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June 2018 Issue
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Your baby and the nappy-less hike

Leave the nappies at home and pack a potty. Photo: Sonia Barrish
Don’t let your baby upset your tramping aspirations – follow these tips and baby can come too. 

When considering hiking with a baby, one of the main questions on a parent’s mind – and possibly the main hindrance to getting out – is what to do with all the nappies. Imagine the freedom of not using them. 

The benefits will be felt on any trip: no smelly nappies to lug around and you’ll have a lighter pack; by the end of a four-day trip, your baby’s used nappies would weigh around 4kg and take up around 20-litres of pack space. 

Put the effort in before you go

Observe your baby nappy-free: when and how often do they go? Then practise taking them out of the child carrier and holding them over a potty or toilet, until they relieve themselves. Once you’re confident you know when they need to go, you can go on longer walks with fewer nappies as a back-up. Pretty soon, you’ll be hiking like you did pre-baby.

What to take

A potty will save you the trouble of taking your baby outside in the night. It’s also easier for your baby to use during the rest stops. Carry it in a dry bag clipped to the outside of your pack so it’s easily accessible.

Stop often

There are a few places that a baby will naturally not want to toilet if given the choice – one of which is in a child carrier. On tramps with our 12-month-old, we would stop about every hour and have a quick potty and run-around break. More often than not, Bethany went to the toilet. Don’t forget, you will need to bury any solid waste. 

At night

If you know what to look out for, you don’t even need to take bedtime nappies. When babies stir in the night, it’s often a sign they need to pee. One night at Anne Hut, I pottied Bethany while she was still half asleep, saying “pssss” to encourage her to go. The next day, I was told by one hut user that my potty training method is very effective. “It made me get up and go, too,” he said.

Nappies as back-up

Sometimes you just don’t want to risk a set of wet clothes, so cloth nappies can be used as a back-up. If the nappy does end up getting wet, give it a rinse, tie it to your pack and use it again once it’s dried. 

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