Winter hiking with baby (in carrier)

Winter hiking with a child in a carrier - my tips and experiences

Anyone who loves hiking and loves winter will inevitably ask themselves as new parents if so, how to go hiking with a baby in winter. Fortunately, as a summer mom, this question came at a time when I was already able to gain a little experience with my baby, being outside and the right clothes to go with him.

Now – after a winter with a dog and a baby – where we've spent several hours together outside in nature every day and some winter research trips for my new hiking book, I'd like to share with you my tips for winter hiking with a baby. Of course, every child is different and what works for us may not always work for you. But maybe there are a tip or two you can implement yourself. And if in the end it's just motivation to try winter hiking with a baby.

Winter hiking with a child in a carrier - my tips and experiences

Winter Hiking with Baby – Tip #1: Carry instead a baby carrier or stroller

Personally, I think winter hiking with a baby in a carrier is the only solution for “long” winter hikes, especially in sub-zero temperatures. For one thing, pushing a stroller is generally not possible on many hiking trails. If there is still snow and ice, it will be more of a burden. To be honest, I have to admit that I'm not a huge expert on strollers, as my baby was and still is a full-fledged baby carrier and the stroller was used very rarely. When this happens, it reaches its limits with only a few icicles on the ground. I was also always worried that my baby would catch a cold after spending too much time outside, despite wearing foot protection and thick clothing. Quite apart from the fact that hiking with a stroller is generally not exciting due to limited mobility.

If your baby is in the carrier while hiking in the winter, they will be exposed to your body heat all the time and generally won't be able to cool down. You can always check your neck every now and then to see if it's too cold. With a little practice, you can breastfeed your baby in a carrier. With a stretcher, you of course have complete flexibility when it comes to terrain and route choice.

Winter hiking with a child in a carrier - my tips and experiences

Tip #2: Plan shorter tours

What already applies to any normal winter tour, is especially true for hiking with an infant. It is: winter hiking spices in brief. When I was still researching my first book (52 Small and Large Adventures in the Harz Mountains), I regularly misestimated the length of tours when planning winter tours. On the one hand, because in winter you move at a much slower pace on snow and ice than in warmer seasons. On the other hand, because the cold means you take fewer breaks, you generally get tired more quickly. In addition, many people (non-dog owners) generally go outside less in the winter and therefore exercise less. If you are also traveling with an infant, not only will it be more stressful because of the extra weight, but you should also not extend your time abroad immeasurably because of the baby. If you want to go on longer rides, you can always improve little by little. Personally, I always plan the distance of my winter hikes to be around 8-10 km.

Winter Hiking with Baby – Tip #3: Practice makes perfect

What generally applies to hiking with a baby carrier or baby clothes in general: Practice makes perfect – for parents and kids. If you only want to put your baby in the carrier for outings every few weeks, you may not only get protests from baby. Just like when carrying a heavy backpack, the body must also slowly get used to the additional weight. In particular, carrying in front of your stomach requires different muscles than carrying weight on your back. I know what I'm talking about because my baby is now over 10 kilos. It is best to stay on the ball from birth and benefit from the training effect as the baby gains weight. I definitely recommend walking at least 2-3 a week until you get used to wearing it.

Tip No. 4: At what age is winter walking with a baby?

In principle, it is recommended to walk for a maximum of 30 minutes in the first two weeks of life. After that, the duration can be increased by 15 minutes per week. Personally, I would be more careful in temperatures below zero, although everyone knows their child best and how sensitive they are to the cold. From two months old, appropriately dressed babies can stay outside for several hours. Thermoregulation works much better for them than for newborns.

Of course, as with everything, it depends on the baby and also on how much of the baby can be seen from the carrier or jacket (see tip #8) and how much exposure it has to the wind and weather. I once got into a strong wind with Minnie when I was about 3 months old Amrum Walk or picnic on the beach. He didn't like it at all at that age, but now, at 9 months old, the wind and weather don't bother him at all anymore.

Winter Hiking with Baby – Tip #5: The Right Carrier

Entire books can be full of advice for the right baby carrier and it's hard to give a general recommendation here – especially since I only know my own experience and am not a trained babywearing consultant. So I can only advise you to get advice on children's clothing. I did this myself when Mini was about 4 months old. Previously we used soft ropes and what is called a half clip holder. This is basically a combination of a scarf and a “backpack holder.” It has a fixed waistband and then attaches with straps. Like carrying in a sling, this type of carrier is suitable from birth, whereas a classic baby carrier with straps and buckles requires a certain weight and is usually too rigid and inflexible for sensitive newborns.

We've been out with it so far Limas Halfbuckle, which became very uncomfortable for me as the Mini's weight increased. I also found attaching the stretcher to the long straps quite annoying, for example in dirty car parks. Then we're on to one Rockley Slim The switch was made, which felt good with its gentle padding during the consultation. We still use it every day to this day.

As an alternative to the Ruckeli, I also tested the Limas Fullbuckle, which was too rigid and thickly padded for me personally, as well as the Carrier from Sandiia, which I found uncomfortable and poorly padded (although of course very uncomfortable). nice – good). Since the Mini has now reached the maximum bar width for the Ruckeli stretcher, I'm considering one in the future Carrying a small baby For young children to change. To me, this would also be the perfect tip for winter hiking with a toddler.

Tip No. 6: Appropriate clothing for your child

I'm a big fan of wool – especially because of its heat-regulating properties. Woolwalk is a material made from pure new wool, Which becomes complex in a controlled manner under the influence of water, heat and friction. This makes it particularly resistant to stretching and abrasion. If it's cold, a full wool suit will keep you warm all the time; If the weather is warmer, it ensures that the body temperature does not rise.

Although individual temperature sensitivity varies from child to child, the fleece walking suit is said to be ideal at temperatures ranging from -15 to +12 degrees. The suit is worn like a classic snow suit over a child's regular clothing. In winter we wear a thin sweater and knitted pants over a long-sleeved suit. Minnie (outdoors only) wears thin merino wool socks and shoes on her feet. Of course, you can also wear a hat and scarf outside. If it's particularly cold, you can also wear tights underneath.

Winter Hiking with Baby – Tip #7: A baby clothing jacket makes all the difference

Although the fleece suit can be used up to minus 15 degrees, I'm personally glad that I also have my baby under my baby jacket, especially when the temperatures are below zero. A children's clothing jacket is a jacket with an accessory for the child. This is usually on the front and is simply inserted into the existing zipper. There are also universal carrying accessories for your regular jackets. Since baby is under the jacket, not only is he extra protected from the wind and weather, but you can also have good control over whether it is too cold or too warm for him.

As a rule, if you are warm, the baby will be warm, and vice versa. Due to the properties of wool, it cannot overheat. I own two baby clothing jackets, a rain jacket and a winter jacket, that I use every day. Positive side effect: You can wonderfully protect the baby (while he sleeps) from external influences and support the head. It is important that the child remains able to breathe well. If you need a scarf, you should only wear a thin, tight tube scarf.

My children's clothing jackets are from Seraphine maternity It is cut in such a way that it can also be used during pregnancy. But I also like to wear my clothes bare.

Tip #8: Carry on your stomach or back?

Although I weighed 10 kilograms, I only carried my baby on my stomach in winter. So I had a better sense of when it was too cold and was able to protect it better when it started raining or snowing. Aside from the fact that I don't have a jacket with a backpack attachment. If you have a jacket like this and are hiking with someone else who can take care of the baby, there is nothing wrong with carrying it on your back.

Winter Hiking with Baby – Tip #9: Food and Luggage for Winter Tours

As with any “normal” winter hike, I always carry a bottle of hot tea and a bar or two with me when hiking in the winter with a baby. Of course, the baby's regular program (diaper bag, change of clothes and, for non-breastfed babies, bottle accessories and, if necessary, snacks) should always be in your luggage. Other than that, I keep my packing as light as possible – especially when I'm traveling alone.

Winter hiking with a child in a carrier - my tips and experiences

Tip #10: Plan breaks (in warm climates).

It is useful to plan a ride with stops (in the middle) in advance, not only to make carrying more comfortable for longer periods of time, but also for breastfeeding and changing rest periods. For me personally, my pain threshold when wearing them is about an hour and a half at a time. After the break, things go well again for another hour or hour and a half. In my opinion, breastfeeding or bottle giving can be done outside if necessary, but I don't want to change diapers for my baby in winter temperatures.

Winter hiking with a child in a carrier - my tips and experiences

Do you have any other tips or questions about winter hiking with a baby in a carrier? Then let's talk about it in the comments!

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