Why A Baby-Only Space In The Hotel Room Means Better Sleep (For Both Of You)

Traveling with children versus traveling with your partner or on your own will always be harder. But, when it comes to young children, especially babies, it can be quite the battle to get to the relaxation part of your R&R trip. A major frustration among parents with babies on vacation is how babies just don't quite want to sleep in a hotel room.

It could be the jet lag, it could be the new environment, or it could just be the noise. Whatever the reasons are, babies can get cranky and stay awake when you don't want them to. So, how do you deal with your baby's incessant crying, playing, or the general wide-awakeness and just get some sleep? The answer might be simpler than you think: Create a baby-only space. What does this mean? Exactly that — a space in your hotel room dedicated to nap or sleep time for baby.

Why this works

Creating a baby-only space in your hotel room works for a number of reasons. First, a dedicated space will help you to regulate noise or keep sound levels constant. Creating a quiet environment isn't the goal, but what you really want is to provide background noise for baby to sleep peacefully. This could mean playing white noise, music, or other consistent sound that won't startle your little one's slumber.

Second, it's dark, and a dark environment is conducive to sleeping. Darkness influences our circadian rhythm, sleep cycles, and melatonin production — factors affecting when we sleep and the quality of our sleep. The circadian rhythm is our body's natural clock which regulates our sleep cycle, and melatonin is our sleep hormone. Both basically tell our body that it's time for bed. A dark room can also help your baby to calm down because there's less to see that could stimulate them.  Another reason babies sleep better in a dedicated space is its familiarity. If you try to recreate or replicate their bedroom or sleeping space back home, then you're making them more comfortable which again helps them to prepare for sleeping time.

How to create a baby-only space in your hotel room

If you can, book a suite or an adjoining room where your baby can sleep. But, if you end up with just one room, a little creativity can still make this work. What's important is that you make this space comfortable, quiet, and dark.

"Put the crib in a large closet, any other nook in the hotel room or even the bathroom," certified child sleep consultant Lori Strong told The Points Guy. "In the bathroom, for example, it's usually dark and has a fan creating a built-in sound machine." If you decide to do this, however, expect to keep quiet when using the bathroom, i.e., you might want to postpone flushing when the baby is awake. Bring baby's favorite items or stuff that remind them of home too. For instance, their fave blanket or lovey are familiar things and might help them get comfortable and sleep better in the hotel.

If curtains in the bathroom allow light to slip in, you can clip them together or use a black garbage bag and some painter's tape to keep the light out, Strong added. And, to deal with hallway noise or the sounds of other toilets flushing, use a white noise machine or an app on your phone to drown out the sounds. Don't forget to turn off notifications or your baby's sleep — and yours — might get disturbed. Once you've done that, it's lights out and, hopefully, better sleep for both you and your baby.