Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cruising with Family: Babies (and Toddlers) on Board

Cruise Ship in Tropical Waters with Beach
Cruising is a great way for kids to get a taste of the Tropics

Our last post of the Cruising with Family series talked about packing for a cruise with kids.  Let's take that a step further: if you have an infant or toddler, packing for a family cruise has the extra challenge of dealing with the “big gear”.  Babies may be small, but they sure require a lot of stuff!  Luckily, you don't have to tote all of it along, here are some pointers for packing for your cruise:

A Stroller on a Cruise?

Many suggest bringing a stroller for younger children, as it will come in handy for shore excursions, walking through airport and cruise terminal and even for naps on the cruise ship.  An umbrella stroller may be your best bet, since it’s lightweight and compact (a large stroller may be difficult to get in and out of stateroom, and is bulkier to store).  Find out if the cruise ship rents strollers by the day, this could be ideal if you’ll just need one for shore excursions.

Sleeping Arrangements On Board

Cruise ships will have several options, depending on the age of your child.  For infants and toddlers, contact the cruise line beforehand to reserve a crib or pack n’ play for your stateroom.  For preschoolers, find out how tall the bed is, and if it has a bed-rail.  Some parents feel comfortable placing a rolled up blanket at the edge of the bed (underneath the fitted sheet) to act as a quasi-bed-rail.  Some family staterooms have bunk beds, so be sure that such an arrangement is appropriate to the age of your child.

Bathing your Little One

Does your stateroom have a bathtub, or just a shower?  For the tub-less, a small inflatable bathtub is useful for bathing infants and tots.

Feeding Baby on a Cruise

Baby food availability and guidelines vary by cruiseline and even by cruise ship, so do your homework.  Find out if your cruise line permits baby food to brought on board, if they sell baby food on board, or if the kitchens will puree or mash food for infants.  Formula and breast milk are allowed; find out if your ship will have bottle warmers available, or if you’re able to bring your own.

Basic Baby Necessities on a Cruise Vacation

Some cruise lines sell diapers and formula on board, others don’t.  Find out what your ship will stock, and be sure to pack accordingly (when in doubt, pack more diapers!).  Many cruise lines contract with services that will deliver diapers and other baby gear to your stateroom before you board. 

Do you have a favorite trick for cruising with an infant or toddler?

Want to know more about preparing for a family cruise vacation?  Check out the other posts in our Cruising with Family series:

No comments:

Post a Comment