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. Read more

For the love of Mexican music

Peeper has found a new passion.

We were out to dinner in Seattle (at Mama’s in Belltown) this week, and Peeper was teetering on the edge of Meltdown Canyon. She had been going to sleep much later and skipping naps altogether in our few days out of town, and I was beginning to think that a sit-down dinner in a restaurant was simply asking too much. But we’d already ordered, so we made a go of it.

That’s when the music started.

Toddler Mexican ballad music
The musicians even let Peeper strum the guitar; this is her clapping and strumming along.

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Family reunion

I recently took my first trip without Peeper. After 16 months of spending every day together, I headed up to Seattle for a business trip. It was a short jaunt—I was gone only one night—but, as I wrote earlier, I worried how she and I would handle the separation.

It felt good to be busy. Between meetings and visiting my sister and brother-in-law, I didn’t have much time to dwell on how much I missed Peeper. When I had a few minutes of down time, I walked around and stumbled across the adorable Once Upon a Time toy store in Queen Anne and of course bought her a little present.

That night, though, as I sat in the quiet hotel room, loneliness threatened to swallow me. The spacious room with its two queen beds, sitting room and kitchen that seemed so luxurious in the day felt yawning and empty in the dark.

The next morning, we videochatted. Seeing Peeper’s smiles filled up the hollow space inside me. Peeper kept peering over the top of the computer on her end, looking for me.

Ten Thousand Hour MamaAs I drove home later that day, I imagined our ecstatic reunion—like the tearful homecomings you see at the airport or veterans seeing their loved ones after coming back from war. (I know, I have a very healthy imagination.) Impatient, I cursed 5pm traffic and watched the clock, predicting what Peeper would be up to at that moment. Read more

Travel without my toddler

Today I’m headed up to Seattle for a brief business trip—without Peeper. I’ve never been away from her for a night, and now that she’s almost 16 months old, I bit the bullet and scheduled this overdue outing.

I don’t know how it’ll go. I’ve been imagining two scenarios:

1. I take an uninterrupted bath, order room service, lounge around the hotel room in a cushy robe and watch cable.

2. I cry uncontrollably, Skype with my husband so I can see Peeper sleep on the baby monitor and go to my meetings with puffy eyes and an emotional hangover.

Thanks to some strange timing, today’s trip is a trial run. My sisters, brother and I are converging on Santa Fe for an unprecedented siblings weekend, so I’ll be spending three days away from her then, too.

I’m already feeling the guilt at leaving her, and I’m still at home. This’ll be hard—but hopefully rewarding, recharging and fun, too.

Wish us all luck.