Staying at a Hotel with a Baby
A trip that involves staying at a hotel with a baby? Can you do it? Yes, you can, mama!
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure with a baby, a lot of work goes into making the experience as painless as possible.
This post is for the moms that want to experience the world with their baby. Special attention will be given to those moms traveling with their baby for business. Because for many, work travel is a reality.
Whatever the reason for your travels —business or personal, you’ll find the tips are transferable. At the end of the day, whether your trip is 1 day or 1 week, it’s time spent away from your bed and everything that’s familiar.
Pre-kids, I used to love work travel–staying at nice hotels, ordering room service and having the opportunity to explore a new city. After I had my first child, the work travel obligations continued. However, I found ways to get creative on how to travel with my baby (as I didn’t trust anyone to watch her overnight.) ✈️✈️
Here are my 10 best tips for staying at a hotel with a baby:
1. Be strategic about which hotel you select
Many companies will allow you to select a hotel as long as it meets the guidelines they have in place. These guidelines may include room rate, preferred hotel chain, room type, etc.
Remember, this isn’t a business trip where you’re traveling solo; you’re staying at a hotel with a baby. Therefore, you want to make sure that the hotel you select is less than a mile away from a grocery store.
Also take a (virtual) look around to see if it is nearby any indoor/outdoor playgrounds, libraries or other kid-friendly spaces.
2. Request a microwave and a refrigerator in your room
Since you’re staying at a hotel with a baby, a microwave and a refrigerator are a must for preparing food for your little one.
If these in-room amenities aren’t available, ask the front desk to refrigerate items for you. Then, head to the cafe/restaurant downstairs to access a microwave.
3. Pack non-perishable baby food in your suitcase
Though you are staying at a hotel with a baby, you need to account for the time spent traveling without a refrigerator at your disposal.
Make sure there is a packing cube in your luggage full of food pouches, non-dairy yogurt, teething crackers, and other food items that don’t require refrigeration.
Keep all food items in their original packaging so nothing gets crushed in-transit.
4. Bring your baby’s favorite things
You want to make sure there is some familiarity for your baby. You have to remember that you are staying at a hotel with a baby so not only will their routine be impacted, they will be spending time in an unfamiliar environment.
Pack a few of their favorite toys/books, download their favorite songs and include something new that you think they might like!
5. Check into the hotel the night before your meetings
If possible, start your journey the night before your work obligations begin. You’ll be more familiar with your new environment and can work out any kinks before you transition into ‘work-mode’.
Avoid traveling day-of if possible. Though you might have prepared for everything that could go wrong under your control, you have to consider the things beyond your control.
For example, you safely (and uneventfully)🙏🏾 reach the city where you’re staying at a hotel with baby. But, you might arrive before ‘check in’ and discover that the hotel does not have a room ready for you.
There are few things in life more stressful than arriving at a hotel with your baby for a work trip and no rooms are available. Trust me; I’ve been there.
6. Go grocery shopping
Now that you are staying at a hotel near the grocery store, put the baby in the stroller and high-tail it there! Your goal is to get fresh produce, dairy, and other items that wouldn’t have survived the trip.
Once you get back to your hotel room, stock your fridge and arrange the other items on the counter.
An alternative of course, is to use a grocery delivery service, but if there are no substitutions available that your baby likes, you’re back at square one.
7. Connect with your childcare provider
Whether you decided to travel with your babysitter or made arrangements with a local nanny agency to provide care, check in with them the night before your work conference. You want to double (and triple check!!) to confirm with them the date, time, location, and parking situation of where they will be caring for your child.
You’re staying at a hotel with a baby, and perhaps not anywhere near friends or family, so if your caregiver doesn’t show up on time (or at all), you will be in a very stressful and awkward situation.
Avoid that at all costs by aligning on all the details beforehand.
8. Document your Baby’s Routine
Make sure you have outlined your baby’s routine on a piece of paper and give it to your childcare provider. Better yet, take a picture on your phone and text it to them, in case the paper gets lost.
Include meal times, snack times, nap times, and play times. Include frequency, duration, and amounts where applicable. This will give your provider a good idea about what to expect.
Be sure to share tips on how you get your baby to sleep; what to do when your baby is fussy, etc.
You’re staying at a hotel with a baby so if your baby isn’t used to sleeping in a playpen, it may take them a little longer to get settled. Regardless, your caregiver will appreciate any insights about your baby you are willing to share!
9. Set expectations with your caregiver on approved baby activities
You’re staying at a hotel with a baby, so identify if you want your baby to be pushed in the stroller outside of the hotel, if your baby can visit a nearby indoor playground, or if your baby is allowed to be taken to the hotel pool.
If admission is required for any activities, align on payment methods in advance (cash, via app, etc).
10. Keep your childcare provider happy!
Good vibes make a world of difference to both you and your baby. If your childcare provider is looking after your baby for 10+ hours, you know they’re exhausted!
Show your appreciation by having a coffee ready for them in the morning, popping up to the hotel room with some lunch you snagged from your conference’s buffet, or providing them with an eGift card.
Feeling proactive? You can always pack a souvenir from your hometown, and present it to them as a thank you gift. At the end of the day, they are the key to you having a successful trip with your baby in tow.
Pro-tips for staying at a hotel with a baby:
You’re staying at a hotel with a baby so always request a playpen when making your reservation. Even if your baby doesn’t sleep in it, it is a safe place to put the baby when you’re showering or using the restroom.
Identify the best way your baby’s caregiver can contact you. If text is best, clearly specify that. If you want photos throughout the day, be sure to make that known.
If your phone will be off at any point in time or you will be in an area with poor reception, make sure you provide an emergency contact number as a backup. 📲
Final Thoughts on Staying at a Hotel with a Baby
We just covered ten amazing tips to consider the next time you’re staying at a hotel with a baby! Many of these tips can be useful even if you’re not traveling for work.
If you put your effort into planning beforehand, you’ll spend less time stressing once you reach your destination. Of course, you can’t control everything, so just do the best you can.
And if you manage to meet an awesome caregiver, save their number so you can reach out to them the next time you’re in town!
Click here for more tips on how to manage work trips as a parent.