Your first ski trip after having a baby

Whether you’re a serious snow head or just enjoy the occasional skiing holiday, there’s no reason not to hit the slopes just because you have a new addition to the family. It’s easier than you think to enjoy a ski holiday with a baby, or a short break without.

Leave baby behind

One option for grabbing some time on the piste is to leave your baby at home, with a doting grandparent or carer. Much as you adore your precious and find it hard to tear yourself away, travelling without them has its upsides. It’s a chance to reconnect with your partner (and your pre-baby self, remember them?) and spend some quality grown-up time together. And, after all that fresh mountain air and healthy exercise, you’re going to sleep… like a baby. How blissful does that sound after a few months of broken nights and bleary-eyed days!

Without your baby to worry about, you’ll be able to ski as much and as far as you like, wherever you like. And you’ll be able to party, party, party and enjoy all the après ski, too.

You don’t need to be apart from your precious for long to have a great time. Check out ski weekend breaks or short ski holidays – there are plenty of tour operators out there. You can pack a whole lot of fun into just a few days.

Baby goes too

Yes, you can take your baby! A skiing holiday with a tiny infant may sound impossible, but it’s really not. You don’t have to wait until your baby is old enough for their first pair of skis to have a great family skiing holiday. No need to put skiing on ice for 5 or 6 years when you’re itching to get back out there and do the thing you love. Plus you may have other children who already ski or are ready for their first lesson. Pick the right place, the right time, plan and pack well, and discover just how much fun skiing with all the family can be!

What to look for when booking

You might be surprised at just how easy it is to find a family-friendly ski holiday you can enjoy with your baby. Try searching for ski holiday with childcare, childcare holidays, family skiing holidays, or best skiing resorts for families and you’ll find any number of options offering everything from ski creches to full time nannies, with every possible baby item you could want already there in your room or chalet. So all you have to do is have fun.

Where to go

For baby’s first ski holiday, you probably won’t want to travel too far, so Europe is probably going to be your best choice. European resorts are easy to get to by air, or even road if you don’t fancy jetlag and don’t want to fly. If you are planning on flying, it’s a good idea to check with your airline or tour operator to see whether they have any minimum age requirements or other rules for travelling with children. Europe won’t be quite as cold as Canada, Colorado or other super-chilled ski destinations. Worth thinking about with a small baby whose inner thermostat isn’t quite fully operational just yet.

If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at Eastern Europe. You may not find all the facilities that more established Alpine resorts offer, but you’ll find slopes for every level of skier, and a few with geothermal springs to soothe the day’s aches away!

Stay low

Babies don’t do well at really high altitudes. So choose your resort carefully, and avoid the risk of a grizzly, miserable moppet. Around 2,000m is considered the maximum safe sleeping altitude for under twos, around 3,000m for 2-10 year olds.

Stay close to the action

Once you’ve picked your resort, look for accommodation near the runs. That way. You’ll spend more precious baby-free minutes on the slopes, not getting to them. It also makes it easier to get your other kids to ski school.

Transfer time

Another factor to consider if you’re flying is the distance from the airport to your resort. Transfers by coach or taxi can be long and slow, twisting and turning along winding mountain roads. Not really what you want after airport queues and a few hours in the air with a restless baby. Try and book a resort that’s not much more than an hour to get to – there are virtually none that are less than an hour.

Non skiing activities

What can you do when you’re not skiing? There are so many other fun things to do in the snow that all the family can enjoy. Tobogganing, mountain hiking, shopping, cafés, ice rinks… Your baby may not be able to join in, but they can tag along and be part of the action. And if you’re the one on baby duty while your partner’s up the mountain, you’ll want to be out there doing something, not stuck in your chalet or confined to the hotel the whole time.

When to go

If you’re worried about travelling during the coldest months, usually January and February, then think about March or even April. Still plenty of the white stuff but the temperature will be more child friendly. And early spring can be a great time to enjoy sunny walks in the clear mountain air. Just avoid all the half-term holidays and you’ll find the resorts quieter than during those peak time midwinter weeks, too.


All-inclusive, fully catered chalet or freewheeling independence? We all have our own idea of the perfect holiday format. Luckily, when you’re planning a family skiing holiday with young children, you’ve got plenty of options.

A good family-friendly, all-inclusive hotel could well be the most relaxing choice – for everyone. All you need close to hand, everything done for you, everything paid for in advance so no worries if you order that extra gluwein or hit the breakfast buffet hard! The good ones are all set up to give you your best time, with family-sized suites, round-the-clock childcare, kids’ buffets and plenty of non-skiing activities and entertainment for anyone that doesn’t want to ski – or for when you’ve simply had enough.

Some hotels have kids’ clubs that take babies from just a few weeks old, with fully trained staff to look after your little precious while you’re on the slopes. And with bars and restaurants all under the same roof, you’ll be able to enjoy a night out without actually going out, too.

You could start your all-inclusive search by checking out companies like Kinderhotels and Club Med Holidays. They both offer a whole host of included extras to make a stay with a baby a holiday for you as well as everyone else! From freshly cooked baby food to qualified babysitters.

The all-inclusive hotel experience isn’t for everyone. You may prefer the cosiness, space and privacy of your own chalet. Especially if you’re travelling with extended family or a group of friends.

Or maybe a cozy chalet?

Look for companies that are genuinely child-friendly and go the extra mile to make your mountain retreat a real home from home. The best chalet companies provide absolutely everything you need – travel cots, cot linen, baby monitors, bed guards, potties, highchairs, liquidisers, sterilisers, baby and toddler crockery and cutlery, stairgates, changing mats and toys. Even nappies and wipes ready and waiting for you. And having a washing machine and dryer will save you having to pack so many clothes. Handy when you’ve got to fit in your new baby’s wardrobes` as well as yours!

Some companies offer in-house nannies, so that you can head out to the slopes or enjoy a little après ski fun knowing your little one is in safe hands. That’s really useful if you’re not travelling with an entourage of extended family or grandparents to look after your little one. And it means that you don’t have to take it in turns to go up the mountain while the non-skiing partner has to mind the baby back at base camp.

Your chalet may also come with your own private cook. Great for you – just check that they also offer a healthy menu designed for your baby. Great for relaxed dining, too, knowing your little one is safely tucked up not far away.

And if you just like to keep it simple, and rent something basic, non-catered, no bells and whistles, that’ll work too. You’ll just have to bring a bit more baby stuff with you. You may have to spend more time with your baby, or you may be able to tap into local nursery care. But hey, whatever. You can breathe in the mountain air, hit the slopes for a few hours and create some winter wonderland memories with your little one.

What to pack for your ski holiday baby

Who to go with

So there’s you, and your partner, and baby makes three. You may have other children. So who else might you want to take on your family ski holiday? Grandparents, aunts and uncles can all make excellent babysitters. Skiing is a great group activity, so consider travelling with snow-loving friends and other families with same-age kids. Fill up a chalet or two! It’s not only much more fun to ski with other people, it’s also far safer. However experienced you are, it's best not to be up there on the mountain all alone. And think of all those happy evenings you can have together.

When can your baby ski?

Theoretically, your baby can ski as soon as they can walk. While a few ski-mad parents book their toddler’s first lesson at 18 months, and you can buy mini-skis for two year olds, most ski resorts and schools will want your little one to be at least three years old before they strap on their first skis and hit the nursery slopes. They could be heading downhill by four and snowboarding by eight. Before you know it, they’ll be streaking past you!

And here’s your new word of the day. Chionophile. From the Greek word for ‘snow’, it means lover of the white stuff and cold weather. So, all you chionophiles, get out there and have some fun this winter, however tiny your snowbaby is right now!

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