Tips for Staying in a Hotel with Children
New environments are always tough on little ones, especially when it comes to sleep, and hotels are often the toughest. Our lifestyle involves a lot of traveling so our little guy has been doing it since about 2 months old. I’m sure this aids in his ability to be flexible. However, every trip is different, and every kid is different, and each age is different. We have found these tips for staying in a hotel with children to work well for us.
As a first time mom and desperately wanting to get my baby to sleep through the night I read countless articles and books on how to achieve this. One common thing was to establish a bedtime ritual and we have been pretty much doing the same thing ever since. We take a bath, read two stories, cuddle in his rocking chair, then in the crib for “happy nappy”. While your routine may look different, traveling is definitely not the time to change this. My goal is to recreate our home environment as much as possible when we are away. Sometimes travel timings throw off our “schedule” but regardless of time we stick to this in the hotel.
Bring your own crib
I really can’t stress this enough. Sometimes I get frustrated wondering why in the world do I lug our crib all around when we could just use one from the hotel, but just like above you want to create the most familiar environment as possible. While he doesn’t sleep in his portable crib every night, it smells like our house and he does “know” it. This makes a world of difference for his sleep and ours. We love love love this one, super light weight and so easy to put together.
Sheets and blankets
One major difference between the portable crib and his crib at home is comfort. Obviously the travel mattress is much less plush than at home and he now has multiple pillows and stuffed animals with him at night. (*Our son is now 2 and it’s safe to put plush items with him to sleep so please use discretion depending on your childs age.) The formula that works best for us in the portable crib is one swaddle blanket covering the mattress, followed by a fleece blanket folded in half for extra cushion, and then one additional swaddle blanket for him to hold. Swaddle blankets are great because they fold down very small, unfortunately the fleece blanket does create some bulk but again, totally worth ditching that extra pair of shoes for a few extra hours of sleep. These are our favorite go to swaddles which we used for him as a baby and love these fleece blankets.
Create a “room”
whenever possible we try to get a hotel with two rooms or even a separate kitchenette area or something is great. Our little guy is used to sleeping in his own room, so if he can see us it is obviously very distracting for him making it difficult to fall asleep. We completely reconfigure the hotel room if needed, move the sofa making a barrier so his crib is behind it while still leaving path ways around him. This may sound crazy, but I also hide after putting him in his crib, usually in the bathroom, until he has completely fallen asleep. Once he’s out it’s pretty amazing how much he can sleep through but while he’s still stirring if he knows I’m anywhere close by he won’t stop calling for me.
We also use one every night at home so this is another familiar sound, but even we love it since it can drown out a lot of the excess noise in hotels. We absolutely love this one.
These are just suggestions of things that have worked for us, unfortunately it’s trial and error and that can be so difficult when precious sleep is involved. I hope these help!!