How to Carry a Baby on a Hike

Get your little ones outside for both your sakes

Start with a Front Carrier

There are several different carrier options depending on your baby’s age. We’ve started both of our kids out in a front (or chest) carrier. Front carriers are designed for children ad young as newborns and can be used until your child gets big enough that it’s uncomfortable to carry them in front. By the time the child’s mother has recovered enough from birth to walk for a mile or so, your new baby will probably be developed enough to come along in the front carrier.

Upgrade to a Backpack Carrier

At about 6-months old, most children have developed enough neck strength and stability to ride in a backpack carrier. Of course, each child is different and there is no exact age. If you’re unsure about your child’s ability to ride safely in a backpack carrier, you should consult a physician.

Choosing a Backpack Carrier

As with front carriers, there are different brands and styles of backpack carriers. For the most part, they all have similar designs with slightly different feature sets.

Use Your Shoulders if You Have To

My final recommendation is not the preferred method, but it can still work. The good old shoulder ride. That’s right, the method where the kid sits on your shoulders. It’s not ideal, but it is more comfortable than carrying them in your arms. We’ve done a few impromptu hikes this way. One-mile is about as far as I can go before it gets extremely uncomfortable. Still, this method can be useful for a short jaunt.


For parents, hiking with kids can be a chore. It can also be a lot of fun. Usually, it’s a combination of both. We’ve found that the more we hike with our kids the more fun they have and the easier it is the next time. Having the proper transportation for the kiddos really helps them to be comfortable and helps us to be comfortable and go far enough to get at least a little exercise in so we don’t completely lose our mountain legs. If you’re looking to get out with your kid(s) find a carrier option that works for them and get to hiking!

Husband, father, outdoorsman, scientist.

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