hiking and breastfeeding??

Racheal - posted on 08/19/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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are any of you hiking mom's breatfeeding?? my son is 9 months old and i really want to try hiking!!!! he is breast feeding so i was curious if anyof you had advice. also my oldest son is 5 and super active so we wont have a problem with him, but my husband and i are both dare i say "lazy" how do we get "pumped" up for hiking?????

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Laura - posted on 08/21/2010

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I would suggest keeping the total time under 2 hours. That would be an hour (or less) in to a spot and then and hour (or less) to hike back out. Sometimes average times are listed with trails, especially if they are loop-type trails. That just depends on the park or the map.

While I see your point about using a kangaroo style carrier, I would still recommend a backpack style carrier for a couple of reasons: Trails, even fairly level ones, are often uneven ground with hidden footing issues. The last thing you would want is to trip on a tree root and pitch forward...right on top of your child. Also, you want a clear view of the ground and, though minimal, the front carriers can obstruct your view immediately in front of your feet. Finally, backpack carriers leaves your front unobstructed so that you can better grab things (branches, trees, rocks, etc) for leverage and stabilizing yourself. I personally just find the backpack a safer way to carry a child on a hike. You will have to stop to feed your child, but breaks on a hike are not a bad thing! Remember, this is hiking in a natural setting, not a stroll through the mall or on a local paved sidewalk. There are different safety issues to consider because of those natural conditions. One more thing--make sure you all wear solid shoes. No sandals or flip-flops. A good quality walking or cross trainer shoe can get you started. If you find hiking is something you really like, then consider investing in a good quality pair of hiking boots. Comfortable shoes that protect your feet add to the safety of hiking! Hope you all have a great time!

Laura - posted on 08/20/2010

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First of all, are there any trails near you that you are considering? Trails are rated so you would most likely want an "easy" trail (some places might give then number codes like 1 - 5, 1 being easy and 5 being difficult) one that isn't too long as you get started. Start slow and easy and build up to the more challenging trails. Your son is at just the right age to be curious about what's in nature--you might consider bringing a nature book of some sort: Bird book, plant book, wildlife book, etc and make a game out of seeing how many things in nature you can identify. You could even make it something like a scavenger hunt. It's a fun activity for the whole family!

For short hikes (hour or two, or less) you don't need to bring much just plenty of water and a snack or two for everyone. One way to get pumped up about a hike is to make it a picnic. Here you would need to bring picnic supplies, but those can fit inside a small back pack. One caution, avoid things that need to be chilled--stick to items that won't spoil like PB&J sandwiches. Hike in to a nice spot, enjoy your picnic, then hike out!

Hiking with your 9 mos. old should be no problem--invest in a good quality baby backpack, if you haven't already. Look for one with a padded hip belt and a breast buckle; these features help to redistribute his weight, making him more comfortable (and easier) to carry. I had one for my daughter when she was little and went hiking with her a lot. More often than not she would fall asleep a few minutes into the hike! Personally, I don't see why breastfeeding would even be an issue--his food supply is right there if he gets hungry, just as it would be anywhere else. If anything you might actually have a bit more privacy as you are less likely to encounter lots of people on the trails. Besides, what's more natural than breastfeeding in Nature? : ) Good luck and enjoy!

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Alexandria - posted on 07/16/2011

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Every year in April, for my grandfather's birthday, the whole family goes on a hike. My 2.5 yr old has gone with us since her birth. I found it a bit uncomfy to nurse on the hikes but I got through it and was always glad I went with the family. That moby wrap Melissa spoke of sounds like it could be a great solution. My daughter was very plump while exclusively breastfeed and before she learned to walk so I never had much luck with those slings but my daughter was really heavy for her age. Family members took turns carrying her, luckily. Now she runs along with the gang and this year she was so interested in everything around her on the hike that she never asked to nurse. But if she had, I would have got in the most comfortable position possible and let her nurse. If the weather is right, you'll be glad you got out doors and made some memories with your family. Happy hiking!

Melissa - posted on 05/08/2011

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I have a moby wrap baby carrier. it has a specific way u can wrap it for breastfeeding. u could also carry baby facing out or faing u its very versitile, I love it! there are utube videos on how to wrap it. hth happy hiking!

Claire - posted on 02/22/2011

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That's exactly what we did, just brought my nursing shawl for privacy in the event of coming across other hikers. Whoever wasn't carrying the baby in the snugli got the backpack with diapers etc!

[deleted account]

I hiked and breastfeed, it wasn;t an issue at all. I just brought my "hooter hider" and waited until we found a nice rock or a fallen log in the shade and just fed him. It was great and he didn't mind at all!

It's hard to get motivated....I'm in Ontario so right now it's freezing with lots of snow, so I wouldn't hike and brest feed now lol :) but in the summer I found it easier to get out there. Whenever the weather is right just pack up and leave! don't plan out too much or you may end up talking yourself out of it :)

Meredith - posted on 01/31/2011

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We love our Ergo carrier for hiking. I usually wear my daughter (9 mo) on my back now when going for long trips, but switch her to the front when she needs to eat. She has no trouble nursing while we walk, but I agree with earlier comments that I wouldn't try feeding her while hiking on difficult trails - I'd stop and find a convenient rock/log.

[deleted account]

I don't think there's a better way to go than breast feeding when you're hiking. Everything is ready to go when your baby gets hungry on the trail. I am sold on the Ergo for hiking. My back doesn't feel like it's going to break when we're done.

[deleted account]

I've carried my three kids all over our trails here in many different carriers. The ones that were the most comfortable were the ones which carried on the back. I have a Kelty which I loved but it can be bulky to carry around (storing and such). The ergo is great for smaller kids plus you could put them in front or back. The Bjorn works well for those babies who love to look out and see what's happening but they get uncomfortable once the baby gets bigger.

As for feeding while hiking, I just found a good spot to stop.
good luck

Jennifer - posted on 09/02/2010

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I would recommend carrying the baby on your back - for comfort and safety's sake. I would just stop and take a break when the baby needs to eat, and feed her wherever you can find to sit.

Margie - posted on 09/02/2010

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I wore a baby sling with my baby across the front of me and fed her as we hiked. We hiked all kinds of terrain and it worked fine. She loved the rocking motion. As long as she was fed and changed along the way she was happy.

Sarah - posted on 09/01/2010

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I wouldn't really reccomend wearing baby and feeding while walking up any rocky or steep terrain. I LOVE my ergo carrier, and when my 19mo old gets bored of that we put her in our Deuter Alpine Back System.

Trina - posted on 09/01/2010

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When I was breastfeeding I would bring a baby sling and position the baby in the sling so they could eat while we walked. It worked great. They rode in a backpack carrier when they weren't eating. It's so much easier to feed a baby from your breast then dealing with bottles while on trail. Less to pack around too. We went all over with baby in tow.

Racheal - posted on 08/20/2010

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yes i found a website www.trails.com and it showed some good ones in our area, so i should keep it under 2 hours? is that up and back up just 2 hours up? im not shy and i nurse in public all the time so thats not what i was worried about, just wondering if there are good baby carriers to wear on the front so he can nurse while we walk. i have a chicco one, is that good enough?

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