Have you ever wondered if your baby could experience a ski trip with you? You must have seen the hiking carriers that are similar to some skiing carriers which aren’t as easy to find in a store. So, can you take your baby skiing in a backpack? Is it safe? How old should the baby be? And ultimately, how do you even do that?
Unless you are a professional skier and have a baby who can sit straight, it is not recommended. It is possible, but it is much safer to just wait until your baby is a child who can learn to ski. This is a much better option for both parents and their children.
If you are interested further in this topic or you insist on skiing with your baby in a backpack, there are many important factors you need to consider like safety, equipment, your own abilities, and the baby’s age. So keep reading to get informed before your next ski trip!
Is it safe to ski with a baby in a carrier?
To put it simply, it is not the safest option. There are sleds design specifically for babies that you can pull while skiing, but don’t put your baby in a backpack or a hiking carrier. They are not designed for speed and don’t protect the baby from the snow and the cold temperatures.
Sleds may be the best option for you but it is still risky. Why? Because if you increase the speed even a little bit or hit a bump, the sleds can get knocked over. Because of the wind, snow, or noise other around you make you might not even notice it at first.
This creates dangerous conditions since the baby can get injured, fall out of the sled, and sustain serious injuries that could in some cases be lethal. Not to mention that babies get a fever very easily and you might need to get help as soon as possible.
Most resorts won’t even allow you to ski like this. Some of them are more welcoming when it comes to small children and offer daycare and other services you can use while you are outside skiing. Infant ski helmets are a must if you decide to use a carrier and your baby needs to be older than 6 months to sit up straight.
If this is not the case in your family, consider either finding someone to care for your child at home or make sure the resort has some help you could use. Or just make sure someone is with the baby at all times in case you can take more people on your trip.
The problem is that people often overestimate their abilities and don’t know the terrain that well. Even if your skis are a bit different since you rented them, it takes a lot of focus to keep your balance and get used to the conditions.
This means more stress when a baby is added to this equation. If your baby starts crying, gets scared, screams, or falls, you can easily lose focus and injure yourself as well. There should be a medical team but you never want to rely on them too much – do everything in your power to avoid needing help.
And then, if you do need help, don’t panic. You have taken all the steps to secure your and your baby’s wellbeing. Something can always happen and injuries during sports are very common.
However, don’t just hope for the best and think someone will know what to do. You need to be the first one to know what to do in a crisis.
How to safely go skiing with a baby?
Remember that babies often sleep through activities you engage in. Even if those activities are there for their entertainment. So why risk it if they won’t even be awake for most of the time? There is a safer way to give your baby an amazing trip and still be relaxed. You can always ask around or read about someone else’s experiences!
Now, the first thing you need to do is plan your trip. Where will you be staying? It is best to find a resort that will not mind children and babies. This should be a family-friendly resort since you will need a lot of rest.
Some resorts might have a specific plan made and you won’t be able to eat or rest whenever you want so make sure you call ahead or read about the resort before you decide on lodging. You can read more about some of the best family-friendly resorts here.
Some of the listed options include Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont, and Northstar California Ski Resort.
It is probably best to choose either a resort designed for families with children that tend to be a bit more expensive due to all the activities they offer or go for smaller resorts that are more relaxed and let you do your own thing.
You can always call or message a resort and ask everything you need to know and if they can’t give you any information or refuse to do so, you probably don’t wish to go there. Ask about the lifts, terrain, equipment, and organization.
When packing, prepare the clothes for your baby. If that is what you think will be enough, double the amount. Kids will most likely fall down a lot. The wet snow can easily give anyone a cold so make sure you change them into dry clothes.
Remember to take the toys with you so you can rest while your kid is with you in the room, especially if the resort doesn’t have a daycare and organized playtime.
What is the best age for kids to learn to ski?
As said before, a baby over 6 months could be put in a sled or a carrier. At this age, they can sit straight so they won’t fall over and injure themselves. Before that, we would recommend your baby to stay at home and rest while you are gone.
Use this time however you want since next year, the baby will probably come with you and this may be the last trip without the stress of handling a baby.
If you can’t wait to teach your child to ski, here is what is recommended. The recommended age for kids to start skiing is 4 years old. By the age of 4, they will have developed motor skills they need to be properly taught. They will also have more energy and won’t need to rest as often.
If your family is very much into skiing you could start younger! Teach them and show them what it is like to be outside on the snow so they get used to it. But if skiing is just a hobby you like to come back to every winter for a week or two, there is no rush. It is not too late if your kid starts learning years later.
Success also depends on your child’s motor skills, some natural talent, physical fitness, and energy. Not all kids like to be as active as others. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes as well as skills.
In the beginning, they need a lot of help and support, so consider having an instructor work with them so you have some time to ski yourself. Otherwise, you will spend your day teaching instead of skiing.
But if you are serious about skiing, invest in your child. Spend a lot of time teaching them, get an instructor, and of course – if they decide to quit, accept it!
If you are teaching them yourselves, take it easy but start young. If you are thinking about any ski school or camp, they will probably have age limits. A lot of them will offer full-day programs so your kid will be able to follow the instructors at the age of 4 or 5, not younger.
Your child can start learning at the age of 18 months or a year, but won’t develop skills needed for progress. It is just natural and they can’t develop faster even if they know what they need to do to ski better. Don’t rush it.
They may, however, have an advantage over young adults and teens. Skiing is one of those sports that are best when taught young. But you know your child best so consider their interests and preferences.