When you travel with your infant and checks in a hotel, what are the problems that you usually encounter? When you hear the baby cry, what is your initial reaction? Do you turn and see what he wants or do you continue doing what you are doing thinking you would spoil him? Babies usually react to a change in environment. They sometimes have difficulty adjusting from home to a new place, like a hotel or cottage.
All babies cry sometimes. This is their only way to signal that they are hungry, uncomfortable, lonely or unhappy for some other reason. Since few sounds are as distressing as a baby’s cry, parents usually rush to feed or pick up a crying infant, especially when they are traveling or checked into a hotel. A hotel vacation may not work well for babies that they may seem fussier. As babies quiet down and either fall asleep or gaze about in alert contentment, they may show that their problem has been solved.
At other times, though, communication is not so clear, and the caregiver or the baby sitter cannot figure out what the baby wants. The baby keeps on crying and this can be frustrating for you and other hotel guests that are checked in near your room. Though most hotels will have sound proof walls, it would be distressing to have to stay in a hotel while the baby cries all night. It is worth trying to find ways to help.
By the end of the first year, babies who receive tender, soothing care cry less and communicate more in other ways, while the babies of punitive or ignoring baby sitters or parents cry more.
Parents do not have to be afraid of spoiling their babies by going to them when they cry. Infants cannot be spoiled by being picked up and held. The holding itself may be what they are crying for, especially when they are in a different environment. Other than illness, healthy babies cry when they are with strangers and strange environment. Some of the measures below often prove helpful:
- Hold the baby, maybe laying the baby on his stomach on your chest, to feel your heart beat and breathing. Or sit with the baby in a comfortable rocking chair. If there is no rocking chair that the hotel management can provide, you can prop up the pillows or stand and rock the baby side by side.
- Put the baby in a carrier next to your chest and walk around the hotel grounds. The different lights will catch his attention and will stop him from crying. Sometimes, hotel decorations are enough visual stimuli for babies to get distracted from crying.
- Make the baby warmer or cooler depending on his need. Put on additional clothing when the temperature is cold or take off clothing when the temperature is humid. If you are inside your hotel room, change the room temperature to suit the baby’s need. If this is not possible, call for room service or inquire on how the room temperature can be changed for baby’s comfort.
- Put on some of the nice clothes he received and let him see the colorful prints on them. Bring out some baby toys and play with him for a while. If the baby can crawl, let him crawl on the carpeted part of the hotel room. However, make sure that you oversee where he goes to avoid accidents or injuries.
- Ask the hotel service if you can change to a room that has baby furniture and equipment that you can use. If not, check into a hotel room that has lesser chances for the child to bump into and hurting himself.
- If you are upset, ask someone else to hold the baby. Infants sometimes respond to their parents’ or care giver’s mood.
- Wrap the baby snugly in a small blanket. Some infants feel more secure when firmly swaddled from neck to toes with arms held close to the sides.
- Give the baby a massage or a warm bath.
- Sing or talk to the baby or provide a continuous rhythmic sound, like music from the radio, a simulated heart beat or background noise from a whirring fan or toys.
- Take the baby out of the hotel room – for a ride in a stroller or car seat – at any hour of the day or night. If the weather is not good, you can try walking around the hotel lobby to get the baby distracted by the people coming in and out of the hotel.
- If someone other than a parent is taking care of the baby, it sometimes helps if the care giver or baby sitter puts on a robe or a sweater that the mother has recently worn, so that the baby can sense the familiar smell.
Babies behave uniquely right from birth. It is up to the people surrounding him to determine what irritates him, what he most like in order to achieve comfort and ease both for parents or caregiver during travel and hotel accommodations.