Hotel rooms might feel comfortable and relaxing from your perspective, but for babies they can feel unfamiliar and scary. When traveling with your baby, it’s important to make sure that they feel safe and secure when you bring them into such a new environment. If you simply do some research ahead of time, pack the right items, and take some steps to set things up once you arrive, your hotel room is sure to feel like a second home for your baby. Here are 7 ways to help your baby feel comfortable when staying at a hotel.
How to help your baby feel comfortable at a hotel
1. Do some research ahead of time
Before you hit the road, it’s a good idea to do some research and get an idea of what to expect at the hotel you choose to stay at. You can look online at photos to prepare for how the room is set up. This will help you brainstorm any baby proofing supplies you may need to pack and think about where your baby will sleep. It’s also not a bad idea to call the hotel and ask what type of options they have for families. Some hotels offer baby proofing services and can provide you with a crib in the room, if you don’t choose to pack a travel crib.
2. Pack comfort items
It’s extremely important to bring along any items that your baby uses to comfort themself when you’re at home such as stuffed animals, blankets, and pacifiers. These items will not only help your baby feel calm and safe but they will also remind him or her of home, helping them feel more at ease. Bringing pajamas and sheets from home can also help your baby feel comfortable because the objects will smell like home and remind them of their own bed.
3. Mimic bedtime routines
Whatever your bedtime routine is at home, try to mimic this the best you can while traveling. If you always read stories before bed, bring some books with you. If your baby always takes a bath in the evening, bring supplies to bathe them before bed. It’s important to keep up with your usual routines even when traveling in order to give your baby a sense of familiarity and security.
4. Create a comfortable and safe sleep space
Bedtime is one of the most important times to make sure that your baby is comfortable. Getting adequate sleep while traveling is a crucial way to ensure a smooth trip for everyone in the family. Here are a few tips to help with bedtime while staying at a hotel.
Bring a travel crib
Although some hotels offer cribs for families, we recommend bringing your own travel crib just in case. There are plenty of easy-to-pack travel cribs that will fit with all of your luggage and are easy to set up. Be sure to bring fitted crib sheets that fit snugly in your travel crib and never place your baby to sleep in a crib with loose pillows and blankets.
White noise machine
A very important item to help make bedtime a little easier is a white noise machine. You can bring a small, portable white noise machine or even just download an app on your phone. This will block out any outside noises that wouldn’t normally exist in your home and it is especially helpful if your baby is used to sleeping with a white noise machine at home.
Find a quiet place to set up the crib
Depending on the layout of your hotel room, this step may require you to improvise. If you’re able to stay in a larger, suite style hotel room, it shouldn’t be too challenging to find a quiet, dark area to set up your baby's travel crib. This will allow you to put your baby down for bed, and stay up afterward without having to tiptoe around them all night or risk waking them up. However, if you’re staying in a smaller hotel room this may be a bit more challenging. Some parents recommend setting your baby’s crib up in the bathroom, since it provides them with a dark and quiet area.
5. Baby proof where you can
Since most hotel rooms are far from baby proof, you’re going to want to bring some baby proofing supplies with you. Tape is a great item to bring along because it has multiple uses. You can use tape to secure cabinets and drawers for older babies and toddlers who might try to open them. Tape can also be used to close gaps in curtains to create a better sleep environment, and you can use it to cover sharp corners. If your baby is over the age of crawling, then you might want to bring along some power outlet covers. Also be sure to check the hotel room floors upon arriving for any dangerous items that could be laying around such as pens and paper clips. By making sure your hotel room is safe, you can allow your baby more freedom to explore and move around.
6. Set up a changing station
You’ll need to bring a changing pad and plenty of diapers and wipes for your baby. Find an appropriate area in your hotel room, such as a bench, table, or space on the floor, to set up the changing pad with diapers, wipes, and disposable plastic bags. It will make it easier on everyone to have your changing station set up so you won’t have to go searching for diaper changing supplies when you need them.
7. Pack plenty of snacks and milk
If your baby is still only drinking milk in the form of breast milk or formula, be sure to have plenty available. For breastfed babies, you may need to comfort nurse more frequently to keep your baby calm and happy. If your baby is formula fed or drinking cow’s milk, be sure to bring plenty of bottles and milk so that you don’t run out. For older babies who are eating solid foods, keep some of their favorite snacks on hand. Most hotel rooms have mini fridges where you can keep perishable items cold.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen is a practical travel crib for traveling families. Available in regular and mini size, this playpen can easily be packed with other travel items.