Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ten Tips for a Hotel Stay with Baby

"What are these things on the floor and how to I get them in my mouth!?"
It's week two of our marathon trip to DC (we came for a week, went home for a week, and came back for another week.) Hubby came for work and baby and I came to enjoy the beautiful weather and sites. This might sound a little crazy but we actually travel back and forth and all over the place quite a bit (in our son's 9 months of life he's spent about one entire month in a hotel.)  You can say our son is quite accustomed to the hotel stay. I'd like to say that we have it down to a nice little routine that I think could be of some benefit. These might be common sense things, but they were huge revelations to us.

1. Get a room with queen beds

Why? Because King rooms tend to be smaller, and you need all the space you can get to put a little buffer zone between you and the sleeping baby. Additionally, having the extra bed is helpful to corral all of babies stuff.

2. Divide the room

Put all of babies stuff on one side, and all yours on the other (choose the side with the bathroom!) This keeps you from constantly having to make noise to go the bathroom, change clothes, eat dinner, etc.

3. Set up a visual barricade

When we put our son to sleep, if he sees us in his room he wants to stay up and play, even more so at a hotel. We recommend putting up a blanket or putting the crib on the other side of the bed so baby can't see you. 

3. Run the fan

AC units in hotels can be loud, especially when they turn on and off. If you can avoid it, do it, by leaving it on run. Additionally, it acts like a sound buffer for all the moving around you might do.

4. Bring a travel crib or a pack and play

We swore by this travel crib until our son was 7m old (at which we got too scared that he would try to pull himself out.) Some hotels have cribs (really just pack and plays) you can borrow but I've heard of bad experiences so we just bring our own.

5. Set some mood lighting

Our son goes to bed at 7pm which leaves us in a pitch dark hotel 7pm. Keeping the room pitch black is not realistic, so before you put baby to bed pick one small light that you are going to leave on and dim it as needed by draping a towel over it. Then turn on all the lights while getting baby ready. Once you are about to put him down, turn off everything except the one little light you plan to keep on - wah lah - something to read by, eat dinner by, check your phone with, whatever. Having the little light on also keeps your phone from reflecting light all over the room (which our son has a 6th sense for detecting) and will keep you from having to check Pinterest under the sheets or hang out in the bathroom all night.

6. Set up a changing station.

Bring an extra changing pad or use a towel from the hotel to set up a little changing station (on the spare bed or desk;) it's much easier than trying to unpack/pack the diaper bag continuously.

7. Load up on disposable bags.

Ask for extra trash bags at the front desk or bring disposable diaper bags, surprisingly some hotels don't line their cans.

8. Set up a feeding station.

We've come up for two feeding station options over the course of our travels. OPTION A - The Lobster by Phil and Ted. So light, so portable, so strong. We bring it EVERYWHERE. We love it. OPTION B - We use our umbrella stroller. We have to bring it anyway, baby stays strapped in, and we avoid any dramatic eat/playing so that everything isn't soaked in peas.

9. Towel the tub.

At home we have an infant bath for our son and the first time we traveled we brought the bath with us...and then promptly never took it out of the car. It was too bulky and annoying and a space waste. Instead, put a towel in the bottom of the tub. For infants, use this as a little nest to sponge bath them or if they are sitting up, you can use it to help them from slipping around.

10. Bring snacks.

I don't know if it's the blackout curtains or the fan noise but my son sleeps superbly at hotels. He sleep so well, that I wake up first and am starving for breakfast. So bring some snacks, you'll thank me later.

Hopefully, this leads to great sleep and a nice relaxing stay for mom, dad, and baby!


P.S. - Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments below!


  1. Thanks so much for the tips!!! We are traveling for the first time w/ our 10mo and I'm a nervous wreck!!! She is already a pisspoor sleeper, and I fear we'll get kicked out of the hotel!! But your suggestions seem very reasonable, so here's hoping!!! :)

  2. Thank you for this! We're off to our first hotel experience with baby (11 months) tomorrow for the weekend... this was very helpful!! ^_^

  3. This is the most helpful "hotel stay with baby" post that I've found! We're going to be traveling with our one-year-old and this gave me so many good ideas. Thank you so much!!