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What to look for in a room

Booking the room in advance:

Regardless of the destination you choose, there are certain points to consider as you reserve your room. Find out ahead of time by calling the resort if they will baby-proof the room for you. In many instances, I have indicated whether this service is performed. Some resorts will baby-proof for you, others will provide a baby-proofing kit, and some will do neither. You need to know this in advance and plan accordingly.

If you are journeying with very young children or vacationing with multiple children, think about booking a suite. When I started this site, my oldest daughter was just a baby, and a decent-sized room was sufficient for us when traveling with her. By the time my second child was born and my older one had grown into a toddler, we had outgrown the single room and needed a suite. Of course this is even more true when travelling with a larger or extended family.

The internet makes it easier and easier to book rooms online now, but sometimes it can be a good idea to pick up the phone and call the resort to get your specific questions answered. As you book the room, you will want to find out if you will have a refrigerator and a VCR (for playing entertaining andfor kid videos). When travelling with babies or young toddlers, there are some specific issues to remember. If you are not planning to bring a portable crib, request one as you make your room arrangements. You might want to bring your own sheets and definitely your child's favorite comfortable blankets even if you have a crib brought to the room, as these provide securities for the youngster while away from home.

When you arrive-baby-proofing your room

If the resort does not baby-proof the room for you, getting the room safe for your youngster should be among your first priorities upon arrival. You might want to follow some of these suggestions even if the resort does its own baby-proofing.

Install your own electrical outlet blockers and doorknob covers. Cover sharp edges of coffee tables and other such furniture. Secure loose drapery and hide or block the passageways to electrical cords. Move dangerous items out of reach such as glass cups, vases, or anything heavy that could fall on the child. Look for plants, matches, and other hazards in the room, which you will want to make inaccessible.

If the room has a balcony, be sure to examine the spacing of the rails before allowing your toddler to explore. If the spaces are wide enough for your child to push herself through, obviously keep this entire area off-limits. Many hotels in this book have safety guards on the balcony doors, but you will need to check for this device. If the door does not have one, create your own protective wall with a safety gate or a barricade of sofas or chairs set against the balcony door. If the balcony rails are safely spaced, you will next want to check if the railing feels secure if pushed against. Also be sure to move patio furniture away from the rail, as toddlers love to climb on such furniture.

Never assume that a window screen is a safe shield. A screen gives a false sense of security to a parent, as a child can lean against it and fall right through. Therefore move furniture away from windows that open and make it impossible for the child to have access to the window through which she can fall. Also, if the room comes with a hot tub, ensure that the cover is securely locked or latched. Otherwise, you should drain the water.

If you have requested a crib, here is an important tip: be sure to inspect it carefully for loose parts or screws. Carry a small screwdriver with you for the purpose of tightening. Finally, check the room's carpet by crawling on your hands and knees in search of any potential choking hazards. Pick up any pennies, dimes, pins, buttons, loose screws, or other small items that might not be noticeable at first glance. Now your toddler is ready to move around and explore your baby-safe room.