Last week I returned to ABC 7’s The View from the Bay to discuss hotel babyproofing tips–with a few funny photos you might recall from here in the blog. 😉 If you missed the segment live, here’s your chance to watch!
Included here are some more tips for those of you gearing up for hotel and vacation rental stays with babies and toddlers, including things to know before you go, and what you can do on arrival to help ensure a safe and hopefully relaxing stay with your family.
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?
• Also, will the hotel provide a portacrib or pack ‘n play? You can use it 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.
Tip: Visit the hotel’s website to see pictures, read reviews from customers who have also stayed there with children (TripAdvisor.com is great for this), 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!
For more tips on Babyproofing On the Go, see related sections in Chapter 2 and Chapter 10 of Travels with Baby.