The Best Essential Outdoor Gear For Babies

Getting outside with a new baby can be challenging, even if you were already the outdoorsy type. When our first was born, there was quite a learning curve! It took a little while, but we’ve figured out some of the best outdoor gear for babies to make getting outside a little easier. Now I want to share what we learned in hopes that it can make someone else’s journey to getting out with baby a little easier!

And, with baby #2 on the way for us, it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic for myself as well. This time around, we actually have a backyard so I’ve found some additional outdoor gear for babies that didn’t previously make sense that I think would be super useful this time around.

This list boils it down to the absolute basics of outdoor activities. It’s the gear that will allow you to get out and go for walks, take a bike ride, go swimming, or just hang out in the yard with baby along. You don’t need six different hiking packs and super expensive clothing items for your baby to enjoy the outdoors (thank goodness!).

So here’s a compilation of our favorite outdoor gear for babies!

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For getting out and about.

Baby Carrier

Mom wearing sleeping boy in baby carrier-outdoor gear for babies

There are SO MANY baby wearing options on the market today. It’s easy to be convinced that you need this one for on the town, and this one for hiking, and so on. We literally only used one for EVERYTHING, and that was the Ergobaby Carrier.

From the time our son was a newborn to around two years old, this is how we transported him. (When he was a newborn, we did purchase the newborn insert for the carrier, which is sold separately. This is still much cheaper than buying a separate carrier for newborns.)

I’ve heard of people using it longer (it can hold up to 33 lbs), but our little guy put on the pounds pretty quick and seemed like a more capable walker early on, so we ran with that.

Year-round, whether we were out walking, hiking, or around town, he was in this carrier. It’s super versatile and there are several different ways you can wear baby, including facing inward, facing out, and on your back. If there was one baby product that we “couldn’t live without”, this was it!

Bike Trailer

small boy sitting in bike trailer- outdoor gear for babies

If you enjoy bike rides and want to bring your little bundle of joy along, this bike trailer is a great option! This model is actually slightly different from the one we purchased a few years ago, and I wish we had this one instead!. It can actually transform into a stroller or jogging trailer, and I’m a big fan of anything multi-purpose.

For hanging out in the yard.

Baby Swing

Now that we have a yard, this baby swing is definitely on my list of essential outdoor gear for babies! When my son was a baby, he LOVED swinging outside over at nana and gramps’ house. And what a nice, relaxing (and easy) way to get some outdoors time with your little one!

small boy swinging outside- outdoor gear for babies

Pack and Play

This pack and play is great to use for playing (or napping) out in the yard, at the park, or even to take camping if you’re up for that sort of thing. I love that it’s a super versatile piece of outdoor gear for babies! As the name would suggest, it packs up very easily and can be transported in a compact box that can be worn as a backpack.

We also love that it’s GreenGuard Gold certified (low voc, no lead, phthalates, pvc, heavy metals, flame retardents, etc.).

small boy peeks out of pack and play- outdoor gear for babies

Baby Jumper

Once our little dude exited the newborn stage and became a little sturdier, we had a walker that he used inside. But now that we’ll be looking to spend time out in the yard, this portable jumper looks like a great option.

It’s lightweight and easy to fold up, which is essential if you are planning packing this up for an outdoor excursion. It also has a canopy over top for sun protection and a mat for under the feet. This one is definitely going on my baby list this time around!

For summertime.

Life jacket

small boy wearing life jacket sits on mom's lap on tube floating in water- outdoor gear for babies

If you enjoy hanging out on the water in the summertime, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need to bring baby along as well! One piece of essential outdoor gear for babies when you’re near the water is (obviously) a life jacket.

We went with the Stearns Infant Classic Series Vest when our dude was a wee tot. I’ve seen others for double the price, but this one worked great for us. The design is basically the same, it’s rated just as highly, and it’s US Coast Guard-approved. Win win win!

Protective sun gear

Good sunscreen is another piece of essential outdoor gear for babies! We’ve used this sunscreen from Babyganics since our little guy was born. And not just on him…we use it for ourselves as well!

small boy and mom sitting on beach while mom holds up sunscreen- outdoor gear for babies

We like this brand because it’s made without all the toxins that you wouldn’t want to put on your baby’s delicate skin (or your own, for that matter). And don’t forget a sun hat!

For winter activities.

Snow suit.

Clothing is probably the most important outdoor gear for babies to consider during winter time. We were pretty minimal and only purchased a single snowsuit, hat, one pair of gloves, and some heavy socks. The snowsuit came with built in footies, so we didn’t even have to worry about expensive boots that would only fit for a couple months.

I’ve seen A LOT of people recommend a baby bunting from Patagonia that runs for $150, but I’m just not convinced that’s necessary (as much as I love their clothes).

We purchased a snowsuit like this one for our little guy from H&M (for around $40), and it worked great for his first winter. And again, I was usually wearing him strapped to to the front of me, which also helped provide body heat.

mom holding baby boy in one piece snowsuit and hat= outdoor gear for babies

And that’s it for our list of basic outdoor gear for babies! I definitely believe that it shouldn’t take a ton of fancy gear to get outside with your little one.

If you’re looking for some outdoor toy ideas for older kids, check out our list of the 15 best outdoor toys for your backyard!

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