Hiking with children is always an adventure. If you have little ones, you know there is a big difference in a baby and a toddler. Ambassador Crystal talks about going from taking a baby on a hike to taking a toddler on a hike, and the differences in between the two.
Over the past few months, I have had a major shift and change in the way we go hiking. When my husband and I first started hiking our daughter was only 6 months old. Hiking with her then was fairly simple.
Just get lots of diapers and wipes, have two bottles ready to go, and a change of clothes stored in the carrier. She was quiet, didn’t need to get out too often, and usually slept most of the time.
Now that she is a “Toddler” it’s a WHOLE new ball game.
We have to bring more snacks than an adult can consume in one sitting, multiple sippy cups (because she almost always manages to throw it into something absolutely disgusting, like bear poop)!
When she was an infant, we would stop every few miles and change her tiny little diaper, and she almost never had an incident where she needed a change of clothes. The only times we usually changed her clothes was to either take off or put on a jacket if it was chilly or warming up. We still have to bring lots of diapers and wipes, but now two changes of clothes are also a must carry item.
I learned why to bring TWO changes of clothes when she decided to have not one but TWO, yes two, explosive diapers when we were miles from the parking lot. And one of those was so bad it was all over the carrier, down my back, and dripping down my legs. All the while Jolene was in the carrier just giggling and laughing. I was just praying that she didn’t put her hand in anything and start finger painting.
When she was an infant, taking breaks was more for mommy and daddy.
If she was hungry just prop the bottle up for her and keep going. Her way of enjoying the adventure was looking around and exploring the world around her. Those days are LONG GONE! We now have to stop every 2-3 miles to let her out and run or she literally turns into a little demon baby with her over dramatic tantrums.
23 weeks prego + carrying a 27 lbs. toddler + 1,000 feet elevation gain = one of our badass ambassador’s weekend adventure. #hlaw #hikelikeawoman #hlawateam #forceofnature #badasswoman #mountainwoman #mountainlife #sheexplores #hikeitbaby #raiseawildchild #adventuremamas #raisethemright #getoutstayout #westvirginia #hikelife #momswhohike
I mean, seriously, why do toddlers have a “life ending” tantrum over you taking away a leaf that she can’t eat?! Or scream like they are being murdered when you tell them to not touch poison ivy?! Thank goodness we are usually the only ones on the trail during these times. People tend to look at you crazy when your child isn’t acting like the 100 percent perfect angel. But, who’s child is perfect all the time?!
Then, it’s a complete balancing act while walking. My daughter will see something that sparks her interest and will jerk her whole body to one side of the carrier, without notice, so I feel like I’m being jerked to the ground. Thank goodness I’ve never fallen, but I can attest that my balance is slowly improving, lol. My husband has always been better at balancing her crazy jerks than me. He grew up surfing, skateboarding, and is just a natural when it comes to balancing. Hopefully, Jolene, our daughter takes after him instead of me, lol.
But, with all the crazy stressful moments, it’s amazing to watch her discover new animals and plants.
To follow a butterfly with the most eternal wonder in her eye, the first time she saw a deer run in front of her she immediately wanted to chase it and see what it was. Seeing her discover this amazingly wonderful world has made me feel so blessed. I can not express in words the emotions that flow through me knowing that she is seeing things that people on wish they could see.
She is discovering nature not by what’s on TV but by what she can actually see, hear and touch. I do not know what it will be like when she is no longer a toddler but a KID. And, I do not know what it’ll be like when we have another baby one day. To have two kids at two different stages in life to pack for. But, no matter what I will do it, and I will get through it. Because raising these little humans with the love of nature surpasses my comfort any day!
Until Next Time, Keep On Hiking!