It’s Not Crazy If It Works~Tips for Sharing a Hotel with Baby

by Jessica on August 29, 2011

You can put a baby in a hotel portacrib, but you can't make him sleep

Most people find it slightly difficult to sleep in a strange bed in a strange place. Children, especially babies can have a really difficult time sleeping in a hotel room. There are many factors that can turn blissful sleepers to up-all -nighters when on the road. But there are creative and sometimes downright wacky solutions that have brought us the sleep we need . Most of these we stumbled upon out of sheer sleepless desperation.

Check out the view from my crib

Sleeping with Baby: The Basics

1. Along with your reservation, request a crib for your room. Be sure you know the safety requirements for cribs so that you can check your hotel crib for safety.

2. Set up a pack and play at home a few days before your trip and let your little one get used to sleeping in a different bed.

3.Bring along your own sheets and blankets so that your baby can feel closer to home. Don’t forget your baby’s favorite toy or lovey. If your baby uses a nightlight at home, bring it along too.

4. Bring a small white noise machine to help lull your baby to sleep. I like this one. You can also download a white noise app for your portable devices.

5. Request a room at the end of a hallway, but not next to a stairway. This will reduce the amount of traffic parading past your door just as your little one is drifting off to dreamland.

6.  If your budget will allow, book a suite to allow your baby to have their own room to sleep.

You guys think I'm about to fall asleep, doncha?  Suckers!

Sleeping with Baby: The Advanced Case

So, you’ve requested a crib for your hotel room. You’ve brought your little ones loveys, and pacis, and blankies. You’ve sung your goodnight song, but your sweetie just won’t sleep. What now?

In our house ,we have been blessed with four pretty great sleepers, at least at home. Most of the troubles we had with babies on the road had to do with the fact that our babies were used to sleeping in a room alone. If there were people around, then they were ready to party. At home, I’m a stickler for everyone sleeping in their own bed. On the road, I’m willing to do anything that gets everyone a good night’s sleep. With our first son, we tried rocking, co-sleeping, you name it, but it just didn’t work for that kid. He needed to sleep in a bed alone with no one around, which is not exactly easy in a hotel room. So, I present wacky solution #1

Hotels are awesome! I could do this for hours.  

7. The Canary Baby

In desperation in a hotel in DC, we learned that our first son would go to sleep happily if his crib was covered and he could not see us in the bed across the room. We learned to travel with a loose weave cotton blanket that we could toss over the pack and play. Ideally, we would nestle the pack and play close to a wall and cover three sides of the pack and play, but not the back closest to the wall, so to allow for plenty of ventilation. Under the blanket, he slept like a charm, and we slept happily beside him.

Wacky Solution #2 came along with Son #2. Canary sleeping was not for him, and neither were any of the other tricks up my sleeve. All the credit for this wacky idea goes to dad.

You guys are cah-ray-zee if you think strapping me in the car is going to make me sleep.  You can drive all you want, I'm not zzzzzzzzzzzz

8. The Car Sleeper

Once again desperate for sleep, this time in Orlando, we were searching for a way to get our baby to sleep. Without even thinking, dad scooped up the restless baby boy, grabbed his shoes and keys, and headed out the door. About an hour later, he returned with a blissfully sleeping baby and dropped into bed himself. In the morning he revealed his secret involved buckling baby boy into the car seat, cranking up the heat and waiting for sleep to come. We only needed to use this trick a handful of times, but we were grateful to have it when we needed it.

You’ve probably guessed by now that Son #3 led us to Wacky Solution #3. Neither the canary, nor the car worked for him. He needed his own space, like Son # 1 but didn’t like being covered up. Sometimes we found that we could stay in a suite and give him his own space, but often that wasn’t in the budget.

Hello, I'd like to file a complaint.  Can you believe my parents expect me to get in bed and sleep?

9. The Room within a Room

For Son #3 we began traveling with an expandable curtain rod and an inexpensive curtain. Most of the time, we found that the pack and play would fit in the hall way next to the bathroom. Then, we could attach the curtain in the entry to the bedroom and create a little room in the hallway that was separated from the bedroom and the other members of the family. With a nightlight in the bathroom,he was ready for a good night’s sleep.

Surprisingly, I have no wacky solutions inspired by Son #4. After ten years of sleeping with canaries and car babies, the powers that be decided to throw me a bone. Son #4 is an angelic hotel sleeper. We pop him in the crib; he smiles and coos, plays peekaboo awhile and then lies down and goes to sleep. My husband and I are still shocked at the ease of it all, but we loving every blissful minute of sleep it brings.

This post is a part of Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda


Barbara August 30, 2011 at 3:11 am

Great tips, thanks!  I have been blessed with an amazing hotel sleeper, no matter what the hotel "crib" looks like he will sleep in it immediately.  He always has his lovie and blanket though, so maybe that helps.  I hope baby #2 is a good hotel sleeper!

Jenn August 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm

That first picture is amazing.  Funny how different they all are! Our best trick – we had 2 queen beds in our last stay.. piled up all the extra blankets/pillows/ sheets and made a barrier on the bed closest to the crib, so even standing, our 18 month old couldn't see us.  We figured that one after night #1.. he woke up at 4 am, saw us in bed, and wailed.  I'm tired thinking about that morning!

Mama Spaghetti August 30, 2011 at 11:45 pm

You are so clever! I love the curtain rod idea! That's genius. 
We sleep with a white noise machine at home, and I love bringing it on the road for consistency.

Doreen August 31, 2011 at 12:16 am

Your photo's and post made me smile.  I remember those days so well and I am reminded when I travel with my grandchildren that they are all so different!
I am a new visitor and follower!

Melissa Cleaver August 31, 2011 at 2:12 am

Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop!  I'm a follower and I hope you'll stop by again soon!  Have a great day!  :)

Lisa August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I have enough trouble getting two to sleep in hotel rooms – I can’t imagine coping with 4! You certainly deserve to have one that sleeps like an angel!

Leontien August 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

haha i loved your post and i am not even a mommy yet! Great tips though!
Hopped over from the Moody Monday blog hop!
Hope to see you on my side of the fence sometimes!

Adrianne September 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

Love this post! My daughter is 8 months old, and we have yet to travel overnight with her. We have the same rule at home, everyone in their own beds. Does make me nervous to share a room. :)

Dropping by from bassgiraffe, new follower!
Adrianne –

Becca@R We There Yet Mom? September 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I Love these ideas!!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: