7 tips to enjoy a hotel stay—with a baby!

7 tips to enjoy a hotel stay with a baby

Not long ago I traveled up to Seattle for my younger sister’s baby shower. We spent just one night in the emerald city to the north and stayed in the Alexis, a boutique hotel blocks from Pike Place Market with gorgeous, spacious rooms and a fantastic restaurant downstairs.

Hotel stays used to excite me—a night away, new and luxurious toiletries, someone else to make my bed. But now? Not so much.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling a wee bit anxious bringing a baby to a hotel. Will the guests next door call the front desk if my little cries? Will the guests next door throw a raging party and prompt me to call the front desk?

You can take some of the uncertainty out of the travel—and even enjoy a hotel stay with a baby.

7 tips to enjoy a hotel stay with a baby
Note the pillow covering the alarm clock—no light was safe!

Enjoy a hotel stay with a baby. No, really!

Match your home. Mimicking your baby’s bedroom will make her more comfortable—and more likely to sleep in a new environment. For us that means we travel with a white noise machine (we use and love this one, and it’s sturdy and compact enough to travel); otherwise, this free app is great, and it doesn’t turn off after 20 minutes like some others do. Rooms usually have blackout curtains that block light from the street outside. Do anything else that will make the hotel feel more comfortable—bring a lovey, play Baby’s favorite lullaby, whatever.

Arrange a baby bed. If you don’t bed share, call ahead to ensure the concierge has a crib or pack n play waiting in your room. But ask if there will be a charge (some places tack on an extra $10 a night); if that’s the case, it may be cheaper to buy one and have it shipped to the hotel ahead of time. You can always arrange to have it donated if you don’t want to lug it home. And if your baby sleeps in a rock n play, you’ll need to bring or ship one—I’ve yet to find a hotel that has them.

Consider a suite. I once spent most of an evening in a hotel bathroom with the door closed because Peeper was sleeping in the main room and I didn’t dare disturb her. Now we reserve a suite as often as we can. Just call to ensure the suite actually does have space where you can close the door. Then you can enjoy your stay without worrying you’ll wake the baby.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling with others you can just hang out in their room once Baby goes to bed.

Set up a monitor. If you’ll be spending time in another room, make sure its adjacent to yours. (Make that request when you reserve the rooms.) That way your monitor will stay in range.

Ask about the fridge. If you’re pumping, or you need to refrigerate baby food, call to make sure your room has a mini fridge. And while you’re at it, ask them to empty it. Some places will automatically charge you when something is removed, and you probably won’t be drinking all those tiny bottles of booze anyway.

Do not disturb. Make good use of those little door hangers. There’s nothing worse than housekeeping knocking and interrupting your little’s nap!

Consider a babysitter. Traveling to a new city with a baby can be so frustrating—having to be back at the hotel for naps and bedtime makes it tough to explore. On the other hand, doing all the research to find a babysitter in a place you don’t know is overwhelming. Luckily, many hotels have a relationship with a babysitting service that’s already vetted—leaving you free to go out to dinner, see a show or just relax at the bar downstairs. Heads-up, though, many places have a time minimum (it was four hours at the Alexis).

What about you—do you have tips to actually enjoy a hotel stay with a baby?

8 thoughts on “7 tips to enjoy a hotel stay—with a baby!

  • March 30, 2016 at 9:25 am
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    Oh I remember hotel stays when our kids were babies… some of them were pretty stressful! Not because things went wrong, just more worrying about the baby being too loud or not being able to sleep. Your tips are spot on! The first one, especially. Also: I LOVE the Alexis Hotel in Seattle!!

    Reply
    • March 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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      Thanks Marlynn! And I know, the Alexis is awesome! It was my first time there, but I can’t wait to go back. The rooms were shockingly spacious for a downtown hotel, and everything was super comfortable.

      Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 10:57 am
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    These are all great tips! I never would have given much thought to how stressful it can actually be to stay in a hotel with a baby, but I totally get it now! Hiding out in the bathroom to not disturb the little one? – The things parents do!

    Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    We tend to go the AirBnB or VBRO route since having kids because we like to have the living space for when the littles go to bed and we also like to have a place to prepare meals and/or snacks. We do some hotel stays too and we too prefer suites when possible or at least wifi so we can watch Netflix on our computer/phones with headphones when the kids fall asleep.

    Reply
    • March 31, 2016 at 8:06 pm
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      We like renting a house or apartment, too – we usually do, but they require 2 nights minimum. So when we go for a single night only we look for a suite at a hotel.

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  • March 31, 2016 at 8:15 am
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    I have never been able to get good sleep if my kids tried to sleep in my bed, at home or at a hotel. We always brought a pack-n-play for them to use when they were smaller.

    Now we can out them in a queen bed together. =)

    Reply
    • March 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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      When Peeper was a baby she would sleep in our bed sometimes, but Kiwi never has. I almost wish that were an option, but I guess we won’t ever have the trouble getting her out of our bed!

      Reply

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