Anyone who has traveled with a baby has probably had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a hotel crib, otherwise known as “baby jail.” Here’s a visual in case you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting one:
They are very unappealing to look at, and even more unappealing to put your tired baby in. The bars are cold metal, the mattress (if you can even call it that) is a sad piece of cardboard with some padding stapled to it. Most hotels don’t even have proper linens for the “mattress.” More times than not, we have been given a hotel bed sheet. A BED SHEET! What a pain in the arse to wrap the sad little baby jail mattress in a regular sized sheet. It ends up being lumpy and uneven. Not to mention the sheet doesn’t fit snugly, so there’s the risk that the linens can be pulled up. On the whole, it’s a gigantic hassle.
During our transition from Arizona to California, we stayed in three different hotels over the course of a week and a half. Daniel had his last week of work in Pasadena so our arrival in Newport Beach was a little delayed. We were sort of homeless and just basically winging it, and winging it with a baby is not easy. The first hotel we stayed in was in Phoenix. We opted to stay in a hotel while the movers packed and moved us “to make things easier.” The baby jail provided to us was pretty nice (by baby jail standards), and May slept pretty well those first two nights in the big house. I think she just hadn’t caught on yet.
The next hotel we stayed in was in Palm Dessert, California. The baby jail provided to us wasn’t even a baby jail crib. It was a dirty, dilapidated, horribly abused play pack. I wouldn’t even allow stray cats to sleep in that thing, let alone my poor child. Fortunately we had a play pack in case this sort of thing happened, but man, it was a disaster. May was not having it. She cried and cried and cried. It was a poor night’s sleep was had by all.
The last hotel was a Westin in Pasadena. The Westin is one of those bougie hotels where the more you pay, the less you get…like a gourmet restaurant. The crib was no exception. We were supposed to be there a week, but after two nights of May protesting like she was in Libya, I packed her up and we headed to our house in Newport Beach. The house was all boxes, there was no cable, BUT there was a real live crib that didn’t resemble sleeping quarters for prisoners.
It’s true, May has a love/hate relationship with the crib (probably more hate than love), but I think the hotel cribs make her thankful to have a nice place to sleep.
This weekend we were in San Diego for the Vaughan/Olson wedding and, of course, baby jail was involved. I told her she had to sleep in the crib, and this was her reaction:
The first night went okay, but the second night was a little rough. She made it through though.
Pre-baby, I used to looooove to sleep in hotels. The beds. The free breakfast (unless you’re staying in a fancy hotel). The manipulation of the thermostat without having to pay for it. All glorious thing. Post-baby, not quite as fun!