Taking your toddler to the snow? Here's what you need to know.

Spending time at the snow is hands down my most favorite thing to do. Skiing and snowboarding has been a life long hobby so naturally I couldn't wait to take my son to the snow. He was 17 months old the first winter we took him up the mountain. I bought the cutest little snow suit, boots, beanie and mittens and eagerly set off for a weekend of snow play. It was loads of fun but it wasn't without its challenges. So I thought I would share some insights for first time snow trippers and their toddlers. This article is in no way designed to discourage you. The plan is to arm you with as much information as I have to prepare you and your toddler for your first snow adventure.

  • Snow activities for toddlers are limited - There really aren't a lot of activities for your toddler to do at the snow. Everyone is different of course but usually toddlers are simply too little and their attention span is too short to do the usual activities like toboggan, build a snow man, have a snow ball fight, ski, snowboard, hike or appreciate the view for an extended period of time. Riding the chair lift freaks most parents out the minute their child begins to wriggle simply because getting a good grip on them whilst wearing snow gloves is difficult. Just playing in the snow can get boring for them quickly so work out exactly what activities the snow resort offers and how long you are going to stay out in the snow before you go. Consider going with friends who also have children so they can play together.

  • Stay on the mountain - if you can. Staying on the mountain has the advantage of being able to bring your toddler indoors when they get wet, tired or the weather gets bad. It also offers better bottle or food warming options and allows you to have a warm place to rest yourself.

  • Don't pack a pram - the steep hills and snow will make it impossible to use. Be prepared to carry your toddler for most of the day as they will easily tire in the snow. You may wish to opt for a carry harness or, if they can sit by themselves you can tow them around behind you in a toboggan (which is what I did). Be sure to check behind you once in a while to make sure you haven't lost your bundle of joy off the back.

  • Plan your travel stops - Work out what towns or roadside rest areas you will stop at for feeds, toilet stops or nappy changes on the way. Stopping by the roadside can be dangerous due to cars and trucks passing at speed.

  • Prepare your onboard entertainment - arm yourself with plenty of toddler drinks and snacks, books, little toys, music, DVD's (if you have a portable DVD player). Place these in easy reach of your seat (passenger only), not in your boot. Be sure to charge all electrical devices.

  • Take a travel partner - so you can concentrate on driving while they concentrate on the toddler. Taking your eyes off the road when travelling at speed or on winding mountain roads to check on your toddler could cause a serious accident.

  • Give yourself plenty of travel time - so you aren't rushing and can make stops as necessary.

  • Take scented nappy disposal bags - to mask the smell in case of an emergency nappy change in a place where you can't appropriately discard the soiled nappy and it has to travel with you for a while.

  • Have warm clothing on hand to put on upon arrival - it will be cold when you arrive at the mountain so have your gear and your child's gear easily accessible to put on. Digging through your car boot or bags to find items will only frustrate you. See our article on what to wear at https://www.backtotheslopes.com.au/post/for-the-snow-first-timer-what-do-i-wear

  • Tread carefully - Ice and snow is slippery so be extremely careful when walking holding your toddler or when they are walking by themselves. This applies to hard surfaces like roads, carparks, footpaths and stairs as you wont always notice the ice on these surfaces.

  • Forget nap time - There really aren't a lot of places for your toddler to nap at the snow unless you are actually staying on the mountain which gives you the option of going inside. Restaurants and cafe's are usually extremely packed especially on bad weather days. The floor is often wet from people trekking snow in. Finding a