Travels with EH

This past weekend we traveled to Delaware for the first of two baby showers held in honor of EH's two new impending cousins.  We traveled extensively with EH over the holidays, but we were always staying at someone's home.  While I know that DH's aunt doesn't mind having us stay at her house, we felt like we were really imposing and found it to be challenging to maintain EH's schedule when there was a lot of noise going on, and so for this particular weekend we made the decision to book a hotel room.

Since it didn't really matter too much to us where we stayed, we went through and placed a bid of $45 (pre-tax.)  We were pretty surprised to find out that our bid had been accepted and that not only were we getting a hotel room for $56 (post-tax) it was a Doubletree which is a three star chain. 

The hotel was lovely and we were thrilled with how everything worked out.  But there are a few things that we hadn't fully considered, and so if you're staying with an infant at a hotel, here are a few things to realize. 

1. The baby won't have his/her own room - 
This makes it challenging for naps/nighttime sleep when you're all in the room, but as much as possible try to create a quiet dark space in the room for your baby to sleep.  We put him in the closet for his first nap (in his carseat) until I came up with the Baby Cave concept (see below.)
2. Do your best to preserve your baby's sleep schedule - 
Traveling already throws off your baby's natural sleep rhythms, so do everything that you can to make sure that naps and nighttime sleep happen at their normal time.
3. Be prepared to spend some time alone in a dark and quiet room (or, if you can afford it, splurge for a two-room suite) -
We hadn't considered the fact that even after EH was asleep, someone would have to stay with him.

We've always known that EH was a light sleeper, but lately he's been even worse than normal.  He likes to be held while he sleeps and has really been resisting sleeping on his back as well.  So instead of lugging around the pack and play, we just brought his rocker along for this trip and we created his own little "room" for sleeping.

I present to you, the Baby Cave.

The Baby Cave is nothing more than the hotel desk covered with a comforter.  The comforter was heavy and dark so it blocked out a lot of light and noise. The only light that came in was from the side that we left open for circulation and peeking.  (I stuck my head in there a couple of times to make sure it wasn't too stuffy.)  We also put a white noise machine not too far from his head, so the white noise filled the tiny little space and blocked out a lot of the little, impossible-to-avoid noises that we made just by being in the room.

Of course, I realize that a Baby Cave won't work for everyone.  As you can see, EH is still sleeping in his rocker, so if your baby sleeps in a crib or pack and play, then it might not (probably won't) fit under the hotel desk.  But since EH hasn't wanted to sleep in his crib for the past couple of weeks, we haven't even been bothering with trying, especially when we have travel coming up and we know he'll sleep well in his rocker.

Once we got EH all set up in the baby cave, we then realized we had another problem - one of us had to stay with him.  This is always going to be a problem, but it was solved fairly easily for this particular trip because my brother-in-law's wife (they were staying in a room across the hall) offered to take EH's monitor since she was tired and wanted to relax in the room anyway.  So DH and I were able to have a couple of drinks at the hotel bar while EH slept - a nice "adult" moment in the hectic chaos that is traveling with an infant. 


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