1. Putting the baby to sleep
Nothing puts a baby to sleep like the gentle rocking of your body while you're hiking, listening to your heartbeat and watching the trees go by. My newborn would fall asleep on every hike and sleep exceptionally well.
2. Helping to lose the baby fat
Moms, our body changes after giving birth. It's normal to have belly flab—in fact, people were asking me if I was pregnant a full 1 year after giving birth! But if it makes you feel better, you can go on a hike and try to burn off the "leftover packaging". Here's to getting that body back!
3. Feeling like your old self
When you become a parent, you become so focused on your newborn, that you become 100% parent, and in a way, you lose your old identity. It can be stressful and frustrating to have a completely different lifestyle and not do any of the things you used to do before you had a baby. Go for a hike! You'll feel amazing and feel like your old self again.
4. Cultivating a love for nature in your child
My daughter is now 2 and she thinks hiking and spending time in nature is a normal part of life, and she loves the outdoors. This might not have been the case if we hadn't been going hiking regularly since she was a baby.
5. Stay healthy
Of course, all of the other reasons to go hiking, that don't have anything to do with being a new parent, still apply! You get to breathe fresh air, spend time outdoors, get exercise, and feed your soul by being in nature!
What to take with you
So, if you've been craving to get outdoors, just do it! And don't forget to take, on top of your normal hiking gear:
- ring sling or soft shell baby carrier
- sunhat for the baby
- umbrella for shade (babies should not wear sunscreen)
- breastfeeding cover + nursing top or bottled formula (whichever applies)
- extra diapers and wipes
- diaper changing mat or blanket