Essential Information and Top Tips for Winter City Breaks with Babies

We loved a city break before parenthood and were determined to carry on doing them with the baby in tow. We have been to nine cities now, and have had great fun as a family (if you want to know how our travel has changed since having a baby or about why we travel with our baby you can read about it here) but last month we went on our first Winter city break as parents. Now we like going to cities in Winter. There are many plus sides – it’s out of season which means there are less people and its cheaper – Win Win! But is this still the case with a baby?

For us the answer was undoubtedly yes! But there are definitely things that you need to think about and prepare for to ensure you have a successful Winter City Break with a Baby. Here’s what we found:

You are not going to be popping in and out!
By this I mean there will be no gentle meandering between shops. This is hard enough in the Summer with a baby in a carrier or stroller but in Winter it is much harder. Temperatures, we found, in shops were a good 20 degrees warmer than outside. Babies in snowsuits are cranky enough without the addition of taking them in to a furnace of a shop. They’ll be a lot of relay shopping in my experience!

That brings me to point 2! Snowsuits are the devils work! They just make for an angry baby! They are hard to get on and hard to get off. NB Note to self – if you insist on dressing your baby as a bear, you will have a coachload of Japanese tourists taking pictures!

Is this the cutest snowsuit you’ve ever seen?
They also mean that you are going to get cold! And I mean you NOT the baby! If the baby falls asleep in the pram there is no way you will risk waking them to get them out of the snowsuit and take them inside. For us this mean sitting in 0 degree temperatures drinking coffee while the baby was snug as a bug in a rug having a nap!


You will also become obsessed with checking temperature! I lost count on how many times we checked Baby E’s temperature through the holiday –“is she too hot? Is she too cold?”. Like Goldilocks she was always just right but it didn’t mean we still weren’t obsessed.

No matter how many clothes you buy to prepare for cold weather, good luck getting your baby to keep them on! It has been proven that mittens and gloves are 100% ineffective when it comes to babies. Our snowsuit mittens had those buttons to keep them on. I don’t know how but our baby seems to be the Harry Houdini of removing mittens! Hats are another tricky thing. Slightly better than mittens I would say you have a 50% chance of baby keeping them on! Parents definitely need to be eagle eyed for thrown out clothing on a Winter city break!


So was it worth it? Yes is was. We had a fabulous time on our Winter City break! We loved having the city more or less to ourselves, with no wait times at museums or attractions and as long as you plan well you will be fine.

So how can you plan your day to make life easier? Here are our top 5 tips!

  • Think about whether you want to be inside or outside for babies nap and plan accordingly.
    If you are going on a long walk chances are you will be outside. Make sure you plan for this. Indoors are great if you can get them off but we have always struggled with this cue us sitting outside a coffee shop in the cold waiting for baby to wake up!
  • Plan your hotel wisely
    I recommend a central location, so you can pop in and out whenever you need/get too cold. Want more advice on finding a perfect city break hotel – check out our guide coming next week!
  • Don’t rely on public transport.
    We found that when we were moving we didn’t feel the cold but if stood at bus/train/tram stops that was the recipe for seriously feeling the cold. Walking is so much easier with a baby!
  • Use the stroller not the carrier
    For us, the stroller was definitely the right thing in the cold. We could apply and remove layers as necessary – much easier than in the carrier. Blankets could be taken on and off. You could use the stroller foot pouch to make sure baby’s feet never got cold and we used the rain cover when the wind picked up to protect her from the worst cold temperature. It was also useful for naps. 100% I would use the stroller instead of carrier on Winter City Breaks!
  • Make sure you carrier layers
    This goes for you and for the baby! The sun goes down early in Winter so chances are you will still be out after sundown. Plan for this by taking plenty or layers and don’t forget things for yourself! Our experience is that we always have had Baby perfectly dressed for the temperature but have neglected ourselves

What are your top tips for a Winter City Break with a Baby?

 

Wander Mum

 

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Tin Box traveller

 

28 thoughts on “Essential Information and Top Tips for Winter City Breaks with Babies”

  1. Great tips – and we had a snowsuit like that. So cute but not the most practical to get in and out of. Definitely agree that you’ll put up with so much if your baby is comfortable and sleeping too just to make sure they don’t wake… #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…City Tripping #59My Profile

  2. Fab tips. My daughter HATED hersnkw suit I have such a funny picture of her in it moaning. I ended up switching for cosy toes on the pram. They both seem to like being tucked away in their and it keeps them lovely and warm. Keeping hats on though, that’s a whole other battle! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…Week 17My Profile

  3. Can totally relate to this post. Snowsuits!! Argh! They hate putting them on, can barely move and can not eat or move their arms. As for winter accessories….my daughter refused to wear gloves when it was -16 in Chicago (and we lost one in the process too). She would much rather suck her thumb and clearly risk frostbite. Good on your for checking temperature though…Mrs T suddenly got unwell (unbeknownst to us) when we were wandering around Amsterdam a few years ago trussed up in a snowsuit and hat. She ended up having a febrile convulsion (very scary) and we have (obviously) been very careful ever since. Thanks for linking to #citytripping
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…Children’s Skiwear Essentials with Muddy PuddlesMy Profile

  4. Aww! Your baby is super adorable in her snow outfit! I don’t have a child, but great tips none-the-less. I can see how they would be helpful. #farawayfiles

  5. Awww, snowsuits. They may not be practical but they are soooo adorable. I agree — bundling up baby for winter outings is a recipe for anxiety, especially when she fell asleep. Now was the moment I could relax but wait, was she sweating? Better loosen her clothing. Oh no – now she’ll catch a chill! Great post. xo #citytripping

  6. We’ve had that “tourists taking pictures of our kids experience” too . The one I remember best is Child #1 in a monster hat at Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany. To us (and him) it was just a monster hat, but it must have meant something else in Japan because we had literally dozens of tourists photographing him. Bemusing.

    Anyway, great tips here! Thanks! #FarawayFiles
    p.s. Stockholm, right? Gorgeous place!
    Jonny (Daisy the bus) recently posted…Dark places of the MullerthalMy Profile

  7. Really useful tips here. I can remember taking our one-year old to a wintry New York and being so worried about keeping him warm. Good tip about the snow suit – we always opted to go inside the warm cafe and just strip him down to his waist while he slept. Thanks for sharing these with us on #FarawayFiles
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #13My Profile

  8. In Scandinavia – they leave the babes in the pram to nap outside while they sit inside in the warm for coffee! It’s true! Socially acceptable and apparently safe. I’m always amazed when I see one out there on the busy sidewalk. Great tips and thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

  9. Great tips and I totally get the frustrations with the onesie snowsuit. My daughter refused to wear gloves too.. screamed the house down when we tried to get them on. That made for a fun time in Switzerland! Of course she screamed when her hands got cold too. Luckily it wasnt too cold. Thanks for joining us on #farawayfiles
    Katy recently posted…Faraway Files #13My Profile

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