Our Family in a Hotel Overnight Would Never End Well

So, you’ve heard about our Legoland trip already. I didn’t dish much on our mushy gushy first day, but more our tearful and testing second day. As much as I love the mush, I know it can seem boring when typed. So I hold those memories in my head and frame them on our wall. Besides, if we’re going to have an awful time, I need to at least find something entertaining about it.

This overnight stay was the reason for that second day. The one that saw me crying, as I carried a planking child around Legoland on my hip. Bearing a smile that said “I don’t care, we’ve paid for this day and we will sodding enjoy it”.

My friend had done this with her toddler last year. She warned me we’d get little sleep. We’d probably all end up in the same bed, she said. She was half right.

The thing that made me laugh as I was telling her how anxious I was about the overnight stay, is her saying they put their daughter down to sleep in her travel cot at 8pm. They then turned the tv towards their bed, kept the volume low, and had high hopes that their then two year old would think ‘ah, this is their time to relax, my time to sleep’. If only. She told me they tried negotiating with their daughter, until eventually they gave in, switched everything off and were all sleeping in the same bed before 9pm. Because you can’t negotiate with a toddler terrorist.

This gave me some insight as to how our night would go.


After our first day at Legoland, we checked into our hotel, ditched our bags in the room, had a quick bed-jumping session then headed out for a meal.

It’s very rare we show our faces as a family inside a restaurant, someone always ends up dancing on the table and mummy always has one too many glasses of wine to numb the embarrassment. However, this meal was brilliant, to top off our brilliant day, mushy gushy. The kids behaved like angels and we managed to finish all of our meals before giving up and leaving, having only taken a few bits of a club sandwich.

After our meal and a little wander around the town we headed back to our hotel room.

Don’t laugh, but I bought a face-mask for a little pampering.

Back in the room we all had a wash, got into our pjs’ and snuggled up on the bed watching cartoons, drinking milk. That itself was a lovely moment. Then came 8.30pm. The kids were slacking. Whingeing for no reason. Walking into walls. Hysterically laughing one minute, then crying the next.

So we switched everything off and laid them in their beds. Because maybe they would settle and sleep?

At first it was going well, they were silent. I assumed asleep. So I crawled like a ninja into the bathroom and popped my face-mask on. Look, at least I managed to use it right? Don’t laugh. I seem to always use a face-mask when we stay away. They say you should use them weekly, but I think a good two times a year is enough for me.

Rinsing the green cream from my hands I heard giggling. Giggling is better than crying. Then I heard the proper belly-ache laughing coming from my baby-beasts. I walked in to see my boy peering over my girls’ travel-cot. That’s what they were laughing at, looking at each other.

My boy rolled back over in his bed (his bed and her travel cot were side by side) and gave his teddy a squeeze. Then we hear “you still awake, I awake” followed by hysterical laughter.

Only, a few seconds later my boy fell asleep. Weird.


My girl couldn’t sleep, she went through a cycle of singing, standing, laughing and chatting for a full hour before giving up and falling asleep herself. It was now 10pm and my face felt like someone had covered it in cement. I’d had the mask on for so long it almost became part of my face. That would have been awkward at the 9am checkout.

That was it, that was our evening. I felt a little smug that they were both asleep, there were no tears and they were both in their own beds.

The evening may have been better than expected, although not the early night I’d have loved. The night could have made a grown man cry. Our girl woke hourly, not a gentle wake with a little grizzle, but a roaring scream. I had a heart attack seven times that night, I’m surprised I’m still here with you.

I don’t blame her that she didn’t sleep well, travel cots must be like sleeping on cardboard, covering pipework. That’s pretty much what it is though. Paper-thin mattress over criss-crossing poles. Uncomfortable. She was welcome to sleep in our bed, even in her brothers, but when given these opportunities it made her angry.

I was up and down throughout the night every hour until 4am. 4am came, as did her screaming and all I wanted to do was bury my face into my pillow and yell. So I kindly hinted at Mr Firstooth, with a gentle kick in the ribs, that it was his turn to settle his daughter.

He stood up, bent over her cot, ‘shushed’ her for a few seconds, then claimed “she’s just not going back to sleep, I can’t do it”. I will let you imagine my response.

So that was it, we were up for the day at 4am. Shortly after, my boy woke up too and we all sat in bed, bult upright with blood shot eyes, waiting to go down to breakfast. Which wouldn’t be open for another three hours. Brilliant.

In these three hours we did all manage to shower, pack our bags, get dressed and load everything into the car. I don’t know why we bothered dressing our children before breakfast, one of which face-plants every meal she has.

We arrived at breakfast with smartly turned out children and left with two baby beasts, covered in milk, bean juice, with cocopops hanging from their face and egg stuck to their chins (it was a buffet breakfast), who were also in desperate need of a nap. They were filthy feral children and we were just about to head off to the land of Lego for a fun-filled second day.

There’s why we’ll pretend Day 2 never happened.


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  1. June 4, 2016 / 6:40 am

    Oh blimey!!!!! I love that you’ve put a funny spin on this though. We are going on holiday later this month and using a travel cot….. needless to say I am now quite nervous ha ha! xx #justanotherlinky

    • firstooth
      June 4, 2016 / 8:10 am

      If you pop a blanket under the mattress it’s much more comfortable for them. We didn’t have anything spare but we know to remember next time! X

  2. June 4, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    The best thing about staying in a hotel when you’re a child is the coco pops!! #KCACOLS

  3. June 4, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Oh nightmare! Those cots always look so bloody uncomfortable though don’t they, must be as good as sleeping on the floor! #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:03 am

      Maybe even worse?

  4. June 4, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    I had to read this as we had our first night in a hotel last weekend – and this made me laugh!!! Sounds like it was…challenging! We pretended we were on a proper hols and wheeled baby in her pushchair into the restaurant at night. Normally she’d sleep but not this time, not when there was so much excitement going on! She did enjoy her experience of a hotel breakfast though! #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:02 am

      The breakfast is the best part. Our two just dived in, literally!

  5. June 4, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Oh laughing! We’ve become fine tuned to the art of sleeping in a hotel room together…..go to a hotel. Get a babysitter. Go out. Come back to sleeping babies. Crawl into bed… #kcacols

    Serious note I’m off to check out your lego land post to see if I should attempt it!

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:01 am

      That’s what we need to do next time!

  6. June 4, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    I really can’t imagine doing a hotel visit with young children, I think it would be my idea of hell, I think you did really well and I’m sure it was a great adventure for the children. #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:01 am

      They did enjoy the novelty

  7. June 5, 2016 / 7:09 am

    ouch! I feel your pain – all that excitement just gets too much for toddlers – hey that’s why us parents crave routine – the children (and us) need it. Sorry to have giggled a couple of times at your expense – I’ve been there too #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:04 am

      Routine definitely makes a difference to toddler babies but we had to throw caution to the wind x

  8. June 5, 2016 / 7:42 am

    Seems like it was a trying night. I’m sure we all have nights like that at times with our mini beasts. I’m glad you can find the humour in all, I was smiling throughout the whole post.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:05 am

      It was one of those unbelievable moments that made it funny. We’re we really up for the day at 4am?!

  9. June 5, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Ah this sounds a lot like every night of my life. You have my utmost sympathies! 4am is a shocking time to start the day never mind with crap sleep before.

    Still, you got one good day. Bonus!


    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:06 am

      Yes very grateful for that day. I definitely feel for you if that’s your every night!

  10. June 5, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Ahh travel cots are horrible!We’ve only stayed in a hotel with our boy once and I’m pretty sure I’ll never do it again! He didn’t go to sleep until 11pm and we has to be up at 3am to go the airport, we were all exhausted but did he sleep on the plane?Nope.Sorry to hear you had such a crappy second day at lego land, jar least the first went well so that’s something 🙂 xx #kcacols

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:07 am

      That made me feel tired just reading it. We do our best to treat ourselves and the kiddies and it’s such a shame when we have to do it being exhausted x

  11. June 5, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Oh wow. Your husband’s response would have clearly been the icing on the cake, I can imagine! Well done for getting through day 2. It sounds utterly nightmarish and I have been there SEVERAL times. The only positive thing is that you know the following night can’t be as bad! #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:10 am

      He has no stamina sometimes! It’s a necessary evil when you decide to stay away. As long as you set your self up for the worst, you can only be pleasantly surprised x

  12. June 5, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Ugh I am so sorry. Trips away can be brutal on kids, I think it is because they are not in their beds, and the routine is all screwy but I could be totally wrong. I am glad you got day one ok 🙂 #kcacols

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:11 am

      It was definitely a change in routine and environment. I think it didn’t help that we were all squeezed into one room. But at least our eldest slept like an angel x

  13. June 5, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Kids never seem to sleep when you are away. Mine never slept well when we went on holidays, I think it was half excitement half not liking a different bed.

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:12 am

      We always need to prepare for the worst. We’ve done it before and it was equally awful, but we like to treat ourselves to a little break once in a while

  14. June 5, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Great, honest post. We’ve had similar experiences with just our one defiant daughter -hotel rooms are just depressing places when you know you can’t actually leave the room. I’ve recently found a hotel that has a babysitting service – it is on my ‘list of places to visit’ on my phone. Hopefully we’ll get there one day. 🙂 #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:15 am

      That’s the thing. Once you go back to the hotel room, the only escape is the bathroom. It’s always destined to fail. I like the idea of a babysitting service x

  15. June 5, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    my goodness me how familiar this sounds! great post #kcacols x

  16. June 6, 2016 / 5:54 am

    Ohhh nooo Lizzie 🙁 it can be sooo tricky staying away.I can only hope you managed to catch up on some sleep! Hugs! Popping over from #marvmondays

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:17 am

      That next evening we slept like we’d never slept before. Thank you! X

  17. June 6, 2016 / 6:12 am

    Arg no but you turned it around mommy. Awesome read #MarvMondays

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:17 am

      Thank you!

  18. June 6, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Oh god…. Remind me to never to suggest an overnight stay with my lot! Bet you were shattered the next day! Xx

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:18 am

      Very! It’s worth a try, your little ones may take to it well x

  19. June 6, 2016 / 6:50 am

    Oh noon, I read your second day post at Lego Land and now I understand even more your pain! Hotel stays with children are always a nightmare aren’t they. Me and my husband have been known to retreat to the bathroom at 7pm and spend the night whispering wedged between the toilet and bath. I feel your pain! #marvmondays

    • June 6, 2016 / 6:51 am

      that should read noooo not nooon!

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:18 am

      I ended up in the bathroom most of the night too. That did make me laugh! It’s your only way to escape though isn’t it x

  20. June 6, 2016 / 6:54 am

    This is fab and so accurate. We’re debating a couple of hotel stays this summer but with a baby and an 8 year old it could be interesting #marvmondays

    • firstooth
      June 6, 2016 / 7:20 am

      You’ll be fine. All you can do is try and figure out little tricks to make it work better the next time. Worst case scenario you come back with a funny blog of your awful experience x

  21. June 6, 2016 / 8:38 am

    urgh yeah this post is exactly why I don’t bloody bother haha! I guess you take the rough with the smooth – sometimes its all fine, other times its sh*t! we had a travel cot and bought a cot mattress for about £15 on amazon. bet purchase EVER 🙂 #KCACOLS

  22. June 6, 2016 / 8:44 am

    Sounds like our night in a hotel recently with us all in together. I aways think to myself, it’s only one night surely it will be ok. How wrong was I!! x #marvMondays

  23. June 6, 2016 / 12:36 pm

    aww back from #MarvMondays – hope you’ve recovered lovely x it does get easier I promise x

  24. The Tale of Mummyhood
    June 6, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    This post made me giggle and empathise at the same time. I hope you have managed to enjoy a face mask in more more relaxed circumstances since!


  25. June 6, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Oh dear, that’s definitely a night to forget! Sounds quite familiar though, we went to a wedding when our daughter was about 2 and thought we’d stay the night before to save a stressful drive up in the morning. Instead we had a restless night with a toddler in our bed, climbing over us, poking us in the eyes. Yeah, it’s not at all relaxing is it!

  26. June 6, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    Sounds like my night, every night lol! Arthur tends to manage a couple of hours in his own room (after a very lengthy and set routine ) before the crying starts and we just bring him into bed with us so that we can all get some sleep! No doubt about it if we were in a hotel room we would def all be going to bed at the same time … And it would have to be a room with a bed big enough for 3 when the inevitable happens lol! #KCACOLS

  27. June 7, 2016 / 5:04 am

    We just did our first hotel stay with our 5 yo. She was very impressed with our “apartment”. Thankfully they had a pool and we took her swimming in the evening to wear her down. Even still, falling asleep at night wasn’t easy, I feel your pain! #KCACOLS

  28. June 8, 2016 / 6:22 am

    Hi Lizzie, which is why I couldn’t go back the those toddler years if you paid me! I love a good face mask for making me feel pampered, and I’m sure your children ruined the whole experience. Which is a shame. Luckily they do grow up and you will be able to enjoy a stay away from home with them one day – it may not be tomorrow, but one day.


  29. June 8, 2016 / 10:22 am

    Oh bless you for even trying it and a huge pat on the back for surviving it:)
    I think you did brilliantly!!


    • firstooth
      June 10, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you!

  30. June 9, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Oh gosh I feel your pain those random roaring screams are definitely heart attack material. I really hate them they leave my heart still racing several minutes later lol. I find it odd my husband has never experienced this. Gees seven times in one night, I don’t know how you survived it! Haha how you didn’t throttle your hubby after that lame attempt is beyond me. Xx #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      June 11, 2016 / 5:38 am

      Mine too! It was a near death experience for him but he made up for it x

  31. June 9, 2016 / 8:09 am

    We had an overnight stay on our way to Disney and the boys would not sleep so they ended up having hardly any sleep. I love reading all the mushy stuff but I also love the bits on between haha, makes me feel better. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  32. June 10, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    My family never gets together because it always ends up in the police being called. And they’re not toddlers…Sorry it was such a rough night. #kcacols

    • firstooth
      June 11, 2016 / 5:35 am

      Oh no!!

  33. June 10, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    I actually almost wet myself laughing at this. You poor things. Day one sounds fab, but I guess an equally delightful day two would have upset the balance 😉 Sure you were very glad to get home after that day. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    • firstooth
      June 11, 2016 / 5:41 am

      Two days in a row would have been pushing our luck. Especially with sleepy toddlers. I couldn’t wait to get home! Thanks for hosting x

  34. June 10, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    Oh no! I have yet to take my two to a hotel, & I have to admit that I imagine it would be a nightmare. It did actually occur to me at some point that if you take little kids to a hotel, what ARE you supposed to do at 8 when they’ve gone to sleep?? I typically fall asleep around 2am or later. 6+ hours of sitting in the dark and silence, trying not to move, does not appeal! #justanotherlinky

    • firstooth
      June 11, 2016 / 5:43 am

      The only thing you can do is try to join them. But that’s only if they sleep. Gosh I go to bed around 10 my face would start to slide of if I stayed up that late lol!

  35. June 13, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    The mask being part of your face and the arrival and departure at breakfast. Bloody brilliant! #marvmondays

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