10 Tips for an Adventure Life with Baby

Adventure mama

10 TIPS for an ADVENTURE LIFE

WITH BABY

The hardest part about being an adventuring mama
is just taking that first step and getting out the door.

 

I’m not shy about admitting that my son Mason wasn’t exactly a planned child. When I got pregnant with him I was actually 40, not planning on having kids and was deeply involved in a very intense 10 week yoga teacher training course.

Life Before

My life at the time was a bit chaotic. I had been through a bumpy couple of years and was probably even suffering from a bit of a midlife crisis from too much travel, too many moves to different cities, many job changes and a constant question of what I really wanted to be when I grew up. I also loved adventures and so I never hesitated to skip work to go surf some remote beach or rally for 12 hours to go snowboard in Canada.
Those who knew my adventurous past often told me things were about to change. The big question was always, “Are you ready for this? Life will slow down.”

Life Now

Mason’s now 5 and he’s been to Canada 3 times, Alaska 4 times, Mexico 4 times and all over the US. He’s visited 11 National Parks and countless state and county parks across the country. He’s slept more nights in tents than hotels.

Hiking with Babe

Having a child and adventuring does change. I am not going to try and convince anyone otherwise, but that change can be looked at as either a ball and chain or a new adventure. It’s all perspective.

Since having Mason, I think I have actually explored more trails, both locally and beyond. I’ve definitely gotten way more into gear, than I ever had been before. Now, I am excited that we are getting to the point where every few months our adventures change, based on where he’s at, how far he hikes, how heavy he’s gotten and other details like, where he’s at with potty training.

Hiking with Baby

Here’s the thing about parenthood and adventure: life looks different with a little one in tow. That holds true for everything from a camp trip, to a hike, to a ski vacation. But it doesn’t mean it has to stop.

Here at 10 tips for any nervous Mamas who are expecting and want to keep their adventurous spirit intact:

  1. Don’t look at your child as a limitation.
    Think about what  you can do, instead of what you can’t.
  2. Do lots of adventures when they are little.
    Kids are more portable than ever at this age.
  3. Don’t get hung up on napping them in a bed.
    Babies will learn to sleep on you always if that’s how you roll.
  4. Not all babies love the car.
    Know that if your baby hates the car and won’t travel, that is a limitation but you can work around it. Get a badass stroller and walk there and get them in a trailer as soon as you are comfortable.
  5. Gear matters.
    Get a good carrier. Don’t just settle for a hand me down.
  6. Find adventure buddies.
    Join groups like Hike it Baby, Adventure Mamas, 365 Hike Challenge, 52 Hike Challenge. Look for community. It makes a difference.
  7. Don’t let weather hold you back.
    I did some of my favorite hikes with Mason when he was a baby in rainstorms. Bundle up and get out there. Plan to just do a short walk and it will quickly turn into a longer one, especially if you meet up with friends.
  8. Pack your car up the night before!
    It’s so easy to bail on going out if a baby or toddler is having a bad morning if you have to pack on top of it.
  9. Look for adventures you will succeed in.
    Don’t try a 4 day camping trip with baby if you haven’t even done one night yet. Test your adventures and grow them over time.
  10. Don’t look at your adventure life as past once you have a child.
    Look at how the adventure is just beginning. It’s amazing how even a walk on a flat trail becomes a huge adventure when you look at it through the eyes of a 4 year old.
Hike It Baby
Hike It Baby book
Shanti Hodges is the founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to getting families out with birth to 5 year old kids. Look for her book “Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventure with Babies and Toddlers”  out June 1, 2018. You can also join Shanti on her awesome Mama retreats for more adventures. www.hikingmyway.com

Comments (2)

Absolutely love this & couldn’t have come at a better time! We are expecting our first born in just 11 weeks and we are already starting to plan our adventures for when he comes. Happy to say he has already been on countless hikes & camping in Yosemite over the last 29 weeks! 🙂 Love the tip to start with a one night adventure before diving right into a multi-day one. We’ll have to plan something in our local mountains as a little warm up!

Oh Melissa how exciting! Congratulation on the little one on the way. You are going to have so much fun. Glad this post was able to add a little help to your planning. We plan on sharing more insights from mamas so keep an eye out. Have a blast hiking with Baby! xo

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