So I promised you some more details on what it’s like to share a perfectly nice hotel room with a 7.5 month old baby. Here’s the short story: it’s rough. We usually LOVE nice hotel rooms. I’ve been spoiled over the years with big King beds, fluffy duvet comforters and luxurious bathrooms. (Thankfully my husband is “Mr. Hotel Deal Finder” so we usually don’t shell out the full price). But having a baby makes it into a whole different experience. We did overnight trips in hotel rooms when she was 6 weeks old (Palm Springs), 7 weeks old (Avila Beach) and 8 weeks old (Yosemite), and those trips were a breeze. Feed the baby and rock her to sleep. Done. But now that she’s older, it’s a whole different game.
Adele, like most babies, thrives on routine. She naps twice a day and goes to bed at 7:30p. At our house, she has a pitch black room, total silence and a familiar crib mattress. In our hotels this trip, almost all of her sleep cues were absent. We brought her lovey and pacifier so that part of her routine would be the same, but it didn’t really help. The room was brighter, her Pack N’ Play is smaller and squishier than the crib and every little noise we made reminded her that we were in the room and she didn’t want to miss out on any fun.
SCENE 1: The first night in our St. George hotel (Inn at Entrada) we set up the Pack N’ Play next to our bed on the far side of the room. We shut off as many lights as we could and we tried to rock her to sleep (a rare treat nowadays). She’d close her eyes, but never really fall into a deep sleep. As soon as we’d lie her down, she’d wake up and start screaming again. We tried for a couple of hours, and finally she fell asleep. Then she woke up every two hours for a half hour each time. It was brutal. We were both frustrated, but we felt bad for her at the same time. Poor baby. Somewhere around 3a-4a we gave up and brought her into bed with us. We all ended up sleeping in til 9a after that, so part of our sleep was redeemed.
SCENE 2: The second night, in our Zion Hotel (The Desert Pearl) we had a different plan. Our bathroom was huge and had a separate vanity area, so we set the Pack N’ Play up in there. It would be dark, quiet and away from Mom and Dad. We thought if she had her own “room”, she’d drift off into La La Land. We tried laying her down in there, but she screamed each time. I ended up rocking her to sleep and she slept blissfully from 8p-10:30p. And juuuuust as we were turning off our light to go to sleep ourselves, she woke up crying. We surrendered and brought the lucky lady into bed with us. She was satisfied to be with her two favorite people and stretched out and fell asleep horizontal to us (bed hogger!) We all slept in again til 8:30a or so. (If you’re keeping track, that’s 10 hours of sleep!) I swear, I actually sleep more since having a baby. Needless to say, our bed sharing was a hotel-room success.
SCENE 3: Night three, we finally learned our lesson. We didn’t even try to put her in the Pack N’ Play. Around 8pm, we turned off all the lights, I rocked her to sleep in my arms, and gently laid her down in the middle of our big comfy bed. Irving played on his laptop and I read my book on my kindle while our daughter snoozed in between us. She continued to stay fast asleep til 8a the next morning. All three of of us had a tear-free and restful sleep. It was so nice.
PS. Ever wonder what it’s like to be woken up by a happy 7.5 month old baby in the morning? It looks sorta like this:
Haha, seriously, that’s what it looks like. She’s all like “Heeey, Mom! Give me some milk! And also, I will claw your nose and pull off your glasses.” Heh.
Our first night back at home, I was so worried that she wouldn’t sleep well. I was mentally prepared to start sleep training all over again (roughly three nights of a modified cry-it-out method), but Adele surprised us. We laid her down in her crib awake and she fell asleep immediately! No tears! No rocking! She woke up once around 1am, we popped the pacifier backed in and she was back out again. Every single night since then, she’s fallen asleep immediately and slept 12 hours straight through the night. Whaaaaat? I can’t believe we took her out of her routine for three nights and she still bounced right back immediately. That girl is amazing. I must have sleep angels watching over me. They haven’t failed me yet!