Cold Weather Vacations: Tips for Keeping Babies Warm and Healthy
December 19, 2023
By Danielle Owen

‘Tis the season for cold weather travel with the family. Whether you’re skiing or visiting the grandparents in Minnesota, vacations to winter wonderlands come with their own set of safety precautions for babies. Most importantly, you need to make sure you’re keeping your little ones warm (but not too warm) and heeding weather-specific safety advice.

Unlike beach vacations where you can throw swimsuits and sun hats in a suitcase and head to the airport, a lot goes into preparing for a ski vacation, especially with infants. Here are some helpful tips for keeping babies warm and healthy during cold-weather travel.

Keeping babies healthy in the cold

Sleeping

Infants are at an increased risk of SIDS during the winter months which is actually due to overheating from parents bundling them up too much.

If it’s cold indoors where you’re staying, dress the baby in warm but breathable fabrics like a 100% cotton footie pajama with a onesie underneath. And while it might be tempting to tuck them in under a thick blankie, loose blankets are never a good idea for babies. Instead, a cozy wearable blanket will help keep your baby warm and safe.

Once the baby has been asleep, check how they feel. Check the back of their neck or torso (not their face or hands) to determine if they’re too hot or cold.

Strollers and carriers

If you use a stroller to get around, stroller bunting bags are designed to keep babies warm and snuggly. They’re baby-sized sleeping bags that attach securely. Similar to sleep, if you have the baby bundled up in a stroller, check frequently for signs of overheating. Look for flushed skin, fast breathing, damp hair, lethargy, or restlessness.

Alternatively, baby carriers are a great solution for getting around in cold winter. Carriers keep your baby snuggled up against your body heat. They also allow you constant access to the baby to ensure their well-being. Nothing beats the Ergobaby Away Carrier for travel, which weighs in at just one pound and is ultra-compact for portability. It’s perfect for navigating airports and exploring new cities. Ergobaby also makes all-weather carrier covers to keep the baby warm and dry in cold, wet weather. As a bonus, you can find comfy winter coats for moms designed to fit you and your baby safely in their carrier.

If you’re flying to your destination, remember that planes can get super cold. Stick a compact, cozy blanket in your diaper bag to keep your baby warm en route.

Car seats

Regarding car seats, it’s incredibly important not to put a baby in their seat with any puffy or thick jacket on. Wearing a thick jacket creates too much space between the harness and the baby’s body. What does that mean? Simply put, it’s like putting the baby in their seat with straps that are too loose. If you got in an accident on snowy winter roads, the car seat would not protect your baby the way it’s meant to.

In addition, you should never put babies (especially newborns and younger infants) in their seats with a hat on. The main risk is that the hat will fall over their face while you can’t see them in the back seat, creating a suffocation hazard.

Cold-weather vacations can be wonderful for the whole family, just be sure to keep an extra close eye on your babies while you’re enjoying the winter magic.

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About the Author

Danielle Owen
Danie is a full-time traveler and freelance travel writer. She’s been on-the-move since 2015 from Albania to Zambia (and 70+ others in between). She’s developed a very sophisticated algorithm that evaluates countries based on a thorough analysis of their wine, hot sauce, local friendliness, and how hard she happy-cries at their nature. You can find her portfolio at owentheglobe.com or her photos on Instagram @danieelizabeth