How To Stay At A Hotel With Your Kids
Remember when you look forward to getting away to a hotel? How relaxing it was to enjoy a movie in a fluffy bed, maybe a cozy robe, and as much hot water as you wanted. Bringing kids to a hotel room kind of shatters those ideas, right?! While yes, staying at a hotel with your baby or toddler is not exactly relaxing...I want to encourage you that sleep can still be a thing, even in a strange bed!!
Below you’ll find 3 different ways you can have a successful hotel stay with your family. No matter the budget, let’s get those kids to sleep! (All while in that fuzzy robe!)
NOT ON A BUDGET!
If you have a bigger budget while traveling to a hotel, I would recommend booking two rooms that are joined together by a shared door. This is THE best option for allowing your child (or children) to have a separate sleeping space like they’re used to, and not feel like you have to hide under the covers or in the corner of a dark room at 7PM!
When you get to the hotel room, show your child their room, and have them walk to your room to explore! Show them where they will be sleeping and then were you will be sleeping. Say something like, “Mommy and Daddy will be right over here! Isn’t this so cool! Our rooms are attached together! This is so cool!”
When it’s time for bed simply complete your bedtime routine as usual in the kid’s room, ending with them in the pack-n-play or in the bed, turn the sound machine on, turn off the lights, say goodnight and leave the room. If you have a toddler, you might consider leaving the door cracked for their comfort of knowing where you are.
Once they go to sleep, feel free to completely close the door and now ENJOY watching tv, sitting on a balcony, reading...whatever you’d like!
Don’t have a monitor anymore? Consider purchasing this $29 WIFI monitor for occasions where you may want an eye/ear on your kid in a new space!
ON A ‘FLEXIBLE’ BUDGET
A suite it is! Find a room in the hotel you can book that has a half-way to separate the parent sleeping space from a pull-out couch/lounge area. Having even just a barrier to visually separate can be helpful for your kiddo to fall asleep without being distracted.
When you get to the hotel room, acclimate your child to the room. Let them crawl around, hop on the beds, and show how the couch pulls out to be their bed! Or, set up the pack-n-play and tell them “This is your room tonight! Right next to mine!”It’s always worth it to pump up how cool this new space is for your child, and be playful about it.
When it’s time for bed simply complete the bedtime routine as usual in your bathroom/room ending with helping them into the pack-n-play or tucking them into the couch bed. Turn off as many lights as possible, turn the sound machine on, say goodnight, and walk to the other side of the room.
Depending on the child and their sleep expectations, you may be able to turn a lamp on once they are asleep (the beginning of the night is a deep sleep!) or even watch a movie on your laptop/tablet. Bonus points if you have a balcony and can go out there and enjoy the evening!
ON A STRICT BUDGET
Room sharing with your kids in a hotel room CAN be done, but let’s set up our expectations. It may take your kids a while to fall asleep and they might wake early. That’s okay! This is a temporary stay, so when you get back home we’ll hop back on track!
When you arrive to the hotel room, acclimate your child to the room. Let them crawl around, hop on the beds, and show them which bed they’ll be sleeping in (or set up the pack-n-play in their space). Tell them, “This is going to be so cool! We’re all sleeping in the same room tonight! You’ll sleep here, and I’ll sleep there. What do you think about that?!”
When it’s time for bed simply complete the bedtime routine as usual in your bathroom/room ending with helping them into the pack n play or tucking them into the bed. Turn off all the lights, turn the sound machine on, say goodnight, and either hop in bed yourself...sit on the balcony...in the hallway (if you have monitor set up)...or in a chair within the dark room.
Depending on the child, you may be able to use a laptop/tablet after they go to sleep. If they’re anything like our kids...they’ll be awake for about an hour due to how exciting this all is! Roll with it for now, and when you’re back home get back on track!
WHAT TO BRING TO THE HOTEL
SlumberPod: Room sharing? This is the PERFECT way to set your baby/toddler up in a space that will be dark! It is totally blackout inside, has a space for your monitor to fit on the top, and allows you to turn the lights on in your room!! Use code LITTLEZSLEEP10 to save $10 on yours!
Noise Machine: Hotels are so unpredictable! The air is loud and cuts off randomly. Other guests run around the halls until 10PM. Construction is happening right outside the window. BRING THIS MACHINE WITH YOU!
Toddler Clock: If your child uses one at home, bring it with you here! It’s the familiar tool that cues them when it’s time for sleep and when they should expect morning to be. *it’s okay if you have to bump AM time up ;) SEE MY FAVORITE ONE HERE!
Comfort Items: You’re in a new environment and they’re likely sleeping in a strange bed. Don’t forget their stuffed animals, small security blanket or whatever your child likes to sleep with!
Bedtime Book: Bedtime Routine is such a critical part of your child’s sleep expectations. Bring along a book they love, and snuggle in their/your bed to wrap up the routine together.
But Becca! My baby wakes multiple times a night! How will I handle wakings at a hotel room?
Check your calendar before you head off on vacation. Do you have 2 weeks (4-16 months) or 3 weeks (17mo+) before your trip? Now is the time to sleep train them!! >>GET YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP COURSE!
Keep me posted this summer on your hotel stays! Share your stories, wins or even…fails :) We all have them!