Of course after having a baby, mothers always struggle with trying to get back into shape, or at least a more desirable shape than that of just having a baby. In my quest to always find something new and exciting to do with my infant son, I discovered hiking. It is a great way to get some exercise after pregnancy, fresh air for your baby (which makes for a great nap time after), and you can explore nature.I have been attempting hiking with my son who is now 11 months and my neighbor as well, who has one 7 month old and one 2 year old, so we have learned some things and tips to help get moms started. I do have to say though, I do not recommend hiking for mothers until they have been given permission from their doctor to start doing exercise again, or your baby is after the six month mark, can wear sunscreen and can support their own head in a carrier.
Finding where to go and doing your research
I am lucky enough to live in the country where trails are just in my backyard, but hiking trails are everywhere. You can even start with a local park to see if your child is comfortable with being in a carrier, and you are up to carrying your child.
You can find trails through:
- Your local tourism centre
What you want to consider in picking a trail:
- Look at distance
- Look at details about the terrain (path well marked out, not too many hills)
- Distance to a washroom or town (you do not want to be too far from a town with a baby)
- Make sure you let someone know where and when you are going and when you are expected back home.
Pack back up of everything in your car of the following:
- Clothes – Pick lightweight, breathable clothing that will cover well and provide protection from bugs
- Diapers and Wipes
- Food and water
- Rain gear (I have a large poncho from Disney land that can cover us both, works great).
- First Aid items
Hopefully your carrier has a pouch or pocket because you want to bring a distraction snack to tie them over just in case, and bring some water.
Sunscreen on, hats on, be prepared for bugs and get started.
What I have found is that you might hike more when your child is comfortable in a carrier. When your child starts to walk the hike gets slower because you have to remember they toddle, their legs are very small and distractions are very easy to come by. Although, as your child gets older you can start adding a new element of learning to your hikes, by researching plants, trees, bugs and animals to identify on your walks. Hiking can be your life long tradition to start with your child from infancy to toddler and even older (well until they become to cool to hang out with their parents).