A new family member is a wonderful enrichment. But is it also advisable to go skiing with babies or small children? Absolutely! If you pay attention to a few things, you can also spend wonderful snow holidays with babies & toddlers.
Should I go on a skiing holiday with babies?
Basically, there is nothing to stop you from going on a skiing holiday with babies or toddlers. Even if the little ones are not yet allowed to ski, they love the snow and the fresh mountain air.
For pregnant women, pregnancy and skiing are no longer compatible from week 10-12. The risk of injury is too high and an unnecessary danger, both for the mother and for the unborn child. However, this does not mean that you are not allowed to go to the mountains. Just check with your doctor and enjoy off-piste activities such as winter hiking!
Early planning prevents stress later
Once the baby has arrived, this means more planning for the ski holiday than just a holiday for two. Families should therefore take plenty of time to find suitable accommodation, organise transport and get the equipment for the little ones. Four to five months in advance for the planning may seem long, but it gives parents enough time to plan their winter holiday in peace.
Family tip: If you travel together with another family with children, you will not only have playmates for the little ones – you can also take turns caring for the children and giving the adults a little break in between.
Central accommodation ensures short distances
The first question during the planning phase is often: where should the kids go? There are many ski areas that specialise in families and offer a great range of activities for the whole family, from child-friendly pistes to exciting activities for the little ones and supervision in the hotel.
But even those who do not travel to a designated family ski area can choose a hotel with special childcare for their accommodation. The local tourism associations are also offering childcare more and more. This means that parents can go out on the slopes together, while the little ones are well looked after and entertained.
It doesn’t always have to be a hotel room, by the way. Another cheaper option is to book a holiday apartment. This way the little ones have more space to romp around and it is easier to continue the routine at home even on holiday.
But no matter if you are in a hotel or in an apartment, a central location of the accommodation is always advantageous for families with small children. It offers short distances if you have to go back quickly. In addition, a central location ensures that the excursions do not get too long and that there is no long way to the accommodation after an exhausting day of skiing. In addition, you are also well connected to public transport.
Travel tip: if the children are still very young, we recommend a European ski resort where the journey is not too strenuous. The winters here are also milder than in Canada, for example. If you are generally worried about the low temperatures, you can also travel in March or April, when it’s not quite as frosty outside anymore. Skiing in spring snow is also fun for adults.
Well equipped: this is what you should pack for the little ones
Babies and toddlers up to the age of three are naturally too young to ski, but they must also be prepared for a holiday in the mountains with suitable equipment. Travel equipment for young winter holidaymakers includes the right clothing: not only are winter trousers and a thick jacket important, but also sturdy and warm shoes, a scarf, a protective cap and gloves should not be forgotten. In addition, children’s skin is particularly sensitive to the sun, which is why sun protection with a high sun protection factor and sunglasses with UV protection are an absolute must.
If you travel with small children, you should also think of toys. This is because even if the accommodation provides toys, a few tried and tested toys are very helpful entertainment and distraction for the little ones, even on their way to the ski resort or in the plane.
Anti-stress tip: if you are not travelling by car, you should consider travelling by train or plane and arrange private transport from the airport or train station to your accommodation.
Ski lessons or not on the slopes at all?
Once you have arrived in the ski area, the question often arises: can you take the little ones on the piste or should you even register them for a ski course? Skiing is usually not recommended for children under the age of three, as it is simply too physically demanding for many children at this age and many do not yet have the necessary motor skills. For ski lessons, children also have to be potty trained.
However, even if the children are too young for ski lessons, this does not mean that they are not allowed on the slopes. If there are few used hills which are not too steep, it is a good opportunity to start the first slow attempts with the older children. An elastic ski leash can be used to a limited extent, but only with caution. You also need coordination skills so that the little ones don’t injure themselves. In case of doubt, it’s better not to do it and instead try to slip in the soft snow together.
Whether skiing or sliding, those who spend time with their children in the snow should plan for many breaks and limit their time in the cold. After all, you don’t want to overwhelm the little ones. Those who start slowly with one or maximum two hours in the snow and take regular breaks get the children used to the piste without exhausting them and thereby preserve their enjoyment of winter sports. It is also very important that the children drink often and a lot.
If you notice that the little ones get tired, you should take a break immediately or even stop skiing to avoid exhaustion and the resulting injuries and displeasure.
Fun in the snow doesn’t always have to take place on the piste
If the children are too small for the piste or the downhill runs are simply not child-friendly enough, there are also many other activities in the snow that are at least as much fun. If there are appropriate slopes, you can, for example, go tobogganing together, build a snowman, have a fun snowball fight or ride in a dog or horse sled. Short walks in the crackling snow are also a lot of fun and a great discovery tour for young and old. Another possibility is cross-country skiing: with the slower speed of cross-country skiing, you can even bring babies along in a cross-country sledge. However, you should practice this well beforehand and not choose tours that are too long so that the baby is not exposed to the cold for too long.
Skiing or snowboarding with babies should be avoided completely – even in slings or backpacks. The strong wind, the cold and the risk of injury at high speeds are too great a risk for toddlers and babies.
Activity tip: as nice as it is to spend time with the little ones in the snow, it can also be a lot of fun to spend a day off the slopes, for example in a swimming pool. This brings variety to your skiing holiday and you gather strength for the next family day together in the snow.
A skiing holiday with babies and toddlers is not only feasible, it can also be a lot of fun for the whole family. The only important thing is to plan your trip well in advance and relax during your holiday. Then both young and old alike will have a great time together in the snow.
The most important questions about ski holidays with babies and small children
Is a skiing holiday with children always safe?
In general, yes. Children love snow and those who pay attention to good clothing, sun protection and activities suitable for children can also go skiing with babies and toddlers. Skiing holidays with children with heart or respiratory diseases are not recommended. This should be clarified with a doctor beforehand.
Is it okay to ski while pregnant?
Gynaecologists advise pregnant women from week 10 onwards against skiing, as the risk of injury is too high.
Do I have to travel to a family ski area?
Even if the offers of these ski areas are meant for families and can therefore provide plenty of fun for everyone, this is not a must. However, it is important to make sure that the accommodation is child-friendly and that there are suitable childcare facilities.
Is a ski leash recommended?
Only in limited use, with a flexible leash and when the parents have a good command of the technique and coordination with the leash. Otherwise the risk of injury is too high.
Is it a good idea to travel with other families with small children?
Yes! For the children this means more playmates and the parents can support each other in the care.