My #1 Baby Travel Hack

Sep 4, 2016

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When you regularly travel with kids you eventually pick up a trick or two that makes your life easier. Whether it is no-limit-screen-time on planes, or always having a big plastic baggie in your purse to hold contaminated items, or having diapers and other baby items delivered to your final destination ahead of time, there are endless ways to tweak simple family travel tasks to things more seamless.

One of these simple but genius hacks when traveling with a baby is to do whatever it takes to make sure that the crib is not in the same sleeping area as the adults and/or older children. In most cases, and unquestionably in our case, everyone sleeps infinitely better when the crib is in an entirely different area of the room, suite, or house.

Whenever possible we like to try and get suites so that we have enough space to put the baby in one area and the rest of us in another area when it is time to sleep. However, availability and budgets don’t always allow for suites to be a reality, and when that happens you have to get more creative.

We are currently at the beautiful St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami as one of our “SPG Amex Stars” trips (much more to come on this soon!), and while they generously provide two nights in a standard room as part of this program, any upgrades beyond that are up to us to negotiate, pay for, luck into, etc. As I typically do, I tried to see what it would take to pay a cash co-pay to go from a standard room to a suite. This isn’t because I’m a Fancy Pants who is too cool for a normal room, but because we just don’t all sleep well at all in the same space.

Beautiful views at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, but no dice scoring a suite
Beautiful views at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, but no dice scoring a suite

I don’t know if it was because of Labor Day Weekend or if it is just their policy at this specific property, but I was told that the only way to go from a standard room to a suite was to pay the full regular selling price difference. As a side note, I think everyone wins when otherwise unsold suites can be had for a reasonable upgrade price, but I totally understand that isn’t always possible. So, since the $1,000+ it would have cost us to get into a suite wasn’t going to happen for this two-night stay we resigned ourselves to challenging sleep without an extra space for the baby’s crib.

However, as soon as we walked into our 650+ square foot room I saw that we were in the clear. The bathroom had plenty of room for the crib!

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Huge bathroom became a nursery!
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Closet would have worked, too

Not only that, but in a fantastic turn of design events, the toilet was in its own room separate from the bathroom, so putting her asleep in the bathroom wouldn’t preclude us from using the restroom!

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Didn’t even have to give up toilet access!

The walk-in closet was actually large enough for the crib, too. Even though this standard room is unusually large as far as standard hotel rooms go, the baby travel hack is applicable in other rooms, too. Even if you have to potentially give up the bathroom for the night, it is usually worth it to put the baby’s crib in a creative place in order for everyone to sleep better. Since sleep is so important, it is actually my #1 baby travel hack.

Baby travel hack!
Baby travel hack!

After about five minutes of fussing at bedtime, she went to sleep, slept in the dark and quiet room with her iPad white noise app humming all night, and woke at bright eyed 8AM local time ready for the day! I can guarantee if we were all in the same room the tale wouldn’t have been as happy.

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So, it may seem weird or cruel, but don’t hesitate to put baby and her crib in the corner…or the closet, or the bathroom, or wherever in your hotel room that you think everyone will get the best sleep possible!

Have you set up the nursery in the hotel room’s bathroom, too? What is your favorite baby travel hack?

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