Dr. Sarah Mitchell
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How to Help Your Baby Sleep in a Hotel Room

On my exit calls with clients, the number 1 asked question is “How to Get Baby to Sleep in a Hotel” or “While Traveling”.

This post will teach you 4 simple ways on how to sleep with baby in a hotel room.

How to Help Your Baby Sleep in a Hotel Room

1.  Bring her sleep cues from home

The great thing about having a consistent bedtime routine and sleep space is that you can easily bring many of those cues with you when you are traveling and help your baby sleep in a hotel room.  I’m talking about her sleep sack, lovie blanket and sound machine/lullabys that cue her that it’s sleep time.  Hotels should have a crib or a pack and play that you can use that will fit your needs.

You’ll want to invest and bring a comfortable crib sheet for the pack and play or a crib sheet for the hotel’s crib.

You’ll do the same bedtime routine you would at home, but you will have given her time to explore and get used to her surroundings before bedtime.

If you have a baby, scroll down below to check out the pack and play I recommend for toddlers.  You can also use it for babies.

2.  Black It Out

Most hotel rooms will already have black out curtains and make it as dark as possible for naps and bedtime to help your baby sleep.  The darkness allows melatonin to be released which signals her body that it is time for sleep.

Most hotel rooms will have good black out curtains but if not, or if you’re at your inlaws, you’ll want to invest in travel black out curtains.  These Gro Anywhere Blind have suction cups that you can stick onto the windows, with a generous edging, to keep the light out.  Priceless.

Baby Sleep in a Hotel Room

3. Set Up a Boundary

If your baby or toddler isn’t used to sleeping in the same room as you, she’ll think it’s really cool that you’re in her line of sight now and wake up and ask to see you more.

Options:

  • Get a hotel room with a suite. You can put the pack and play in the bedroom. So you can watch tv in the living room until late. Or you could put it in the living room so that your baby won’t be distracted by seeing you in the night.
  • Put the pack and play in a big walk in closet if it’s available.  Just make sure the ventilation is good.  I’ve heard of parents even using the bathroom for a separate sleep space when it was big enough.
  • If she has to be in the same room as you, this Snooze Shade can be helpful to create a boundary from seeing you.  It is best for babies who can’t yet stand.

TODDLERS

It’s actually easier to travel with babies as they are confined to their cribs.  When your child gets to the 2-3 age range it can be tricky as they might be too big for a pack and play but not quite big enough for the freedom of a bed, or you might worry they will fall out of bed.  Completely legit concerns!

If your toddler isn’t used to sleeping in your bed, it’s gonna be a world of hurt to let her in your bed at night in the new hotel room.

She might roll out of bed and this worry will keep you up all night.

She’ll probably kick you more than you ever thought possible, which will leave you feeling cranky and tired the next day.

Invest in a toddler travel crib

This Lotus Travel Crib is helpful as it’s a little longer than a pack and play, and you can zip it from the side.

This can be super helpful if your toddler needs a little help falling asleep in the new environment.  You can lie on the floor beside the crib and offer physical and verbal reassurance to your toddler… and keep her out of your bed.

This crib is helpful to keep her in her own space, where she usually sleeps best.

Bay Area Sleep Consultant
Pool noodles

Say what?! Pool noodles?  Yep, pool noodles are a cheap and easy way to create your toddlers’ own space in the hotel room.  Put them under the sheets at the edge of the bed, and in between the two of you, to delineate her sleep space.

Mountain View Sleep Consultant
Get a toddler doc a tot

This might not be so easy to bring if you’re flying, but the toddler sized doc a tot serves its purpose by creating a boundary for which your toddler is to sleep.

It will have her feeling safe and secure and stop her from kicking you!  This is recommended from age 9 months to 36 months so this is another option for younger babies.

Mountain View Sleep Consultant

4. For Babies and Toddlers: Manage Your Expectations

You will have a great vacation but your baby may wake up more at night.  This is true for even the best of sleepers.

Toddlers and babies often take longer to fall asleep in the new environment and the fact that you are in the room, when you aren’t at home, can be very exciting for her.

Do your best to enjoy your vacation and you might end up nursing back to sleep or rocking back to sleep more than you planned.

You do what you have to do on vacation to get by.  You can always revisit your sleep tactics when you return from your vacation.

So, If you are looking for more travel tips you can check out my blog post.

8 Ways to help your Baby Sleep When Traveling.

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