If you’re a new parent, your first trip to a hotel with a baby may be a bit intimidating. From hotel rooms not being baby proof, to sleep schedules getting thrown off, vacations can definitely feel crazy with kids in tow. Although traveling with a baby is much different from traveling alone, rest assured that you can still enjoy your next stay at a hotel even if you have a new baby with you. Here are a few tips to follow to make your next hotel stay with a baby just a little more enjoyable.
Keep Up with At-Home Routines
It is very important to keep up with your regular at-home routines even when traveling. If your baby is used to reading certain stories or having a bath prior to bedtime, plan accordingly and bring everything you need to help them feel at home. This will make bedtime a bit easier because your baby will feel calm and may not be as nervous about the unfamiliar environment of the hotel. Definitely do not skip out on naps and do your best to keep up with your baby’s typical nap schedule even when on the go. This may mean allowing them to nap in the stroller for a while during an outing or it may just mean taking a break at your hotel room to give them some time to rest.
Try to Book a Larger Room if Possible
One of the more challenging aspects of staying at a hotel with a baby can occur when it’s time for your baby to sleep (whether that be at night or for a nap). In a typical hotel room, your baby may have a hard time sleeping if they’re able to hear everyone else moving around or talking. In order to refrain from having to alter your own sleep schedule and go to bed when your baby does, it may be wise to book a larger hotel room or suite so that there is a separate area for your baby to sleep. This can allow for the adults to stay up a bit later and hang out without disturbing your baby’s sleep.
Baby Proof Where You Can
Something you will quickly notice as a new parent staying at a hotel is that hotels are anything but baby proof. If your baby has reached the age of crawling or even walking, you’ll likely feel the need to baby proof a bit, but that’s okay because it can actually be pretty easy to make a few adjustments! Pack some power outlet covers with you and something to cover sharp corners (some parents just tape washcloths to the corners).
Bring along a travel crib or playpen where you can easily place your baby, prior to baby proofing. This way, you’ll know your baby is safe in the playpen, while you go around and make adjustments to the hotel room. Check the floor for any sharp or dangerous items such as pens, paper clips, or safety pins. Assess for any loose or hanging wires that your baby could grab onto. If there are items like a phone or clock that you don’t plan to use, you can just unplug them and move them to a higher surface to keep them out of your baby’s reach. You may also need to cover windows or use a bag clip to clip curtains together to prevent additional sunlight from coming in while your baby is napping. Use tape or cabinet locks to lock cabinets or remove harmful or dangerous items from cabinets that your baby may get into.
The less you have to worry about your baby getting injured, the more you can enjoy your time on vacation with your family. By having a nice, comfortable and spacious playpen for your baby you’ll have a guaranteed place to set them down anytime you need to. Some hotels may offer baby proofing services prior to your arrival for an additional fee, so it would be worth contacting your hotel ahead of time to see if this is an option for you.
Delegate When You Can
If you’re traveling with family or with your partner, the added support can be a huge plus. Anytime that you can, you should try to delegate some of the parenting obligations to give yourself a small break. Plan some time away when you can go down to the hotel pool by yourself or visit the spa for a while. You and your partner can take turns getting away while the baby naps to give yourselves some time to decompress.
Think ahead and prepare as best you can to help make your vacation less stressful on everyone. If your baby is still exclusively drinking milk, be sure to bring plenty of bottles and feeding supplies. If they’re starting to eat solid food as well, bring along some non-perishable baby snacks or plan a trip to a nearby grocery store shortly after you arrive at your hotel. Some important baby items to bring along include the following:
- A travel crib or playpen that can serve as one
- Feeding supplies and accessories
- Extra clothes and pajamas
- Swaddles, baby blankets, burp cloths
- Comfort items such as pacifiers and stuffed animals
- Babies favorite toys or board books for entertainment
- Baby soap for bathing
Don’t Set Expectations Too High
At the end of the day, you have to remember that some aspects of traveling as a family are bound to be stressful, but that does not mean that you won’t enjoy yourself. Try to roll with the punches and shrug your shoulders or laugh in the face of challenging moments. Although you can plan and plan, you will likely still run into some moments that involve a last minute trip to the store to get something you need or feeling like you forgot something.
Remember that even young babies can still pick up on the energy that you put off, so by remaining calm yourself you can help everyone in your family have a better time. By going into your first family vacation with little to no expectations, you’ll likely have the best time because you won’t be disappointed when things don’t go to plan. Try your best to remain open minded and accepting of any circumstances.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen is a travel-friendly accessory that can make hotel stays with a baby an absolute breeze!