This post is part of my Disney with Little Ones series. We recently went with our family to Disney World and took our 4 year old, 23 month old, and 5 month old with us, and I survived with my sanity in tact…I think.
Deciding whether or not to take our 5 month old to Disney World wasn’t even an option: It was a big family trip with extended family, and we couldn’t imagine not having him there with us. And as a nursing mom, leaving him was out of the question anyway.
Still, it seemed a bit crazy at first to take such a little guy to Disney when he wouldn’t even remember it. And babies require so much stuff. I couldn’t wrap my head around it all at first.
I think it was my mom who helped me think clearly and realize how completely doable it would be. Think about it: Babies fly free, they get into the parks free, and if they’re nursing, they even eat free. Do they add to the stress and busy-ness? Absolutely. But it would be a fun trip with lots of memories, and baby boy should be a part of that.
Pros of taking a young baby to Disney:
They’re free. All children under 3 cost nothing to enter the park.
No food to pack. Since he’s a nursing baby, I wouldn’t have to pack food or worry about his meals at all. As long as he has access to mommy, his tummy is full and he’s happy.
They love it. Sure, he was young, but he was aware of his surroundings. He loved the music, the animals, the rides, the colors, the lights, and the overall sensory surroundings. Alexandre had a blast.
Cons of taking a young baby to Disney:
More to juggle. Adding a baby meant one more person to dress, diaper, and dote upon. He was happy the entire time, even with a double ear infection, but he was still another tiny person who needed attention.
Unable to stand & walk. At such a young age, mommy had to hold him a lot. We rode buses from the resort to the parks, and every bus change was a challenge. Strollers needed to be collapsed, bags carried, hands held, and my arms were full with little Alexandre.
Baby Carrier: If you are going to bring a baby to Disney, a carrier is a must. We rented a double stroller for our toddler and infant and brought an umbrella stroller for our 4 year old, but even with the strollers, it was nice to have my Ergo with me. I forgot it on my first day, but both my husband and mother encouraged me to bring it after that, and it really made life easier. I would recommend a soft structured carrier like my Ergo or a Beco instead of a wrap, which would be more challenging to take on and off, unless you want to wear the wrap around everywhere. My Ergo takes just a minute to snap on. Borrow one if you have to; your baby wearing friends would be happy to loan theirs out, if they can spare it for a week. I can’t go grocery shopping without mine.
Diaper ointment: Don’t leave home without it. I somehow forgot mine at the resort on our first day, but my sister-in-law saved the day with her Boudreaux’s.
Mail Diapers & Wipes? One thing I should’ve done was ship consumables ahead of time. Diapers, wipes, snacks, and even toiletries would’ve been easy to mail and would’ve saved luggage space.
Get comfortable nursing in public. I’ve lost track of all the unique places I’ve nursed while at Disney: outside of the Dumbo ride, sitting outside of Gaston’s tavern, and even while bouncing around on a safari at Animal Kingdom. I ditched my regular nursing cover and opted for a scarf style cover that I bought at Motherhood. The gauzy fabric is stretchy and since it’s a larger cover too, I felt like it really covered me better. I’m super modest, so this was important to me. A bit of trivia: Florida was one of the first states to pass laws protecting public breastfeeding, and I’m sure that Disney World had a lot to do with that.
I read about really great mommy & baby areas at Disney for all moms, but especially breastfeeding moms. I heard that the Baby Care Centers have all the diaper gear if you need to purchase it too. I didn’t bother stalking out these places. I didn’t want to miss a minute of the fun with my family, so I decided to change diapers in areas that were convenient for me, and since Disney even has changing tables in the men’s rest rooms, sometimes I would take the baby and my husband would take the toddler for diaper changes. It was a great way to work it out. But more often than not, we could do a quick & modest diaper change in the stroller seat and I would nurse where it was convenient for us.
Be flexible. This is probably the toughest part for my personality, but I’ve learned that my kids are a lot more flexible than I give them credit for. So as long as mommy can handle the flexibility of deviating from schedules, then all 3 of my little ones were perfectly content in Disney World. The baby was no exception to that. There was too much to love at Disney.
And don’t forget to track down the tiny mouse ears. My baby loves them!
Your turn! Have any of you brought young babies with you to Disney? What was your experience? Do you have some advice to share?