11 Do's and Don'ts for Disney with a Baby
I know what you’re thinking… What does this have to do with branding or design?
Answer: Not a thing.
A few weekends ago, I took my 3-month old little girl to the Happiest Place in the World with my mom, 2 sisters, and 2-year old nephew.
Should you also get the crazy idea to take your baby to Disney, here are a 11 Do’s and Don'ts that will hopefully make your trip just as magical!
Do bring extra adults. Babies require a lot of “stuff” (diapers, extra clothes, bibs, pacis, Minnie ears, etc.), so extra hands are necessary. Bring at least one more adult (or big kid!) than there are babies.
Do pack a baby carrier that is small, lightweight, and functional. When you’re getting on the bus and have to pull your little one out of the stroller + collapse the stroller + carry the stroller + baby + diaper bag all in 20 seconds, Disney might not be the ideal place to show off your baby-wrapping skills. I brought my Boba wrap (and even practiced new ways to use it before I left home) but only used it once. Trust me, when that bus arrives, you’ll want a baby carrier that’s easy-in, easy-out.
Note: you’ll also be asked to park your stroller outside of most attractions and restaurants, requiring you to hold your baby in your arms or carrier. I borrowed this one from my sister and it was easy-to-use, breathable, and so handy!
Do bring a lightweight stroller that is comfy but collapses easily. Why? See #2. I didn’t place Sophie in her car seat at all during our stay, so I wish I would’ve had a lighter stroller than than our Chicco Bravo. We made it work, but it gets heavy! However, Sophie naps really well in our normal stroller, so this might be one of those pick-your-battles things. Better Naps > Lighter Stroller
Do get this diaper bag or one with similar features. This is one of those bags you know was designed by a mama because of all it’s brilliant quirks.
+ Unique *connected* changing pad: Disney has large baby changing tables in every restroom, and with this bag, you can almost do the whole diaper-changing dance with one hand.
+ Stroller straps: You can hang the bag from your stroller handle using the clips on either side of the bag (!), saving your back and shoulder as you stroll around the parks.
Typically, I prefer a bookbag-style diaper bag, but since I knew I would be doing lots of walking while pushing the stroller, bringing this bag instead was a big Mom Win.
Don’t plan on doing everything. Give your crew at least 3 nights to have 2 full park days.
Sample Day 1: Go early when the park opens, go back to your room to rest in the middle of the day, and return later in the evening for dinner, a ride or 2, and fireworks.
Sample Day 2 (what we did during this trip): Arrive to the park around 10:00-11:00 and stay as long as the babies will let you. Sophie loves being in her stroller and being outside, so we were able to stay much of the day! She took a few cat naps then a long nap from about 12-1:30/2 each day, so we either took a long indoor lunch break or park hopped so she could sleep in the carrier on the bus.
Don’t worry about pumping and bringing bottles. Just bring a cover-up and take care of feedings whenever/wherever you need to. You’ll be too tired when you get back to your room to wash all the bottles and prep for the next day. And carrying a cooler is just another thing you’ll have hanging from your arms in the bus.
Do utilize the Baby Swap opportunity. After being pregnant, you’ll experience pure. joy. when you can hand your kiddo to your spouse or sister(s) and take on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train like a teenager. How it works: your full party waits in line together, then at the front of the line, your spouse holds the baby while you ride, then when you swap to let him/her ride.
Do bring the Pack-n-Play or the bassinet your baby sleeps in at night. Chances are, they’ll only be in their sleeper during the night, so bring whatever helps them sleep best. Sophie took only one nap at the hotel during the long weekend, so a good night’s sleep took priority over daytime naps.
Do take advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass opportunities! Let the many photographers around the park get that souvenir picture for you so you won’t need to worry about capturing that moment yourself. You can buy the PhotoPass before, during, and up to 30 days after your trip, and if you’re a Passholder, you’ll get it for free!
Do stay on Walt Disney World property. The transportation system and MagicBand capabilities will make your trip much more relaxing and as “hands-free” as possible. Your room key + park ticket + FastPasses + credit card can be linked directly to your MagicBand, making the need to carry your wallet virtually disappear.
Do use the Disney Experience App. It’s the best way to book your FastPasses (60 days in advance if you’re staying on property!), check wait times, and so much more. You can link all your reservation details from dining, to tickets, to photos all through the one app. It’s almost as magical as a Disney’s Magic Band….
Watch the full highlight video made by my amazingly talented sister, here.
Like I joked with a Cast Member at Hollywood Studios, yes, this trip was for me. Sophie will not remember it (and that is ok!). She also will not remember kindergarten, but that won’t stop us from sending her…
Here’s the thing about babies: they love lights, noises, and being outside. So what better way to keep us both happy, than to trek on down to Disney? I hope this post inspires you to do the same!
Did I miss anything? Share any other Disney trip tips below!