After our first foray into spending a weekend out of town in a hotel with a baby, I feel like we’ve learned a lot about how best to deal in different situations. If we thought we were resourceful at all before, parenthood does bring one’s craftiness to new heights. Here are some of the hotel room hacks we found most useful. (Do note that this post does not include any baby-proofing-the-furniture types of tips as our little one’s just an infant and we don’t necessarily need to do that just yet. However, I will include some infant-proofing ideas.)
For ease, I’ve decided to write this as a list (again. I know, I love lists, but what can I say, they keep me from going off script). So here you have it, 8 Ways to Make Your Hotel Room Work For YOU (and, more importantly, your baby):
#1: Notify the hotel beforehand. Most (even halfway decent) hotels will have a feature when booking that allows you to tick if you are taking an infant along, and you can even make special requests. In our case, we were staying at (a very nice) hotel (The Grand Hyatt Singapore), and I was able to notify them ahead of time on our needs (and they did a spectacular job, but I will save that for a special review post coming soon!). Basically, we asked for a crib, a non-smoking room, and a sterilizer.
#2: When you get to the hotel, reset the air-conditioning. Not all hotels allow you to do this, but in those that do, make an effort to properly set the air-conditioning to a comfortable temperature. A lot of hotels have the ac cranked to “frosty” and this doesn’t really bode well with a baby. Keep it at a comfortable 24-degrees or so, especially if you’re in the tropics (don’t want to climate-shock the little one every time you leave the room).
#3: Pick a surface (a piece of furniture, a dresser, etc) that you can convert into your changing station. In our case, we were able to use the surface pictured above to lay out all of our changing needs, and we put his hand-carry right next to it for easy access. We also took one of the trash cans from its original spot and placed it there as our “diaper bin.”
#4: Pick a surface (in our case, this was the bar next to the mini-bar) that you can use as your feeding-and-cleaning station. The hotel provided us with a Pigeon sterilizer, so we actually were able to set up shop on the bar next to the mini-bar. It was perfect: we used a clean hand towel from the bathroom as the “drying rack”, and the fridge was right next to it for easy access to my expressed milk.
#5: Use the kettle! Most, if not all, hotels come with one of those plug-in electric kettles that warm water (for the free coffee and tea they provide, usually). In our case, this was the perfect item to use for heating water to warm bottles.
#6: Use the ice bucket! And related to #5, we used the ice bucket as our warming station. Just pour the hot water into the ice bucket and then plop your baby bottle in there for a quick heat (most hotel rooms have them by the bar, and they are usually of the smaller variety — not the massive ones you stick champagne bottles in).
#7: Bring something from home that’s easy to pack that your baby is used to sleeping in/with/on. If your baby is still a little one/quite young, and needs the scent of home, or some feeling of security when he/she sleeps, then this is a useful tip. We still have Lucas sleeping on his My First Years Sleeper (with the velcro, adjustable sides that help “position” the baby and/or make the baby feel nice and snug), and given as it’s made of foam, very light, and easy to cram into a suitcase, it made perfect sense to bring it along. We were able to put this into the Pack N’ Play that we were provided, and slept in it with ease.
#8: Set up your mobile! If you have a mobile like ours, which is really easy to dismantle and carry, and weighs next to nothing (ours is a PlayGro Safari Mobile; photo here), then it’s absolutely worth it. It made setting up the room, ordering room service, taking a bath, and even just enjoying some of the amenities as guests ourselves much easier.
Well that’s it for now. Will be back to talk more about traveling with babies and give a special review of our stay at the Grand Hyatt Singapore soon!