Oh, the amount of gear you need when you have a baby. There’s the baby tub, diapers, monitors, car seats, high chairs and cribs – and that’s right at home. What do you do when you want to hit the road with your baby but don’t want to take the whole house with you?
Do not worry. You really can travel with your baby without losing all the gear, especially when you know ahead of time what to expect at your destination.
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More and more often, hotels are offering equipment and accessories suitable for families. It can allow you to take a real vacation by providing you with all the tools you need without having to transport them to your destination.
Here we will list some of the best amenities that hotels have available for those with babies and toddlers. Of course, not every hotel has every item, so ask ahead to be 100% sure that all mission-essential items are available.
Pack ‘n Plays, high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available at many hotel chains, so you don’t have to pack all that bulky gear and potentially be charged for extra luggage on your flight.
You’ll find affordable hotels like Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott as well as upscale chains offering much of what you need at no extra cost. For example, just ask and the Four Seasons Las Vegas will have a high chair, playpen, and crib waiting for you in your room, along with a basket of baby essentials.
Of course, if you’re still breastfeeding, don’t forget to bring your breast pump if you use one. (Here’s what you need to know about fly with breast milk in the USA)
Leave the bulky stroller at home and skip the annoying check-out process if you can manage at the airport without it. Some hotel chains are now offering free strollers, including properties owned by Loews and Four Seasons. Sure, many hotel strollers are your regular umbrella types, but the high-end properties up the game with the top crust of baby wheels. The Mark Hotel in New York, for example, offers an entire fleet of custom-designed Maclaren strollers.
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Nannies and babysitters
Want to escape for a romantic candlelit dinner in a famous restaurant? In-room child care with approved and trusted local babysitters, as well as full-fledged nanny services, are increasingly available at hotels, especially at all-inclusive or upscale resorts. Club Med family properties, including the Club Med Quebec Charlevoix which opened in Canada in December 2021, offers Baby Club Med, where babysitting and evening activities are available for infants and toddlers, in addition to programs for older children up to at 17 years old.
At Franklyn D. Resort in Jamaica, your all-inclusive price includes your own nanny who is available for day or evening care. At St. Regis Punta Mita ResortTPG’s Summer Hull hired a nanny she loved for several hours a day for their baby while their five-year-old was able to attend the free kids’ club on site.
And of course, many hotel chains and resorts, like Grand Hyatt — also often offer traditional kids’ club programs for older kids, usually starting at age three or four if they’re potty trained.
From basic milk and cookies at the end of a long day of exploring a new destination to costumed actors reading bedtime stories with a whole range of treats, “night to night” in a new bed for your kids will be a breeze when you add the amenities of a hotel. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, can bring a pirate, princess, and parrot to your room with treats and a treasure chest of treats for a bedtime story with—what else? — princesses and pirates.
In-room tents, toys, and more are sometimes options. True to the Ritz-Carlton, this chain also sometimes offers an in-room camping package as part of its Ritz Kids program.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is a Category 7 property in the Marriott Bonvoy Program, with nights ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 points. You can also transfer Chase the Ultimate Rewards points in your Marriott account on a 1:1 basis.
You won’t have to worry about electrical outlets, hard edges, or other in-room hazards when you stay at properties that offer child safety features. Kimpton boutique hotel (part of the IHG Rewards Club) – with over 35 properties across the country (and on the Mommy Points list as one of best hotel chains for families) – has what you need. Thanks to Kimpton Kids, outlet covers, toilet latches, and other safety gear are available, along with nightlights to help everyone see better at night (and ward off under-bed monsters). Kimpton Kids is available in cities including Hotel Monaco Philadelphia and Hotel Paloma.
mom and dad treats
When bedtime is as early as 7 p.m., what should mom and dad do for the rest of the night? If you are staying in a Large complex of wolves, of which there are more than a dozen nationwide, you can order from the Wine Down service. Sweet and savory treats accompanied by a selection of wines can be delivered to your room — quietly — so you can enjoy them while baby sleeps. Parents get a text message when room service comes to the door to avoid waking the kids, and prices are as low as $35.
Spa treatments for toddlers
Think massages are just for adults? The 25-minute toddler massage for children ages 3 and up at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Resort Kids Spa in Mexico aims to promote sensory and cognitive development and is accompanied by music by Mozart. Worth a try, right? The resort can also provide a baby’s first haircut and present parents with a certificate to commemorate the special occasion.
Baby food on the menu
In Europe, and slowly coming to US resorts, families can find properties with pureed fresh fruits and vegetables on menus to feed your little ones. Hotel Serena in Italy offers pear, apple and mixed fruit purees for breakfast and vegetable, fruit, meat and fish purees from the garden for lunch and dinner. In the United States, one of the best chains for healthy eating is Fairmont. Ideal for toddlers, the brand’s Lifestyle Cuisine has created menus to meet dietary demands with low-fat, vegetarian, low-carb and healthy variations of kid’s foods. (Plus, kids under 5 eat free.)
Luxury hotels make your life easier by equipping your room or suite with all your baby’s needs. With just one call to a Baby Butler, like those found at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Chicago, you can request items such as diapers, wipes, lotion, pacifiers and more. The mini bar fridges can be emptied before your arrival so you can use them to store milk and baby food.
If a hotel doesn’t have what you need – or want – there are also companies that rent items and have them at your hotel when you arrive. baby traveling is a good option if you are interested in renting a vacation home and want to stock it with the items you need. Many hotel brands also work with rental agencies, so if a hotel doesn’t offer special equipment for babies, inquire about other options.
At the end of the line
From in-room camping for the little ones to quietly delivered wine and treats for the adults, some hotels get it right when it comes to the needs (and wants) of young families. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure that anything you plan to leave at home — but will need — can be provided by the hotel or a rental service.