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Traveling With a Newborn Baby: At a Restaurant or Hotel

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Are you planning on traveling with your newborn? Here are some tips to follow if you are going to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant or staying in a hotel.

Note: Keep in mind that the doctor may recommend that your baby avoids crowds if he or she is younger than three months old. This is because a newborn’s immune system is not fully developed yet, so colds and other infections are more likely. Before you plan your baby’s first trip, it is a good idea to talk to the doctor to be sure that it is safe.

Going to a Restaurant

If you are planning to go into a restaurant with your baby:

  • Pack supplies to change your baby’s diaper. Also pack feeding supplies and a change of clothes. You may want to bring a small blanket in case it is chilly inside.
  • Try to feed your baby before you go to the restaurant.
  • Bring toys and a pacifier.
  • Ask the hostess to seat you by the window. This will give your baby a chance to look outside. But be sure that the sun is not shining directly on your baby's face.
  • Look for a table that has room for the stroller. If your baby is sleeping peacefully, you will want room to keep the stroller beside you. If you have a stroller where the car seat or bassinet can be removed, you may want to sit on a bench-style seat. This will allow you to place your baby beside you. Make sure the bench is wide enough and safe before placing your baby there.
  • If you and your dining companions are ordering hot liquids, be sure to keep these away from your baby. Be careful not to spill anything on your baby. You will also want to make sure that your baby’s stroller is not in the waiters' way, so that they will not bump into the stroller and accidentally drop something on your baby.
  • If your baby begins to cry, hold them and walk around.
Staying at a Hotel

Are you planning on staying in a hotel room? If so, here are some tips for your baby’s first night away from home:

  • When you are making reservations:
    • Ask if the staff can place a crib in your room. Keep in mind that the crib may not be the highest quality or meet the latest safety standards. Another option is to buy a portable crib, one that you feel comfortable with.
    • Find out if the hotel has a family section. If they do not, ask for a room that is separate from other rooms to decrease the chance of bothering other guests when the baby cries.
    • Some hotels still allow smoking in the rooms. Be sure to reserve a non-smoking room. Also, to make it easier to bring your baby and luggage into the room, ask for one on the first floor.
    • Find out if there is a mini refrigerator in the room. If there is not, some hotels will add one for a fee.
  • When you arrive at the hotel:
    • Ask the staff where the closest store is located. You may need to pick up supplies, like diapers and formula.
    • Check the room for any items that could be dangerous for your baby.
    • Give your baby a chance to relax and stretch. You may want to give a lukewarm sponge bath.
    • Try to stick with your baby’s normal eating and sleeping routines.

As you get more adapted to traveling with your baby, going out to eat or staying somewhere outside of home will be more comfortable for you and your baby. The most important point to remember is to be prepared by packing the supplies that you will need to take care of your little one.

RESOURCES:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org

Kids Health—Nemours Foundation
http://www.kidshealth.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
http://www.sogc.org

References:

Travel safety tips. American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/travelsafetytips.cfm. Updated July 2013. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Traveling with a baby. Children’s Physician Network website. Available at: http://www.cpnonline.org/CRS/CRS/pa_travelai_pep.htm. Updated July 25, 2012. Accessed May 8, 2014.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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