First Peak

My son, Leo, got to the top of his first peak today.  Snuggly wrapped on his mummy’s back, he got to the top of Craig Wen in Snowdonia.  Summiting a 608m peak is pretty impressive when you are eight months old, can’t walk yet and have to battle cold winds and rain.  I’m proud of how well he did.  It feels good to be introducing him to the mountains and I’m really looking forward to going with him to the tops of many more peaks.

6 thoughts on “First Peak

  • This is parenting at its best! 🙂 I’d love to take my (would be) sons and daughters hiking, too!
    Please give Leo a pat on the back and a high five from me. He’s so adorable! Here’s to more peaks for him and his amazing parents! 🙂

    • Thank you very much. It’s really lovely of you to say so.

      Leo did do amazingly well and he is definitely adorable. Taking a baby hiking isn’t without its challenges, particularly when they are teething like Leo is at the moment, but it’s also really rewarding and a great feeling to be able to share these experiences as a family.

  • What sling is little Leo in in the photos and would you recommend it? I have a 5-month old I’d like to take up some short hikes in the Lakes next month and am thinking the “big” baby carrier back-packs are a bit over-the-top…

    • Hi TomC. The “big” baby carriers are not safe for babies under 6 months, and I personally wouldn’t recommend using one under 9 months… This is because back carries/unsupported carries, except with a woven wrap, are really not safe for babies who aren’t sitting very securely on their own as it stresses their torso (same as not having a sit-up car seat before this age). This is why I used a wrap, as otherwise I would have had to have him on my front – not a comfortable prospect for climbing a mountain!

      The wrap I used for walking on this trip is a Storchenweige Leo (guess why I picked it…), size 6. This is a great wrap, relatively inexpensive (£70ish), but is a bit stiff to start with. I wouldn’t spend a huge amount on a wrap that’s going in the hills as it’ll get soggy, probably peed/pooped on, drooled on and so on. Other good ones are Lenny Lamb, Little Frog etc. If you’re based in the UK, Lovetobenatural is a great website, and has pretty fast shipping. I brought mine so Leo could sleep on my back while I swept the flat and thoroughly recommend it.

      The real question here though, is have you wrapped before? It’s a very steep learning curve, and back wrapping can be tricky. Getting things comfortable for your body can take a lot of practice. On this note, a month is probably not enough time – but if you’ve used a stretchy moby you may find you can pick it up OK. If you want to give it a go, the best one to start with is an FWCC (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gJEIYTQRTk), and the most comfortable back wrap carry I’ve found is a DRS2S (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xeQUbAonNE). The DRS2S is great, because you can move the ‘straps’ in or out from the ‘chest belt’ which changes the proportion of weight across your shoulders or your chest without any retying. Getting seat can be tricky, and I like to do a variation on this carry by having all passes going under the legs rather than around their sides – greatly reducing the risk of them popping the seat while you’re walking a tricky bit!

      Another recommendation is using a Mai-Tai (such as the Infantino) or an SSC (Soft Structured Carrier) like an ErgoBaby. This is simpler than wrapping, and means you don’t have to use the big backpack carriers until your little one is older. However, you’ll need to hold off on this until your baby is sitting unsupported for long periods of time, and limit the amount of time carried like this until your baby is 9 months.

      I would also team anything you buy with a rain cover. You can get an ergo one for not too much (http://www.borndirect.com/carriers/sling-accessories/ergobaby/ergobaby-carrier-rain-cover). This will fit (with a little ingenuity) over pretty much any carrier. This is a must for the mountains as the wind can be brutal on a chilly day, and if the carrier gets wet you’re running the risk of a very cold baby.

      Please do get in touch if you’d like any more help or advice. If you want it private, just say and Robin will pass it on with your email to me and I’ll contact you directly.

      Kind regards,

      Valerie

      • Hi Valerie,

        Thanks for such a detailed reply – it’s been extremely helpful!

        I take our little one out each morning in a sling (NCT Caboo) to walk the dog, so he’s quite used to being in a sling – he loves it. My wife uses an SSC (Manduca), which, news to me, can be worn on the back. We tried him out with it on my wife’s back this morning and it worked well. As such, I think that’s probably what we’ll use, plus a rain cover to keep him protected from the wind up on the tops. Will probably look into getting a “big backpack” style carrier next spring when he’s a bit older.

        Thanks again,

        TomC

        PS: I was pointed at the blog by Alison of “Dave & Alison”.

        • Hi TomC.

          I’m so glad that it was helpful. And that Alison was kind enough to send you our way!

          The Manduca is fab – my friend has it and carries her 18m everywhere in it. You’ll probably get away with a back carry at 6m, but you might want to drop a quick query to the manufacturer to set your mind a rest. I waited until 9m with my Ergo (very similar), but I’m a little over cautious at times!

          Hope you have a great time in the mountains with your baby. It really is fun showing them around for the first time 🙂

          Valerie

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