Changing a baby on a table, in 3C temperatures? Tick.
Breastfeeding outside in the snow? (sounds more magical than reality) Tick.
Not what we intended for our first family ski holiday to France but it turns out that ski resorts are not the most accommodating places for babies.
Had we gone on a ski holiday where I stayed with Aurelia all day and enjoyed the town, the hotel, the spa (which sounds like a good idea in hindsight) our first ski holiday could have been quite a different experience. However, the last time we went as a couple was so long ago, I was desperate to get back on the slopes.
Expectation: We would be the annoying guests with the screaming baby.
Reality: We booked a chalet hotel with Inghams which was better for us at this stage than a chalet – where Aurelia’s noise would be more likely to wake up the other residents. We had more space for us and the baby cot, a big bathroom – a bath was essential and it was just away from the main drag of Chamonix so was a bit quieter.
We packed an assortment of toys and books but at 6 months she didn’t really need that many. Her favourite pastime is laying on the floor kicking, rolling and chatting to the window.
The food was hearty and just what you need after a tiring day. It’s not going to win any awards but it was hot, tasty and baby weaning friendly.
The hotel wasn’t luxury as we would normally go for but it was convenient, the staff were lovely and it had a great atmosphere and was family friendly. It was a little tired in places but it didn’t affect our enjoyment of the trip.
Expectation: The buggy would be horrendous in the snow.
Reality: We took our Uppababy Vista with us as it’s a great all terrain buggy. Generally it coped really well even with the snow and ice on the pavements. Lots of ski resorts have hire companies for buggies and I would definitely recommend booking one if your buggy is less suitable. Our brilliant and travel friendly Ickle Bubba Globe would have really struggled with the snow.
We also had our Baby Bjorn baby carrier with us and occasionally if the snow was deep we just strapped Aurelia in and carried on. It was also a must have for the airport and getting on and off the plane.
Expectation: Apres Ski will never be the same again.
Reality: It wasn’t. Last time we went skiing in Meribel we really enjoyed the Apres ski and everything it had to offer. This time we were restricted to quieter bars and hotels than the appealing buzz of Le Rond Point but we did go to The Folie Douce Hotel and a few other places in town. It’s not the most accessible with a buggy and we ended up having to carry a buggy up the staircase in the snow (I’m not sure why there wasn’t a lift to the entrance) but it could have been out of order as they had just opened that week.
Despite the extra obstacles we had a great trip. I think after becoming a Mum, anything that goes well feels like the biggest achievement! Having the in-laws come with us was an excellent perk and made it a much more enjoyable trip for all involved. In-between ski runs and breastfeeding, H (the Mother in-law), would look after Aurelia which meant I got a little time to enjoy the snow.
A ski holiday with a breastfeeding baby is tough and it did really influence the amount of skiing I was able to do. If you’re happy to just enjoy the fantastic scenery then it’s definitely achievable but for us the next family ski trip will be when Aurelia is old enough to join ski nursery, a children’s club or even us on the slopes.