The Basics of Bringing Baby

This is for those of you with those really tiny humans who tend to cry a lot.  No, really, I love kids….who wouldn’t enjoy it when another human being spits up on your only clean shirt and then expects you to think it is cute?  Ok, back on topic….those of you with these tiny humans should definitely take these little creatures with you to Disney World.  (unless leaving them home with grandma is an option in which case, do that)  No really, again, I love kids and bringing them to Disney World is a great idea if you are prepared.  (but the Grandma thing is always an option, just sayin’)

Here are 10 tips to make bringing your tiny human as stress free and safe as possible:

1) Talk to your pediatrician if you will be flying.  Air travel can make affect those little tiny human ears in a negative way and you won’t know it until you are up in the air and your cell phone is safely put in airplane mode and you are unable to reach that doctor.  It pays to be prepared.

2) Strollers- use them, no really, that tiny baby that is so much fun to carry around and coo at for a little while is going to get awfully heavy over the course of 12 hours at an average of 90 degrees.  If you can, bring your stroller from home since that is the one that you can already open and close one handed like a parent super hero.  The ones in the parks are hard plastic and not at all comfortable for an infant.  If you can’t bring your own, consider renting one from one of the many suppliers in Orlando.  (our travel agent recommends Buena Vista) You will save money over the ones in the parks and your baby, and you, will be happier.
Happy baby=less crying
Happy parent=less crying (and possibly less of the occasional swear word that escapes your lips when no one is listening)

3)  Your stroller will not be allowed in the lines.  Your stroller will be relegated to the no mans land of a thousand strollers (and I am so not kidding about this).  This is a mythical land where strollers come to live and mingle with other strollers while you are in line.  Cast members will, mischievously, move your stroller from where you left it in order to keep some semblance of order in stroller land although I have seen the strollers reproduce despite the CM’s efforts.  Mark your stroller with something recognizable.  No, buying the same balloon that Disney sold 1000 of and attaching it to your stroller handle is not what I mean.  Cover your handle in brightly colored washi tape or tie a piece of cloth to it or something else you will be able to recognize when the land of a thousand strollers becomes the dark land of a thousand strollers.  (note to self….”The Land of a Thousand Strollers” would make a great title for a book)

4) You will still need to have a plan for carrying your baby in the ride lines.  There are many attractions that will allow you to board with your baby in your arms but, as I mentioned, you can not bring the stroller with you in the line.  Consider one of those carriers that give the appearance of you being a kangaroo.

5) Car seats- all joking aside, we all know how important these are and being on vacation does not change that.  If you are using only Disney transportation, you will not need a car seat since they can not be used on Disney buses, shuttles or boats.  If you will be renting a car, bring your own car seat or make sure to rent one.  (did you know that a car seat can be checked on a plane without any fee at all?)  Even better, you can use an FAA approved car seat on the plane.  If you are thinking of taking a taxi, I advise against it.  Most do not have any child seats available and those that do….well…I hate to be gross here but can you imagine the last time that thing got washed?  Two words for you….baby snot….that is all.

6) Get a pac and play for your room.  Every Disney resort will provide a pac and play for the asking at no charge.  Make sure to ask for it when you make your reservation and again at the front desk when you check in.  if you have one at home, let your baby practice sleeping in it so it is not so foreign when you arrive.

7) Look up the baby centers before you leave.  You will be spending some time in them so consider them to be your own personal haven.  Each baby care center provides a (relatively) quiet, air-conditioned place for you to perform all of those necessary baby care tasks.  (and by that, what I am saying nicely is that I personally find it gross when someone changes a baby’s diaper on the table in a restaurant)  Inside you will find changing tables, rocking chairs, bottle warmers, electric outlets for breast pumps and an assortment of baby food, formula and diapers for sale if you need them.  It’s also ok to breastfeed your baby anywhere on Disney property.  (Although I don’t recommend Space Mountain, it will not end well)

8) Bring the right supplies- unless you think you can fashion a few paper napkins into a diaper (and if you can, please send pictures because I really want to see that!), you are going to want to bring what you need with you.  Yes, you can find some baby supplies in the Baby Care Centers but that may actually cost you your first-born (in which case, I suppose you no longer need the baby supplies).  Those are more of an emergency fall back than a plan.  Pack an extra suitcase with the supplies you will need or have them delivered to your resort by a local grocery service so you don’t have to travel with them.  Make sure to also have some way to protect your baby from the sun.

9) Don’t skip attractions, use Child Swap- I think I will save the details of this process for another post but in a nutshell, both parents approach the CM at the entrance to the ride and one gets a baby swap ticket.  One parent rides while the other waits with the baby.  When the first parent exits, the second parent can ride without waiting in the line.

10) Expect that you will have to work around the baby.  Ok, so I am back here to suggesting that you COULD leave your baby with grandma at home.  Just kidding, sort of.  Bringing your baby means that you will need to be flexible with your activities.  The words “park commando” and “bringing a baby” do not necessarily go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Leave extra time in your day for those baby center stops and recognize when you and your baby have had enough park time and need some downtime back at the resort.

So parents of those tiny little sticky ones….what are your baby tips?

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