier that fits the age of your baby. Practice at home wearing the baby in the carrier to ensure that you feel comfortable with the distribution of weight. Learn how to bend down and move your body just like you may need to squat and maneuver around brush on the terrain you are hiking.
  2. Get Supportive hiking boots. I would give your athletic shoes a break and find some sturdy, ankle boots. This will help prevent any slips and provide the stability for your ankles and legs that you need as you are starting out hiking with a baby.
  3. Bring a changing mat
  4. Don’t forget the diapers, wipes, a bottle (you never know if there is an impending baby blow-out)
  5. Start hiking with kids at small, familiar trails. Recognize you may not be able to finish but, the point is you are trying. You are creating a new bond with your child and developing a new hobby for yourself.

Don’t let your dreams of getting outside and exploring vanish because you have the new, awesome title of mom. Best of all, now you have a little buddy that can grow with you and learn to fall in love with the things you like…possibly. My first son is three-years-old now and loves being outside and climbing mountains. Just today we were having lunch at a park and there was a mountain nearby. He told me “Hey Mom, Let’s Go Hike! I want to go climb that mountain.” I can’t tell you how proud that made me because I recognized that that is our thing now. We go climb mountains together. It is our special family thing we do…we go hike.

Find out more about the author here. And check out her Insta!

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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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