The holidays are here and we all know what that means! Getting together with family and friends, lots of good food and stories, awkward family moments mixed with perfect days where you laugh and smile. I have never been much of a gifty person over the years and honestly pre-baby I often felt weird when someone asked me, “what do you want me to get you this year?”

Then Mason arrived and having a baby is expensive right? So this year I thought instead of asking for things I’d make it easy by just blogging about all kinds of cool discoveries I have made for cool gear that I probably would never buy for myself, Mark or Mason. I am hoping there are a few things on here that you might be able to casually point out to Grandma and Grandpa so that you don’t have to “ask” for gear. This way it can magically appear on your doorstep and you can smile huge and say, “How did you know?!”

BABY AND TODDLER ON TRAIL

Layering is key if you want to get out with your baby or toddler. When they are little it’s easy to just slide them into cotton tops and bottoms but think twice if you are headed out hiking and baby will be up against your body. When you hike you sweat, which mean that gets on your little one and can leave them quite damp if you don’t have much between you other than that layer of clothes they are wearing. Consider a splurge and get a wool base layer from Simply Merino. This is a great gift for someone to get your little one because its fairly affordable and you don’t need a lot of these. 2 sets of great base layers can probably get you through the winter. (Simplymerino, $30-60) 10% HIB discount code: HIKEITBABY

A waterproof full body bunting for little babies is key if you plan on getting outside in the coldest months. Finding one that’s affordable, warm and waterproof can be challenging. iPlay’s Waterproof Bunting does all of this and you can fold flaps over baby’s hands and feet, as well as pull up a fleece lined hood, which is a bonus. Pre-crawling when they are still small enough to tuck inside a big oversized jacket this may not be as important, but as soon as you want to wear a baby on your fronts or back and have them exposed, it’s key to find a good outer layer that will work for baby. (I Play, $40)

December Gift Guide From Our PartnersIf you are looking more for a suit that you can zip over layers, my suggestion is Oakiwear. Mason has been wearing their gear since he was a little over a year and it’s worked awesome. I have pictures of him literally sitting in mud puddles and coming out dry. There are a few cheap-o options out there that pop up on Zulilly and they work, but I’ve found that our Oakiwear suit is pretty bomb-proof. This is key when you have a toddler who loves playing horsey on jagged logs and rolling around in mud. He’s in the two-piece suit here from last year, which is still available on their site, but I would strongly suggest the one piece for those who are walking more and really going for it in mud! (Oakiwear, $50-70)
20% Hike it Baby discount code: HIKEITBABY

December Gift Guide From Our Partners 2Easy to get in and out of boots for snow and wet days are key with toddlers. Mason is an unhappy shoe wearer so whenever I find a shoe that he doesn’t throw a fit about putting on and he can get off pretty easily on his own it’s a win-win situation. Yes, I am biased when it comes to KEEN, but I haven’t found heaps of shoes that are super easy to get on and off kiddos. The Kootenay WP boot is a mid-rise, so obviously not great for super deep snow, but it’s great for an urban stomper in cold weather. The Velcro flap makes for quick in and out. The fleece lining is cozy so you can get away with less sock. Add a wool sock and you are in really good shape for cold conditions. Don’t like the price? Put them on the list for Santa to get them and remember it’s super easy to resell KEEN for top dollar. (KEEN, $70)

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Hike it Baby partnered with Onya Baby in the ‘early” days because we found this carrier to be one of the best on trail when you are carrying long distances. My husband personally has hiked 12 miles with Mason (who slept through half of the hike) when he was 26 months. The heavy duty lumbar support and strong webbing make it one of the best soft carriers out there. Use the code: SHANTI on the Hike it Baby store and you will get $10 off purchasing one. Makes an awesome baby gift too. This carrier is really a rockstar carrier right around 7-8 months and up and will last you through 5 years old. Yes, I still carry my sister’s 4 year old on trail. Here’s proof. (Onya Baby, $129-149)

This is the Cadillac of frame carriers. I think people often get nervous when they see frame carrier because they think they are going to be heavy when add a child on top of it. However, I can honestly say once you start hiking and you put one of these on it’s pretty amazing how doable it is. The way a frame carrier works is that it places the baby weight in all of the correct places on your back, so it’s super easy to cruise along the trail. The tricky part is getting a frame carrier on and off your pack when you first start. Use a picnic table or a car bumper or a friend to get you started with it. The more you use it, the easier it gets to maneuver. What I really like about thus pack is how easily I can adjust from my husband’s size to my size. And there’s a pillow for Mason to fall asleep with. Recently we hiked 7 miles with Mason on a trail and he had one awesome nap for a good chunk of the hike. The drool on the pillow proved it. (Deuter Kid Komfort, $199-299)

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Brands listed in this piece are sponsors of Hike it Baby. We may have received financial compensation and/or product from the company, but did not ask for this for inclusion in this blog. We are writing this blog based on personal experience. We do not review products we have not personally used. We stand behind all of the products we share with you because we think they will make your life on trail a little bit easier. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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