Every book on parenting that I have ever read emphasizes the importance of routines. We aren’t consistent with bedtime routines, nap routines, mealtime routines and diaper changing routines like we should be.
But there is one routine that we are consistent with. Our trailhead routine.
By walking through the same steps as we move our bear cub from the comfort of his seat in a climate controlled car to the great outdoors, we are able to mentally and physically prepare our kiddo for the trails.
Here’s how it works:
1). Our baby usually falls asleep in car seat on the way to the trailhead so when we arrive the first thing I do is feed him. (While I feed him Al fires up our Garmins and unloads our packs from the car. If I’m alone I’ll unload my gear from the car before feeding the baby)
2). While I nurse our bear cub I lather him down with sunscreen. He’s usually too focused on eating to even notice thus preventing the tears that normally accompany a sunscreen application.
3). After he eats we change his diaper and make sure he is dressed appropriately for the weather.
4). Then we have a well-fed, dry-diapered, sun-protected little guy who is usually in a good mood as we take on the trails.
Our trailhead routine is really pretty simple but I’m convinced that it has saved us many tears on the trails.
Do you have a trailhead routine for your babies, kids or anyone you hike with who acts like a child?