Tips for getting a baby to sleep in a hotel room!

Parenting, Pregnancy, Birth & Babies, Sewing

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My amazing sister-in-law Xan and her family will soon be leaving Arizona and moving across the country. She invited all her sisters and SIL’s to a quick trip to Sedona as a last hurrah before she moves away. We just got back and had THE best time!


We left most of the kids at home, piled ourselves up high with snacks and chick flicks and did what women do best: ate, yakked and got creative. My MIL (the queen of DIY), brought several crafts and I hoisted my sewing machine along so I could teach my nieces how to sew skirts!

If there’s anything I enjoy as much as sewing myself something new, it’s teaching someone else how to do the same. We worked with knits and made a half circle skater skirt, a mini pencil skirt (I can’t even!!) and a maxi skirt. Didn’t they do a good job??


These girls are just the most adorable and sweetest things around. I had so much fun watching them play perfectly together, do each other’s fingernails and, of course, have a dance party (girl getaway requirement).


The scenery included gorgeous red rock vistas, pretty desert landscape (that’s a thing! It can be pretty!) and this fun old classic car. In a city full of snow birds, you’re bound to see a couple vintage cruisers.



Luke’s sister Katie provided her signature entertainment: flatulence and an adorable high-pitched giggle. We also learned how she’s been getting so many steps on her Fitbit: she likes to flip a balloon back and forth with her dominant hand. Apparently Fitbit thinks a flip of the wrist is a step. Now you know, in case you feel the need to cheat your way to a few more steps. Haha!


On the way back we found our way to the Rock Springs Cafe just north of Phoenix. It’s renowned for its pie so naturally we had to judge for ourselves. After picking up some treats (a full cherry pie for me and a couple mini lemon meringues for my babysitters), we stopped into a nearby thrift shop.

HOLY CRAP. We hit pay dirt. It was one of those out-of-the-way thrift stores that none of the local eBay sellers knows about and so there were all sorts of treasures! Check out my haul:

A Britax Roundabout carseat (in fantastic condition – these retail for over $150)
A Chicco high chair that hooks onto the dining table
2 pairs pink Converse shoes for the twins
A gold sequined Gap skirt for Juliet


I know it looks crappy now but just wait till it’s all cleaned up. I’ll probably reupholster it eventually but check out those lines! It has great bones and is super comfy to boot. #colddeadfingers

My grand total? TWENTY-SIX DOLLARS. The couch was $10 but all their furniture was 50% off. HA! I love other people’s junk.


Can’t really think of a better way to end a trip than with a big cheap car-full of loot. And can you please check out Mimi’s side eye in this picture (not to mention those thighs)? I die!!

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Here’s a close up for your viewing pleasure. I think all chubby babies should be required to wear too-small leggings.


And here’s the whole crew, minus a passed out baby in the car.


I thought I already had some pretty good tricks for getting babies to sleep undisturbed in a hotel room but this trip I learned a new one! Read on…

Babies and toddlers are notoriously cranky and unruly when schedules change and normal beds are unavailable so here are my favorite ideas…

  1. Use a portable crib in a walk-in closet. This only works if you’re staying in another person’s home or a nice condo/timeshare but if you can find a closet big enough, it’s GOLD! In fact, if your baby can’t crawl yet, a small closet will work just as well. Just lay out some blankets on the floor.
  2. Place a portable crib by the window and drape the curtains around it. If there’s a separate blackout curtain (most hotels have these) then leave that between the crib and the window. That way your baby is shielded from both sunlight as well as the noise and distraction of the room and other people in it.
  3. Put baby to sleep in the bathtub! My MIL came up with this trick on our Sedona trip and Marilyn slept, well…like a baby! We placed two flat pillows horizontally in the tub and laid her right in the crack of the pillows. She still likes to be swaddled and doesn’t roll around while sleeping so this worked perfectly. It wouldn’t be a great idea for an older baby, obviously. Our hotel room was a suite with a separate room for the bathtub/toilet so we turned on the exhaust fan and closed the door once she was asleep. Genius!

I’m considering writing a whole series of tips for traveling with babies and toddlers so if you have a favorite trick, please share it in the comments!

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  • Reply
    Bethany (Sew-Not-Perfect)
    October 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    For hotel sleeping with babies and kids – this is what we usually do. (We have 5 kids) We try to get a room with 2 queen and a pull out couch. We put the pull out mattress on the floor and the 3 boys sleep on it. Sometimes, the oldest boy sleeps on the refolded couch, but when we have a smaller baby we push the couch up against the side of one of the queen beds (this often requires a lot of moving of furniture). The seat of the couch is against the side of the bed and it serves as a kind of co-sleeper/crib for an older baby/toddler. So, often we have a baby in the couch/sleeper, two or three boys on the floor, a parent in each queen bed, and another kid that is either in a queen with a parent or on blankets on the floor because she likes to be with her big brothers!

    • Reply
      October 29, 2015 at 4:20 am

      Ooh, genius!!! Necessity is the mother of invention and there ain’t nobody more needy and desperate than parents vacationing with sleep-deprived babies 😉

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