hotel room safety for babies and toddlers

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lauras's picture
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hotel room safety for babies and toddlers

One of the most important pieces of travel advice I received as a new mother was to pack a length of duct tape wrapped around a pencil to use for babyproofing a hotel room. I used it to tape washcloths around the corners of a sharp coffee table, cover electrical outlets, and secure lamp cords among other things.

Some hotels, like the Breakers in Palm Beach, will babyproof a room before you arrive or upon your request. It's always a good idea to ask when you make your reservation if babyproofing supplies are available. And if they don't, bring the duct tape!

Any readers have other suggestions for easy-to-pack items that can help babyproof a hotel room?

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Before going anywhere I

Before going anywhere I always ask additional questions regarding the safety, because this is the most important when travelling with kids and like all moms I always worry first about that...

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Joined: 04/19/2008 - 18:33

Toddlers can get tangled in luggage racks too. A lot of hotels put out those X-legged stands for your suitcases, and little kids seem to like to get in under there and use it to stand up. Risky if you have a heavy bag... and who doesn't? '

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Last seen: 3 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/31/2011 - 18:39

- put a bag in front of the minibar
-move the phone, iron and ice bucket to unreachable levels
- create an entertaining pile of soft items (blankies, pillows, toys) so the baby is not inclined to go exploring and touching things like power outlets

i write lots more tips at momaboard. com but seem to be unable to post the links.

good luck!

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Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/22/2010 - 11:46

Its very important to check the hotel rooms for safety of kids first of all. The idea of inquiring from Hotel administration by phone before deciding to book will also be helpful.

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Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 14:45

The duct tape is a great idea! I had just been taking some of my extra outlet covers in a plastic bag! Duct tape will be less bulky!

todobigo's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2008 - 18:33

that's terrifying -- good advice. I've seen that in the Caribbean where even a 2nd floor balcony overlooking the hotel grounds might have bars that are so far apart that little heads could get stuck in them. I guess the only answer, unless you carry around lots of netting with you, is to stay alert. that's why we're parents!!

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Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/03/2010 - 19:04

Make sure you choose hotel rooms on the lower two floors. We once arrived at a hotel room and were placed on the thirteenth floor where there were no fly screens or safety screens. If the kids got onto the kitchen bench they could have fallen 13 floors straight down through the kitchen window!! Also we shut the curtains and pushed the bed up against it to hide a balcony that led from the children's room so they never even knew it existed.

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Joined: 04/11/2008 - 11:58

Because of all the electronic devices that we carry that need to be charged, we've found hotels that are new or have been remodeled have lots and lots of outlets. Many are up high luckily, like on the desk, but there are lots on the floor too. I love the tip about duct tape, but we have started calling the hotel to see if they have outlet covers and if they don't we carry our own.

lauras's picture
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Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
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Another useful item to carry with you is a supply of rubber bands. They can be used to tie back draperies that your child may try to climb (Mine did!) or keep power cords to lamps and phones out of the way.

I've also used my duct tape to cover the controls on an air conditioning unit that was placed low near the floor.

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Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2009 - 19:37

When I was a toddler my mother use to put snow mittens on me. It prevented me from not only getting my hands dirty, but also from letting my fingers get into sticky situations. Also look for small objects around the area that you put your child and make sure the trash can is not easily attainable.

ParadiseHunter's picture
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Joined: 09/14/2009 - 00:06

We tend to move around regionally a lot when we travel, so we've always just brought a "Pack and Play", which folds up nicely into an easily carryable case the size of a small suitcase. It literally takes a 1 minute to set up, and then we're not worried about the crib or cleanliness of the sheets.

lauras's picture
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Joined: 09/27/2006 - 08:00

If you're staying in newer hotels the baby cribs will most likely be up-to-date and meet safety standards. But if you're staying in an older hotel, and especially an older buget hotel or non-chain hotel, inspect the crib to make sure it's safe. The slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and there shouldn't be any cracked or missing slats.
If the sides of the crib are mesh, the mesh should not be torn or have any holes. Check to see that the headboards and footboards are solid (no cut-outs), and run your hands around the crib to make sure there are no sharp or jagged edges.

The mattress should fit snugly into the crib without gaps and be securely attached to the headboard and footboard. The crib sheets should be sized for a crib and should not be a regular bed sheet just tucked into the crib. Do not use adult sized blankets or comforters - you might need to call ahead and ask about this in case you need to bring some of your own bedding.

Some families really prefer buying a portable crib that they know is safe and hauling it along. THeir baby sleeps in a more familiar environment -- but when this isn't practical, keep in mind this checklist to make sure your baby is safe.

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Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 07/17/2009 - 17:01

Before we go to the hotel room with our kids we always wipe everything with wipes and then let our kids enjoy the room.

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Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 07/17/2009 - 12:35
Tape

I use the blue painters tape to tape cloths to sharp corners but duct tape for taping cords down. I also save the plastic "blockers" that come in the end of extension cords (sometimes) to plug up the outlets. Easily removeable (for me) but not for the kids!

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Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 07/15/2009 - 03:06
Baby travel ideas!

Haha, Duct tape comes in so handy doesn't it!

Yea this is a good little snippet to keep in mind, thanks!

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Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/17/2009 - 04:21

My wife uses ductape, it is very useful.

lauras's picture
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Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/27/2006 - 08:00

If you use a crib supplied by the hotel, take a few minutes and check it out --

Make surethe crib is set up properly and securely -and that the mattress is firmly supported and has a tight fit with out gaps between the mattress and crib.

Make sure that the sheets fit the mattress securely and there are no pillows in the crib.

Keep the crib away from windows, window blinds and blind cords, lamps and lamp cords and any plugs/cords that the baby might reach.

Double check that the crib sides are securely in place

If the crib is mesh , make sure its sides are securely locked up - children can get caught and suffocate in mesh cribs if the sides are down.

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Last seen: 5 years 4 days ago
Joined: 04/09/2008 - 00:00

Definitely go through the hotel room before you put your toddler down. Even look under the bed to make sure there's nothing there the maid might have missed. When our kids were little we always traveled with some sort of baby quilt or small blanket to put down on the floor as the toy and book headquarters. Makes the room seem like it's tidier. '

And i often brought out a new toy (or one I've put away for awhile) in a hotel room to keep them busy. It gave me a few minute just to lie down and relax. I second the duct tape idea. I used it once to tape a door shut so my toddler couldn't go in the bathroom and play in the toilet water!

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Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/05/2009 - 01:29

Thanks for the advice! Will go out looking for easily removable tape soon!

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Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/09/2008 - 00:19

I've used duct tape to tape washclothes to the corners of the coffee tables in hotel rooms and to cover outlets - works great. I also taped down a lamp cord once so my toddler wouldn't trip.

When we used a hotel crib we always asked if it came with bumpers because some of them don't. If they didn't have bumpers we either asked for extra bath towels (not blankets because they might not be clean) or we brought a couple of baby quilts and rolled them up to make bumpers.

We often rearranged the furniture to make the room safer and more convenient, but tried to always remember to put it back. And we ALWAYS tipped the maid as it seemed like there were always crumbs on the floor and all. For example, we once pushed a bed up against the wall and put chairs up against it to make a bed that our toddler couldn't fall out of. We made sure to put the bed back where it started.

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Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/20/2009 - 02:17

Not so sure about the duct tape, only because it could rip paint off of furniture, and it might lead to hotel charges later. But the tape idea is good. We used painters tape- the blue kind- that sticks really well but you can get off easily. We even used it in our house when our kiddo was just starting to crawl.

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