Keeping your tots safe in new accommodation
Master J is on the move this week! I am very much having a proud mummy moment, but I am also feeling totally and utterly outnumbered and out of control with three free-willed children running about!
I’m sure Globetrotters #1 and #2 had exactly the same fetish with electrical wires at this age but how quickly we forget! Even our ultra-child friendly house feels like a military assault course of death and destruction by Barbie shoes and hair clips.
So what do you do when arriving in unfamiliar territory with an unstoppable adventure tot? Entering a new hotel room can be like handing a baby an armed grenade.
Now I’m not an overly precious Mumma – I’m more from the ‘dirt’s good for them’ end of the spectrum – but with years of hotel room experience and mummy instinct, I can baby-proof a new room in about two minutes flat (we all have our special talents).
This post is part of our best baby travel advice series
5 quick and really easy tips to make things a little more ‘baby-friendly’ on your arrival
1. Clear the surfaces
Yep, everything. Those ornate vases, beautifully laid out blotter pads and courtesy pens, guest directories, in-room dining menus – grab the whole lot – anything that could possibly be in arms reach and put it in a cupboard; waiting to ‘see if junior can reach’ is like a red flag to a bull, just remove the temptation completely.
2. Electrical cords are your foe
They can’t be avoided entirely but do a sweep when you enter the room; anything that looks as though it can be pulled down, try to relocate – or at worse, ask housekeeping to remove particularly precarious objects during your stay.
You don’t need to go overboard but do duck down to baby’s height and scan the room just as they would see it.
For our electronics, we are big fans now of just taking one converter plug with a power board attached to charge all our devices. Look for a plug, if possible, behind a bed or desk, then put the power board up high where all your chargers etc. (should!) be out of reach.
3. Check Balconies
Whilst building regulations in most countries should require the gap between slats in a balcony railing to be smaller than a child’s head (a generally accepted rule of thumb internationally appears to be 4 inches) – many places you visit may not comply with this.
Make a quick assessment (you don’t need to pack a ruler just some common sense!), and if you think the gap is too wide, or perhaps an older child can climb up over the balcony, see if the door to the balcony can simply be locked, it’s not worth the risk.
4. Make your own playpen
At home, you might be happy for baby to freely explore the floor, but I would be incredibly dubious in a new environment. Even if the carpet looks clean and you’ve done a quick scan under the bed for any potential treasurers left by a previous tenant, be wary of simply letting bubba roam.
As long as they haven’t hit the pulling themselves up and over objects stage, the playpen will allow you to relax a little in your room, knowing they are safe.
Recommended Buy: If space will allow, the California Beach Co Pop N Go is a brilliant versatile piece of travel kit that can be used both indoors and out – see our full review here or check it out on Amazon.
5. Defend thy cupboards!
While your surfaces might be clear, the most avid little explorers will, of course, still try to find anything they can to open and explore.
Some very small and easy slip-on door catches might just do the trick to contain curious cupboard lookers; these are seriously the lightest and easiest childproofing tools you can easily pack. Failing which, even some well-placed elastic bands or hair ties can do the same job.
I’ve heard people suggest taking everything from table corner protectors to plug covers (but will they fit the plugs at your destination?) If you’re really that concerned or junior has displayed a particular fetish for destruction this month then sure – use your packing space as you will – but there’s no need to go over the top.
We love these additional hotel tips for toddlers by Consistently Curious!
I am far from overly cautious, but it only takes minutes to remove the worst forms of temptation for destruction, and before you know it, they have outgrown this phase.
More baby travel tips!
Don’t forget to check out these posts for more advice travelling with your tot:
- Everything you need to know flying with a baby
- How to breastfeed and pump milk on the go
- Best travel toys for your one-year-old
- 10 Baby travel essentials we never leave home without
- Our complete guide to road tripping with a baby
- Essentials you will need camping with a baby
Do you have any hotel room rituals you follow on arrival or suggestions on how you keep your little ones safe when arriving in unfamiliar territory?
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