Do you ever look at all of the stunning Hike it Baby photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and spot the ones where a parent is wearing 2 kiddos – tandem style? This brings to mind so many questions for those of us who only have 1 baby or have never thought of trying to wear more than one child at a time. How do you get them up there? Who do you put on first? What happens when something drops on the trail? So many questions!! Here are some tips from a few of those amazing tandem-carrying HiB Mamas.
Kaleigh in Portland has these tips for tandem wearing:
• Build up to it. Start with shorter hikes than you are used to doing. Practice in your neighborhood first.
• Have a buddy to help you!
• Carry minimal gear, especially on shorter hikes- I often just stuff a couple diapers and a small ziploc bag with some wipes into the pocket of my carrier and carry a water bottle.
• If carrying a baby & toddler, put baby on first in front and then have someone help you get the toddler onto your back so they can get down and walk if needed. If you are alone, it’s easiest to get the toddler on your back first, then baby in front.
• You will get hot sandwiched between two kids, so wear cooler clothes than you normally would.
Here are some tips from Jeri in Anchorage:
• Always wear the larger child on your back and put them on first.
• I use an ergo on front and a Onya on back. I like having the front carrier straps crossed across my back, so I put the ergo (front carrier) on first. Then I put the Onya and larger child (17m 21lbs) on my back over the ergo. Then slip the younger child (9m 17lbs) down through the top of the ergo, and tighten everything up!
• If it’s chilly out, I have a jacket that is one size larger than my size that I cut a crescent shaped hole in the back of to baby wear with. I can zip it up if I’m wearing just one kid on back. If I have both on, I add in a jacket extender so we are all cozy under one jacket!
• But my number 1 tip after you get them all loaded, trekking poles! I will always use them, no matter the terrain. They are a must for balance/safety since your carrying all the extra weight, and you can’t see your feet. I find my hips feel quite sore after hiking a few miles without the poles. When used properly, they alleviate weight off your legs and transfer it to your arms, making it a full body workout!
Marjorie carries her twins tandem-style. Here’s what she has to say:
I started off tandem carrying at about one month in a moby wrap. It was the only way I could carry them both in the early months when I was on my own and they fell asleep instantly in there even if it was a 5am walk outside to the coffee shop to get them back to sleep.
Few tips/tricks for carrying my twins tandem:
• Tricks and what works will constantly change as your babies get older, as is true for carrying one 🙂
• Nurse, feed, change diapers, dress weather appropriately, ect, immediately before loading them to give you the best chance of making it at least a little ways down the trail.
• Load the first baby first and get them all adjusted before you load the second.
• Have a hib friend/fellow hiking buddy check the adjustment of the carriers and how the kids look ( seated balanced, hats not covering their eyes…)
• I will put the fussier twin in the front so I can tend to their needs and give extra snuggles.
• My daughter loves looking around during hikes (verse my sleep anytime son) so we switched from back carrying her in an ergo to an Osprey frame pack as soon as she was big enough.
• It’s possible to nurse front baby while tandem carrying if needed.
• Dropped toys/hats equals an excellent opportunity for mama squats.
•Likewise, tandem carrying is a wicked good workout! Increases endurance and strength haha.
• Always have lots of snacks, water and ( binkie if your baby uses one) plus extra.
•Know your hiking limit tandem carrying/and kids limit…..some hikes are SO worth saving for when a friend or partner can come too!
•Enlist friends to join on hikes!! BEST thing ever!!
• Friends/fellow HIB pals are your lifesavers and best helpers for just about Everything! Calm baby, adjust, pick something up, carry something, you name it and they will gladly assist.
Thanks for being such great inspirations! Now we know that having multiple little ones can’t stop us from getting out on those trails! Be sure to “like” Hike it Baby on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep yourself motivated to get outside.