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/ Walking with a baby

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Skyfall - on 06 Jan 2019

Baby Skyfall was born at the start of December and is now one month old and our minds are turning to the great outdoors. again.

Having zero previous experience of babies in the outdoors (and babies generally really!) we're wondering what is do'able in the coming months and early years. 

I had one trial run in a front carrier which a friend donated with the baby facing me (which I gather is best for some months) but the baby seemed intent on smothering herself in my chest despite any adjustments I could make to the carrier, so I gave up on that fairly fast.  That might simply be an age thing in that she was only a couple of weeks old and very floppy (no neck muscles etc).

I'm interested in which carriers people have found best at what ages (it sounds as though we could graduate to a back carrier at about 6 months), any specific models - both front and back .

Also, what can we realistically expect to do?  I read a few comments along the lines that for the first few months it is really easier to go on flat/path walks with a pram e.g some of the low level walks in the Lakes.  I think I am starting to realise why with the constant attention they seem to require at this stage (I am not sure a walk of much more than hour is really do'able right now).

And then there is climbing.....

Any experiences welcome!

 

Graeme G on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

It's many years since ours were at that stage. I can safely say the best thing my dad bought us was a rucksack style papoose. The tech has moved on enormously and I'm sure they are much better now but we did sections of the West Highland Way, a few wee hills around Glasgow and beyond. Easily up to 4 hours of walking on flat tracks and up and down hills. That said there were days one of my kids just cried and cried. Being stuck out in the wilds with no option to go on was a bit tortourous.

As for climbing, good luck. One is only now coming round to my early attempts at introducing them to it, a full 12 years later! Better late then never though.

Good luck, life's a journey and all that......

Dom Bush - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

I guess it depends a little if you’re baby is breastfeeding or bottle feeding perhaps, but our daughter was born on Christmas Day last year and within two weeks she was on top of Cat Bells in a cotton wraparound sling. It was snowy and she was perfectly happy wrapped up in mum’s jacket.

She’s now 12 months old and has been in South Africa with us for the last month and we’ve managed to walk up Table Mountain and do a couple of 3 hour walks in the Drakensberg with a LittleLife backpack. She’s content to be out in the mountains for a good few hours as long as she can be fed along the way. We even changed her nappy half way up Table Mountain!

 

fmck - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

My first attended my last Munro in atrocious weather 7 months old in a baby backpack. I got a friend to get him down quick while I waited for the rest to arrive. I needn't of worried as he was bone dry fast asleep  It was a bit bizarre changing his nappy in the train shelter though. He went with us up a number of hills but can feel like a sack of cement on your back at times. Just slow the pace until there on their feet then get the sweet bag out. Don't over do it as I did with our 4 year old daughter on Goatfell. She made it no bother but didn't shut up until late at night. 

alan moore - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

When mine were babies that rode in a front carrier. We had a back pack but never liked it. I carried them on my arms up until they were four which was great for putting them down for a crawl or run every once in a while.

Mostly did sub 2000ft hills; getting caught out in mountain weather with a screaming baby is a whole different ball game!

Enjoy the carrying phase though; you'll do a lot less when they start wanting to walk...

 

blackmountainbiker - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

If hill walking in the winter you really need to keep in mind how cold your baby might get as they are totally inactive, especially the extremities. It sounds obvious but it's really easy to forget when you are sweating away slogging up a hill.

Tringa on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

> Baby Skyfall was born at the start of December and is now one month old and our minds are turning to the great outdoors. again.

> Having zero previous experience of babies in the outdoors (and babies generally really!) we're wondering what is do'able in the coming months and early years. 

> I had one trial run in a front carrier which a friend donated with the baby facing me (which I gather is best for some months) but the baby seemed intent on smothering herself in my chest despite any adjustments I could make to the carrier, so I gave up on that fairly fast.  That might simply be an age thing in that she was only a couple of weeks old and very floppy (no neck muscles etc).

> I'm interested in which carriers people have found best at what ages (it sounds as though we could graduate to a back carrier at about 6 months), any specific models - both front and back .

> Also, what can we realistically expect to do?  I read a few comments along the lines that for the first few months it is really easier to go on flat/path walks with a pram e.g some of the low level walks in the Lakes.  I think I am starting to realise why with the constant attention they seem to require at this stage (I am not sure a walk of much more than hour is really do'able right now).

> And then there is climbing.....

> Any experiences welcome!


Its over 30 years since I carried either of ours in a baby carrier so my memory might be failing but I think the baby needs to be able to support its own head to be carried safely for any length of time. I'm guessing that most of the time indoors at this age your baby would be lying down, not is a generally upright position, which is roughly the position in a carrier.

Early on, low level easy walks are probably the best; what might be the merest of slips for you on a hill could be something completely different with a little one attached.

Can't recommend any specific carriers but at the right time the rucksack ones where the youngsters legs dangle out the bottom are comfortable. 

 

Dave

bluerockman on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We've used both the front carriers (wrap around and baby bjorn) and the rucksuck.  Our little monster is happy as long as he is warm and fed.  The wraps are great at support their head whilst their neck is getting stronger and allows them to have a nap.  Our Baby Bjorn was comfy and also allowed us to place him facing forward so he could see more and more.

Now that he is walking we switch between the carrier and him walking.  A general rule of thumb that we have picked up (can't remember where from) is 1 km per year old - i.e over a day a 3 yrs old can walk 3kms.  Now that is probably too much for some and too little for others but it has given us a good starting point when planning.  Next when looking at carriers take along any bulky warm kit your little will wear.  Test them in the carrier with and without bulky clothing.  We were surprised how much we had to adjust the carrier to fit the montser in when fully togged up.  For my wife the key for any carrier, aside from comfort was the ease of the buckle system.  Sounds obvious but don't buy blind off gumtree/ebay or other websites without giving them a go first.  

So the specifics - My wife found a baby bjorn on ebay for about £20 that was the one with added back support.  Love it - very simple to use and he is great in it - lasted from birth to about 12 months old comfortably.

Our carrier is an Osprey Paco Plus (I think).  Now this was a little more expensive than we initially wanted but we have a pack made by a company that specialise in making packs.  I can't say enough good things about it.  Fits well - although feels odd at first due to the waist belt 'hugging' you.  Sun shade and shower cover are included.  We can get everything in we need for a full day walking.  Now that he is walking we've got him a set of reins too to keep him safe when we don't want him roam free.

Finally on how much to do. My wife build back up very very slowly and I did all the load carrying (I pretty much still do).  She attended the local nuffield gym that had a creche and worked through some simple physio work given to her.  Her advice over my shoulder as I write is just listen to your body. 

Enjoy being back in the hills!  As for climbing, the monster potters at the bottom of the crag teething on quickdraws.  We climb with another couple so that everyone can climb and all babies are looked after.

Skyfall - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to bluerockman:

Thanks, very helpful, and to all.

Derek Furze - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

It is a long while ago, but we did a fair bit with a homemade front pack with our first - mainly lower fells such as the Howgills, where the terrain was not too rough.  Actually managed some quite long days as their needs are pretty simple in the early stages and they seem to like being carried.  Weather is a big factor and once or twice getting caught out was in the end reassuring, as he slept through what seem like desperate conditions!  This approach worked with all three and they got pretty accomplished, walking to 3000m in the Alps and crossing glaciers in the Vanoise when the youngest was just short of four - amazing what they will do in pursuit of a marmot or for a night in a hut.  I think a lot of it is about care with the weather and having an eye for options.  Of course, recognising that pace is inevitably slow, which can be a delight really.

saul on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Buy a good down suit for the baby we had 3-6 month Colombia one it was great , waterproof and so warm!Patagonia do some too. We took ours everywhere either in connecta front sling or rear carrier after 6 months she was very happy on walks or  relaxing on bouldering Matt. 

Snyggapa - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

You definitely want them on your back for climbing, not on the front 

Axel Smeets - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

I've got one aged 11 months. From 3 or 4 months onwards he was able to support his head so I got one of these. 

https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/poco-ag-premium

Of all the things we've bought, this has undoubtedly been the best 240 quid we've parted with (Osprey has it at 320 quid but you can find deals). I've been on garden leave at work for the past 5 months so I've spent a lot of time with my son. Most of it has been spent with him being carried around supermarkets, the Peak District and our local area in the carrier. 

It fits and feels like a premium outdoor rucksack and my son is as happy as a pig in sh*t in it. The build quality is fantastic and size-wise, it'll last for at least 2 or 3 more years. Definitely worth looking at. 

With regards to what walking I've done...nothing too strenuous. Low level walks in the Peak and anything up to 2 hours in the countryside around where I live. As someone has said already, at this time of year it's easy to assume they're warm when you're carrying them up a hill with a sweat on. Always worth checking their extremities to make sure they're comfy and warm. 

And finally...congratulations! 

 

Dave the Rave on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Macpac Vamoose and a babybuffalo suit over other clothing with down booties. Their feet get very cold and can ruin their day out. A few of those warming pouches are worth a lot, as is a warm drink. Don’t bother if the weather is wet, cold and windy. 

I went up the attic for the Xmas decs and found the Vamoose. Checked it and their was an unopened jar of food. Brought back the memories that did. They’re great when they’re young;)

Post edited at 20:31
wintertree - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

I’d walk with Wintertree Jr in a sling up to 18 months or so.   Distance started at 1 mile when a few weeks old, up to 10 miles by about 10-months and down to 4 miles by 18 months.

For the first 3 months I used a sling made from wrapping stretchy cloth round my waste and over my shoulders and knotting it behind my back.  Very adjustable.  Baby facing me.  I’d take baby out immediately after a poo and change and I could make 1-2 miles locally before any more would come out.  I worked the distance up from there as we figured it out.

Then I used a hand-me-down sling of unknown type before replacing it with a denim “Connecta”.  Worked really well for us.  Baby facing me.

We had some great walks.  It’s really hard to take a piss with a baby in a sling, and tying shoe undone laces is damned near impossible.  So get it right -  because if they’re asleep you don’t want to wake them.  It was things like that I found limiting my enjoyment more than mildly steep terrain.  Walking without being able to see your feet takes a bit of conscious attention to begin with and on steep ground.

The key for us was putting in the time to walk a bit locally every day so the child was always used to the sling.  In winter I’d wear and zip up a cheap XXL raincoat to cover us up to their head.  Got to the point the urchin would fall asleep moments after the zip went up regardless of the time and I could get 4-5 miles in before they awoke, then they’d have patience for another 4-5 miles.

I never used a child-faces-forwards sling - they can turn their heads any which way they want.  But in really bad weather I could tuck the head in to me with good clear air to either side and do the coat all the way up.  We had a great walk at the peak of Storm Eve like that.

By 16 months we switched to a toddler Connecta.  By 18-months they wanted to be on their legs all the time and I was starting to find it a bit hard on my dodgy knee.  Most we’ve managed since ditching slings is about 3 miles - limited by their patience and interest rather than fitness.

Beware exposure with the back mounted child carriers.  Especially when they’re young there’s nothing like being pressed up against an adult to help them regulate temperature.

Post edited at 20:53
marsbar - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

My sister used a woven fabric length that you use to tie the baby to you in various ways depending on age.  Similar to this

https://wrapyourbaby.com/newborn-wrapping/

Some videos here.

From what I remember you have to make sure the knees are up and position the baby quite high on you, the fabric comes right up when they can’t support their head.  

It takes a bit of practice but it’s so much more flexible than a carrier so when you’ve got the baby wrapped up and attached you can put them in the right place easier.  

To start with it took 2 people but after a while both mum and dad could tie it by themselves.  Niece loved it.  

Ged Desforges - on 06 Jan 2019

Ours was born in August, and I've walked probably hundreds of miles with her so far. Mainly because it's the easiest way to get her to sleep for daytime naps. It's like a light switch. She'll be fast asleep within a few minutes.  For my own sanity, I've found walking for a couple of hours way more enjoyable than desperately trying to settle her in her cot. Shes at the stage now where she will wake up, ill undo the hood, and she'll happily watch the world go by for another half hour or so after waking. 

I used the baby bjorn at first, which is really simple to use but found it puts all the weight through your shoulders. We've now got a lille baby which has a chunky waste strap, and is much more comfortable. She likes being in it facing forward if I'm just doing stuff round the house too (including fingerboarding )

Another good investment was a bundle bean, basically a fleece lined waterproof cover. With a padded suit on, and this in top, she's warm enough in any weather. I used to just zip her inside my jacket but just started getting too hot. Definitely plan on dressing for th second mile, as it's pretty hard to take a layer off if you are too hot and you don't want to wake them! 

Dr.S at work - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Another vote for baby buffalo clothing - bomber and easy to wash.

 

Bothy bag a good option for nappy changes, clothing changes etc.

SAF - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We used a moby wrap to start but by about 4 weeks daughter didn't like having her head tucked in it so we had to stop using it. 

We also had an ergo baby carrier with a newborn insert. This was much more supportive, held daughter completely upright which she preferred, but the newborn insert was a bit of a faff. I think there are some similar semi structured carriers that are designed for use from birth without an added insert (possibly Tula).

We briefly used the ergo baby carrier as a back carrier from 5 months, but this was during the heat wave and the shared body heat was just too much.

So me switched to a framed back carrier (macpac) which is brilliant and we use it twice daily for dog walks.

If you plan to do a lot of walking with newborn during winter consider investing in a good baby wearing coat, I used mine loads. Also tuppence and crumble star wraps are great for using in the carrier and are also safe to be worn in the car seat (unlike other snowsuits).

In terms of pushchairs for off-road waking, the out n about nipper 360 is brilliant.

Cheese Monkey - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Do you have a sling library near you? They are incredible. (Also nappy libraries). We spent ages trying different carriers out until we settled on one. Our little one has been in it from 3 months old and will probably still be in it until she is 3 or so. We have walked 100s of miles with her in it. She sleeps in it for hours sometimes. We didn’t change our walking habits and have done a significant portion of the SWCP with her along with loads of mountain and hill days. Days are a little longer as she wants to walk herself for 15 minutes here and there. I can’t think of any walking I have avoided tbh. To keep her dry I carry a big vented walking umbrella (it’s bombproof), combined with a one piece waterproof suit

Chmusar - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

been a while since i used a carrier but i had a older version of a kelty kids carrier as below

https://www.kelty.com/journey-perfectfit-elite/

used it up ben nevis, snowdon, pen y fan and lots of dartmoor very comfortable and once it outlived its usefulness sold it on ebay  , one thing i would say as your child is not moving much they can get cold very quickly so make sure you invest in some quality clothing if using out of the summer months 

 

Skyfall - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Axel Smeets:

Thanks  

 

Bobling - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to bluerockman:

> Our carrier is an Osprey Paco Plus (I think).  Now this was a little more expensive than we initially wanted but we have a pack made by a company that specialise in making packs.  I can't say enough good things about it.  Fits well - although feels odd at first due to the waist belt 'hugging' you.  Sun shade and shower cover are included.  We can get everything in we need for a full day walking.  Now that he is walking we've got him a set of reins too to keep him safe when we don't want him roam free.

Gah!  This came on the market about the same time as we stopped using our Deuter and I was astonished when I picked one up in a shop to find the difference in weight with the Osprey, so light!

Other advice for you Skyfall - get used to setting and adjusting any goals based around your family, a fun walk for all is SOOO much nicer than dragging kids over a route that they are not enjoying because you have got it in your head that that is the one you want to do.  If the kids find a feature they want to explore then just let them get on with it and adjust your route to suit.  Luckily kids seem to enjoy scrambling round on rocks so this is always a pleasant half hour!  Likewise knowing when to turn round and head for home when all is well is a good skill - leave them wanting more rather than dragging their feet and whingy!  But this is a couple of years away for you yet.

Oh - when number two comes along (!?!) you CAN carry one on your shoulders and one in a back carrier but it sh*gs your back and is bloody heavy!

Ps congratulations and welcome to the wonderful journey of parenthood.

 

Sealwife - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

As has been touched on above, many areas have Sling Libraries or Meets where you can try out slings to see what suits you.  Often good second hand market and swaps available.  

Have used many types of slings and baby carriers when my three were small, different styles suit different people and babies.  In general, a cloth carrier, against your body and under your jacket, will allow you be aware of your baby’s temperature far better than having them in a frame pack on your back.  Frame packs often about as heavy as the baby itself too.

My own favourites were wrap slings (bit of a learning curve to tying them but if you are used to rope handling you’ll pick it up just fine), and mei-tai style carriers.

Enjoy your adventures with your wee one

Becky E - on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Various people have recommended the Osprey backpack for carrying them.  We don't have kids, but various friends have them aged 6 months up, all on the basis of recommendation from the first family to get one.  In our group of friends, there are 3 families using Osprey carriers and 1 using a Macpac. 

In some pretty grotty weather, the kids in Ospreys were cosy and secure.  The waterproof cover is impressive (unlike the Macpac which is gappy and flappy).  One of our lot has previously fallen over whilst carrying baby in an Osprey - Mum hurt her arm and baby was absolutely fine.

The backpack also has space for you to carry baby clobber.

Ffat Boi - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Babybjorn! (thank you bluerockman) I couldn't remember the brand, our daughter practicly lived in it for the first 6 months.

Went for walks around Cwm Idwal at 6 weeks old, we used a bushbaby suit to keep her warm. But she was inside my coat most of the time.

For walks in the mountains (Y Garn) at about 6 months/1 year old, we would use a backpack which I think was a Osprey ( but not sure anymore)

Timings around feeding need to be taken in account, I used to take her for a walk just after feeding with a clean nappy, half an hour faffing to get ready, hours walk, another half an hour faffing to get undresses, hour sleep, nappy change and back to mum for a feeding session. And then back get ready for a walk spend many hours walking around Cwm Idwal in the winter.

Carefull that the baby doesn't get to warm either.

We used to do a lot of walking with our 3-wheeler cross country pram, you will need 2 people to lift the pram over stiles and fences.

Do enjoy the time you can carry the baby!

 

Alun - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Our daughter had hip dysplasia when she was born so we were advised not to use front-facing carriers as they let the legs dangle in the 'wrong' position.

We used a wrap for the first few months: https://boba.com/collections/boba-baby-wraps which supported the head and allowed her to breath fine.

then we moved on to a 'front rucksack' style which we used for years: https://boba.com/collections/boba-x

Did plenty of walking with both. Considerations to bear in mind are: a) it is surprisingly tiring to carry a baby on the front and b) you will need to stop more frequently for feeding, nappy change etc. c) don't forget to wrap their feet up warm

Other than that, parenting is great and gets easier every day

James Gilbert on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Alun:

> Our daughter had hip dysplasia when she was born so we were advised not to use front-facing carriers as they let the legs dangle in the 'wrong' position.

This is important for all babies, front-facing carriers are not great for the hips or the back, especially for young babies (under 6 months). They should be facing in, almost in a fetal position, with the knees very high (the M-shaped leg position). In France the Manduca brand is quite popular - we bought ours secondhand and it's indestructible.

 

Post edited at 10:38
oldie - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

28 years since our son was born so carriers will have changed for the better. February baby. Started with Mothercare front sling under a good hollofil jacket...easy for me and he was never cold.
About 9-12 months started using a (Tomy?) back carrier, it had a pull out frame so was free standing which made it easy to place baby and also useful in cafes etc. Attached carrying pouch very useful. He had a full body waterproof suit over other clothes in bad weather. Used until about 4 or 5 years. After that often carried on shoulders till about 7+ (worst incident was forgetting bus doorway was below his head height, best result was I was fitter). I hated a pushchair/pram and used about x5 total, though my wife found the backpack too heavy to lift and found the sling too restrictive.
Despite being carried for so long he is now a keen walker, possibly because we were not limited at all by his energy or pushchair mobility and were able to do interesting walks.

ogreville on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

If you are a BMC member, there was an excellent article about this in their Summit magazine that they send out. It was in the Spring 2017 issue 85.

http://content.yudu.com/web/2p8f9/0A2p8gr/SummitNo85/html/index.html

this above link will give you access to the magazine online, but you'll need to be a BMC member and enter your details to access it.

 

The key point they were trying to get across was temperature monitoring of the baby. It said something along the lines of putting your hand down their back, rather than just touching hands, legs, face etc. Getting a sense of the core temperature. Babies go quiet when cold rather than crying, meaning it's harder to identify if they are too cold. 

 

Edit - sorry it was actually issue 89 spring 2018 - http://content.yudu.com/web/2p8f9/0A2p8gr/SummitNo89/html/index.html

 

Post edited at 12:20
Somerset swede basher - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Hey, not read the other replies but my 2p worth is stretchy fabric sling on the front facing you til about 5 months then rucksack style carrier on the back after that.  When you move from sling to rucksack kinda depends on how strong their neck and core is and how much they weigh. I found my back hurt carrying them on the front for any length of time though my wife was fine (got used to it during pregnancy I guess) but once they are on the back its just like having a more wriggly rucksack.  Ours never got cold on the front but did on the back as they aren't as close to your body heat, or at least more insulated from it.

Post edited at 12:32
Toerag - on 08 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

They get cold in rucksac-style carriers 'cos they're immobile without getting your body warmth. Our youngest gets upset after more than half an hour if the weather's cold and/or windy.

Heed the 'are their necks strong enough' warnings, walking on the flat isn't too jarring, but steps on paths are, especially if there's lots of them.

Top tip for rucksac carrier users - carry a mirror/CD with you so you can see what they're doing. Our Bushbaby one has one attached on elastic.

 

RX-78 on 08 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

At bit of time ago but we used a macpac rucksack type carrier, with them in an all in one waterproof(mainly used when on the child seat of the bike), a fleece liner type thing with legs and then an outer waterproof layer if wet. Worked fine and the child could 'talk' to you and pull your hair for attention! When they got a bit older they walked themselves except for dangerous sections or near the end of the day when I would carry them. In summer ice cream was a great motivation.

Post edited at 13:55
somethingelse - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to RX-78:

Another vote for 'sling' type carriers. Ours was a kangawrap. It looks complicated but you soon get used to it. Our son became v accustomed to it and when we wouldnt sleep at night at home id take him for a walk and he'd settle. We walked many hills and miles of flatter ground with little one in one of these, right up until about 2yrs old when became too heavy, wanted to walk. He can do 3miles an now at age 3, but before that we did plenty of Lakeland hills in his first winter (at 3 months) and summer (at 9 months) but always chose route carefully and on dry days. Bothy  bag for breastfeed, nappy change, walking poles a big help as you can't see you feet, but little one always warm enough inside my belay jacket even when snow was down. Didn't ever do anything requiring crampons though!

balmybaldwin - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

At the risk of teaching people to suck eggs, be wary of cold temperatures when using baby carriers...  the adult is of course doing the work and could feel perfectly warm whilst their baby slips into hyperthermia on their back so make sure you bear it in mind when deciding on clothing for the little one.

Unfortunately this isn't just a theory and caused the death of a baby on Snowdon around 10 years ago - baby went to sleep on the way up, parents none the wiser until too late

sheffbabe - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We used a MacPac backpack which had a sunshade and rain cover : used until kids were about 2.5 years old.

A couple of tips in addition to the great ones above:

If you and your partner are different heights, get a backpack with a back length adjuster

As mentioned: a small mirror is v useful for checking on the little one, or you could go high tec and use your phone's camera screen

Our little ones both preferred to be in waterproof all in ones vs using the rain cover as the latter restricts visibility

We packed wipe clean changing mats wherever we went, so even in mud and snow, nappy changes were fine

Wellies will fall off your baby's feet with the motion of your walking. Use snow boots instead

When you are on your own walking, it is much safer and easier to get the backpack onto your back by first lifting it onto a high surface (bench, rock, stile, dry stone wall) then stepping backwards into the pack. Reverse when taking pack off. This prevents the unsafe swinging of the pack

Walking poles for you (not the baby!) will help decrease the impact of the extra carrying weight on your knees and help reduce slips etc

Lastly, as your baby becomes more interested in their surroundings, they will lean towards what they are looking at. Walking past a field of sheep on one side would require me to reach behind my back and shift my little ones legs to try and centre them. If they are on a lean, then you get uneven weight and a strained back. This is particularly an issue when walking coastal paths where the view is only ever over one side (= wrecked backs in Pembrokeshire in Our case!)

Heike - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We had a front carrier for the first few months - wee man did first local hill 10 days old in that. This got a bit un-managable 6/7 months old - baby got too big and legs got in the way, so we got a Deuter Kids rucksack which was great up to 2 1/2 - 3 years old (by which time he was already walking by himself partially). Keep them warm as others have said, but basically with good clothing and common sense you can be up the hills from day 1 (ehhh, day x after you feel like a human being again if you are a woman that is ...;-))

timjones - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We used a length of cloth to tie simple slings that could be used front or back as required.

We also tended to keep the walking simple, with  baby or young child you have so much more to explore and see through young eyes.  You don't need to cover huge distances, smaller trips became bigger adventures ;)

Alyson - on 09 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

So much good advice on here. The only thing I wanted to add - and it applies to all aspects of parenting - is don't compare yourself to other people! Just because someone else's baby was happy being carried the full length of the Pennine Way wearing a home knitted hemp babygrow doesn't mean yours will be.

My first didn't like spending any significant length of time in a carrier because she was WAY too interested in wanting to crawl/toddle about putting flowers in her mouth and investigating slugs. So those first years didn't match my expectations but I have the coolest little nature-loving explorer and adventurer to show for it.

elliot.baker - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

A few days before seeing this post I thought about writing this exact post because my first child's arrival is a few months away. I must say I've found the whole thing extremely illuminating and inspirational!

I just grabbed a bargain BabyBjorn from a 2nd hand site and I think we will be treating us/him to the Osprey pack mentioned on here, the pictures on the Osprey site for that pack are inspirational enough!

Thanks all!

StuDoig - on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

Another family of the osprey poca here!  We found the plus in a sale and are extremely happy with it.  I won't repeat the advice above, but would add that I've found walking poles a great addition when carrying the pack!

Cheers,

 

Stu

ChrisJD on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

All things are possible.

James aged four months hanging out at a crag in Cost Blanca (2007):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2njtv0xfr6v96ev/0711_S5O5317.jpg?dl=0

Fast forward to now. Just got back with Sons 1 & 2 (now 11 and 9) from a week in Sicily over New Year.

Get into the habit of travelling with them as soon as you can and get them used to being really bored on long journeys.

Mick Bradshaw - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

We used a Macpac Possum - probably updated now but would definitely recommend. Both our children tended to fall asleep while being carried so the optional neck pillow to support floppy heads was very worthwhile.

Echo earlier comments about them getting cold - all in one waterproofs (MEC/ Muddy Puddles or similar) and fleece suits all good. Gloves/ hats will get dropped (or occasionally blown-off) and you won't notice when carrying so do attach them. Trouser legs tend to ride up when you lower children into the carriers so beware bare flesh.

Beware slipping/ falling over while carrying children (wife managed this twice) - centre of gravity can be higher than when carrying a rucksack.

Carrier had roomy base pocket for changing stuff/ bottles etc - but if you're solo there's nobody else to carry your kit so you need to travel light!

Enjoy getting out with them before they're old enough to complain!

RX-78 on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to Skyfall:

Oh, just best in mind for when they are older, don't keep pushing them about in a buggy when they have learned to walk, even if it seems they walk really slowly at first. Build up their strength and endurance around the town, going to school etc. So that when you do hit the hills they will enjoy it.

Skyfall - on 00:34 Sat
In reply to Alyson:

> My first didn't like spending any significant length of time in a carrier because she was WAY too interested in wanting to crawl/toddle about putting flowers in her mouth and investigating slugs. So those first years didn't match my expectations but I have the coolest little nature-loving explorer and adventurer to show for it.

Lovely, thank you


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