“Don’t go to Disney with a baby!”  Many people will claim that doing this is a huge mistake!  We whole-heartedly disagree!  There are plenty of people that take their babies to Disney and still have a blast!  Don’t let naysayers affect your decision-making.  Today we’ll discuss issues that directly relate to babies and infants.  Because if you are taking a baby to Disney World, you need to be prepared!  There are certain things that you can do that will greatly enhance your overall experience!

Sleeping Schedule

If you have more than one child, you know that every baby sleeps differently.  Some babies won’t sleep unless they are in their bed/crib.  Some babies will fall asleep in your arms or in a stroller.  The first thing to consider is the particular sleeping habits of YOUR baby.  Especially if you are planning a trip for a week, getting your baby enough sleep needs to be a priority, and you need to plan around this.

If your child easily falls asleep in a stroller, you might actually find that the baby age is easier than the 3-5 age.  When your kid is 4 years old, they need naps at Disney.  If your kid is like mine, it’s a rarity that they will actually fall asleep in a stroller, so naps become a crucial thing.  However, if you have a baby that can sleep soundly in the stroller, you may not need to take naps!  Again, this will have to be something you’ll decide based on your child.  But do NOT attempt to over-work the baby.  This can ruin your trip.

Regarding strollers, we have a few tips on Disney strollers that I highly recommend.  Don’t waste money, as you can get charged an arm and a leg!

Overstimulation

Let’s face it, even with all of the amazing toys and gadgets that modern babies have to stimulate their minds, nothing comes close to Disney World.  Between the lights, the fireworks, the characters, the colors, and the people, babies are fascinated with Disney.  I recall my son at about a year of age just looking around and pointing the whole time.  You will make great memories with your kids, even though they may not remember it.

taking a baby to disney world

Image from www.papelefesta.com

However, it is a lot to take in.  Be sure and schedule some downtime.  Whether at the pool, in the room, or taking in long, relaxing meals, your babies will need and appreciate this relaxation!  And let’s face it, after a day of playing, changing diapers, feeding children and being out in the Florida sun, this relaxation will do you some good, too!

 

The Heat

Another thing to factor in with your baby is the heat.  Since your baby isn’t in school, I’d highly recommend going in the off-season when it isn’t quite as hot.  Your baby will likely be miserable if you try and bring them in mid-July.  Especially if you live in a place where you aren’t used to the heat and humidity of Florida.  Your baby will be hot and sweaty and miserable.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND staying out of Disney World in the heat of the summer with a small baby, unless they are used to being outside in the heat.  Just wait a month or two and go in October or November.  It will be well worth it.

Restaurants

Fine dining at Disney is certainly a big factor for many adults.  However, restaurants can be tough at a small age.  While this differs with the baby, here is an important factor to consider:  Does your baby have a tough time in restaurants normally?  If so, perhaps sit-down restaurants shouldn’t be a daily thing, or you should schedule them early in the day.  After a long day at the park, making a baby sit through an hour dinner reservation at 9pm is a little risky.  Don’t be that parent that says “This kid is going to make me pull my hair out”, when you just ran the kid through a marathon day and topped it off with a sit-down dinner in a restaurant.  A child can only take so much.  Perhaps this would be a good vacation to forego the Disney Dining plan, or to do the Express package.

Who to Bring?

Babies miss out on most of the main rides.  As such, make some serious considerations as to your party size before you plan a trip with a small baby.  It is possible to have fun if it’s just you and your spouse and your one baby.  But after awhile, riding all the rides by yourself tends to lose a little luster.  See if a friend, some parents, or another couple would like to come.  It can make all the difference in the world.  Parents are especially good, because many times they love the chance to spend a day back at the hotel and let you and your spouse roam the parks alone!

What to Bring!

I highly recommend our article on choosing what to bring to Disney World.  However, there are a few additional items that you can’t forget if you have a baby!  Sun screen, diapers, snack foods, baby cups, and lots and lots of baby wipes!  Whatever you take in a traditional diaper bag needs to be added to on a day-long trip to Disney.  Because you know if you have to buy it in the park, it’s going to cost a lot!

 

Child Swap!

There is a provision that many Disney tourists have no idea exists.  It’s called the Child Swap/Rider Switch pass, and it is designed to help families with small children.  Basically this is how it works:

When you enter a ride, head up to the front of the line with your baby and your spouse.  Just briefly ask for a child swap pass, and they will gladly give you one.  Then you (and a friend hopefully) can go on the ride.  When you are done, you give the child swap pass to your spouse, and they get to go through the fastpass lines instead of waiting in the regular line.  Also, the Child Swap pass enables them to bring a friend too!  It’s a win-win for any friend that tags along! (Another selling point if you are trying to find the “baby-sitter” friend to come along J )

“But your baby will never remember your vacation”

This is something you are guaranteed to hear from someone.  Many people don’t go to Disney for a few years when their kids are babies due to this.  While it may be true, that doesn’t mean they won’t have a good time!  I mean think about it, how many of us actually remember all that much from before we are three.  Not many of us.  But do we set our kids in their crib and let them cry all day simply because they won’t remember it?  Of course not.  Having fun with your children is what it’s all about.  Even if they will never remember the vacation, they can still have a blast, even at a very young age.

In Conclusion

Going to Disney World with a baby presents it’s own set of challenges.  But if you keep them well-rested, let them have their down-time and keep them out of the hot sun, you can still have an amazing time at Disney World.  If you are considering a trip, don’t let naysayers talk you out of going, just because your child is small.  Plan around it, and make the most out of your child’s unique age, and you’ll be glad you did!

Now that you’ve decided that it’s ok to bring your baby, lets take a look at some great tips for staying ahead of the crowds at Disney World

Next >>> Beating the Crowds

 

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