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A year and a half ago we took a trip to Walt Disney World with our 4 week old newborn daughter and guess what? We survived! Not only did we survive but we had an AMAZING trip! People thought we were crazy when we said we were going to bring our 4 week old to Disney World along with our 2 year old son. To be honest, the 2 year old was way more work than the 4 week old. My son’s first trip was at 3 months and I don’t think there was much of a difference between a 4 week old and 3 month old. The biggest difference however was that with my son, I was done breastfeeding by the time we took our trip. With my daughter, I was still  breastfeeding and pumping making the trip slightly more challenging.

If you’re thinking about taking your newborn or infant to Walt Disney World, use our list below as a guide to make your trip as easy as possible:

Don’ts

  • Plan on being in the parks from rope drop to closing. Having a baby in general is exhausting let alone in a theme park! Make sure everyone understands that this trip will be a little less fast-paced than a normal Disney trip.
  • Put sunscreen on the baby. For babies under 6 months old, doctors usually recommend not using sunscreen and instead keeping the baby out of direct sunlight. With that being said, my doctor gave us the okay to put sunscreen on the 3 month old as long as we gave him a bath and washed it all off before bed.
  • Bring a wearable carrier for a newborn. (this suggestion is only for newborns, not infants) If you’re going when it’s going to be hot (which is most of the time), skip the carrier. Newborns don’t sweat, so it’s better for them to be laying in a stroller than pressed up against your hot skin. Depending on your child’s size, it’s also hard for them to fit comfortably in a carrier. My daughter was only a little over 8lbs, so I would have had to use the newborn insert, meaning more material making her even hotter. If you find yourself going in the cooler months, you’d probably have no problem wearing your newborn. In fact, you might find it easier, especially if you have other children.  With that being said I highly recommend a breathable wearable carrier for infants over 12 lbs such as the ergobaby 360 or Lillebaby Complete all season carrier.
  • Forget to use Rider Switch Service. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the “big kid rides”. Rider Switch is a very simple concept; it allows you or other members of your party to stay outside of a ride with the child/children while other members of your party wait in line. Once they’re finished, guests with the Rider Switch pass don’t have to stand in the standby line to enjoy the attraction. The process is simple: get in line and ask the cast member for a rider switch pass (usually the CM will need to see the child). If Rider Switch is available for that particular attraction, they’ll load a FastPass-like entitlement to the MagicBand of the member of your party waiting outside. The Rider Switch entitlement allows 3 people to return to the ride via the FastPass line. Full info can be found by clicking here.
  • Skip a Disney trip just because you have a newborn or infant! There are plenty of rides, shows and other things to do with babies. Here is a list of rides everyone can ride:
    • Magic Kingdom
      • Astro Orbiter
      • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
      • Country Bear Jamboree
      • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
      • Enchanted Tales with Belle
      • Haunted Mansion
      • “It’s A Small World”
      • Jungle Cruise
      • Liberty Square Riverboat
      • Mad Tea Party
      • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
      • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
      • Peter Pan’s Flight
      • Pirates of the Caribbean
      • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
      • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
      • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
      • Walt Disney World Railroad
      • The Hall of Presidents
      • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
      • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
      • Under the Sea ~Journey of the Little Mermaid
      • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
    • EPCOT
      • Frozen Ever After
      • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
      • O Canada!
      • Journey into Imagination with Figments
      • Living with the Land
      • Spaceship Earth
      • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
      • Turtle Talk with Crash
    • Hollywood Studios
      • Muppet*Vision 3D
      • Toy Story Midway Mania!
      • Walt Disney Presents
      • Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage
      • Disney Junior – Live On Stage
      • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
      • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
      • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
    • Animal Kingdom
      • Affection Section
      • Conservation Station
      • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
      • Festival of the Lion King
      • Finding Nemo – The Musical
      • Kilimanjaro Safaris
      • The Boneyard Tricera Top Spin
      • Wildlife Express Train
      • Na’vi River Journey
  • Bring a pack-n-play. All Disney hotels will provide you with a Pack-n-Play and upon request some will even provide a crib or side rails for the beds. Alternatively, you can also rent mini-cribs and other baby items from outside companies that will deliver directly to your hotel.
  • Bring a car seat. As long as you’re flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and staying on Disney property, there is no need to bring a car seat. The exception to this is if you’re bringing a newborn and will need the car seat/carrier for your stroller.
  • Lose your binky, bottles or sippy cups! Buy a binky clip or strap to hook your bottles/sippy cups to the stroller. This works especially well if your child likes to throw things just to drive you crazy and make you keep picking them up for their entertainment.
  • Pack diapers in your suitcase. Instead, order them from Amazon or Garden Grocer. This will free up extra room in your suitcase. Both will deliver directly to your resort.
  • Go back to the resort for nap time. Some people will tell you going back to the resort is a must, but personally I find it to be a waste of time. When my son was still at the age where he would nap (I miss those naps soooo much!!!!), my husband and I used the time to walk around and enjoy all the sites Disney has to offer and maybe even sneak in a beer or 2 around Epcot’s World Showcase. If you have a child who won’t nap in the stroller, you might just have to bite the bullet, hop on Disney transportation, and head back to your resort.
  • Bring your video camera or camera. Unless it’s something you know you’re going to use, leave it at home. It’s just more to pack and chances are you’re not going to take the time to get it out. The cameras on your smartphone are SO GOOD these days, it’s just more convenient to use it and leave any larger camera(s) at home.
  • Think you’re going to do everything. Even without kids, it’s impossible to do EVERYTHING at Disney World. I recommend picking a few things that are the most important to you, doing them first, and see everything else as a bonus. While you can plan out every minute of your trip, chances are NOTHING will go according to plan. Many times we’ve been in line for a ride and had to get out because of a diaper blowout. Things happen, just laugh and go with it.
Mickey Mouse with Newborn at EPCOT Character Spot
Mickey Mouse with our infant son on his first trip to Walt Disney World.

Do’s

  • Bring a stroller travel system. If you’re traveling with a newborn, you’ll most likely need a stroller that you can attach your car seat/carrier to, as some strollers don’t accommodate babies under 12 pounds. I would recommend getting a stroller frame such as the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go GX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier or a convertible stroller system such as the Baby Jogger City Select that has multiple configurations and can grow with you. We personally use the City Select and LOVE IT!
  • Look into renting a stroller. Depending on your situation, you may want to do some research on different stroller rental companies in the Orlando area. They’ll deliver directly to your Resort. I don’t recommend renting from Disney.
  • Check the weather.  Whether it’s going to be 90 or 60, prepare for anything. Be sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. You may need a stroller fan, weather shield, or snowsuit!
  • Meet the characters. Character meet and greets are the perfect photo opportunity for you and your little one(s). Our favorite place to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy is the EPCOT Character Spot!
  • Know where the baby care centers are located. Plan on stopping to nurse/pump/make a bottle. The baby care centers are all air conditioned and have everything you could need for your little one.
  • Go into air conditioned attractions as often as possible. Infants don’t sweat, so they need to go in and out of air conditioning every 20 minutes or so. The Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom), the “O Canada!” show in Canada (Epcot), Journey of the Little Mermaid (Hollywood Studios) and It’s Tough to Be a Bug (Animal Kingdom) are all nice cool attractions to sit with babies and toddlers
  • Wear nursing clothes if breastfeeding. In addition to baby care centers there are a lot of other quiet, fairly private spots to nurse in all the parks and you’ll want to be able to nurse fast.  
  • Pack extra diapers in your diaper bag! You can never have enough! Of course if you run out, you can always buy them at the baby care centers, but you’re going to pay a premium.
  • Keep extra clothes for your little one and you in your diaper bag. People usually pack a change of clothes for their kids but often forget to add one for themselves. It doesn’t have to be a full outfit but I do recommend keeping a t-shirt for you and your significant other at the bottom of the diaper bag just in case.
  • Attach something to your stroller to make it stand out. Try using balloons, ribbons or luggage tags to make your stroller stand out in a sea of identical strollers. You can even bring glow sticks from home and attach them to your stroller wheels at night to light things up.
  • Bring your breast pump. I’m usually not a fan of hand pumps, but decided it would be easier to bring mine since it was lighter, smaller and I could use it anywhere even if there wasn’t an outlet. If you do want to use your electric pump, you can leave it at the first-aid center instead of carrying it around the park. Note: They can’t refrigerate your breast milk.

There you have it, the do’s and don’ts of a Walt Disney World vacation with a newborn or infant. If you’ve ever been to Disney with a newborn or infant and have something to add please let us know! Or if you plan on going to Disney with a newborn or infant and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

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