The first year with a newborn is full of milestone moments, but few are as magical as taking your baby out for the first time in the snow. Whether it’s a few fluffy flakes falling from the sky or a blanket of fresh snow, you hardly need an excuse to bundle up your babe and slip on that first tiny winter hat.
While there’s gear that allows parents to take their babies outside for almost any winter activity, today we have three simple first-snow experiences that are quick and easy enough for spur-of-the-moment winter fun – and adorable photos.
Remember to dress baby in layers for warmth and limit time outside based on the temperature. Start with a onesie topped with a long-sleeved shirt and pants and two pairs of socks. A fleece suit, rainsuit, snowsuit, or winter coat make a good outer layer to keep baby dry, along with a warm hat and mittens.
A swishing sleigh ride
Even if you only get an inch or two of snow, you can pull baby on a plastic sled. Cue the jingle bells! Using a blanket, position baby on their back or tummy for different visual experiences. Take it slow over grassy areas and try pulling the sled in winding s-curves. For babies who can sit up on their own, use a blanket as back support. The new scenery and sense stimulation will make this first snow experience a positive one.
Create a snow basket
For more of a hands-on experience with the snow, look no further than your laundry basket. The basket offers back support for babies in snowsuits and keeps crawlers contained – and wipes dry back in the house. Add a few toys and some snow. The new textures and temperatures are what make basket time such a novel experience.
A warm winter stroll
Walks to the park or around your neighborhood don’t have to wait for spring. There are two options to keep baby toasty warm: use your stroller or a baby carrier. A stroller with large wheels can handle snow and ice, while a stroller rain shield can block the wind – keeping baby warm. For the baby carrier, consider putting it on before adding a loose jacket that covers you both. The cool air and views are a refreshing alternative to an afternoon indoors, and at night, holiday lights will delight you both.
While you’re out, consider adding other age-appropriate sensory experiences, like tasting snow, touching snow with bare hands (just before you head inside), and using a plastic cup or muffin tins to shape snow for a fine-motor activity. If your baby loves the snow, but the weather is too cold for an outside excursion, consider bringing in a handful of snow or a snowball for table-top play or a bath-time experience.