Going on vacation with a baby or toddler? Just as you've babyproofed your home to keep your little one safe from hazards, you should do the same when you check into a new hotel room.
Your job will be easier if you bring some essential babyproofing supplies with you. Here's the rundown:
- Call ahead and ask your hotel if it can provide a travel crib during your stay. Many hotels will provide a Pack 'n Play or a similar model free of charge, but this typically depends on availability. The crib can double as a playpen and safe harbor if you can't keep your eyes on your baby for a few minutes.
- If your room has stairs, bring a travel baby gate.
- Use low-tack painter's tape to pin up drapery cords (which can be a strangulation hazard) to the wall. Tape down any loose electrical cords from lamps, alarm clocks and other items.
- Place outlet covers on electrical outlets.
- Do a sweep of the room on your hands and knees, at your baby's height. Be on the lookout for hazards such as corners on tables and beds. Wrap any sharp angles with a sliced pool noodle or (using your painter's tape) secure a facecloth or hand towel over corners and edges.
- Make sure that heavy items, like televisions and coffee makers, are secure. If the TV is sitting on a dresser or armoire, jiggle the furniture to be sure it won't sway if baby uses it to pull herself up. Push the TV away from the front edge of the furniture.
- Remove all potentially dangerous items that are within reach of your little one: Bath products and other toiletries, coffee cups and coffee pods/tea bags, pens, and any other loose items on low tables.
- Be sure that cords attached to table lamps are out of reach so your baby can't yank down a lamp on top of himself. Hide the cord or use painter's tape to secure it to a wall.
- Move germy garbage cans into a closet or place on a high table or shelf.
- Keep the bathroom door closed tight, even when nobody is in there.
- Tape the mini-bar/fridge and all cabinets and drawers closed, to prevent them from being raided and from pinching baby's fingers.
- Locate fireplaces and hot radiators. Place suitcases or other barriers to keep your baby safely away from heat sources.
- At baby's bathtime, always test water temperature before placing your baby in the tub. Place a rubber faucet cover over the spout to protect from head bumps.
- Does your room have a balcony? Move furniture away from the railing so that your baby can't climb or lean over. Never let your child go out on a balcony unsupervised. Keep the door closed when you're not outside.
- After housekeeping has cleaned the room, check to see if your previous babyproofing remains in place.
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