We recently went on a destination first birthday for my daughter in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and with a 16 month-old and 12 month-old in tow, I got a crash-course on how to baby proof a hotel room. I’m pretty sure the girls touched, grabbed and climbed every square inch of our room within the first 10 minutes. I welcome you to learn from my mistakes!
1. Send an adult in to scope out the room first.
If you happen to be traveling with a partner, friend or older child, send them in to do the first visual run through for obvious baby no-no’s. For instance, those nice glass cups and mugs provided for guests? Toss them up in the closet for now.
2. Check the exits and balcony — your baby shouldn’t be able to exit alone!
First thing we did was let my 16-month-old climb the balcony to see how far she could get. Turns out, it’s very baby safe. Her head couldn’t fit through, her legs couldn’t catch traction, clearly the architect didn’t want babies falling off his or her property and they did well. My daughter could however walk out the front door even with the bolt lock. We noted to ourselves to always use the chain lock as well.
3. Look on the floor (and under the bedspreads!) for choking hazards.
Likely your room will be meticulously spotless as ours was, but you know by now that babies find things and put them in their mouths that adults can’t image.
4. Ask ahead of time for a crib.
Even if your baby has moved on to a big girl or big boy bed, you’ll likely sleep better if he or she is in the confines of a crib. At a minimum, you may just want the crib as a standby playpen should you need to use a curling iron at a safe distance.
5. Try to pull the lamps and TV down.
Yeah, that’s right — have at it. Most of the time these items are securely attached at a hotel, but just in case, give them all a tug.
6. Can your baby crawl into the mini-fridge (or break into your ice cream stash)?
Don’t worry, I have an easy solution to that one. Take a long belt (if yours are too small you can pick one up at the dollar store ahead of time) and fasten it around the fridge tightly. Then wiggle it around so that the buckle is in the back and away from little MacGyver hands.
7. See if the blinds or curtains have cords or strings.
These could be a strangulation hazard. Tie them up high out of reach (especially our of crib reach).
8. Where are you going to put your medications?
Take them out of your suitcase and put them up high straight away. The last thing you want to be doing is calling poison control (1-800-222-1222) on vacation.
9. Put away the suitcase stands.
Maybe it’s just me, but they look like an accident waiting to happen. Hopefully you have enough room to put your suitcase on a bed or even the floor can suffice.
10. Don’t hesitate to ask hotel staff to remove an item for your stay.
Is that swivel desk chair an Elmo substitute for your baby to jump on and fall? Most hotels will gladly take it away. Same as the coffee pots, glass pitchers and glass soap rests.
More posts from Rebecca this month: