When I went to Joshua Tree National Park with my 3 month old, I quickly realized I wasn’t as prepared as I thought. This made my experience a bit more difficult than it should have been. These 4 must-haves are non-negotiable.
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1. Sun Hat:
This is so important because the sun at Joshua Tree National Park can be unforgiving at times. I made the mistake of not bring a sun hat for my baby. Well, to be honest, I didn’t even own one yet because my baby was so young and it was one of the first hot days since she was born.
It didn’t even cross my mind to bring a sun hat for her. Well, once I got there I quickly realized that she needed SOMETHING! I ended up improvising by using a Muslin blanket, that I got from Target, to cover her completely.
The downfall of that was that she was getting kind of sweaty even though the blanket was pretty thin and breathable. I ended up connecting the blanket to my baby carrier making like a tent-like contraption. It worked well so that she wasn’t baking and suffocating under there.
Side note: Bringing a light weight blanket like a muslin blanket is actually pretty important because you can cover the rest of your baby's body.
2. Baby Carrier:
Now, I had a LILLEbaby carrier, but this thing sucked. It was one of the first times I have had to use it outside of house. I wasn’t a fan of it because it was big and bulky. On top of that, my baby didn't seem like she was too comfortable.
With that being said, I was still very thankful that I had it. There was NO WAY I would have been able to carry her.
As for the stroller… um, no. Joshua Tree is set up in a way that you cannot really use a stroller. Believe me, I tried (since I was trying to avoid the carrier). The pathways/trails are dirt and at first it will seem like you’ll be able to push your stroller through them. That's until you get a few feet away from the parking lot and you hit sand. Now, if you manage to push through that, then good for you however you’ll have an unwelcome surprise of minor hills and rocks that you cannot get over. No way!
So, a carrier is all that there is. I suggest getting a light weight carrier that is a bit more breathable for baby and for you. Again, it is hot and you don't want to be uncomfortable and neither does you child.
I ended up purchasing an Infantino Flip Advanced 4-1 Convertible baby carrier from a local retailer, Marshalls. Let me just tell you, I LOVE IT. Can I say that again?! I totally love it and so does baby. This carrier is light weight, does not have a lot of material, and the baby's legs were not spread open to the point where she was crying. It was the perfect fit for both of us. Oh, let me not forget to tell you that it had lower back support too!
I guess this is needed even without an infant, but with an infant, it will definitely come in handy. You can store the things you need like snacks, water, and sun block, but you can store your infants things like their food, toys, diapers or whatever else they typically need.
4. Pacifier Clip:
This is a must-have even if your baby does not use a pacifier. You are able to clip it to your infant carrier and then have either their pacifier, teething toy or another type of toy hooked on the other end. I use the BooginHead PaciGrip pacifier clip.
Why is this important you may be wondering? Well, although you may be having the time of your life, your infant will get bored real quick, so it will be nice for them to have something to keep them entertained. This way, you can get enough sight seeing and hiking in.