Traveling With an Infant
- Touring the Parks
There are many, many things you can do to make
sure you have a great time in the parks with an infant:
Minimize the baby's exposure to the sun. Furthermore,
using sun block on a baby that is under 6 months old can
be dangerous (I don't remember why, but again, it was the
doctor's recommendation). We made sure to use the sun shade
that's built into the stroller all the time. We also avoided
spending long durations of time in the sun with the baby.
Instead, we'd find some nearby shaded area if any of us
were out with the baby for any length of time (during a
baby-swap (see below), for example).
Mix your own formula from powder and bottled
water (we're fortunate that we had the kitchen facilities
in our room...so cleaning nipples and such were not a problem)...ready
mixed formula in cans is handy, but is too heavy for traveling.
We found that taking three bottles of water with enough
formula to mix (we also had a handy formula container that
kept the right amount of formula for three bottles) was
enough for our eight-or-less-hour stretches of park time.
Usually we used two bottles for formula and one for water
which Allan sometimes wanted, especially on hot days.
Most of the men's restrooms in WDW have changing
tables. Men, you're out of luck with that old "there's
no place to do it in there" excuse.
Take a daily afternoon break... (the nap is
as helpful to the parents as for the baby, by the way).
Take turns going to the park, so the baby
can have some time in the room without being jostled or
riding in the stroller all day. With the grandparents with
us, we didn't really do this at all, but in busier times
of the year, you might. On the other hand, we did leave
Allan with Mom and Dad when we went out for dinner one night.
If you use pacifiers, get some clips and tethers
so if the baby drops the pacifier, it won't be lost.
Use the "baby swap" strategy for
all of the wilder rides (the mountains, simulators, and
the Tower of Terror for example). There's a lot more detail
on baby-swapping on the next page.
The louder attractions, "the Legend of
the Lion King" for example may be too intense for baby's
sensitive eardrums. You might want to skip such attractions,
or at least be prepared to protect the little one's ears.
One note, when we entered the Great Movie Ride, a CM gave
us some hearing protectors that we used on that attraction
and a few others.
Avoid over-stimulation...if the baby starts
freaking out, go somewhere quiet for awhile (there are several
out of the way gardens and nooks and crannies in the parks).
With Allan, this was never a problem, but then again he
was pretty young to be over-stimulated.
Disney has an unadvertised "sleeping
baby policy" that allows you to take your stroller
into an attraction with you if your baby is sleeping. In
general, stroller's aren't permitted inside attractions,
but for a sleeping one, the CMs will almost certainly "break"
the rules if you ask. In fact, it may even be possible
to go in the handicapped access if you ask IF you have a
sleeping baby and need the access to get the stroller in.
This DOESN'T mean that you can skip the lines at Splash
Mountain with a stroller because a baby in a stroller can't
ride anyway. A better example would be the Country Bear
Jamboree where a stroller with a sleeping child can be parked
in the handicapped area while the family enjoys the show.
Keep the diaper bag light for touring...and
replenish supplies when you return to the room. (This worked
really well for us.)
Throw a couple of diapers and a pack of wipes
in a fanny pack...insurance so you're always prepared since
changes sometimes need to be made when you're in a pavilion
and the stroller is parked outside. (We didn't do this and
we didn't get burned, but I can see the wisdom of doing
this when the kids are older.)