Traveling with Baby- Hotel Stays
Once you arrive at your destination, making “baby’s home away from home” can be pretty simple. When packing, stick to your normal bedtime supplies so you can do your best to recreate baby’s usual sleep environment in the hotel room. From a year of travel and hotel room stays, here’s what we found works best:
- When you arrive be sure to request a crib (we do this when we make our reservation) and extra towels (washcloth and bath sizes) for baby. Many hotels forget to add an extra bath towel and washcloths can be taken to meals to wipe down baby.
- Unpack your packing cubes and put baby’s items near a table or desk. We like to travel with an inflatable changing pad to avoid messes and support baby. Also, move the trashcan next to the changing station and ensure the trash is taken out of the room daily.
- Let baby explore the room but under close supervision. Hotel rooms are NOT baby proof so proceed with caution.
- When bathing baby in a hotel room, it’s generally easier to use the tub since the sink will most likely be shallow/have a low profile tap. We use a folded up bath towel at the bottom of the tub to support baby since we don’t travel with our bath support or an inflatable tub. Some rooms will only have a shower (like on our cruise ship) so use teamwork to safely shower baby (one parent gets in with baby and holds/rinses them while the other soaps up/washes baby). Bathing baby out of your normal space is totally doable! Don’t forget to grab one of your stacking cups to help with rinsing baby!
- Be sure to pack baby’s regular swaddle or sleep sack, if you use one. We also bring a fresh crib sheet (washed in our regular detergent) to put in the hotel crib so the space feels more familiar to baby.
- Once we start the bedtime routine, we switch on our travel diffuser and diffuse some calming and familiar oils in the hotel room (we love lavender and cedarwood). This helps to wind baby down and also provides a comforting smell of home.
- When it’s time for sleep, use a sound machine and block baby’s view of you in the room using blankets. Remove the blankets once baby is asleep.
- Pull the blinds COMPLETELY shut unless you want to wake up at dawn. Babies are used to darkened rooms and can sense daylight. This is especially important with time changes/naps.
- Use the crib or pack and play as a safe play space for baby to hang out while you get ready. Throw in the remote, stacking cups, any laminated pamphlets and a hotel key for entertainment.
- If your hotel offers breakfast, grab an extra box of cereal for baby to snack on.
- Pack a nightlight! Nighttime feedings and diaper changes can be tricky in new places, especially when it is very dark.
- Don’t feel badly if you need to do things you wouldn’t normally do to help baby sleep while traveling…we do not normally co-sleep but have found Emmylou in our bed a few times to squeeze out a few extra minutes of sleep.
Traveling with baby is all about managing your fun and enjoyment with baby’s, so don’t stress too much about breaking routines while away. Plan on a wonky night or two when you get home (to adjust to time or routine changes) but for baby to bounce back to normal in no time.
K, J, EL & P