8 Thoughts that keep moms awake in hotels at night

Oct 20, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Image: Anna Pekunova/Getty

Spending the night in a hotel room with a toddler can be less about making sure he sleeps and more about making sure the people in the rooms all around yours aren't trying to get the front desk to kick you out for the night.

It's a strange place, with strange sounds and surroundings, and sleep just might not be happening — at least not as much of it as you'd prefer. The morning will bring excitement and adventure, assuming you survive that long with thoughts like these running through your head.

MoreMom gets nutty surprise after leaving 3-year-old alone with little brother

1. "How many times has this pack-and-play been thrown up in?"

Or exposed to other mysterious bodily fluids. Is that a stain or just part of the fabric pattern? Maybe next time you should bring your own sheets.

2. "This place is like a booby trap for toddlers."

Is your little guy big enough to climb out of the playpen while you're sleeping? Enjoy the paralyzing fear that he'll go on a childproofing-free rampage through a room with loose phone cords, an easy-access toilet and no guards on the electrical outlets.

3. "Oh god, we forgot the ____."

Spin the roulette wheel of absent-mindedness to see what got left at home! If you're lucky, it's the baby shampoo. If you have a bad break, though, it just might be the lovey or the bedtime-ritual book. How far is it to turn around and drive back home right now — eight hours? Yeah, might be worth it.

More: My kids used pacifiers until they were 4 and I don't regret it (much)

4. "What am I supposed to do for two hours until it's my bedtime?"

You are stuck in a dark room with a sleeping toddler. You can't watch TV. You can't turn on a light to read. You definitely can't go down to the hotel bar. You can't even breathe too loudly. Vacation is so much fun.

5. "Why is she making that noise?"

At minimum the front desk is getting calls complaining about how loud your room is. At worst, the police are getting calls telling them that the woman in room 317 at the Comfort Inn is sacrificing a goat to her demon god.

6. "How little sleep can I get and still drive another six hours tomorrow?"

The amount of time you actually get to sleep will be slightly less than the amount of time you will spend looking at the clock and calculating how much sleep you will all get if the kids stop fussing... right... now. (Spoilers: not enough.)

More: Photos that show the reality of travelling with kids

7. "My child is a contortionist."

Did you think getting the room with a king-sized bed would mean you could co-sleep in peace and comfort? Think again. You will still be sleeping with more knees and elbows poking you in the side than seems humanly possible. Also, he has all the blankets.

8. "Oh, he's finally quiet."

A little too quiet? Hooray, the kiddo has finally conked out! He's still breathing, of course. Probably... right? You'd better go check.