What better way to get in shape and fight cabin fever than with nordic skiing? But what about the baby? I determined that I would get out this winter, and I have. Here’s what I have learned so far about skiing with an infant .
1. Choose an excellent baby carrier.
You’ll want a pack that is supportive, easy to use, and comfortable for the baby. If your baby is over six months, you can use a backpack. My little girl just turned five months old, so I am using my Beco Gemini baby carrier in the front pack position. Accustom your baby to the carrier by using it instead of a stroller or carseat carrier. You don’t want to hit the ski trails with a baby who isn’t used to the carrier and you don’t want to be learning how to put it on in cold weather.
2. Work out your core.
Carrying a baby in a front pack puts strain on your back. Strengthen your core muscles so that they can do a larger share of the work. Crunches, reverse crunches, and planks are fun to do with your baby.
3. Develop your nordic skiing skills.
If you are new to nordic skiing, make sure to go without your baby first. Falls are common when learning. Speed up your progress by taking a lesson.
4. Choose terrain wisely.
Even if you are an experienced skier, choose terrain that is easy for you on your first few times out with baby. You want this to be a positive experience for you both. Don’t forget to check the conditions. Ice can make an other wise easy trail much more difficult.
5. Dress your baby for the weather.
Remember that you are warming up through excercise. Your baby, on the other hand, feels a bit of a breeze as you slide through the crisp air. You may need to dress her a bit warmer than you would on a walk in similar conditions and much warmer than if you were just going to the car. Read an excellent article on dressing baby for winter at adventurousparents.com.
5. Find a buddy.
Family and friends can provide support and lend confidence. With a someone to help out, you may be able to take on longer, more difficult trails. Maybe you could even trade off on carrying the baby!
6. Be prepared.
Remember to bring along the 10 essentials plus ski wax, kleenex, camera, and cell phone (assuming you have coverage). Consider bringing an emergency locator beacon if you are skiing in a remote location and you do not have service. As for baby’s needs, use a nighttime diapering system to avoid leaks. Nurse in the car before you head out, bring along a bottle of pumped milk, or get a nursing poncho.