Skiing With A Baby: Do’s & Don’ts

Skiing With A Baby: Do’s & Don’ts

It’s not uncommon to see parents walk away from activities they used to love doing because they think it’s not conducive for children.

But is that really the case or can you still do all your favourite things like skiing with a baby in the mix?

In this article, I’m going to address any concerns you may have about going skiing with a baby.

I’ll walk you through how you can tweak your skiing trip to make it comfortable for you and the little one and help you make amazing, new memories with your growing family.

When is the best time to go skiing with a baby?

Although the holiday season””December to January””is a great time to go skiing because the festivities, decorations, and sparkling lights make everything seem magical, it’s also the coldest time of the year.

A baby would have a much harder time adjusting to the weather, so it’s best to schedule your trip for when temperatures will be a bit warmer. Plan to go during March/April if you want the optimal skiing experience with your baby.

By this time, Winter would be winding down and spring peeking through so even though the mountains will still be packed with Snow, the sun will also be out. So you and your baby will be a lot more comfortable.

Is it safe to ski while pregnant?

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) lists skiing as one of the exercises you should stay away from when pregnant because it places you at a greater risk of getting injured.

Generally, doctors do not recommend skiing while pregnant because you’re likely to fall and hurt yourself or the baby or both in the process. This is especially true if you’re a beginner with little or no experience tackling slopes.

Pregnancy can put a strain on your muscles. So when you engage in intense physical activities like skiing, your body would be more vulnerable to fatigue and injuries like torn tendons.

In addition, pregnancy can diminish your mental awareness, so your assessment of a situation might not be as accurate as you think.

You may misjudge a skiing challenge or react slower than you typically would; that split-second difference could have life-threatening consequences.

However, if you’re an experienced skier and you’re confident in your ability to protect yourself, you can decide to not let pregnancy stop you from skiing. Still, you’ll want to take precautions to ensure you and your baby’s safety as you ski.

Speak to your doctor about your intention before you decide to head for the slopes. When you go skiing, stick to your skill level and save the more challenging runs for after the baby arrives.

Make sure you take things slow, pace yourself as you go, give yourself extra time to get used to the high altitude, and take breaks more often to recuperate before continuing your runs.

Things you should do when going skiing with a baby

Photo by Vika Glitter

To help you minimize the challenges of going on a skiing holiday with your baby, here are a few tips and tricks you can incorporate to make the trip as smooth as possible:

Find a family-friendly resort

The type of lodging you choose will greatly influence how your skiing trip turns out and how much fun you end up having.

You want to prioritize resorts and hotels that are family and kid-friendly because they’ll have facilities like a nursery, cots, catered dining, and diaper-changing rooms, which can make your life easier.

Look for establishments that allow you to just hang around the dining rooms or other areas of the lodge outside of your room for as long as you need.

Some places will only allow you to stay in the dining room for a stipulated time, after which you’ll need to buy more food or be asked to leave.

You’re more likely to find this level of convenience at traditional or smaller skiing resorts, so start your search with them.

Pack lots of appropriate clothing and everything else

Photo by Irina Balashova

When you’re planning a skiing vacation with children, you can’t pack whatever you want and just wing it.

You need to make a packing list for your skiing trip to make sure you don’t forget anything that you and your baby might need to have a comfortable time.

Some of the essential items to bring along with you include:

  • Skiing apparel – It’s going to be cold where you’re headed so make sure you pack a nice snowsuit, ski boots, a couple of pairs of woolen socks, and at least one pair of gloves and mittens to keep your baby cozy and warm. Don’t the head warmers, neck warmers, and thermals for added protection against the elements. Since kids outgrow clothing items really fast, consider buying second-hand versions of ski clothes rather than new ones. Or borrow from ski-loving family members and friends who have (had) kids the same age as yours.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm – The sun and its harmful ultraviolet rays are still present in the sky even when everywhere is covered in snow and the day is overcast and cloudy. To keep your baby from getting sunburnt, you will need an SPF 50 sun lotion and lip balm for protection.
  • Sunglasses – The snow reflects sun rays and it can be very harsh on the eyes of both the young and old when stared at directly. So make sure to buy a great pair of sun goggles, especially for your baby. Look for the ones that are specifically designed for winter activities.
  • Toys, blankets, books – Pack your baby’s favorite toy, books, comforters, and other items you can use to distract and entertain them or get them to quiet down and fall asleep.
  • Formula and bottles – If your baby is still breastfeeding or on a milk diet, pick up a few cases of their preferred formula. Alternatively, you can wait till you get to your skiing destination and buy it from a supermarket in the area. Pack enough water and feeding bottles too.
  • Medication – If your baby is on any medication, take it with you. Otherwise, bring along paracetamol in case your baby runs a fever during the trip.
  • Tissues, diapers, wipes – You can always buy these at the local supermarket wherever you go instead of bringing them with you. The only problem is that you may not be able to get the specific brands you like.

Bring extras for everything if you can because it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Decide on a suitable method for carrying the baby

Photo by Paweł Fijałkowski

Since you’re probably going to be handling a lot of bags, carrying your baby as you normally would may be too much to juggle. You need extra support to help you carry your baby around the slopes safely.

Here are some great tools and ways you can move around with your kid, without putting yourself or them at risk for injuries:

Baby jogging stroller

Unlike a traditional stroller, a jogging stroller is large and big enough that you can push it around a ski lodge easily. There are plenty of affordable options out there to pick from so you won’t have to break the bank to purchase one.

Baby sled

The beauty of a baby sled is that it has a deep pocket where you can tuck your baby in snugly without fearing that it might fall out thanks to its lower center of gravity.

However, it won’t be the safest option for you if your baby is not yet able to sit by itself.

When shopping for baby sleds, it’s better to visit a physical store, rather than buying it virtually because you’ll be able to test the sleds with your baby to find the best fit.

Baby carrier

You can wear a baby carrier on your back or your front, freeing up your hands to move bags, skiing accessories, and other items you need. Depending on your budget, you can buy a carrier that will last you anywhere between a few years to a lifetime.

Arrange for daycare

Photo by Valentine Kulikov

If you’re traveling with your partner and both of you are interested in skiing or learning how to ski during the trip, you’re going to need someone to look after your baby when you’re out sliding down hills.

Depending on the accommodation service you’re using, a childcare package may be part of the deal. The resort may have a nursery or an in-house nanny who can watch over your kid.

The extra charge that comes with this service is easily worth the freedom and peace of mind that you’ll get in return, especially if your child is too young for ski lessons or riding along with you.

You can push yourself and have as much fun as you can skiing while your baby is safe and taken care of indoors.

Create a babysitting tag team

Another thing you can do when skiing with a child to ensure you get the most out of the experience is to travel with other families and friends with young kids so that you can trade off babysitting.

One or two people can stay in the lodge to hang out with the kids, then the rest can go have a great time skiing. Then when that group returns, they will take over childcare duties and the people who stayed behind will take their place on the ski slope.

Even if you don’t travel with friends, you and your partner can still form a tag team and take turns watching the baby while the other is slicing through the slopes.

This also helps you cut down on expenses because you won’t have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a nanny.

Check out the lift location

Photo by Irina Balashova

It’s not easy trying to manage several bags while carrying your baby from one place to another.

Imagine having to travel a considerable distance and take multiple chairlift rides with all that load to get to your lodge or the terrain where you want to ski.

Make sure the apartment you’re staying at is right next to the ski location or only a short distance from it. This way, you can return to the resort or hotel faster in case of emergency or exhaustion after a long day of successful runs.

Accept that your routines won’t always go as planned

The best thing you can do when skiing with a baby is to let go of any rigid schedules you have and be prepared to adapt to whatever comes your way.

Since your baby is in a new environment, they may fuss a lot during the early days and need you to comfort them.

This means you may not be able to start your ski sessions at the time you originally planned to. You need to account for these unexpected circumstances and how they can influence your routines.

Also, you will have to cut down on the number of hours you spend exploring the slopes or jumping off a hill. You may even have to ditch the formidable terrain that you love practicing runs on for hikes that are more baby-friendly.

Things to avoid doing when skiing with a baby

Photo by Julita pasja1000

Now that you know how to prepare and take full advantage of the skiing experience without causing harm to anyone, let’s take a look at some mistakes you’ll want to stay away from.

Crowded spots

When there are too many people trying to ski in the same location, there’s also an increased likelihood of people colliding into you. Babies can easily be hurt in these circumstances so it’s best to embark on your skiing adventure during the off-season, when there are fewer people around.

Skiing with your baby in your carrier

Baby carriers are typically designed for transporting your baby, not for use while skiing because they don’t offer adequate protection. All the turns and bumps along the landscape can also make it more difficult to focus on the baby.

However, if your baby is eight months or older and can hold up its neck, you can go skiing with them on gentle and forgiving trails and use a carrier with minimal risk.

Using helmets for a baby

Photo by Visit Almaty

Helmets are one of the most important protective gear you can wear when skiing because, in the case of a crash or fall, they protect you against fatal head injuries.

As a result, you might be thinking all you have to do to ensure your kids stay safe while skiing is to use a helmet on its head but this is not advisable.

Children have weaker necks so they can’t support the weight of a helmet. So if you put one on their head, you may end up causing them serious harm.

The general rule is to wait till a child is at least a year old before you start letting them wear a helmet.

Staying out in the cold for too long

Babies cannot regulate their body temperature or adjust to cold surroundings as quickly as adults. You may be thinking your baby is warm because it’s wrapped in plenty of layers so you can ski for as long as you want and nothing would happen.

But in truth, your baby may be slowly freezing to death. If you’re going to take a little kid with you when you want to ski, you need to exercise extra precautions to keep them safe.

Take breaks more often and consider capping your sessions at one to two hours maximum.

Exploring rough terrain

If you insist on bringing your baby along whenever you go out to ski instead of letting someone look after it at the lodge, stay away from the challenging courses.

Stick to slopes that are kid-friendly and in the absence of one, consider engaging in less intensive and slower-paced versions of the sports like cross-country skiing.

Conclusion

You don’t have to give up skiing when you become a parent. You can still enjoy a lovely skiing holiday with a baby in tow as long as you plan well and follow the recommended tips to ensure everyone stays harm-free and happy.

Remember, safe fun is the best fun. Happy skiing!

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Peter Salisbury

Peter Salisbury

Pete is the Owner of KayakHelp.com. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of KayakHelp.com. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.

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