Baby Yuzu’s First Hike – Little Thompson Overlook Trail at Rabbit Mountain

Baby Yuzu’s First Hike – Little Thompson Overlook Trail at Rabbit Mountain

Ever since Yuzu was born, we’ve been wanting to take her on a hike. We never felt comfortable with wraps or carriers before she gained neck control, so we waited until she was over 6 months old and had neck control before taking her on her first hike.

For her first hike we knew we wanted to go to Rabbit Mountain Open Space outside of Longmont. There are a couple easy trails there and it’s only a 20 minute drive from where we live. If Yuzu were to get fussy or hungry and not want to eat in the car, we wanted to be able to get back home quickly.

The Hike

We decided to go to the first overlook point on the Little Thompson Hollow Overlook Trail and back, for a total of 2 miles. The full Little Thompson Hollow Overlook hike is 2.8 miles long.

Preparations

The sun is particularly strong in Colorado, and in any case, we wanted to protect Yuzu from the sun, so we went all-out with sun protective gear. We made sure Yuzu had on a long sleeve shirt, pants, and socks, in addition to a hat, sunglasses, and the backpack carrier sun roof attachment.

Since we got started around 8:30am, and the air was still chilly, we put a jacket on her as well.

Baby ready for a hike

Gear-

We decided my husband would carry Yuzu because he is less likely to trip than I am.

Separate from Yuzu’s gear, I carried a backpack filled with –

  • Diapers
  • An extra change of baby clothes in case of a blowout
  • A muslin swaddle for privacy in case I needed to breastfeed on the trail
  • A bottle of pumped milk in case baby got hungry on the trail but for some reason did not want to breastfeed
  • Water and snacks for us

Hiking to the First Overlook

We started out the hike just fine, but I fussed over Yuzu and checked on her often. Her sunglasses kept sliding down her face and I put them back on every time.

About 10-15 minutes into the hike, Yuzu fell asleep. After she fell asleep I also kept checking on her often because she was sleeping at an odd angle. The mommy anxiety of “is she breathing?” was strongly affecting me. I’m not usually anxious, but I do sometimes have pangs of that anxious thought even when she’s sleeping in her crib. Maybe because this was a new experience for all of us, and I didn’t know what to expect, I was particularly anxious.

Since she was asleep, we took off her sunglasses.

At least we could get a nice family photo –

First hike with baby as a family

We reached the first overlook on Little Thompson Overlook Trail and took in the lovely view while drinking some water. We wanted to keep the hike short, so we decided to turn around and go back to the car at this point. Yuzu was still sleeping, and we hadn’t gone that far, so we didn’t sit down to rest at the bench there.

Little Thompson Overlook Trail

Yuzu woke up on the way back down the hill. She was able to take in the scenery for another 15 minutes or so before we got back to the car. Once she was awake, we put her sunglasses back on. Her hat was sliding around a lot in addition to her sunglasses, but the backpack’s sun visor was creating shade for her most of the way due to the angle of the sun, so we took off her hat and simply obsessed over her sunglasses for the rest of the way.

Yuzu seemed comfortable in the backpack and never cried or fussed.

Hiking Rabbit Mountain Open Space with baby

Yuzu After the Hike

This is Yuzu after we finished the hike and were putting our stuff back in the car. She looked both tired and bored.

Baby in baby backpack after a hike

When we put her in the car she needed a diaper change. Although it had been a couple hours, she was not interested in breastfeeding or having milk from the bottle. All the changes and excitement probably made it difficult for her to concentrate on feeding.

Lessons Learned

Overall it went smoothly, with a few hiccups along the way. We definitely need to practice hiking together with baby and see what works best for all of us.

1)  Getting ready with baby, you’re likely to forget things. We forgot an extra set of poles.

2)  Bring more water than you think you’ll need. Carrying around a baby is quite tiring. Yuzu was about 15.5 lbs at 6 months old, so not as heavy as a backpack for backpacking, which is usually 20-25lbs, but getting close. We only brought 1 full Nalgene bottle / 1 liter of water. It was not enough for the two of us for 2 miles. We should have brought 2 bottles.

3)  We’re going to need to experiment a bit to see what baby gear works best for hiking. The sunglasses she had kept sliding down her face.

To Conclude

After we got back home, we were exhausted. Since Yuzu didn’t want to feed at the trailhead parking lot after the hike, I fed her immediately after we got back. When Yuzu took her nap later in the day, my husband and I also zonked out and napped as well. Even though it was tiring, we are keen to keep trying hikes with her. We want to expose her to nature, more of the world, and our favorite hobby.

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