So when Daisy was around 8 weeks old, it was time for our first ski season with a baby. You’re never too young, right? Although many people we knew thought we were crazy to even be considering it…
The first question to consider was that of where to go for a ski season with a baby?
For us it was not that significant a question. Between us, we have spent a large number of ski seasons in St Anton am Arlberg, Austria, so it was the obvious choice for us.
Why the obvious choice? St Anton is never going to feature on any list of ‘top family ski resorts’ due to its reputation for expert skiing terrain, wild après ski and lively nightlife. However, it made sense for us, due to two concepts that shot to primary importance with the arrival of a baby: planning and childcare.
Planning a ski season with a baby:
The ability to comprehensively plan ahead is so important when travelling anywhere with a baby. And of course the ability to abandon that carefully made plan and switch to plan b, plan c, and so on… This meant that travelling to somewhere we both knew well made sense. There would be no stress about all the details, such as where best to buy nappies. Nor over the big questions, such as which apartment to rent for the winter. If you are planning a winter in a resort you have not been to before, do as much research as you possibly can online before you go.
Childcare for a ski season with a baby:
This is going to be of central concern if you ever want to go out anywhere together as a couple! In many ski resorts your official childcare options are limited until your little one gets to a couple of years old, so we picked a resort where we had a network of contacts to find babysitters. If you are heading to a new destination, make use of social networking groups aimed at local workers seeking employment to find local babysitters.
Top tip for a ski season with a baby:
When picking a resort for a ski season with a baby, don’t focus on all those ‘top family ski resort’ lists. This is because they will tend to concentrate on those resorts where kids will have a great time learning how to ski, but you won’t be worrying about that just yet. Instead, concentrate on what sort of skiing you are looking for; if you are after expert terrain and extensive off-piste opportunities, then go for it! Your little one will be pretty much unaware of where they are at this age and be perfectly happy as long as they are warm, fed and cuddled.
If you are inspired to try out St Anton am Arlberg for your first ski holiday with your baby, check out Esprit. They offer chalet holidays in the resort, along with various childcare options once your baby is 17 weeks old. Particularly keep an eye out for their Baby and Toddler weeks where in 2017 you benefit from £100 off nursery places.
If you are nervous of ignoring all the advice around family-friendly resorts, you could try Lech am Arlberg. This is a much quieter village, but with access to the same ski area. Powder Byrne can organise holidays here, along with childcare for those 4 months or older. A different ski area that sometimes features on lists of recommended ski resorts for families but that may appeal to expert skiers is Galtür. This is part of the Silvretta Arena ski area. Here you will find the Alpenresidenz Ballunspitze Wellness- & Kinderhotel, a brilliant concept, that can offer childcare for babies as young as 7 days old!