We’ve stayed in 4 hotels already with our sweet, 6 week old baby. She is a great traveler and loves hotels. Just like adults, she seems to enjoy a change of scenery and especially enjoys all the colorful artwork common in hotel rooms and lobbies.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned so far.
Late check-out is awesome.
Hotels will often be accommodated if you request a late checkout due to your baby’s nap or feeding times. However there are some other ways to access late checkout.
– Various credit cards come with complimentary mid tier hotel loyalty program status. For example, I have SPG Gold through my Amex Platinum and therefore get 4pm checkout at Starwood i.e., SPG properties (Sheratons, Westins etc).
– Status that includes late checkout isn’t always too hard to obtain. You only need 5 stays with Hyatt for their mid tier status, which gets you 2pm checkout. Their highest tier gets you 4pm checkout but requires 25 stays.
– You can often status match from one hotel program to another.
Keep in mind that late checkout benefits are always subject to availability rather than guaranteed.
Kitchen equipped rooms, and expect to need to accommodate your kid.
We love to have at least a fridge and microwave. If we’re roadtripping, even bringing our microwave is an option we’ve done a couple of times (but usually don’t need too. You could also bring any other small appliance if you knew the hotel wasn’t going to have it e.g., coffee maker or sandwich press.) Our first day on our recent trip to Austin, we didn’t leave the hotel room all day. We were inside the room from lunch time when we arrived from the airport till 9pm when we went 0.4 of a mile down the road to get some food from Whole Foods before they closed. Why? The baby slept all night and all morning during the transportation portion of our trip, and then cluster fed the whole rest of the day. This was fine because we had enough flexibility to accommodate this.
We give her the occasional bottle if I run out of milk and she is still starving. It was good to be able to boil water and then cool it in the fridge. We also carry a few of the types of bottles that don’t need refrigeration for emergencies. If nursing, your milk might be less if you’re tired, dehydrated, or switching time zones. Or, your baby might develop a sudden need to cluster feed for hours if their routine is disrupted or they have an ultra long sleep (like our baby did.) Speaking of being tired I find it helpful to stay alert and awake through the day by taking a regular sip of coffee from my insulated spill proof stainless steel travel mug. Because it’s lid seals between sips it is safe to drink hot coffee around the baby which is a bonus.
Tag-teaming going to breakfast.
We usually stay places that have breakfast included because we tend to prefer 2 1/2 – 3 star type hotels. We took the baby down to breakfast for a little while but mostly we tag-teamed going to breakfast or Kathryn just bought me stuff up to the room. Obviously you want to train your kid to be able to go to breakfast together but you also have to have reasonable expectations of how much stimulation they can handle. For a newborn, this is a low bar. We were going to be taking her out for the day so taking her to breakfast with us wasn’t a priority. Instead she started her day with some quiet cuddling in the room.
We usually stay in rooms with a king bed, but have developed a preference for 2 bed rooms since the baby arrived. There is more space and it’s easier for me to nurse in bed without disturbing Kathryn.