Hiking With Your Newborn

By now, it is no secret that I am a new mum. I’m very proud of our little sunshine and she brings us so much joy. Highlight of our weekends are most definitely our family trips into the outdoors. Before she was born, even before I knew I was pregnant, we had discussed that we wanted to keep up our outdoor lifestyle with loads of hikes and daytrips.

Now that Runa is almost 6 weeks old and officially no longer a newborn, I thought I’d share what I have learned about getting out with a newborn. They seem so squishy when they’re born,

My Top Tips

  1. Start small. Our first walk was 10 minutes long through the neighbourhood on the day after being discharged from hospital. I couldn’t do more by then. It’ll take a few weeks (depending on how your delivery went) until you can comfortable walk again.
  2. Start early. I noticed that I had build up some anxiety before our first trip to Tentsmuir Forest with Runa when she was 3 weeks old. Once we were there and out walking, things went smoothly and no disaster struck I do believe though that going early prevents you from building up more and more anxiety. It’s only going to seem harder the longer you wait. In addition to that, getting the baby used to being outside from early age can only be beneficial.
  3. Choose familiar routes. While it is always tempting for me to explore new places, I felt more comfortable to go to familiar places with my newborn. This way I didn’t have to worry about navigation or finding shortcuts in case she’d start fussing. For me, sticking to fairly flat routes was important in the beginning as my pelvic floor still felt weak when descending steep or long slopes.
  4. A good pram or buggy is key. If you intend to take your little one on offroad walks regularly, getting a suitable pram our buggy is important. We chose the Mountain Buggy Terrain model and are super happy with it. It has inflated tyres, suspension, a handbrake, a strap for the wrist and the option to fix the front wheel for more stability. Runa will be able to ride in it until she outgrows her toddler years, and it can be used for jogging as well. On routes where even this buggy isn’t suitable anymore, we use a front carrier for the baby. We are using the ErgoBaby Omni 360 carrier, but there are plenty of other models to choose from.
  5. Keep it short. Although Runa sleeps soundly through almost every walk we do, she does get tired out by them a lot. In the evenings, she will be fussy and take longer to settle after a hike. As we don’t want to overstimulate her too much, we don’t go for full day hikes just yet. Something between 2-4 hours seems to work well so far. I imagine this duration will increase as she gets older.
  6. Pack for all eventualities. Especially if you drive somewhere, bring everything you might need. That includes warm clothes to layer up, a bag with nappies, wipes, hand disinfectant, a small changing mat, a change of clothes in case of a poopy accident as well as milk for her.

A Few More Words Of Advice

Listen to your body and only do what you feel comfortable with. Also listen to your baby. If things don’t go well, maybe choose a shorter route next time and ease him or her into it. It should be an enjoyable time for everyone involved and not turn into a stressful experience!

On another note, don’t forget yourself. We packed everything for the baby and no lunch for ourselves the first time round. Next time, we forgot dry clothes on a rainy day. We’re still learning, but packing the evening before is probably the way forward for us. That means less hectic times in the morning when you try to get yourself and your baby ready to head outside.

I’ll share more tips and things I’ve learned once we have done longer hikes and she has grown a bit older!

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