I’ve spent the past couple of weeks living in a hotel with my husband and 18-month-old daughter. We just moved from San Francisco to Miami and are waiting for our furniture to be delivered to our new home. Since Céleste was born, we’ve probably spent a total of three months living in hotel rooms. These experiences helped me find the most hotel-friendly baby gear and taught me how to turn a hotel room into a warm home-like place. Here are my best finds to make bébé’s hotel stay — and thus yours — as smooth as possible.
Create A Familiar Environment
It does not require much. Before your trip, identify little items that are part of bébé’s routine and pack them up. My daughter loves her bath toys, for instance. They are nothing fancy: two cups, a tiny watering can and a fish. Each time we arrive in a new place and I take them out of the suitcase, the biggest smile lights up her face.
Utilize The Fridge
Hotel fridges are very useful, limiting food waste and as a result, saving you some money! I usually keep unfinished bottles, food pouches, yogurt and takeout food in them.
Insider tip: Some hotels will charge you to empty the fridge ($25 at the W San Francisco!), so before asking them to do so, inquire about any cost. I got into the habit of always doing it myself.
My lifesaver is the Playtex Nurser with drop-ins liners. Why I like it so much? Well, it’s sort of a disposable bottle; you change the liner at each use, which means no need to wash the entire bottle, just the tip! It’s a lot more convenient when moving around, with no need to carry multiple bottles for different feedings.
Bring An Inflatable Bath
Taking a bath is part of bébé’s bedtime routine, so it’s important that she can do so wherever we go. It helps her to unwind and tells her bedtime is coming. Plus, it is a fantastic bonding time between us; she cracks up when my husband or I put our face in the water to blow bubbles! In most of the hotels we’ve been in lately, we did not have a bathtub. We had to put Celeste in the shower, which turned a usually joyful moment into a screaming session.
The solution: a big inflatable duck tub. Some of you might think it looks a little grotestque, but I think it’s kind of cool. Folded up, it won’t take up much space in your suitcase, and if you are staying in a hotel with a pool or beach, you can also to use this funny creature as a float for bébé.
Think About A Baby Monitor
It is mainly useful if you are staying in a suite or if your room is very close to the lobby, the hotel restaurant or if you are lucky, by some recreational area. In our last hotel stay, our room was in front of the hotel’s jacuzzi!!! We were able to steam up in the water, while watching our daughter sleep peacefully.
A baby monitor can also be useful to adjust the temperature of your room. I often find the AC in hotels inaccurate and overly powerful, so I like making sure the room is at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, my daughter’s favorite temperature for a good nights’ sleep. I like a lot this model from Foscam, plus they have a great customer service!
When Choosing Your Hotel Consider This:
When choosing your hotel, you might want to consider some details. These are simple little things that can really make your stay a lot more enjoyable.
- If you can’t afford a suite in the hotel you want to go to, look into a simpler hotel where you can afford a bigger room. Having two separate areas — one where bébé will sleep and one where you and your partner can hang out during naps or before going to bed — makes a big difference. This allows you to revive your pre-bébé era, spending some alone time with your other half.
- Make sure there are a couple of restaurants within walking distance of your hotel. This way, you won’t be stuck with the hotel food every night, which may be pricey, not good or both!
- Ask if the hotel has any baby services, such as babysitters or kids’ activities.
- Choose hotels that are close to a park or a playground, as it is always nice to have a place nearby to take bébé.