Hawaii With Kids and the Biggest Mistakes You Might Make

Hawaii With Kids and the Biggest Mistakes You Might Make

I should have had a better on-the-go nap plan.

A child asleep in a stroller on an elevator with a french fry.

A rare moment where my daughter fell asleep in her stroller.

Emily Hochberg/Insider

My daughter has always been a tough sleeper. She needs a lot of support from me or her dad to fall asleep, as well as a dark, cool, quiet room. When you’re on vacation and your room isn’t ready, none of that is available. She is also one of the few babies on earth who won’t sleep in her car seat or stroller without — and I must stress this — a lot of protest. And on the off chance she does, it’s short-lived.

At the Hilton, I knew we’d arrive around nap time, but I thought her plane nap would mean she wouldn’t need another one. Given our early travel and the time change, though, she was so exhausted, she actually fell asleep in her stroller for perhaps the first time ever — right as we learned our room was ready.

When we got up to the room, we tried to take her out and transfer to her crib. We failed miserably. She was excessively upset and I couldn’t get her back to sleep, nor could I calm her for over an hour, much to the worry, I’m sure, of our hotel neighbors. 

When we changed hotels to Aulani, I was in the same position. But instead of trying to get her to take a nap, I let her play in the splash pad for as long as she wanted and patted myself on the back for being such an easygoing, flexible parent.

Then all hell broke loose. Her tiredness caught up and she started wailing about anything and everything. She was mad that she couldn’t swim in the lazy river — she does not know how to actually swim — angry that I offered her anything but the lazy river, and livid that I wouldn’t let her walk face-first into a pool of water. There was no calming her as I walked her, strolled her, and shushed her. 

My only solace in the public outburst was the fact we were at a Disney resort. Is it even a Disney vacation if someone doesn’t have a meltdown? We fit right in.

Most of this was unavoidable given our itinerary, but next time I’ll look for ways to guarantee early or late checkout, or, better yet, stay in just one hotel the whole trip to avoid this from happening multiple times.