If you have a baby (or are thinking about it) but don't want to give up your outdoor activities, you are in the right place! When I got pregnant with my now 5 month old, Juniper, I was honestly really scared that I would have to say no to my own outdoor hobbies. But let me tell you: this is absolutely not the case. I started hiking with her when she was 3 weeks old, and since then we've logged too many miles to count, have spent about a month traveling in our camper van with her, and we've learned a lot along the way. No, it won't be as smooth as it used to be. You may have to adjust your expectations for what your adventures will look like in that first year, but you CAN still get out there! As I've shared all of our adventures I've gotten numerous messages from other hiker mamas asking what essentials I recommend for getting outdoors with baby. So in this post I will be sharing things we have used over the summer, items I've already purchased in anticipation for winter (literally living on top of a mountain), and items I have on my wish list for next spring/summer. I hope this helps - adventure on, mamas!
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Outdoor/Adventure Essentials for Baby:
Foldable Travel Bassinet - If your baby is still able to sleep in a bassinet, this is ideal for camping or car/van travel. We have used ours in our van for Juniper to sleep in while on the road and it's worked great!
2. Baby Hiking Carrier- We used this carrier for Juniper starting at 3 weeks old and it's still what we use on hikes at 5 months old. Soon she will be able to graduate to a back carrier, but you need to use a front carrier until their neck is stable enough to hold up without assistance. This carrier can be used for 7lbs+.
3. Child Carrier Backpack- Once your baby reaches 16 lbs, they can officially graduate to a backpack carrier! This tends to be more convenient because you no longer have the load on your front (which can be more uncomfortable), and it doubles as a backpack for carrying your other belongings. This is the carrier we plan to use for Juniper once she reaches 16 lbs (she's so close!).
4. Baby Sun Hat- This purchase has been one of our most used items this past summer! Babies really cannot be in direct sunlight until they are 6 months+ due to the fragility and thinness of their skin as young infants. So if you plan to spend time outdoors with your baby, a sun hat is a MUST!
5. Baby Sun Screen- Once your baby reaches 6 months+, wearing sunscreen becomes a safe option. This is the sunscreen we will have on hand for next spring/summer when we are outdoors with Juniper.
6. Lightweight, Breathable Onesie- Since babies cannot safely be in the sun or wear sunscreen until 6 months+, we dressed Junie in onesies like this during all of our summer hikes. Her skin needed to be completely covered, but we wanted something breathable so she wouldn't get too hot.
7. Foldable Changing Pad- Trust me when I say, you want to bring this along on your hikes! If your little one has an accident, be sure to have a foldable changing pad in your pack for easy diaper changes.
8. Portable Sound Machine- Bringing one of these along during travel can be a total game changer if your baby is accustomed to falling asleep to white noise. They're also amazing for car naps!
9. Portable Fan- We love this fan for attaching to her carseat during travel. Especially when we were traveling in the van this past summer and temperatures were hot!
10. Baby Beanies- In anticipation for winter, we are stocking up on warm beanies for Juniper since we live in a particularly cold area of Colorado. These beanies are intended for 6 months+.
11. Baby Snowsuit- We just ordered this adorable baby girl snowsuit for Juniper this winter. I can't attest to its warmth or quality yet, but it looks like a wonderful winter option for her. They have all sizes starting from 0 months - 24 months.
12. Baby Sock Booties- I also just ordered these fuzzy sock booties for Juniper for the winter. She won't yet be walking but still needs protection to keep her feet warm. They have sizes 3 months - 24 months.
13. Baby Sleeping Bag- While we haven't found sleeping bags for babies under 6 months, we plan to use this sleeping bag for her next summer on backpacking/camping trips. I've seen several other adventure moms recommend this particular one. They have sizes 6 months - 24 months.
14. Down Camping Blanket- A good down blanket can be used for far more than camping. We used it this past summer for picnics, spending time outside, and keeping warm in the evenings. And it's comfortable and puffy enough to lay the baby on for lounging!
15. Snuggle Me Lounger- Not only is this a great household item to have for your baby, but we used it on the road constantly. It also works for a nap/sleep substitute while camping/traveling (not technically recommended for sleep, so do so at your own risk).
I hope you found this list helpful for picking outdoor essentials for your baby! If so, please pass along to your other adventurous mama friends. These products were each used heavily by us for the past 5 months and enabled smooth adventuring, even in the midst of trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time!
Bradee (and Juniper)