“Hiking” with Baby


As previously mentioned, Uncle Bill attends Northern Michigan University located in the Upper Peninsula. It’s a place I never gave a thought to until I started receiving absolutely breathtaking pictures from my youngest brother.

While out there, Bill has taken up hiking, camping, and jumping off cliffs (ah!).

uncle bill hiking

Since the theme is “All About Uncle Bill,” I thought hiking would be an excellent workout this week.  Hiking is one of those activities that doesn’t really feel like an exercise until the following day when you wake up completely sore. Good Papa, W and I live in a big city; there are not too many quality hiking trails outside my front door (side note: after our big “hike” I did some research and apparently there are tons of great places to hike around Philadelphia).

So, W, our dog Zig, and I set off on a 2 mile trail around the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I wore W on my back just like a modern-day Sacagawea.

I’ll be honest, I fully intended on absolutely hating this “exercise.” I used my baby carrier constantly when W weighed significantly less as a newborn. My Ergo was starting to collect dust, however, when I pulled it out for our big adventure. W is not what you call the most cuddly baby. He is very independent; preferring to bear crawl right on the sidewalk over riding in the stroller. His hatred for the carrier grew as he grew in size. He would arch his back attempting to break loose, so much so that a random lady shouted from her car,

Hold that baby’s head! Thank you, random lady, I somehow did not notice the screaming baby desperately trying to claw his way out of the piece of cloth tied around my waist.

off we go I decided to wear W on my back as to avoid another “arching incident.” I pushed the thought of W taking a back dive straight to the concrete out of my mind as I struggled to attach him. W laughed hysterically as I bent over, twisting and shifting him into place on my back.

Great, I was sweating already. I picked up the book bag filled with our “gear,” grabbed Zig’s leash, some sunglasses, and headed out the door.

.50 Mile into the “hike”

I was feeling pretty impressed with myself. I smiled confidently at passerby’s who nodded at me with looks of approval (or bewilderment I suppose) I picked the perfect day for a hike around the city. There was even a cool breeze that whipped my ponytail back into the air.

Oops, I hope not right into W’s face. Oh yes, he is pulling on it now. Well, at least it’ll keep him busy. 

Suddenly I felt a strong force pull on my arm. I looked up as a squirrel scurried up a nearby tree.

I had almost forgotten about Zig. Surprisingly, he was walking rather nicely (I think he realized I was writing a piece for the blog).  It was somewhat tricky picking up after him with a baby on my back, but I managed alright.

1.25 Miles into the “hike”

art museum

Yeah! We had arrived at the Art Museum steps.

Should I run up the steps? Naa, I don’t think they allow dogs on the steps. Yes, that’ll be my excuse. 

We navigated our way through all of the tourists, and I snapped a few “selfies.” After stopping to chat with a few strangers about the “interesting-looking” dog, we resumed our hike.

I looked up at the suddenly cloudless sky to feel the sun beating down on my head.

Crap, W’s not even wearing a hat. Where did that breeze go?   Ugh, I think W just gained a few extra pounds back there. 

Snack Break

snack break

I think the snack break was everyone’s favorite part of our “hike.” Zig had a bone to chew on while W and I munched on a mix of cheese, cheerios, and raisins. We sat under the trees on a grassy spot not far from the Art Museum. It felt great to sit back, relax and listen to the beautiful sounds of nature  traffic.

After a few peaceful minutes, it was time to continue our journey (it would soon be time to make dinner after all). W ended up in the front this time. There was no way I was making the attempt to put him on my back and be the entertainment for the huge line of cars starting to pile up on the street next to us.

He wasn’t pleased.

Oh no. 

1.50 miles into the “hike”

The hike was cut short.

I had planned to walk all around the city snapping pictures of famous sights. Well, 20 lbs is quite a lot of weight to carry, not to mention the other 20 lbs tugging at the end of his leash.

We were all getting tired, hot, and cranky. Not a good combination. Even Zig had lost the extra hop that is constantly in his step and was panting excessively.

Time to go home, boys. 

Zig and W both looked up at me with grateful smiles on their faces.

losing it

2 miles: “hike” complete

In the end, despite only making it to the Art Museum steps, our “hike” around the city was a success. I would say walking around for 2 miles with a 20 lb weight strapped to your back could be considered a very sufficient workout.

I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have to fight W to stay in the carrier. He only arched his back twice as we neared our front door.

Although I think I may be soon retiring the baby carrier, it was nice to have the chance to snuggle up with W.

 Some bonus fitness tips…

Do you have a baby that actually enjoys snuggling up next to you in the carrier? Or, is the carrier the only place your baby will sleep for longer periods of time? Use that to your advantage!

  • Work on your legs! Do some squats, wall sits, lunges while your baby is in the carrier. Take a look at my Scrambled Eggs Legs Workout for some leg exercises. Just please be careful not to topple over with your baby. Use a chair for support.
  • Take the stairs! I totally bailed on running up the art museum steps, but walking up and down the steps with the extra weight of your baby is a great workout.
  • Take a real hike! After doing some research, I have found so many places to hike around Philadelphia. Want to know about some of these great places to hike near Philadelphia? Sign up for a subscription to my newsletter below!

Any baby wearing mamas out there? When did you or do you plan on retiring the baby carrier? Let me know in the comment section below!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge