I took my first son to Disneyland when he was 9 months. My second son visited when he was about 8 or 10 weeks and my third son visited at 6 to 8 weeks. Yep, my guys were really tiny. While bringing a tiny baby to the “Happiest Place on Earth” isn’t in the cards for all families, trips do happen with infants–especially when the family has older siblings. With older children in the household, it’s hard to stay cooped up and sometimes you need a little magic to lift those postpartum blues.
|Baby C at the Disneyland Baby Care Center during his
Here are my tips for surviving Disneyland with a young infant:
- First and foremost, as I have mentioned in the past, I encourage parents to use all of the amazing offerings at the Baby Care Centers at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The Baby Care Centers offer quiet nursing areas, space for pumping, large diaper changing areas, a sink for rinsing cloth diapers, high chairs, and a kitchen area for washing bottles and warming food and milk. Click here to read more about the Baby Care Centers.
- If your infant likes hanging out in his or her car seat, bring it! Yes, it does add more wait to the stroller full of baby and kid stuff you are pushing around the resort, but take it from me that it’s worth it. It is always better to have baby be comfortable, happy, and well rested. One thing to note is that you cannot take the car seat on attractions.
|If you baby is comfy in his or her car seat,
take it with you and keep baby happy.
- If you are attending with older children, I recommend discussing the “divide and conquer” plan with your spouse. Having a baby with you on your trip may mean that one parent is stuck hanging out with the sleeping babe in the stroller while the other parent takes the other kids on the attractions. My husband and I always use the “divide and conquer” method when we visit the resort and by doing so, we have been able to experience as many as 13 attraction on really crowded days.
- Bring LOTS of clothes. Lots. And diapers. Also pack a extra blankets. Blankets have all sorts of uses beyond keeping baby warm. You can use blankets to shade baby while in the stroller or in the baby carrier, as place to sit while waiting for shows and parades, or as a comfy place to change baby when a regular changing station is out of reach.
- If you are a multitasker like me, I have been known to nurse my babies at the back of the Enchanted Tiki Room and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. (I wonder what good old Abe would think of that?)
- If you are bottle feeding, be sure to bring A LOT of extra bottles. Lost bottles turned into Lost and Found are thrown out for hygiene reasons. Extra bottles are sold at the Baby Care Centers.
- If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel (on-property), your room should come with a pack and play. If you are staying at another hotel in the area, be sure to call about pack and plays (portable crib) or bring your own.
- I highly recommend bringing a baby carrier. I am a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn because it is easy to put on and take off. Be sure your baby is used to the carrier before your trip, as not all babies take to all carriers. I also recommend a carrier like a Baby Bjorn because I have heard from some of my readers that sometimes Cast Members have made parents take their children out of carriers to go on attractions so that baby facing the right way for safety reasons. A carrier like the Bjorn (versus a sling) may be closer to the position the baby needs to be in for the attractions. (Please don’t send me hate mail because I know mama’s love their slings. I’m just sayin’ that I have heard moms complain about inconsistency on this issue and I am guessing that the Bjorn-type carrier may make your life a little easier. I could be wrong.) I used a Baby Bjorn with all three of my boys at the Disneyland Resort. If you will be visiting with other children, it is so much easier to have your hands free to help them on and off of the attractions.
- Perhaps most important is knowing that you will be moving at a much slower rate with a baby. Instead of focusing on getting on as many attractions as possible, refocus on taking your time and seeing more shows, people watching, and taking in the ambiance.
In closing, I would just like to say that visiting the Disneyland Resort with a young infant isn’t as hard as you might think it would be. In fact, it’s a BREEZE compared to what it’s like going with an antsy crawler or toddler who turns to jello-baby every time you pick him up or try to put him in his stroller…or uses all of his strength to wriggle out of your arms to crawl all over Walt’s creation. You get the idea. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about because you haven’t had a crazy crawler yet, don’t worry…you’ll know what I’m talking about soon enough!