I distinctly remember the first few times we stayed in a hotel room with our infant daughter. My stress level was off the charts. Unfortunately although she was several months old, she wasn’t sleeping through the night. I worried she would wake other guests. I stressed that I might not be able to get her to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. I wondered what I would do if she woke up too early. Our first few hotel nights with a baby were anything but restful.
But then we turned a corner, and suddenly she slept through the night. As we approached another vacation requiring a hotel stay I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I had nothing to worry about.
I had been so preoccupied worried about sleep, I failed to prepare for the fact that my daughter was now crawling. Our home had long since been baby proofed. In fact, our home was baby proofed prior to the birth because I’m THAT Type A! So somehow it didn’t occur to me that I would struggle in a hotel room with a mobile child.
I’m pretty sure our first hotel visit with a crawling baby required complete furniture rearrangement, a few trips down to the front desk for backup, and even a run to Target for “supplies.” It would be easy to assume based on that one experience that we never traveled again. But, of course, that hasn’t been the case! I lived, and I learned.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned about how to make a hotel room safe for babies. (Also, if I’m being honest, some of these tips aren’t directly related to safety, but sanity. Doing a few of these things will help keep YOU sane in a small space with a small person!):
- Move everything dirty or breakable to out of reach locations: Place the trashcan on the bathroom counter. Unplug the lamps and store them in the closet. Anything you can eliminate from reach will help.
- Prearrange for Pack N Play or Crib: If you aren’t traveling with your own, call ahead and make sure to reserve a place for your child to sleep. This can also double as a play pen for when you need to shower, or keep them safe.
- Unplug The Phone: My children are being raised in the cell phone generation. The only time they ever see an actual phone is when we stay in a hotel. To this day, they are fascinated with it. Fortunately, now I can tell them to just leave it alone. But for years, I had to unplug it to avoid accidental calls.
- Always Latch Door: This may go without saying, but always make sure to latch your hotel door from the highest point.
- Outlet Covers: Outlet covers are cheap and small. They are so easy to travel with and definitely provide peace of mind. Occasionally we’ve stayed in hotels that provide them (Ritz Carleton!) but most will not so it’s better to just pack your own.
- Painters Tape: Traveling with painters tape can also be a lifesaver when attempting to quickly baby proof a hotel room. You can use it to secure blind cords out of reach, and hold cabinet doors shut.
- Disinfectant wipes: If you recently read my Sick On Vacation post you know that I have a slight fear of germs. Of course, that is magnified when you have very small children who want to stick everything in their mouth. Although I trust hotel rooms are cleaned thoroughly, I always like to quickly wipe down items like the remote control.
- Keep Bathroom Door Closed: This one is pretty self explanatory. It allows you to avoid dangerous issues like hot water from the bath tap.
Of course no matter how hard you work to baby proof a hotel room, it won’t replace attention to your child. Hotels can be awesome ways for your family to break out of the normal routine and explore new places. However, it’s important to realize that travel will involve some work.
Do you have any tips for baby proofing your hotel room?