Babyproof your hotel room

Tips for babyproofing your hotel room:

Good things to know before you go:

  • Will there be a balcony? Are the railing balusters safely spaced for small people (don't assume they will be even at U.S. hotels), and does the door offer an extra lock for safety to ensure your child can't open it alone?

  • Are the windows child-safe? Not such an issue in most chain and international-type hotels, but smaller inns, vacation rentals, and hotels abroad may have very old windows or charming large windows that can be a problem with small children.

  • Is there a heater or AC unit with controls down at your child's level?
Will the hotel provide a portacrib or pack 'n play you can use to help two ways:
  1. A safe place to put your child at times when you don't want them having free access to the room, such as while you're doing the initial childproofing or using the bathroom, etc.

  2. A blockade to certain temptations like the minibar, heating or AC unit, in-room electronics and cords, or other issues.
Visit the hotel's website to see pictures, read reviews from customers who have also stayed there with children (TripAdvisor is great), and don't hesitate to call and ask the hotel directly.

Some of the biggest concerns to check immediately upon arrival:
  • Windows and doors are latched and locked securely. Use that extra chain or lock up above to help keep your toddler from sightseeing without you!

  • Cords and outlets are out of sight and reach. Check especially around desk and dataport areas, floor lamps. In many cases you can lift the extra cords up above tables and slightly move furniture to block access. Don't be afraid to rearrange furniture!

  • The bathroom door lock will not be a problem. You can add a "finger guard" if you want to prevent your toddler or preschooler from locking it closed or getting fingers pinched, or add a door knob cover if you don't want your toddler opening the door in the first place. Both options are small and travel easily.

  • Do a basic sweep to make sure there aren't any coins or other hazards hiding under furniture out of your sight-but not necessarily out of your child's!
About Shelly Rivoli:

Shelly Rivoli has traveled with a baby in tow across the U.S., over both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and around the Mediterranean Sea. Together, her family has made its way by airplane, elephant, subway, train, cruise ship, taxi, and long tail boat.

After changing diapers in Thailand, Tunisia, Manhattan, Yosemite, Paris, Chichen Itza, Hawaii, and Pompeii, she has grown quite familiar with the technical details of traveling--and sightseeing--with babies, toddlers, and young children.

Shelly's travel guidebook, Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children, received a 2008 NAPPA Gold Award in Parenting Resources from the National Parenting Publications Awards and was a finalist for two ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

Her family travel tips and advice have appeared in national parenting magazines, including Pregnancy, Parents, Parenting, and Nick Jr. Magazine, and on popular parenting websites and blogs including Babble.com, Urban Baby Daily and aParentlySpeaking.

>> Buy this book on Amazon: Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children

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