Family Vacation With Newborn

It’s that time of year again. Time to pack up the car and meet up with family for out annual vacation at the lake house. But this year is different. This year you are taking your new bundle of joy along for the ride. How will this work? Will it be ok? I wish someone had told me what to expect when taking a trip with an infant, so I thought it would be nice to offer some advice for those who are going through it right now. In the end, our family vacation was something unique and special. Whether you have a newborn or not, you need to find ways to let your kids be kids. Fortunately for us, we were able to do just that and take a sweet family vacation. If you are currently on the hunt for some new family vacation ideas, hopefully this one will be able to provide you with some inspiration and ideas.

As a child, did you ever experience the thrill of a family vacation? If so, what were your fondest memories? If not, don’t worry — this article will tell you how to plan one with your own kids. If you’re about to have a baby, you’re probably already planning for the big day. You don’t need me to tell you that having a family is an amazing thing. It’s an incredible phase of your life and can bring you much joy.

Family Vacation With Newborn

The best types of vacations to take with a baby

Tarah Chieffi

Apr 14, 2022

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Bringing a new baby into your home changes life as you know it. Watching them sleep is more exciting than bingeing the latest Netflix show and you take more pictures of them in a day than you did on your last vacation.

Speaking of vacations, it’s 100% possible to still enjoy travel with a baby in tow, but you’ll need to get the right gear, learn about flying with an infant and determine which destinations specifically cater to tiny travelers.

We’ve laid out the four best types of vacations to take with a baby, with our favorite locations in each category and what you should pack for your trip. Whether your little one is unfazed by city life or you’ve got a beach baby on your hands, these are TPG’s top picks for where and how to travel with a baby.

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  1. All-inclusive resort
  2. Baby-friendly hotel
  3. Theme park
  4. Mountain retreat
  5. Bottom line

All-inclusive resort

large white resort on white sandy beach surrounded by clear blue waters
The Wyndham Alltra Cancun all-inclusive resort in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Wyndham)

When you visit a baby-friendly all-inclusive resort, you don’t have to stress over having enough cash, finding fun activities to keep your kid entertained or deciding where to eat every meal because it’s all included in the cost of your vacation.

Many resorts even provide cribs, strollers and bottle warmers that you can borrow during your stay, so you can pack light and focus on carrying your baby instead of extra suitcases.

On top of being situated right on the beach (because what baby doesn’t love to eat sand?), all-inclusive resorts have kids clubs, splash areas and playgrounds designed to keep your baby contently cooing until it’s time to head home.

Where to go

Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida. (Photo by Terry Ward/The Points Guy)

Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida, is the only stateside location of the popular all-inclusive resort brand. Child care is available for an additional fee for babies between 4 and 23 months in the resort’s Baby Club Med day care and you can request a baby welcome kit with a stroller, bathtub, bottle warmer, changing table and Pack ‘n Play.

Related: Club Med helped set the course for all-inclusive resorts: Now it’s adding 17 new locations around the world

If you are looking for a luxury resort that’s still baby-friendly, Mexico’s Finest Playa Mujeres goes above and beyond what you’d expect. In addition to standard baby gear like a baby monitor and high chair, the resort offers a variety of natural homemade purees for babies. You can visit the kids club facilities with babies ages 0 to 2 to play with toys or swim in the kiddie pool, but you are required to stay with them at all times. Child care is only available for kids ages 3 and up.

What to bring

(Photo by Mayte Torres/Getty)

Because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight, you’ll want to pack items to protect them from the sun. Though most resorts provide beach chairs and umbrellas, you may also want to bring a few baby-specific beach items like a pop-up shade tent (they are great during nap time), a full-body swimsuit with SPF protection and a hat (that they probably won’t keep on).

Baby-friendly hotel

Family at a hotel restaurant
(Photo courtesy of Loews Hotels)

Most hotels don’t go out of their way to accommodate families traveling with babies, but a select few have made it a priority to offer child care, welcome kits with baby amenities and spacious rooms that give babies the peace and quiet they need so that parents can have their own peace and quiet.

Where to go

Hotel room in New York City
Loews Regency New York. (Photo courtesy of Loews Regency New York)

Loews Regency New York is located in New York City just two blocks from Central Park. The Loews Loves Families program (offered at multiple locations) hooks families up with a guide to area activities and dining options, as well as amenities like baby bathtubs, cribs, baby-proofing gear and even stuffed animals. The hotel has 58 suites, some with kitchenettes, that have the space, convenience and privacy you need when traveling with a baby.

Infant childcare room
Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Andaz Hotels)

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, 32 miles south of Cancun, has a top-notch complimentary kids club called Kimbo Kids Club, but until recently it was only available for kids ages 4 and up. With the introduction of Kimbo Baby — for kids ages 3 months to 4 years — even parents can steal a few hours for themselves while their baby is cared for by the resort’s trained child care team. Rooms with terrace plunge pools give you and baby a private spot to splash in the shade.

What to bring

City hotels especially can be noisy, which isn’t much fun when you have an overtired baby on your hands. Pack a white noise machine to drown out the noise (pro tip: place the sound machine near the noise you are trying to drown out rather than near your baby). If you plan to spend some time at the hotel pool or on the beach, bring along a flotation device designed for babies. Many have detachable canopies for extra shade.

Theme park

Walt Disney World. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Your baby won’t be tall enough for their first roller coaster for years, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had at a theme park. And if you decide to take turns riding roller coasters without them, your baby will be none the wiser.

All kidding aside, theme parks have lots of perks for babies. They are noisy and colorful, which can keep babies occupied for a surprisingly long time (but if they don’t like loud noises, you might want to pack some noise-canceling headphones).

Plus, everyone expects theme parks to be full of kids. If your baby has a meltdown or throws your popcorn bucket at a passerby, you’ll be surrounded by other parents who have likely been in the same position and will probably brush it off.

Where to go

Mickey Topolino
Character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort. (Photo by Dia Adams/The Points Guy)

We’d be remiss to leave Walt Disney World off a list of baby-friendly vacation spots. Even if you’ve been dozens of times, there’s something magical about seeing it through your baby’s eyes for the first time (when they are awake, at least). For maximum ease, stay at one of Disney’s on-site hotels. They offer complimentary transportation to and from the parks and most have baby pools or splash pads available, as well. To preserve those precious first-visit memories, you can have an artist hand-cut your baby’s silhouette portrait at Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs, or visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs for a family portrait.

Entrance to Legoland California
The entrance to Legoland California. (Photo courtesy of Legoland California)

Your baby probably still lacks the dexterity to build with Lego bricks, but that doesn’t mean they are too young for Legoland California Resort. There are more than a dozen attractions with no height requirement, including sand pits where they can dig for dinosaur bones, a Duplo-themed interactive playground, a Coast Cruise boat ride and a Legoland Express train. There’s also a convenient baby care center in the park where you can feed and change your baby in a cool, comfortable environment. An on-site hotel allows you to easily get back to your room for nap time or the inevitable change of clothes.

What to bring

With so many theme parks on either the West Coast or in Central Florida, the temperatures can climb pretty high. Pack a fan designed to clip onto your stroller, sun protective clothing and some stylish baby sunglasses.

Mountain retreat

Aerial tram over a ski hill
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Jackson Hole)

Where better to test out a baby’s developing senses than surrounded by nature? They can smell the fresh mountain air, touch leaves and pinecones (and most likely taste them, as well), listen to birds chirping in the trees and experience nature’s majesty.

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