This past September, our annual family Walt Disney World trip was made even more magical with our newest addition in tow. Our baby girl, Neriah, was born in May and had just turned four months old before our trip. It was surprising how many looks we received and comments that were made regarding our baby. I’d like to think it is because she is so cute, but I know some fellow guests were commenting on the size of our brood, while others couldn’t believe we would venture to Walt Disney World with an infant. We were stopped quite a few times by expectant parents who asked “what’s it like being here with a baby?”. While spending the day at the park with an infant can present itself with a few more challenges than with older children, it is by no means impossible and should not deter you from visiting .Walt Disney World Here are my Walt Disney World tips when traveling with an infant.
- Remain Flexible. While I know I always stress the importance of having a plan during your Disney vacation, infants can be unpredictable. You need to be okay with changing your plan if baby becomes fussy or abandoning your plan altogether if need be. When traveling with an infant, it may be a good idea to purchase a park ticket that covers all the days of your stay or perhaps paying the extra money for the park hopper option. This way you are a bit more flexible when it comes to visiting the park and if , for example, you had to leave Epcot before you were able to ride “Soarin’” you can use your ticket/hopper option to go back another day (perhaps on the day you visit Animal Kingdom, since they usually close early).
- Provide time for baby to be out of her stroller/car seat. While she may be snug as a bug in her sweet little ride, she will want time to be held and stretch out. If you use a baby carrier or baby sling, pack it daily in your bag. You will be glad you did, especially for days when baby REALLY just wants to be snuggled. It will also keep your hands free for taking photos or, like in my case, wrangling up the other kids.While at the resort, allow baby some time to stretch out on the floor. Now, if
you’re a germaphobe like me, you’ll want to pack a blanket or playmat. We actually brought our play mat from home. By allowing opportunities for your little one to be out of the stroller, you will actually be making it MORE enjoyable for her when she has to be in the stroller..which equals happy baby and happy family!
- Utilize the baby care centers. This is a great resource for parents. I love having the option to change and feed my baby in a (usually) quite and air conditioned setting. These centers, located in each of the parks, also offer high chairs, nursing rooms, restrooms, a place to heat up bottles and baby food, and sell a limited selection of baby care items.
- Most Walt Disney World resort rooms are equipped with a pack and play. If your little one will sleep in it, great! If not, be sure to ask for a crib (and yes, you have to be very specific and say “crib-not pack and play“. Otherwise, they will either: A. tell you there is a pack and play in the room or B will bring you ANOTHER pack and play). Three out of my five kids would NOT sleep in a pack and play, so it was always essential that we nab a crib. You can request a crib when making reservations and when you check in. Be aware, however, they only have a limited number of actual cribs and in February, I was told by the housekeeping manager at Saratoga Springs that they are phasing out actual cribs. So if it is something your little one REALLY needs (like my baby does) make sure you stay on top of this detail or you may end up having a rough night.
- Plan for baby seating if your little one is unable to sit up on her own. We gate checked our travel system so we could bring both the stroller and the infant car seat. It was a little cumbersome, but since Baby Girl was unable to sit up on her own, she was unable to sit in a high chair at restaurants. I REALLY did not want to have to hold her at every meal. By bringing the infant carrier, we were able to sit her in it while dining. Another option is renting baby gear (stroller, baby seat, ..etc) from a reputable service. We have done that in the past as well.
- Remember to restock your diaper bag DAILY with baby essentials. I know it seems like a silly reminder, but we ACTUALLY forgot to do this one day and discovered at Chef Mickey’s we had run out of diapers! Luckily, we were staying at BLT, so it was just a short walk back to our room to restock. So it is just a good idea to double check your bag before you leave your room.
While vacationing with an infant requires a bit more planning, it by no means made our trip any more difficult or unenjoyable. As my final tip, take PLENTY of pictures (especially if you are like me and put silly little hats on your baby). While your infant will not remember this trip, you will. And as I have learned with my older children, there is nothing better on a rainy day, than pulling out our Disney pictures from when the kids were babies, and telling them stories of their first visit to the happiest place on earth!Share