If you are an enthusiastic hiker your summer days spent walking through the beautiful countryside need not be numbered just because you have young children.
Follow our tips for hiking with babies and toddlers and you’ll be better prepared for taking your new-born, baby or toddler on a hiking expedition that all the family can enjoy.
Babies 0 -6
You may not believe it but young babies can benefit immensely by accompanying their parents on hiking trips. Being in the fresh air, looking at different flowers, wildlife, and rock and cloud formations can help with a young baby’s development.
Be sure to put your little one in a strong and durable carrier or a big-wheeled stroller that has a head and neck harness as it is likely your little one will not have control of her neck yet. As your baby’s skin is so delicate always ensure you put plenty of high factor sun cream on her as well as a protective hat before you start the hike.
Babies 6 – 12 months
Babies usually have enough strength to hold their necks themselves at around 5 – 6 months. Once they do have control of their neck you can place your baby in a baby backpack to enjoy an adventure in the hills.
Even more so than younger ones, babies of 6 – 12 months will benefit greatly from a day walking through the countryside. Point out different flowers or animals that you see and inform your child of its name, as this will help develop your babies speaking skills.
Like with babies and children of all ages, ensure they wear sunscreen and do not overdress them as they can become quite hot bobbing about in a rucksack.
Hiking with toddlers can be a great way to develop walking skills. Obviously your toddler will not be able to manage walking the whole hike so be prepared to carry him for parts in a good sturdy rucksack.
Make sure you involve your young child with his surroundings such as pointing out different insects and birds, as this will enhance his understanding of the natural world.
Ensure your toddler has a decent pair of shoes on to help him walk and does not have too many layers on so he becomes too hot and dehydrated.
When hiking with children of any age always make sure you carry enough water with you, as you will know, hiking can be thirsty work!