mom checking on baby in portable bassinet

When it comes to taking trips with babies, parents are given a ton of advice on “getting there.” That includes packing, scheduling, and entertainment for the travel time itself whether by car, plane, or train.

But what about once you get to your destination? What about actually staying in a hotel with a baby? A trip is no fun if you’re miserable after 24 hours and just ready to be back home. That’s why we’ve developed some tips on how to handle a hotel with a baby, so you and your family can be sure to fully enjoy your time away!

Shop Safe Sleep Solutions >

When it comes to taking trips with babies, parents are given a ton of advice on “getting there.” That includes packing, scheduling, and entertainment for the travel time itself whether by car, plane, or train.

But what about once you get to your destination? What about actually staying in a hotel with a baby? A trip is no fun if you’re miserable after 24 hours and just ready to be back home. That’s why we’ve developed some tips on how to handle a hotel with a baby, so you and your family can be sure to fully enjoy your time away!

Shop Safe Sleep Solutions >

1. Choose Hotel Accommodations Wisely

Carefully choosing where you will stay on your trip can make or break your experience in a lot of ways. Your budget and the available hotels in the area play a huge role in your decisions. If possible, we strongly suggest looking for apartment-style or extended stay hotels. These were designed for business travelers staying for an extended period of time, but they are actually pretty perfect for families traveling with babies (even if just for the weekend)! 

They’re typically more spread out and come equipped with amenities like a small kitchen or sometimes even a washer and dryer that make traveling with an infant a lot easier! Another bonus to these types of hotels is that they are not as crowded, so you don’t typically have to deal with any light-night parties or loud neighbors. 

Another option to consider for accommodations is AirBnB. Renting out a fully furnished apartment, condo, home, or cabin can make traveling with a baby so much easier! You’re not trying to condense your life into a tiny hotel room, but you’re just swapping one home for another. When searching for an AirBnB, be sure to narrow your search to “kid-friendly” locations.  mom checking on baby in bassinet

2. Bring Your Own Sleeper

You might be asking yourself, “do hotels provide cribs?” The answer is: yes. Most hotels will rent you a crib to use in your room at a small fee or even for free. However, we always recommend packing your own sleeper if possible! Not only is this the safest option from a germ perspective (you have no control of when or how the hotel’s crib was previously clean), but it also ensures that your child is sleeping in a safe and secure place. 

If you’re able to bring your own sleeper for younger infants, effortlessly pack up the BassiNest® Flex Portable Bedside Bassinet. If your child is older, a pack-n-play or travel crib would work perfectly!

If bringing along your own sleeper isn’t an option, you want to make sure to call ahead to see if your hotel has any available cribs and for what cost. During this, you can also ask for the manufacturer of the cribs they have. You can use this information to double-check if it meets current safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many hotels do not provide sheets, but even if they do, we always recommend bringing your own, so be sure to ask for the size of the crib mattress.

When you get to the hotel with your baby, you’ll want to carefully inspect the hotel crib before using it:

• Double-check that there are no loose/missing screws or bolts

• Note any safety latches and make sure your child cannot release them

• Make sure none of the slats are loose, chipped, otherwise damaged, or missing  

No matter what your baby sleeps in at the hotel, it is just as important as ever to practice safe sleep habits. According to various organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, this includes:

• Placing infants to sleep on their back

• Making sure the crib or bassinet is clear of any loose blankets, toys, stuffed animals, etc

• Making sure the mattress is firm and covered with a tight-fitting sheet

• Maintain a comfortable room temperature (68 – 72°F) and layer your baby appropriately based on how hot or cold it is 

3. Keep Your Routines

Even though you might be on vacation, vacationing with kids means sticking to certain routines as much as possible, especially when it comes to naps and nighttime sleep. When you can, organize your plans around your little one’s sleep schedule. A well-rested baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby means a more fun vacation!

Believe us that keeping your bedtime routine, even when you aren’t at home, is going to be essential in ensuring your little one (and you!) get a restful night of sleep.

Sticking to that routine means packing your routine essentials: swaddles or sleep sacks, bedtime books, sound machines, etc. If your routine includes bathtime, be sure to pack the necessities for that as well! If your hotel room only has a shower, you can always bring along a portable infant tub. 

These familiar items and actions are all things your little one associates with bedtime and sleep which can make putting them to sleep a lot easier in an unfamiliar location!

4. Put Your Baby in the Bathroom

You read that right. If you’re sticking to the routine, many babies are used to sleeping in darkness. Maybe you even have blackout curtains at home in their nursery. Staying in a hotel with a baby means you have limited “rooms” to blackout. The bathroom is just the place! 

You’re able to keep it dark, cool, and plug in a sound machine. This way you don’t have to worry about bringing blackout shades! Plus, this means not everyone in the hotel room has to go to bed at your baby’s bedtime. Stay up, order room service, watch some TV, and enjoy your evening! 

5. Take the Time-Zone into Account

When your baby goes to bed is a major part of their routine (yes, back to the importance of keeping a routine!). Their body starts to recognize when it’s time to sleep. If your baby’s bedtime is usually 7:00 pm, but you’re in a time zone one hour ahead, you may not start the routine till closer to 8:00 pm.

Depending on the length of your stay, you can try to “force” the time zone change on them, however, for longer trips, there’s no harm in letting them sleep when they want and having their bodies adjust naturally.

6. Strategize Your Packing

A lot of times the mentality for packing, especially with new parents, is “let’s take everything we could even possibly need.” This can be overwhelming and stressful to organize. Instead, get strategic with your packing by looking at where you’re going and your plans to determine what you will definitely need. Here are some best practices to follow:

• Avoid bulky items like high chairs or swings if possible

• Bring one extra (not 5) of things like bibs

• Avoid overpacking items that you can buy at your destination (diapers, wipes, etc.)

• Consider renting items through platforms like Baby Quips or checking in local Facebook groups

• Don’t go overboard on the toys - there will be plenty of new and exciting things to keep your little one entertained!

7. Create a Plan B for Food

Depending on your baby’s age, hotel food may not even be something they are able to eat. There’s also the chance that you’ll be paying $10 dollars for mac and cheese that your child may eat or may just throw on the floor. For this reason, be sure to have a backup plan for food. 

Bring premade food from home, as well as a stash of snacks you know your little one likes. If you have an early riser, pack breakfast food (like cereal or fruit purees) so you don’t have to worry about leaving the room too early.

8. Baby Proof as Much as Possible

However long you are staying, you’ll want to treat your hotel room as a temporary home. That means making sure it is safe for your little one to be in and explore! This might involve moving furniture around a little, bringing your own outlet covers, and making sure any dangling cords are tucked up and away.

Doing a quick sweep first thing works best before your little one even starts to realize they have access to things they don’t usually! 

When you travel, whether it's to explore a new city or see family and friends, you want to create that “home-away-home” from experience in a hotel room. This can be tricky to do in a hotel room, but hopefully with a little planning and these tips, you and your family are able to make it work! 

1. Choose Hotel Accommodations Wisely

Carefully choosing where you will stay on your trip can make or break your experience in a lot of ways. Your budget and the available hotels in the area play a huge role in your decisions. If possible, we strongly suggest looking for apartment-style or extended stay hotels. These were designed for business travelers staying for an extended period of time, but they are actually pretty perfect for families traveling with babies (even if just for the weekend)! 

They’re typically more spread out and come equipped with amenities like a small kitchen or sometimes even a washer and dryer that make traveling with an infant a lot easier! Another bonus to these types of hotels is that they are not as crowded, so you don’t typically have to deal with any light-night parties or loud neighbors. 

Another option to consider for accommodations is AirBnB. Renting out a fully furnished apartment, condo, home, or cabin can make traveling with a baby so much easier! You’re not trying to condense your life into a tiny hotel room, but you’re just swapping one home for another. When searching for an AirBnB, be sure to narrow your search to “kid-friendly” locations.  

2. Bring Your Own Sleeper

You might be asking yourself, “do hotels provide cribs?” The answer is: yes. Most hotels will rent you a crib to use in your room at a small fee or even for free. However, we always recommend packing your own sleeper if possible! Not only is this the safest option from a germ perspective (you have no control of when or how the hotel’s crib was previously clean), but it also ensures that your child is sleeping in a safe and secure place. 

mom checking on baby in portable bassinetmom checking on baby in portable bassinet

If you’re able to bring your own sleeper for younger infants, effortlessly pack up the BassiNest® Flex Portable Bedside Bassinet. If your child is older, a pack-n-play or travel crib would work perfectly!

If bringing along your own sleeper isn’t an option, you want to make sure to call ahead to see if your hotel has any available cribs and for what cost. During this, you can also ask for the manufacturer of the cribs they have. You can use this information to double-check if it meets current safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many hotels do not provide sheets, but even if they do, we always recommend bringing your own, so be sure to ask for the size of the crib mattress.

When you get to the hotel with your baby, you’ll want to carefully inspect the hotel crib before using it:

• Double-check that there are no loose/missing screws or bolts

• Note any safety latches and make sure your child cannot release them

• Make sure none of the slats are loose, chipped, otherwise damaged, or missing  

No matter what your baby sleeps in at the hotel, it is just as important as ever to practice safe sleep habits. According to various organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, this includes:

• Placing infants to sleep on their back

• Making sure the crib or bassinet is clear of any loose blankets, toys, stuffed animals, etc

• Making sure the mattress is firm and covered with a tight-fitting sheet

• Maintain a comfortable room temperature (68 – 72°F) and layer your baby appropriately based on how hot or cold it is 

3. Keep Your Routines

Even though you might be on vacation, vacationing with kids means sticking to certain routines as much as possible, especially when it comes to naps and nighttime sleep. When you can, organize your plans around your little one’s sleep schedule. A well-rested baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby means a more fun vacation!

Believe us that keeping your bedtime routine, even when you aren’t at home, is going to be essential in ensuring your little one (and you!) get a restful night of sleep.

Sticking to that routine means packing your routine essentials: swaddles or sleep sacks, bedtime books, sound machines, etc. If your routine includes bathtime, be sure to pack the necessities for that as well! If your hotel room only has a shower, you can always bring along a portable infant tub. 

These familiar items and actions are all things your little one associates with bedtime and sleep which can make putting them to sleep a lot easier in an unfamiliar location!

4. Put Your Baby in the Bathroom

You read that right. If you’re sticking to the routine, many babies are used to sleeping in darkness. Maybe you even have blackout curtains at home in their nursery. Staying in a hotel with a baby means you have limited “rooms” to blackout. The bathroom is just the place! 

You’re able to keep it dark, cool, and plug in a sound machine. This way you don’t have to worry about bringing blackout shades! Plus, this means not everyone in the hotel room has to go to bed at your baby’s bedtime. Stay up, order room service, watch some TV, and enjoy your evening! 

5. Take the Time-Zone into Account

When your baby goes to bed is a major part of their routine (yes, back to the importance of keeping a routine!). Their body starts to recognize when it’s time to sleep. If your baby’s bedtime is usually 7:00 pm, but you’re in a time zone one hour ahead, you may not start the routine till closer to 8:00 pm.

Depending on the length of your stay, you can try to “force” the time zone change on them, however, for longer trips, there’s no harm in letting them sleep when they want and having their bodies adjust naturally.

6. Strategize Your Packing

A lot of times the mentality for packing, especially with new parents, is “let’s take everything we could even possibly need.” This can be overwhelming and stressful to organize. Instead, get strategic with your packing by looking at where you’re going and your plans to determine what you will definitely need. Here are some best practices to follow:

• Avoid bulky items like high chairs or swings if possible

• Bring one extra (not 5) of things like bibs

• Avoid overpacking items that you can buy at your destination (diapers, wipes, etc.)

• Consider renting items through platforms like Baby Quips or checking in local Facebook groups

• Don’t go overboard on the toys - there will be plenty of new and exciting things to keep your little one entertained!

7. Create a Plan B for Food

Depending on your baby’s age, hotel food may not even be something they are able to eat. There’s also the chance that you’ll be paying $10 dollars for mac and cheese that your child may eat or may just throw on the floor. For this reason, be sure to have a backup plan for food. 

Bring premade food from home, as well as a stash of snacks you know your little one likes. If you have an early riser, pack breakfast food (like cereal or fruit purees) so you don’t have to worry about leaving the room too early.

8. Baby Proof as Much as Possible

However long you are staying, you’ll want to treat your hotel room as a temporary home. That means making sure it is safe for your little one to be in and explore! This might involve moving furniture around a little, bringing your own outlet covers, and making sure any dangling cords are tucked up and away.

Doing a quick sweep first thing works best before your little one even starts to realize they have access to things they don’t usually! 

When you travel, whether it's to explore a new city or see family and friends, you want to create that “home-away-home” from experience in a hotel room. This can be tricky to do in a hotel room, but hopefully with a little planning and these tips, you and your family are able to make it work!