Hiking with Baby – Essentials, Tips and Tricks



Hiking is a fun and adventurous activity the whole family can enjoy together, even the littlest members. Hiking with baby, especially for the first time, can seem like a daunting task. But, taking your baby hiking has incredible benefits for the entire family. To help you prepare for hiking with baby here is a list of hiking with baby essentials, plus the many benefits of hiking with your newborn or infant and helpful tips for hiking with a baby.

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Hiking Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

Hiking with baby essentials

When hiking with baby or newborn/infant it is important to be prepared with the essentials in your hiking bag. Here is a list of the most important things to pack when hiking with a baby!

First and foremost, it is important to dress your baby for the weather. This will depend on the climate you are in. For warmer climates dress them in breathable clothing, a sunhat and apply a mineral based sunscreen if they are 6 months old or older.

For colder climates you will want to dress them in layers, including a wool base layer, fleece mid-layer and warm wind blocking outer layer. Finish with a hat, gloves/mittens, wool socks and boots. Apply sunscreen to any skin that is still visible if they are 6 months old or older.

In your hiking bag should be the following hiking with baby essentials:

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Hiking in Maui Hawaii

Why you should take your baby hiking

Hiking with baby has so many benefits for you and your baby. Number one, you get out of the house, hotel or airbnb and you get outside! It’s the perfect easy outing that adds a lot of adventure in your day.

Whether you were an advanced hiker before the baby came along or you’ve never hiked before, hiking is something anyone can do as long as you pick an appropriate trail for your skill level. 

Getting out in nature is sure to lift your mood and brighten your day. The benefits of getting fresh air are amazing and sometimes simply accomplishing doing something for yourself is what we need as new moms. 

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Hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park

Taking your baby hiking is a great way to get some exercise. After having a baby you might feel like you never have time to workout. Hiking is the perfect workout that allows you to bring your baby.

It’s also a workout that changes every time so you should never get bored doing it, it gets you out of the house and you can easily change the difficulty by changing your pace or what trail you’re doing.

Finally, hiking is something you can do anywhere! It’s a great way to explore a new place or your own backyard. It leads you to new sights around every corner and beautiful views. It truly is a great activity while traveling with your baby or while spending time at home.

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A beautiful hike in Oahu

8 Tips for Hiking with a Baby

Use a comfortable baby carrier

A comfortable and secure baby carrier is an absolute must if you plan on hiking with baby. The carrier should be comfortable for both you and baby and provide enough back support for the adult that will be carrying. It won’t make carrying your baby effortless (darn) but it will make it a heck of a lot easier.

Before the baby has solid head and torso control, which is usually around 6 months, opt for a baby carrier where you have the option to face the baby out or in. Your baby might enjoy looking at the view while awake, but be faced inward when it is time for a nap. This type of carrier is key is hiking with a newborn or hiking with an infant.

Once the baby can sit on their own a good hiking baby carrier is great! They are comfortable, provide support and plenty of storage and allow your baby to enjoy the view around them.

Most have a metal stand that allows you to set the backpack down without having to take your baby out, which is especially clutch when your baby is sleeping. Plus a lot of them have a canopy that adds sun or rain protection while on the trail.

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Hiking in Hawaii

Provide sun protection

The best sun protection for babies is shade; however, many hiking trails don’t have much shade or you don’t know the trail conditions until you are already in the middle of it. It’s best to be prepared for the worst conditions just in case. 

The first way to protect your baby’s skin from the sun is to dress them in breathable clothing that covers their skin. Additionally, use a wide brim sun hat to keep the sun out of their face and eyes.

Unfortunately according to the FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics sunscreen isn’t a safe way to protect a baby from the sun until they are 6 months. But if your baby is 6 months or older you can use a mineral based baby sunscreen.

Lastly, many baby carriers have an attachable canopy to provide shade. If yours doesn’t or you are still using an infant carrier the perfect way to create your own shade is by carrying an umbrella while taking your baby hiking. 

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Using an umbrella to provide shade while hiking an exposed trail

Keep baby cool and hydrated

This is especially important if you are hiking with baby in a warm climate such as Hawaii or Spain. Babies, especially newborns, cannot regulate their body temperature like adults. Help keep them cool by using shade, dressing them appropriately for the conditions and using a portable fan.

Additionally, it’s very important to keep your baby hydrated. Take extra breaks to offer a bottle or breast milk. If you use formula, make sure you pack everything you need to make bottles on the go. Or while breastfeeding, you may want to pack a cover and wear a convenient nursing bra and nursing top.

Babies 6 months or older can also have small sips of water to help hydrate them as well.

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Taking a drink break on a hike. Indie 7 months old

Pick trail and time wisely

Taking your baby hiking will be more challenging than you are used to. Do some research before hitting the trails and pick a trail that isn’t too difficult or too long in distance. 

Also consider what time of day you are hiking. If you’re hiking in a warm destination it might be best to hike in the early morning or evening when it is cooler outside and vice versa for a cold destination.

Additionally, consider how your baby naps in a carrier. They might nap in a baby carrier just fine. In that case, taking your baby hiking during nap time will work great. If they are better at napping at home in a crib then save your hikes for wake windows. 

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Indie catching a nap during a hike

Protect baby from bugs

If you are hiking in a buggy area like wetlands or jungles, bring bug repellant and use it to protect your little one from those buggers. According to the CDC bug spray is safe once your baby is 2 months of age. If they are too young for bug spray I wouldn’t recommend hiking with baby in those conditions. 

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Swimming in a waterfall in Hawaii. Such a treat at the end of a hike.

Carry a first aid kit

Always carry a first aid kit when hiking with a baby. Even when taking extra precautions, you never know when an accident is going to happen. Of course we never want accidents to happen, but it’s best to be prepared.

Carry a first aid kit stocked with infant Tylenol (0-6 mo) or baby Motrin (6 mo+), a medicine dropper, bandaids, itch cream, baby thermometer and sterile gauze. 

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Indie 3 months old hiking Overlook Trail Zion National Park

Dress baby appropriate for the conditions

This goes along with protecting your baby from the sun, keeping them cool and hydrated and picking the trail and time wisely. Consider the conditions you will be hiking in and dress your baby appropriately. 

If you are hiking in cold temperatures dress your baby in a hat, mittens, socks, boots and warm jacket. If you are hiking in warm conditions dress them in breathable clothing that will allow for the heat to release. See the hiking with baby essentials list for clothing we recommend for hiking with baby.

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Hiking in Hawaii with a beautiful view

Pack the hiking with baby essentials

There’s no denying that babies require a lot of stuff. However, when hiking we also want to keep our backpacks as light as possible. Pack only the necessary things to keep you and your baby safe when taking your baby hiking. 

At the top of this blog is a list of hiking with baby essentials so you are prepared on your hike with baby, newborn or infant.

Enjoy your hike with baby!

Hiking is the perfect baby friendly activity you can do anywhere. It is a great way to get outside and explore a new place while lifting your mood and fueling your body with activity, sunshine and endorphins. 

We hope you enjoyed these important tips for hiking with baby and you find our hiking with baby essentials list helpful. Please use the photos below to pin this post to Pinterest.

Helpful tips for hiking with baby. Take a vacation with baby and enjoy adventuring with your baby. Use these hiking baby tips, and this packing list for exactly what to bring for hiking with a baby. Plus the benefits and why you should go hiking with kids. These baby travel tips include a great hiking baby carrier, what to bring, safety tips and how to find baby friendly hiking trail, kid friendly hiking trails and family friendly hiking trails. Be prepared for a baby adventure with these tips!

Incredible tips for hiking with baby, why you should go hiking with a baby and what to pack for backpacking with baby. Recommendations for the best hiking baby carrier and how to take a hiking vacation with baby. Use these baby travel tips for hiking and camping with a baby. Hiking with kids and baby makes for a great adventure. An adventure baby is sure to be a great hiking baby. These hiking baby tips include a baby carrier, safety tips, what to pack and how to pick a good trail.

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