Top 10 Tips for Visiting WDW With Babies

**Originally posted at Disney Babies Blog**

babywearingMany people think that taking babies and young children to Walt Disney World is a waste of time.  Too many say “but they won’t remember it.”  Even at the parks, I’ve heard “aw, it’s a shame they won’t remember any of this.”  But, by 18 months, they do remember.  And, they still eat and play for free, so I absolutely think it’s worth the trip.  Having babies definitely doesn’t mean you need to stop traveling and here are my top 10 tips for traveling to Walt Disney World with our newest additions!

  1. Babywear!  Carrying a squirmy baby in lines and on rides can make you tired and frustrated, but, baby cooperating, wearing the baby in a wrap/sling/carrier can save you all unneeded stress, be wonderful for bonding, and even help naps!  
  2. Use the Rider Swap Option.  No fear that you won’t be able to ride anything with a baby in tow!  As long as you have 2 adults and don’t mind riding solo (a good time to catch up on your Gowalla pins or your favorite Disney blogs!), simply walk to the entrance of the lines, find a cast member, and show them your children.  Both adults and the child have to be present.  The basic idea – 1 person goes through the stand-by line while the other person (or people) wait with the little ones.  Once the 1st person is through, they give the other person a Rider Swap (basically a fastpass) for up to 3 people.  No wait for the 2nd half of the party! **Rider Swap can be used with fastpass**
  3. Find the Baby Care Centers – located in each of the 4 parks are air conditioned havens for families of young children.  Full changing rooms, private nursing rooms, high chairs, and all of the baby gear you might have forgotten, including food (gear available at a standard WDW premium) is all available for your needs!  My personal favorite?  Animal Kingdom!
  4. Take Breaks – I personally love our afternoon nap breaks on most days while we stay on property.  We’re all tired, and this way no one (hey, it’s not always the baby) becomes incredibly cranky.  Plus, with a good afternoon nap, the likelihood of seeing an evening show increases!
  5. Let the Kids Run!  If you’re more in the toddler phase than the baby phase, your child may quickly become irritable being stuck in a stroller for the entire day.  Luckily, Disney has thought of everything.  There are play areas in all of the parks and at the resorts!
  6. Don’t feel trapped changing stations – I’ve never been a huge fan of the changing stations.  If I happen to be near a baby care center, I’ll drop in, but if I’m on the other side of the park and need to change a diaper, I’ll find a quiet, out of the way area, and pull out my changing pad.  No fuss, no muss – plus, then I’m less worried about my boy squirming off the table!
  7. Skip the diaper bag – Those fancy diaper bags are great, but I’ve found everything I need can be thrown into a regular back pack – plus, they’re usually bigger and more comfortable.  We even had 2 diaper bag book bags that both broke during our trip.  Since then (2 more trips), we’ve just used a regular back pack and been fine!  Best item from the diaper bag? A fold-able changing pad that has pockets for diapers, wipes, and ointments!  Everything you need, right there!  I found mine at TJ Maxx!
  8. Break the habits after the trip.  I was dead set on losing the pacifier by 6 months.  But, with a trip planned at 6 months and 1 week?  I decided it was better to have it – absolutely helped the plane ride, plus it worked as a “mute” button when he became extra fussy.  And, within a week or two of getting back home, it was gone without disturbing 200 people on an airplane.
  9. Learn to love the Morning Extra Magic Hours – Before my son, I never thought too much about the morning hours.  I had no problem staying out late, but my son is a morning person (6:30 a.m. daily), so why not?  When we stay on property, we get to see the Rope Drop shows, and a ton of rides before the majority of guests even walk through the turnstiles!  Take advantage of your child’s natural habits (whether morning, or night!) and try not to disrupt your normal routine by staying in the parks 6 hours past their normal bedtime!
  10. Accept the Meltdown – Babies cry.  It’s what they do.  If yours are like mine, they cry when they’re hungry, tired, bored, anything.  Hungry is rarely an option (especially at the parks, we always have extra food with us!) and bored is unlikely.  But tired?  Oh yes.  Especially when our little one decided 4:30 am was an acceptable wake up time.  After 5(felt like 15) minutes of screaming his head off, he was out for an hour and a half (starting at 9 am!).  Most people won’t think twice about your little one crying, unless you’re out at midnight.  Then we’ll start to wonder!

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About disneybabiesjenn

With family in Florida, Jenn started traveling to WDW as a baby and hasn't stopped. The mom of 2 boys, her 2 year old has now visited WDW 4 times and her infant will take his first trip at 10 months old. Visit Jenn at her daily homeDisney Babies Blog, to share tips, tricks, and reasons that visiting with babies and toddlers IS a great idea!
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