Saturday, August 8, 2009

Baby in Tow: Accomodations

While not as big of a hurdle as childcare, accomodations can prove challenging. Hotels are fairly amenable to babies, but you may want to ask about:
--the availability of cribs (and whether there is a charge)
--distance to the conference
--"stroller-friendliness" of the area
If the handicap accessible rooms are available at check in, this might be a useful option, as they tend to have more room between items (and room for a place for baby to sleep).

The conference I'm at is housing us in dorms. This was somewhat challenging, as they don't have pack n plays or cribs on site and are NOT baby proof or even friendly. This trip Chiquita has:
--"baptised" her doll in the toilet (no lid, and the bathroom is the only overhead light so I can't leave the door closed)
--pulled open a cabinet and hit her head with the door
--opened a desk drawer and shut it on her fingers
--crawled under the bed and hit her head

(believe me, I've intercepted her more times than not, but I'm not perfect!)

Some recommendations:
--figure out a safe place for baby to sleep. You could bring a pack n play, but a) you'll already be hauling half the planet for this trip and b) by the time you pay the airplane luggage fees you might as well have bought one at your destination. Some strategies you could try:
*find a colleague, friend, ANYONE and see if they know someone who would loan you a pack n play for the week.
*Check with churches for the same
*Try Craig's list. I "rented" a pack and play from someone selling baby stuff, and ended up getting rides from her too, for not much more than the taxi alone would have cost (more on that in the transportation post!)

--bring childproofing supplies. I brought electrical plugs, but rubber bands would have also been helpful in securing potential finger pinching cabinets. I also re-arranged the furniture to block other tempting but potentially harmful items (like the fan cord, blind pulls, stove, etc.

--bring items to make your child comfortable and secure. Now, you don't want to bring EVERYTHING, but if baby sleeps best with her pink silky blanket and a pacifier, bring it!

What other things have you done to make conference accomodations safe and comfortable for your baby?

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