What to Bring on Your First Hike with Baby
Hiking is a great way to spend time with baby! There is a little more planning required when bringing a little one along, but I love being able to get outside, move my body, and allow my daughter to explore.
Something I have learned from experience is that less is more when it comes to packing a bag for baby. I have also learned that different outings require different needs. For example, you don't need a ton of toys when you go on a hike with baby, but you will definitely need a carrier. I am always learning how I can pack more efficiently, so I made this list for any other mamas who may be in the same boat!
For reference, my daughter was around six months when we went on our first hike together, so this list is based around that age. We also went with my husband, so one of us carried her and the other carried the backpack. It's great if you go with someone else to distribute the weight, but you could also carry everything yourself! Even more of a reason to keep it light when packing :)
I wish I would have had this guide my first time around, so here are a few things I am glad I brought or would have wanted for that first hike postpartum.
1. Pain Relief Gel
Let's be honest... that first hike postpartum is intense. I was sore immediately, like during the hike. This is something I wish I would have had during and after. It's a completely clean pain relief gel, so it is safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding, but as always, consult with your doctor and intuition before using any products.
2. Water Bottle
Water is a necessity! This bottle is cute and functional. You will definitely want a lightweight, leak proof water bottle that you can throw into your backpack. This will most likely take up most of the weight in your bag, but it will get lighter throughout the hike and is absolutely a necessity.
You could do sunnies or a hat, but lately I have been preferring sunglasses. These are cute and functionally (my jam), and they are literally made to be "knocked around" so perfect for all things outdoorsy. I love how lightweight and budget friendly they are.
My go to! I always, always, always have Burt's Bees Coconut Pear chapstick on hand. Clean, light, and smells like a vacation. This is a need especially if you live in the desert, or a dry climate like me.
Snacks are a must! I always bring some kind of protein bar and eat it at the half way point to keep my energy sustained. Go Macro bars are one of my faves because they are a great source for energy and protein, plus organic, vegan, and gluten free. I love that they are clean, tasty, and not a weird texture.
You definitely need a backpack, but like I said earlier, less is more! Look for one that will fit what you bring but also very lightweight. If you are carrying baby by yourself, you really don't want to be weighed down any more than you already are. And if someone else is carrying baby or the backpack, lighter is still the way to go when you are on the move!
8. Hiking Shoes
Have these. Love these. You will want to be very supported, especially if you are holding baby in the carrier. These have tons of traction and you can tuck in the string to avoid the possibility of tripping over the shoe lace. I tried a bunch of shoes on in person when I was looking for a pair, and I chose these because they had the best grip and weren't as heavy as some of the other styles. Worth the investment!
9. Comfy Cute Fit
For me, comfy and cute go together. Beyond Yoga is my favorite for postpartum athleisure wear. I know every brand claims to be the softest, but these really are. The material is a little thicker too, so very flattering on even if you get lighter colors.
A UPF hat is something I did not anticipate using as much as I do. This is a need for hiking to keep the sun out of baby's eyes so he or she can explore their surroundings, while also protecting his or her face and head from the sun. I love that this one covers baby's neck too, but if your child pulls hats off, then I would recommend one that ties or fastens at the chin so it stays on.
If you're a mom, you know you can't go anywhere without wipes. These are my fave. Clean and effective. Also the most moist... for lack of a better word. I can't tell you how many times they have came in handy, from diaper changes, to sticky fingers, or even just to cool baby off a little. You could also do a smaller pack to save room in the bag if needed.
You don't need a ton of diapers, but it wouldn't hurt to bring one. It's definitely better to have and not need then need and not have! I have found Huggies Little Movers are the best for movement and keeping everything in, if you know what I mean.
4. Diaper Bags
Hopefully you don't need to change a diaper on the hike, but just in case! These biodegradable bags are good to have to put the diaper in and then throw away at the end of the hike. Please do not litter :)
If your baby is eating solids, it's a good idea to bring him or her a snack too! These puffs are my daughter's favorite. They have super clean ingredients and melt in baby's mouth, so it gives me more peace of mind! I usually just put a handful in small container to save space in the bag.
Baby needs to hydrate too! Definitely get a leak proof one. This is the one we use. The straw can be kinda funky but if your baby likes it, it is the best when it comes to being leakproof. Also, if you are breastfeeding your baby and like to use a nursing cover in public, I recommend this one. I personally don't use a cover on hikes just because there aren't many people around and I can just cover up with my hand or shirt if needed, but it's nice to have if that is your preference.
6. Hand Sanitizer
Okay, this is more for mom than baby, but you will most likely need it as a result of a baby mess. Like wipes, just always good to have. This one is clean and smells like a vacation as well. (I am sensing a pattern in my scent choices...)
The temperature will impact what baby wears, but since we are in the desert, I always keep it light with just a onesie or a set like this. H&M has the best lightweight bodysuits. Another option would be a UPF 50 Sun Protection Set like this one to protect baby's skin, especially if you aren't using sunscreen.
We have a few carriers, but this one is the most functional and comfortable for any kind of movement. I have always used this one for hiking, but I appreciate it more as my daughter gets older and weighs more because it is so supportive!
If baby is over six months, this is a great clean, non-toxic sunscreen that is safe for both mom and baby. As always check with your doctor and intuition before using any products.
I hope this helps you prepare for your first hike with baby! It may be a little shorter and less intense with a little one, but it is still so nice to get out in nature, move your body, and let baby explore!
If you have a favorite hike to do with your baby let me know! I am always in search of new places to explore with my little fam.
With love and gratitude,