My first attempt hiking with a baby {Rookie Moms Challenge #16}

My first real hike with a babyI think of myself as a nature girl. I would say my friends think of me that way as well. Truth be told, I feel as though it has been 1,000 years since I’ve been outside. OK, I do check the mailbox every so often and try to walk down to Main Street once in a while. But the last time I was really outside? Like, with fresh air, trees, and squirrels? It’s been forever. A sad, sad, guilty, forever. The desire has been there, just not the motivation. I was especially eager to tackle Challenge #16 Walk into Nature.

So it is today – come rain or shine – my son, we will head up the mountain for a little earth and sky!

The Gear

  • 2 carriers, one front facing (which he loves) one inward facing (which he loathes).
  • Sunhats (check out Urban Baby Bonnets) and sweatshirts.
  • Cell phone with a fancy “map my hike” app.
  • A somewhat under-developed open space map.

Although it took longer for us to get in the car and buckled up than it took for us to get to the trailhead, we were still off to a good start. I’ll admit, I began with an alternative and sneaky motive. You see, I really, really, want my little man to like his inward facing carrier. There are so many great features! It’s like a perma-hug!

My first real hike with a baby

We can use it until he’s in first grade! Plus I’ve recently been made aware of the Anti-Crotch Dangler Gang. These mamas are a little scary, and outspoken, about the pitfalls and dangers of outward facing carriers. Luckily we haven’t tangled with them in person, but Google “Crotch Dangler”, I dare you. Alas, every time I put him in his inward facing carrier he cries, and then screams, and then does what I call his “turtle yurdle” the saddest sob you will ever hear – which puts the poor guy past the point of no return.

Anyway –

I was thinking, “Hey! I’ll take Riley on this great nature hike so that he can get used to facing inward.” He can peek over my shoulder and see trees and the sky, breathe the fresh air, bounce along over the bumps and ruts, it’ll all be enough to distract him from his predicament. He’ll love it, right? Wrong. After 10 minutes hiking and shushing, and screaming he won out with a yurdle of his turtle. We turned back to the car for Ol’ Faithful and I was rewarded with a happy outward facing camper. So we hiked, we explored, we conquered a largish hill and soaked up the views.

My first real hike with a baby

The Descents

  • I ended up acting as a human shield for all of Riley’s exposed bits. We stuck to the shade and under-brim with just a dash of Vitamin D rich rays.
  • The “largish hill” was really pretty steep and I really started to understand why someone would sport one of those dorky framed-backpack contraptions for hikes, and heck, around town. I was so scared I was going to do a face-plant, going up and down.
  • The map app was crap. And so was the real map. Next time I’ll scout the trail beforehand for less getting lost action.

The Ascents

  • Fresh air, I love you. I’ve missed you so.
  • There is something very primal about being in nature with your baby. It really feels like that’s where they belong, or where we belong, I should say.
  • I’m inspired to find some more baby-friendly hikes. Less hilly, more shady.
  • I’m even more inspired to get Daddy-O to babysit next time while I clear my head in the great wide open.

My first real hike with a baby

[All photos by me, Suzanne Curletto, all rights reserved]

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The honeymoon is over: my wild little man, born in October 2013, is ready to hit the road! Today the Bay Area, tomorrow, the world! I’m a traveler, an artist, and an entrepreneur. I give the best massage you’ve ever had, and can speak four languages (fluently, after a double martini).