I do a lot of advance work when booking hotels rooms when travelling with baby. If done correctly, your comfort level can be maximized while paying the least amount of money.
My first destination is Expedia.com. I like the reviews and you can get a sense for the level of service at any given hotel. If you see responses to reviews, positive reviews and best of all, positive reviews of people who have traveled with similarly aged children, you can feel better about your decisions.
I typically will book a hotel with a free cancellation policy. I like the flexibility this affords me. Also, when you become an Expedia VIP member, you get a lot of perks like discounts and travel points that you can put towards future travel for free stays.
Once booked, I always pop off a note to the hotel manager. I let them know I am traveling with an infant, and that I would prefer a room that is not noisy, and will not bother fellow hotel patrons should baby decide to be noisy. I also let them know I will need extra pillows and a crib, as well as multiple ice buckets (so my wife can store her breast milk).
Sending this note does two things. First, it’s considerate and eliminates the risk of not having a crib. Second, it almost always results in the hotel manager doing something special for my stay. Sometimes it’s a handwritten note in the room, other times it could be a room upgrade as the larger rooms are actually better from a noise reduction standpoint.
At the hotel, I always make it a point to find the housekeeper that is assigned to my floor. I give her a tip at the beginning of my stay and let her know that we have a baby with us, and that we would appreciate if she could give us a little TLC during our stay. I also let her know to double the amount of towels in our room daily (we go through a ton of towels when travelling with our baby). For the tip amount, I recommend $5-$10 for each day you’ll be there. Trust me, this small act pays big dividends. I also let her know the best time to clean the room.
And last but not least, we've found that the best way to bathe baby while traveling is on the counter where the sink is. Just lay a towel down on the counter by the sink, lay baby down (do not leave baby's side) and bathe away with baby wash and a cup. This is easier and safer than putting baby in the tub (at least under one year). Also, do not forget your baby wash (ours had eczema so we had to bring Cetaphil wash and lotion) but even if you're just using Johnson & Johnson, don't forget it. The hotel will not have it.
-Michael and AnaLiza