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Skiing with a baby ...

7 replies

OL · 13/01/2002 22:05

We are hoping to go skiing in March with our baby who will be 7 months old. Obviously we won't be taking him on the slopes, but we will be staying at an altitude of about 2,000 feet. One friend has said that there may be problems with taking a young baby to that sort of altitude. Has anyone else heard this? Also he had pneumonia at birth, could the cold affect his lungs? Any advice would be gratefully received.

OP posts:
JanZ · 14/01/2002 09:17

I went skiing last year with ds who was 4 months old at the time. We were with my best friend and her dh, who are both GPs and they had no concerns about health risks to the baby. We were staying at 1600m - well above 2000 feet! I believe the only problems MAY be if you took them above 3000m - difficult to do!

Like you, we didn't take him onto the slopes (we're good skiers, but you can't acount for some of the nutters on skis and snowboards!), but the first day we were there, which was before our nanny service was available, we did take him with us to the restaurant at the top of the mountain (2400m) and took it in turns to ski, with no apparent ill effects.

I can't really comment on the effect of his early pneumonia, but I would have thought that provided he has been fine since, it shouldn't matter. You'll be keeping him inside, where it will be nice and warm, and if you do need to take him outside, just make sure he is wrapped up nice and warm.

I know my Dad (who is also a doctor) has always said that altitude effects only really kick in well above 3000m.

We're off again in a week and a half. Can't wait!

Bugsy · 15/01/2002 12:45

OL, definitely check with your GP but we went when our ds was 5 months old and there were no problems. We were staying at 1600m. This year we were away with a family who had a 7 month old and again no problems at all.
I'm sure everything will be fine, but given his medical history I would definitely check with a medically qualified person before going - more for your own peace of mind than anything else.

monkey · 16/01/2002 12:54

Has anyone got any basic tips on this topic? We have a 1 yr old, and my dh is desperate to go on a skiing holiday. Neither of us have ever skied before. Any recommendations for resorts/appartments. I would prefer appartment to hotel - is this readily available? Have people got childcare through the hotel or ski school or arranged privately? Is it easily available. Do you have to have any of your own equipment? I know you can hire skies, but what about all the special clothes? Do the ski schools look after you well (in terms of showing you the ropes as well as teaching you to ski)

I have to say dh is much more keen than me. It just seems so daunting and outside of my experience I don't know where to begin! Has anyone else experienced this and soerted themselves out?

JanZ · 16/01/2002 14:33

You have loads of options, depending on how much you want to spend!

If I break it down into chunks

  1. Accommodation: hotels, apartments or catered chalets. Catered chalets are half board "plus" - ie you get breakfast, tea and cakes when you get in in the afternoon, and dinner with wine included. They're quite fun, and I've always got on with whoever else is in the chalet (it's a bit pot luck).

    Hotels are usually half board, while apartments are self catering - which can be a faff when you get in absolutely knackered from skiing! Apartments tend to be quite small, so if you have a one year old with you as well, I would definitely pay the "under occupancy" supplement and take at least a 3 person apartment.

  2. Child care: Depending on the travel company/package, child care facilities are often available on hotel and chalet holidays, but rarely for apartments. Child care can range from a crèche, to a one-to-one nanny service. Ski Esprit are supposed to be good for holidays with childcare, but most of the big companies will have resorts/packages with child care available. We go with a small company called Ski Cuisine (in Meribel) who provide an excellent nanny service - £230 for a week, one-to-one. (Disadvantage with them is that you have to make your own travel arrangements). However, if you DO want to stay in an apartment, all is not lost, as the resort itself may have child care facilities available. For example in France, the ESF (Ecole de Ski Francais) runs something called the "Club Saturnin" for the 18 month- 3 year olds.

  3. Ski School: the travel company's resort rep should point you in the right direction for ski schools. The ESF can be a bit hit and miss so in France I would generally go with one of the "International" Ski Schools that have set up in most of the main resorts. A good ski instructor will start you off from scratch - like how to "walk" in skis, get on to drag lifts, get up when you've fallen down etc! We use "Magin in Motion" in Meribel and found them excellent (although not cheap). ESF's classes are often too big for beginners to learn properly. Having siad that, dh (then dp) learnt to ski in Meribel and had a very good ESF instructor.

  4. Ski Hire: again, the resort rep should advice you where to go. The hire shop will provide you with all the "hardware" (skis, boots) you need. Some will even come to the hotel/chalet, so that you don't have to lug the kit up/down the hill! For the ski clothes, I believe that you can hire, but have never done it. Beg or borrow from friends who've been skiing. Ski gloves are very important, so don't forget about them. You also need good sunglasses and goggles - you can either buy in the resort, or again, borrow what you can.

    If you're a beginner, you're best picking one of the "snow sure" resorts, as you're going to be on the lower slopes to start with. Some companies have "Learn to Ski" packages, but if you're thinking of going this year you might be too late for them.

    Mumsnet has done some reviews of child friendly ski holidays, so why not look at them?
monkey · 09/03/2002 15:39

Janz - I totally forgot about my post, so I've only just seen your reply! Thank you so much! We're all booked up no - going in a few weeks. Fingers crossed!

JanZ · 11/03/2002 09:16

Glad to hear you've got sorted. Where are you off to?

We're off to Meribel this coming weekend for our second week's skking this year - this time leaving ds behind.

mollipops · 12/03/2002 06:44

I have this mental image of someone downhill skiing with a baby tucked under one arm! Sorry couldn't help it!

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