Ideally when hiking with your little they will be happy taking in their surroundings, basking in nature’s fresh air or having a nap. However that does not always happen. Entertaining your baby in the carrier can sometimes be exhausting especially if it is a more challenging hike. Here are a few tips on how to entertain your baby in the carrier. Some require minimal effort and a little bit of pre-planning while other suggestions require a circus mom or dad. Make sure you are able to tackle the hike you choose and still be able to exert the energy needed to take care of your little one and carry them. A post in the future about how to choose a hike for you and your baby to come! Lastly, if your little one is refusing to be entertained on the hike then just let them be and finish the hike safely. All outdoor parents have been there. (Of course check if your baby need a diaper change, a foot is caught etc. before coming to this conclusion).
Attach a Stuffy
Attach a stuffy and/or even a toy to the carrier with a string or a rope. If they do not need it right away then wait to give it to them. Then when they need some entertainment give the stuffy or toy to them. Important!! Make sure that it is secure because you do not want to lose their favourite stuffed animal or toy!!
Attach a snack to their carrier. A snack that takes a little while to eat!! Ideally attach the snack in a spill proof container so they can drop and pick up the snack without losing the whole snack in a single moment
Singing songs can help your baby enjoy the hike. Even better is if you pick silly kids songs. Singing the songs will help them focus on the songs rather than hiking. Some song suggestions include: Great Big Moose, Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat, Hokey Pokey, If Your Happy and You Know it, Etc
Let them hold a rock stick or leaf
This one is a little tricky because babies love to stick things in their mouth. Make sure whatever you give them is big enough and that someone is able to keep and eye on what they are doing with the object.
Hike during Nap Time
The best entertainment is letting them dream away!! It so ideal if you can time a hike perfectly and hike during nap time. Hiking during nap time means that you will have a blissful hike without having to do much work besides hiking. Sometimes speed hiking and then taking in the view at the top of a hike for a really short amount of time just to keep your baby sleeping for the whole hike can be totally worth it.
Play ‘running’ games
This is ideal for older babies that have sufficient head support and would find this entertaining. Speed hike and/or lightly jog the baby for a few steps. Laugh with them as they find the bumping hilarious!!
Roar like a Dinosaur:
OK maybe this won’t work for you but seriously sometimes you just find something that works. My youngest daughter was really fussy on one of our hikes and so we roared together like dinosaurs the whole hike. She was happy and so I was happy soaking up the mountains views. We also kept the bears away with our fierce roars!!!
Please Note: Use these suggestions at your own risk.