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First Hotel Stay with a Baby? Avoid These Mistakes Before and After Checking In

Mistakes to avoid when checking into a hotel with a baby: Picture of family checking in hotel
Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on January 3, 2020.

When you’re stuck in a hotel room with a crying infant because they have no idea where you have brought them for the night, you can start kicking yourself for even leaving your house. You might prepare and prepare for the flight but when you check in to your hotel, you realize you didn’t prepare for your baby to take up residence in a strange place for a few days. If you’ve never planned a hotel stay with a baby before, you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes that could hinder a smoother transition for your little one.

You Didn’t Request a Corner Room

Mistakes to Avoid During a Hotel Stay with a Baby: Father and son in bed in the morning

If you just show up to your hotel, chances are you’ll be placed in a room in the middle of a long hallway or right next to the elevator. When traveling with a baby, you need a quiet room. Other hotel guests can be noisy and so can your baby. Everyone can sleep soundly if you request a corner room. With this option, at least no one is on one side of you. These rooms also tend to be farther from the elevators that can be going at all hours of the night, waking up your baby. If a corner room isn’t available, you can pack a white noise machine or use a white noise app to try and drown out noisy neighbors.

You Didn’t Check About a Bathtub

These days, a lot of hotels have rooms with just showers. While you would assume that your room is going to have the shower-tub combination, this isn’t always the case. In the booking stages, see if you can reserve a room that has a bathtub. While you might think you can rough it for a few days, it’s much less of a hassle to bathe your baby in a tub as they would at home.

You’ve Reserved a Small Room

 Mistakes to Avoid During a Hotel Stay with a Baby: family having fun in a hotel room bed

Despite their small stature, babies tend to take up an obscene amount of space, especially while traveling. Not only do you have all of your baby gear, but you also have luggage with your personal items. Small hotel rooms can be a challenge with a baby, especially when they go to bed. You might find yourself sitting in the dark at 7 p.m. so that you don’t wake the baby. If it’s an option, consider booking a suite or look at apartment-style hotels. Parents have to use a discerning eye when booking a suite. Some hotels will call a room a suite, but the bedroom isn’t actually separated from the living room with a door. Apartment-style hotels usually have suites with kitchens. This can be useful with a little one when you need to wash bottles and prepare meals. Regardless, a small room can lead to feelings of needing a vacation from your vacation with a small baby.

You Forgot to Trial Your Baby in the Travel Crib

Hotel stays can be alarming for babies. They aren’t in a familiar place, which can throw sleep schedules into orbit. Babies especially like to be familiar with their surroundings, including their cribs. If you are packing a travel crib, your hotel stay shouldn’t be your baby’s first time in a portable crib. In the weeks leading up to your trip, you can try placing your baby in the travel crib for naps so that they get used to sleeping somewhere other than their crib.

You’re Tossing the Routines From Home Out the Window

 Mistakes to Avoid During a Hotel Stay with a Baby:Mother giving baby bubble bath smiling

Remember that time when cheap plane tickets to your destination were all you needed to get out the door on your vacation?  Yes, before a baby, travel could be much more spontaneous. After a baby,you can’t always act like you’re on vacation the entire time. Your hotel stay will go smoother if you try to stick to your baby’s routine as much as possible. You can set up areas in your hotel room that will make it feel more like home. And as babies like their routines, they tend to adapt when there are changes if they still have some semblance of their bedtime and daily routine from home.

Have you stayed at a hotel with a baby? What mistakes have you made? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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