Traveling and Bringing Your Baby With You? Find Out How to Be as Prepared as Possible
Remember life without babies or children? No constant worrying, lower stress, more money, more energy, and the list just goes on and on. However, it’s important to remember all the joys that our children have brought to us and all of the irreplaceable experiences and feelings too. Despite the added effort, sometimes achieving simple things like staying in a hotel can start to become a gigantic headache. Maybe you’re in a hotel room because you need a vacation, or maybe it’s for work. Regardless of the reason why, the simple fact of the matter is you brought your baby with you and you’re staying in a hotel room. How exactly are you supposed to get them to sleep in a hotel room!?
The short version of it is: be as prepared as you possibly can, try and make the room as comfortable as you can for your baby, and try to follow their normal sleeping routines as best as you can, despite the different environment.
With that said, I’m sure you still have tons of questions. Let’s be sure to keep them simple, because the solution to this problem isn’t as difficult as you believe. What are some of the most important things I should bring with me to the hotel room? How should I be prepping the room for my baby? Did I forget to bring anything? What if I end up not sleeping at all? Simple, right? I wish. However, despite the fact it can be overwhelming, it still is very doable. That’s how life is with a baby… Overwhelming, but still doable, with the added description of: totally worth it. Let’s find out how you can make your baby sleep in a hotel room.
Step One: Be as Prepared as You Can
To start things off, you probably thought about what to pack before you leave. It’s a common first step towards getting towards your destination. Forgetting vital things like baby wipes or diapers can result in an avalanche of problems that can make your heart sink instantly. What we’re going to try to do is avoid all that unneeded stress, and go over each and every single thing you need to pack for your baby. Focus on the essentials for now, which will include these items most of the time:
I’m going to say this once, so pay attention because it’s pretty important: it’s better to have too much of something than none of it! This rule applies directly to you in this case. This list should contain whatever you think you could possibly use for your baby on a regular basis. One of your goals should be to help your child be as comfortable as possible in their new temporary and scary environment. Plus, depending on your baby’s age, they could be at a point in their lives where they can be very sensitive to changes. Babies are so much more perceptive and intelligent than we give them credit for. There will be certain things that will tell them that the hotel room is not their actual home. This is why it’s so important to pack things that can give your baby a daily reminder of home such as a stuffed animal, usual changing cloth for them, bottles, etc.
Many times though, hotels will be very accommodating and might even be able to provide most of what you need. Many hotels offer high chairs and even cribs, and some might even help you out by giving you some bottles and bottle warmers too. Hotels want to make sure that everyone staying has what they need, and are definitely willing to cater to you and your baby’s wants and needs.
Despite eagerness to please, I don’t believe that many hotels have baby changing tables or stations available on a typical basis. This is why you should consider bringing your own changing station, or you might even have to use the desk or somewhere else as a temporary one. Another option to consider is using shoe organizers to keep yourself organized during his stay at the hotel. Obviously, this will vary depending on how long you’re staying there and you might not want to bring something this overkill, especially if you’re only going to be staying there for a short period of time. However, if you anticipate a long stay, being organized is one way to beat this situation at hand, and could help you get through it.
In the event that you do choose to use the hotel’s highchair and crib, you definitely need to bring your own sheets and blankets, and absolutely make sure that you fully sanitize and get rid of all the germs that their crib and chair most likely have. Like I said, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your baby’s health. This also applies to you as well, as parents certainly aren’t immune to their child’s illnesses.
Another great option that we have due to today’s technology is simply ordering anything you need. If you need something like diapers really soon because you only have a few left, Amazon Prime is a great choice. You’ll be able to order pretty much anything that will get to your hotel possibly on the same day that you order it. In the event you don’t, you can always drive around in whichever area you’re going to be staying at and get supplies that way.
Picking the Right Room
Believe it or not, some rooms are a much better choice than others for babies. If you can manage, try to get a room that is preferably at the end of the hall, so that you only have one wall you share with another room instead of two. Not only will it be more quiet, but you’ll also be reducing your risk of potentially making other people annoyed at you and your baby. Another great thing about a room at the end of the hall is that you have to deal with less people walking around and about, which means less chances for your baby to be disturbed or awakened due to sound.
Another option if you’re going to explore it – is to try to get a wheelchair accessible bathroom. You might be able to snag a much bigger bathroom, which will give you much more room than you’d normally get in a hotel room. I know the thought of having your baby sleep in a bathroom might be pretty odd and out of the blue, but this will help give your baby their own space. If your baby is used to being in their own room, this might actually help you a great deal. Plus, this will give you the amount of space and privacy you need to walk around the other rooms in your hotel with less of a possibility of disturbing your baby. Plus, bathrooms are typically dark, and dark environments are much more ideal for sleeping in, which I’m sure your baby will appreciate.
However, you might be getting some looks if you request a wheelchair accessible room and show up without a wheelchair. Basically, I’d ask in a way that questions if they have any spare ones that are currently not taken. It might be worth letting them know that you’re willing to switch with someone who is disabled if need be. Although these tips are designed to get your baby to sleep in a hotel room, they certainly aren’t going to come without some inconveniences to other people. If you simply don’t want to, you don’t need to ask for a wheelchair accessible room, and make do with whatever room you get.
Another option is using Air B&B instead of a hotel. It’ll give the option of renting a suit, or anything else you could find that might be a little quieter. These options will very likely be more expensive, but ask yourself if the headaches you might experience in a hotel room are worth the amount you save. Putting yourself in a calmer and quieter environment, especially one that can be well suited and ideal for your baby, might be worth the extra cost.
Baby-Proofing Your Environment
As parents, we never want to risk our baby’s well-being if we can avoid it entirely. We go to great lengths to ensure that our home is suitable enough and safe enough for our little ones. You should put in the same amount of effort to ensure that the hotel room or wherever you are staying at, is suitable enough and safe enough for your baby.
I suggest starting by choosing an area that you’ll keep your baby in, and making sure that that area is clean, safe, and ideal for your baby during their stay. Hotel rooms can be clean, but they can also be a dirty nightmare. You should be using the sanitizing wipes that I previously mentioned before, it should help you clean the immediate areas that you’re going to be using. For me personally, I like to make sure that my area is clean, and germ-free too.
Once you’ve made sure that your environment is as clean as possible, now is when you can start trying to make it as safe for your baby as possible. Based on where you’re going to be keeping your baby and where they are going to be spending most of their time, you should focus on that area first. Are there any objects near where your baby is going to be staying that potentially pose a threat to their well-being? Are there any cords or cables on the floor, that are in you or your baby’s area that you might trip on or otherwise pose a threat? Have you made sure that there are no sharp objects or corners nearby? Anything and everything is fair game, and you wouldn’t want to potentially miss something that could be dangerous, so make sure you take your time evaluating your area.
What your goal should be: make the environment as safe and baby friendly as you possibly can. This might involve going a little crazy, such as going above and beyond in ensuring that there is nothing in the environment that poses any type of harm or threat to your baby. It also helps to try to be a bit organized, so I highly suggest arranging the room in a way that you best see fit for yourself and your baby.
Try to make sure that your baby has ideal lighting conditions for sleep as well. Certain products such as the snooze shade, help serve this purpose by addressing environmental issues such as light and ensuring that they are as ideal as can be. Hopefully, the hotel they are staying at has some double-blind shades or equivalent so that any potential sunlight won’t be waking your baby up in the wee hours of the day. In the event that for whatever reason, you cannot change the lighting or suspect that it’s not good for your baby, you could always try using a different room that might be better suited for your baby.
Stick to The Plan!
Despite everything I said above, you might be feeling a little more than overwhelmed right now. It’s perfectly normal, so don’t feel bad if you are. Just having a baby in general is overwhelming enough! Dealing with these little creatures can take every single ounce of energy out of us.
Showing them new environments can be quite the challenge, considering how they’ll react most of the time and try to ignore all the rules that we’ve tried to establish so hard for them. This is why it’s so important to try to stick to the routines that you previously established at your home and try to repeat them, despite the fact that you are in a different environment. For example, if you put your baby to sleep at a certain time at home, make sure that you follow that time even at the hotel.
I highly suggest bringing some type of sound machine, whether it be a white noise machine specifically, or even your phone. It’s very likely that your hotel is not as quiet as your home, so having the ability to drown out loud noise is going to be a very handy advantage to have at your side. I highly recommend the Baby Shusher for this reason, as it can even play white noise for your baby and do a variety of other things that can even get them to sleep in a hotel room. If you’re interested, read more about my Baby Shusher review here. If you want to go the cheap route, simply play white noise from your phone’s speakers. Maybe your hotel room has a fan in it, and if it does, this can be another option for white noise. White noise is so beneficial to babies, and might help give them that extra push that they need to fall sleep in a different environment. Remember, when they are asleep at night, so are you!
By sticking to your routines and daily schedules, you’ll be doing everything right that you possibly can. This means feeding them at the same time that you usually do, and putting them down at the same times as well. Try to keep nap times as consistent as possible. I know this might not be easy to pull off – due to different environments, less familiarity, and the fact that you simply aren’t home where you feel the most comfortable. However, it’s extremely important to be as consistent as possible, as this will remind your baby to try to follow the rules that you established with them throughout their time at home.
Even if you can’t replicate everything that you do at home in a perfect manner, you can still do nighttime routines that are similar to theirs, or even different if you don’t have the opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a hotel room or your house, you can always read your baby a lullaby, or rock them to make them sleepy before bed. Even if it’s something completely different, spending time with your baby and trying to calm them is a great option to help them try to get to sleep, even in a hotel room where they are unfamiliar with just about everything.
How Much Do Hotels Charge For Baby Cribs?
Believe it or not, many various hotels don’t charge for using their baby cribs. In the event that they do charge, it won’t be too expensive, and should be roughly $10-$25 each night. Remember that hotels don’t have an infinite amount of cribs, so if you know when you’re going to be staying, it’s worth calling ahead of time and checking out beforehand. I highly suggest getting a portable crib, so you can bring it with you and avoid any potential headaches like trying to secure one at the hotel. I personally prefer to bring my own portable crib, because I know it’s clean and safe, and most of all, my daughter is used to it!
Is It Even Possible to Get My Baby to Sleep for A Road Trip?
The trick to pulling this off is by making sure that you have everything you need way ahead of time. This includes things like gas, food, clothes, etc. It’s helpful to have shades in the car so that any sunlight or glares don’t end up waking up your baby for the entire trip. If you can, driving with a baby friendly co-pilot who can address any of your babies needs is one of the most important things you can bring on a road trip!