Hiking Alone With a Baby
On Instagram I asked my readers if they had any specific topics they wanted to read about and this was one I received multiple times! I am so happy to hear that others are interested in solo hiking with their minis. We began hiking when Finn was two weeks old, it was a four mile loop with my husband and mom. I heard a solid amount of opinions and parenting critiques when I first started taking him out but I didn’t let it stop me and wouldn’t change a single thing. The connection I have built with my son around nature and now that he is older being able to see the connection and love he has for it himself; there is no greater feeling. It hasn’t always been easy, with every milestone came a new challenge that we had to sort through together. Honestly, it is just now getting more predictable.
Hiking with a newborn was really easy for me. I carried him in my Boba wrap so he was comfortable and warm, it was also great for breast/bottle feeding. Then I had a small backpack carrying other essentials. A spare diaper and bottle was really all I would bring. At this phase, comfort is key. He would sleep majority of the hike but when he was awake he was happy looking at me. As exhausted as I would be at times, my favorite memories are when I pushed myself to go out on these treks.
Finn was four months old the first time he lost his shit on a hike. He spent the last two miles screaming harder than I have ever heard. I did everything I could to get him to stop. Fed, diaper change, cuddled, switched up positions… I carefully rushed back to the car, in tears. He was so loud the people at the trail head were giving me concerned (or pity) looks. The second he saw our car he went silent and all was well in the world. He was simply ready to go home. So let go of any and all expectations, your baby officially is in charge of your hikes!
I never was able to find a carrier that he comfortably stayed in for hiking. Month 4-6 was pretty difficult, there were a lot of unfinished hikes. He never liked the feeling of being swaddled or restricted, he is a pretty independent little man.
Our lives were revolutionized the day Finn was big enough to go in our Osprey pack. We have only had one rough hike since month 6 and he was just having a hard time falling asleep. I found repeating “Ohm” in a low frequency helped him crash.
Today, Finn is my number one hiking buddy! He is always down to adventure and that gives my body all the fuel it needs to keep going.
Since we still have so many milestones left to hit, solo hiking is going to continue to change for us but the advice I have to give now would be:
Release all pressure of making it to the end and focus your energy on the connection and fun you get from being outside, your little one will feel that.
Once they can eat, BRING SNACKS! Brad and I call them our lifesavers.
Being alone in the woods can be a scary and uncomfortable feeling. Let your gut be your guide. Instincts are a real thing, as mama’s ours are heightened and a compass… don’t ignore them.
The idea of bringing your dogs may seem like a handful (and it is at first) but they really do provide comfort.
If you need a hand, ask for it. It may feel weird, but if you need your water bottle, extra crackers, etc its easier to ask for a helping hand then take off your pack and grab it. For real, no one is judging and almost everyone is willing to help.
ENJOY EVERY DAMN SECOND OF IT!