Hiking With a Toddler

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Prior to having a baby going hiking was something my husband and I really enjoyed. Many of our first dates including going on hiking adventures. We had the pleasure of visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our 1 year anniversary! It was amazing! 

LO thankfully is just like her parents and loves being outdoors! Yay! We’ve taken her on a few hikes when she was younger and she really enjoyed the views. She has an eye for nature. She loves looking at the birds and the trees. 

Since we’re getting close to spring my husband and I have been itching to go on some trails. So we thought why not take LO on her first mobile hiking adventure! I believe it is essential to get outside and enjoy nature. It is a great learning experience for adults as well as toddlers.  There are a few things we had to do differently when hiking with a toddler that we wouldn’t normally do. But we did a little extra planning to ensure that this hike was successful.

4 Tips for Hiking With a Toddler

Choose a Easy Trail

We used to always enjoyed going up a mountain so we could see the views. This however is not very practical with a mobile toddler who wants to get down and walk. Although my toddler loves to explore it’s not very safe to have her climbing up rocks that could potientally slide. For this reason we opted for a easy flat trail. You can find some really nice trails with a reward at the end like waterfalls or creeks!

Go Slow

Toddlers are almost always interested in what they see along the way. So while you may be eager to get to the waterfall, they are more concerned with a stick or a leaf. My daughter definitely taught my husband and I to stop and look. She’d stop to listen to a bird or to pick up a pine cone. A few times she sat down and played in the dirt. So it may take you a little longer to complete the trail, but your toddler will certainly thank you for it. 

Bring Snacks

After about two hiking trips without food in our early days, we decided to never go on a trail without food! 

We packed sandwiches for us and a little baggie with meat, red peppers, and crackers for my daughter. We generally include some fruit and throw in some granola bars as well. Last but not least WATER! We always, always bring water. It is very important to stay hydrated when hiking even if it isn’t hot outside. Also, if you breastfeed be prepared for frequent “mama milk” stops in addition to snacks!

What to Bring

When packing your bag for the hike try to go light. You don’t want to hike a long trail with a super heavy bag. The sunscreen and bug spray we use are all natural and safe for little ones, the whole family uses them.

I recommend packing:

Hiking with a toddler can be a fun rewarding experience. With a little planning and some snacks you’re ready for the adventure! 

Do you enjoy hiking? Let me know in the comments!


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