It’s so fun to have a baby in a hotel – said no one ever. Hotels should stand for adventure, excitement, a break in the ordinary. But bringing a baby or a toddler anywhere new (or anywhere really!) can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some of tips, tricks, and travel hacks to make it a little bit easier for you.
Move the furniture. Most hotel rooms are small. And every inch counts. The first thing I do when I get to a hotel room is assess the space to see how it will work for my family of 5. I’ve been known to rotate desks, scoot beds, or even stack end tables in the corner to maximize our space.
Most hotels will provide you with a crib(s) or pack n play upon request (free of charge).
Don’t forget the tape. Believe it or not, tape is your best friend. It’s the quickest way to baby proof a hotel room. It will cover electrical outlets, keep the phone receiver in place to avoid long distance phone charges, and keep the lid on the toilet.
Don’t get stuck with dirty diapers. If you mess up on this one, you’ll pay the price. Don’t make the mistake of leaving a dirty diaper in the trash can after housecleaning has already made their rounds. Always take your diapers to an exterior trash can. If you can’t, make sure to use the ice bucket liner or plastic laundry bag to contain the smell.
Bring an inflatable tub for the tub. Not all hotels have bathtubs. Many hotels have traded bathtubs for the sleek modern look of a walk-in shower. An inflatable tub allows you to still have bath time, even if you’ve only got a shower. Even if you have a bathtub these work great for smaller guys who aren’t sturdy enough to sit alone in a big bathtub of water by themselves. Addi could sit up before Chase, I used this tub at home in my own bathtub until I had two study babies that could play together in the bath.
There is no such thing as too many snacks. One day I’m going to write a post where one of the tips is not about food. But today isn’t that day. If someone doesn’t eat a meal, or they get hungry before bed your snacks are better than the $3.25 candy bar in the vending machine.
Bring toys. Bring things for your kids to do in the room. A couple of their favorite toys or maybe a new one that can keep them entertained for a little while. Here’s a fun idea I plan to try next trip: Car tape + cars. Boredom is not your friend.
Do a curtain check (binder clips). The last thing you want is that little crack of sunlight coming into your room and giving the baby the impression that it’s time to get up. I’ve found my kids tend to sleep-in, in a hotel if I can keep those curtains shut. Use a binder clip for those stubborn thick curtains that refuse to cooperate.
Don’t forget the sound machine. My kids use a sound machine to go to sleep at night so I always bring mine. But even if your kids don’t use a sound machine to go to sleep, white noise will really help with naps. There are lots of apps or YouTube videos you can play on a loop. The sounds of people walking up and down the hallway, shouting, opening and closing doors can be muffled with some good old-fashioned white noise.
Nobody puts baby in a corner BUT she can go in the closet or bathroom. Think about it. The bathroom or closet are usually the best choices for a baby to sleep. It’s dark and quieter than the main room. Plus it’s isolated (to an extent) from the people that don’t need to sleep. Because I have twins, we don’t usually have a bathroom or closet big enough for both babies; so we reverse it. Jimmy usually takes Cam to the pool or for a walk while I put the babies to bed in the main room and hide in the bathroom till they fall asleep. I usually take a book or my laptop. It’s not ideal but it could be worse. Sleep is worth more than diamonds to me and my kids are usually asleep in 20-30 minutes and then I can transition back into the room.
You want to keep bedtime the same, as much as possible. Whatever your routine is at home, do your best to keep it in the hotel. Don’t stress. I have a friend that puts the baby in the car, drives till they fall asleep, and then transitions them to the hotel crib. Whatever works people. You won’t find judgment here.
Use the appliances. Double check what amenities your room has. Most rooms have at least a mini fridge which works great for milk storage and breakfast items so you can eat inexpensively before heading out for the day. The coffee maker also makes a great bottle warmer. I recently saw a post from a fellow traveler who used the ironing board as a table for her kids.
Growing up y parents were known to book a hotel for a night just to mix it up, we would swim, order room service, and stay up late watching movies. While I’m sure it was a hassle, I only remember the fun. So don’t skip out on an adventure because you’re afraid of the hotel stay. They won’t remember what goes wrong, they’ll only remember the fun.
Got a hotel tip or travel hack? Leave it in the comments!