Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Traveling with Your Baby/Toddler: At your destination

Post 5 of 6 on Traveling with Your Baby/Toddler

If staying in a hotel, book a suite rather than a single room if possible. If HB wakes up in the middle of the night, she will not put herself back to sleep if she sees us in the room. Also, in a single room with a sleeping baby, you are a prisoner to your dark room. If baby wakes early (likely if you are changing time zones), one parent can entertain the baby in the other room while the other one sleeps. This is critical if you have come in on the red-eye!

See above Toys section on what hotel room items can be re-purposed as toys.

If traveling to a wedding or other big event, it pays to spring for the extra ticket to bring grandma or some other person along to help care for the baby while you are there. It takes much more work to care for a baby when you are traveling. You don’t have your familiar set-up and everything takes more energy.

We’ve also had good success in hiring childcare at our location. Contact your hotel for recommended nanny agencies. You can phone-screen a few potential candidates in the weeks before you leave and make sure to call at least two references for your chosen person. The nanny agency should be able to supply a copy of the background check, CPR certification, etc. Opt for experience over price. To aide the transition, I usually spend half an hour in the room with the nanny showing her around and getting her acquainted with the kids. Then, I spend 1 hour or so onsite at the hotel, but not in the room. (This is a great time to acquaint yourself with the hotel spa, gym, or pool!) If the nanny has problems, they can call you on your cell phone and you can respond quickly. Tell them that you will return in “about an hour or two”, and then check in earlier than that. If you arrive at the room and things look like they are going smoothly, you can feel confident to leave the nanny with the children with you off the premises. Leave detailed written instructions for what to do in an emergency including contact info for you, where you are going, your and the children’s full names, and contact info for someone back home who knows the children well. (A sign of a good nanny agency is that they will ask for this info ahead of time.)

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