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How to Deal with Infants in a Hotel Room (And Still Have Fun)

by Susan Finch

Oct 9, 2017

Kenishirotie | Dreamstime

Travel Tips

Parents are usually pretty stressed out about the preparation to fly with a baby or toddler for the first time, but often don’t anticipate the challenges of actually sleeping with them in the same hotel room. Although it doesn’t create the same amount of stress as flying, it’s still not fun to go to sleep before the sun sets because your baby can spot your every move. But there are ways you can successfully deal with infants in a hotel room and still feel like a proper grown-up on vacation.


Create a Private Area

Your first order of business in traveling with an infant is creating a private area to tuck in your infant and let them get some shut eye. Bring your own travel crib to avoid a less than suitable option at the hotel like a beat-up pack-n-play masquerading as a crib. Just tuck the portable crib in a corner and pull up an armchair in front of it to create some privacy. You can also drape your bedspread across the chair and onto an ironing board to create even more privacy and the illusion your little one has their own room.


Find Some Grown-Up Space

Every parent with an infant has sat in a hotel bathroom while their infant fell asleep. Make the most of it and take a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Outdoor balconies are also fantastic options to create the illusion you have your own grown-up space. But if the weather isn’t cooperating or you’re out of ideas, you can always book a room with a king-sized bed for Mom and Dad and turn it into your own private island. Lay out a blanket you won’t need later and load it up with snacks, magazines and your favorite devices.



If your baby is a light sleeper and you can’t raise your voice above a whisper without waking them, your options are limited. You can either go to bed while the sun is still out or plug yourself in and enjoy. Curl up with your loved one and watch a movie with headphones, IM each other over your devices or catch up on your favorite podcasts and social media channels. It’s also a perfectly acceptable excuse to overindulge in media without feeling guilty.

Couple getting room service with champagne in hotel room

Photo: Dmytro Zinkevych | Dreamstime


Indulge in Some Vices

You can still pamper yourself even if you’re quietly edging around your hotel room in silence at 7:30 p.m. while your baby sleeps two feet away. This is the time to uncork some bubbly, break out the fancy box of chocolates or go get some ice cream sundaes from the hotel restaurant and bring it back to your room. If treats and food aren’t your thing, then consider upgrading your room or purchasing a movie for in-room viewing to give yourself some much-deserved creature comforts. And you do deserve it. Your entire hotel room has been taken over by a tiny baby.


Lower Your Expectations

There are plenty of ways to successfully manage infants in a hotel room and still enjoy yourself, but you still need to give yourself permission for it to all go south. Babies are unpredictable, feral little beings and things will happen. They’ll wake up screaming, not want to go to sleep if they sense you’re lying there staring at the ceiling, and decide now is a perfect time to drop a nap. Just remind yourself it’s all going to be okay and the goal of a family vacation isn’t perfection, but a satisfying experience of togetherness and long-lasting memories. You’ll certainly get the latter.


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