Secrets to Taking your Baby on Adventures

Congratulations on being a new parent!  Having a baby will change your life in ways that you never imagined.  However, just because you have a kid now doesn’t mean that you need to trade in your outdoor gear for a pass to the Children’s museum (not that the Children’s museum isn’t awesome).  Wanna know the secret?  Read on!

Quickly after junior is born, you will realize that at first they only do 3 things – eat, sleep, and poop.  Okay, I guess that they are awake sometimes too, but that’s the easy part.  Once you learn to  figure our the other three, having your baby awake on an adventure is just icing on the cake.  Start out early by going on adventures as soon as you comfortably can (read Adventures with an Infant – Start NOW).

Eat

Feeding a baby can be an adjustment all on it’s own, so feeding a baby on an adventure can be an adventure in and of itself.  The only way to get good at it is practice.  Of course the easiest way to feed a baby while you’re out is breastfeeding.  It’s nice because you don’t have to worry about preparing or packing anything extra.  Bottle feeding is a little more complex, but still totally doable (just make sure to take plenty of bottles and formula).  Here are some great tips that can help you be more comfortable feeding on the go:

  1. Practice.  Get used to feeding your baby in many different places before you attempt something big.  You will get more comfortable with feeding and your baby will learn that it’s fine to eat places that are not familiar to them.
  2. Support.  It can be helpful to have a little back support while you are feeding your baby.  Where possible find a seat or a bench.  If that’s not available, a large tree or rock make great backrests to help you be more comfortable.
  3. Privacy.  Most women prefer to have privacy while feeding.  Not only will it make mom more comfortable but it can also help baby be less distracted and eat better.  Head off the trail and sit behind a log or rock, relax and enjoy that you get to be outside sharing wonderful experiences with your baby.  Nursing covers or blankets also help provide privacy, though require some practice to get used to.
  4. Clothing.  If you’re nursing invest in a good nursing bra.  If you’re out on adventures, make sure you have one that provides plenty of support.  Also, make sure you are wearing a shirt that provides easy access for nursing.  If you want outdoor clothing that also allows you to nurse, Mountain Mama Maternity can’t be beat.
The good news is that eating is often the trickiest aspect of adventures with a baby (replaced by sleep with a toddler).  Once you’ve mastered feeding baby on adventures, most of the hard work is done!

Sleep

When babies are first born, they sleep more than they are awake.  Take advantage of this time by teaching your infant to sleep on the go – you’ll be grateful you did when you have a 2 year old who can nap while camping.  Although it’s important for your child to know how to sleep places besides their crib, routines can be very helpful.  If you have a set routine for naptime at home, follow it when away as well.  With a newborn, the best option is often to wear your baby.  Baby carriers and baby wraps make it easy to still explore while holding your baby close and allowing them to sleep.

  Don’t make the same mistake we did and wait until baby #3 is born to get a carrier that you really like – get one now!  We have the Beco Butterfly II and couldn’t be happier with it.  As your baby gets bigger, you can carry them in a backpack (ours is an older version of the Kelty Junction).  If you’re doing something stationary (like rock climbing), take blankets and lay the baby down in the shade for a nap (remember to bring extra blankets if it’s cool).

Poop

Luckily, the messiest job is also the easiest.  After the first few weeks, you’ll start to get an idea of how many diapers your baby goes through in a day.  Add 3 diapers to that number and you’ll be set for practially any mess your little one will make.  Be sure to throw in some wipes, and 2 compact changes of clothes (onesies for summer or sleepers for winter) and you’re good to go.  While a folding changing pad can be nice, a small blanket or even your jacket make a soft place to change a diaper.

Here are a few things we’ve learned for getting out with a newborn:

1.  START NOW!!  We often hear new parents talking about what age they will go do things with their baby.  Our rule of thumb is that if Mom is up for it, then go for it.  Babies are so easily adaptable that you can take them to do almost anything!

2.  Establish a habit.  Get into the habit now of going out and doing things with your baby.  It’s a lot easier to take a two year old camping if they have been doing it their whole life than one who has never been outside.  If you want to spend time outside together as a family, make it a habit so that everyone is more comfortable with it down the road.

3..  Do what you are comfortable with.  Right after you have a baby may not be the best time to pick up a new hobby, but it is a great time to continue what you used to do.  Pack up your baby in a carrier or stroller and bring them along with you.  Luckily, for the first few months they mostly just eat and sleep so this is a great time to bring baby into your routine.     Also, listen to your motherly instincts, they will help you know if your adventures are safe for your new baby.  We often recommend hiking and camping as easy beginnings.

Gear Recommendations:

Mountain Mama Maternity San Juan Eco Hoodie-  If you are looking for a top that will allow you to nurse and adventure, check this one out.  The crossover top makes nursing modestly a cinch.  I also love the extra long length and long sleeves with thumb loops.  It’s also nice and stretchy allowing it to stretch over a pregnant belly and also move with you on your adventures.  I’m thrilled to finally find a top that will last for both pregancy and nursing, giving you more bang for your buck.  It’s honestly the softest top in my drawer, even after multiple washings.  Since it is a crossover and has very flexible fabric, I recommend wearing something under it (so your baby doesn’t grab your shirt and pull it down…).

 

Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel Baby Bottle - Although looks aren’t everything, tough gear always has a way of helping you act just a little more adventurous.  Skip the baby bottles adorned with Teddy Bears and Bows and go straight for Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel bottle.  A fun baby accessory or gift for new parents.  Check out our full review here.

 

Lilac and Lollipops Nursing HideAway - with the popularity of nursing covers in the last few years, breastfeeding in public is gaining popularity.  It’s really no wonder though, since these covers stay up, keep you covered, and still allow you to see your baby.  I have a cover that goes wherever I go and is one of the best pieces of baby gear I own.  Lilacs and Lollipops makes the cutest ones around in lots of fun designer prints, and has a great overall clasp to help the adjustable neckstrap stay put (the clasp is the best design I’ve seen).

Giveaway:

One lucky winner will win our “Baby Adventure” prize pack full of lots of great gifts for mom to take care of all of your feeding needs while out adventuring, including: a Mountain Mama San juan Eco Hoodie, a Klean Kanteen 9 oz baby bottle, and a Lilacs and Lollipops HideAway.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We would like to thank Mountain Mama and Klean Kanteen for supplying products for this review.  As always, these opinions are totally our own and are not influenced by anyone else.

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