Operation Hide: How to share a room with a child in a pack-n-play!

When my youngest daughter was almost two years old she still needed a nice afternoon nap.  It was about that time that she realized she may be missing something big if she took one.  Unfortunately for us, those two facts collided right about the time we scheduled our trip to Disney Word.

I almost panicked at the last minute and left the toddler behind.  I knew if she did not get a nap, and get to bed at a reasonable hour that our vacation would spin into an uncontrollable death spiral from which we could not recover.  Let's face it...if a toddler is not happy, no one in the near vicinity will be happy. 

I knew that she would never go to sleep in a hotel room with the rest of us visible to her in the room.  Plain and simple.  Two rooms were not an option budget wise.  I thought about hiding everyone in the bathroom until she fell asleep, but that did not seem fair to anyone - especially her older sister who really needed an afternoon rest as well.  We were staying in a moderate hotel without a balcony or patio - so sitting outside with a door cracked was not an option either. 

I finally decided the best option was to hide her.  I positioned her pack-n-play in the corner of the room near the bathroom (I only had to do some minor re-arranging.)   I gathered my supplies: a large pair of 3m brand Command Hooks, a large pair of Office Binder Clips, and the darkest sheet I had from home.  Read the directions carefully on the hooks to make sure you install and remove them properly.  This will insure you do not damage the walls in any way.  Install the hooks on each wall just outside of the pack-n-play.  Be sure to hang the hooks over the head of the tallest person in the room.

A reproduced close up of our rig
Next unfold your sheet and attach the binder clips along one edge of the sheet.  Fold the clip back on itself
so that the sheet hangs from the bottom and the loop of the clip can be hung over the hook.  Now just stretch the sheet from hook to hook and hang and you have hidden your pack-n-play, essentially giving your toddler his or her own private room!  This would also be great to create a separate changing area for older kids would appreciate a little privacy.

When our daughter was not sleeping, I just let the sheet hang from one hook.  I could easily hang  the other side when needed.  When it was time to leave I stuffed the sheet back in my bag, carefully removed the hooks according to package directions, and moved the furniture back to the proper spot.  No evidence of our privacy screen remained! 

I hope this trick comes in handy for someone else. A few dollars on supplies saved us a fortune on another room and made sure our little one got the sleep she needed...which made us all happier in the long run! I guess necessity really is the mother of all invention!
Yes...she really is back there!  (Pardon our mess!)

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  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree! Awesome idea! I may use it!

  3. Perfect! We're traveling soon and was looking for a trick and I found one!!
    Thank you!

  4. I am so glad I found your post! I was worried about the same thing, and I had already thought of the sheet. However, I never thought of removable hooks and binder clips so that there is no damage to the wall! Thanks so much!

  5. I used your idea when we went to the beach last week, picked up some dark sheets and command hooks from walmart, borrowed some binder clips from work and it was a HUGE SUCCESS!!! thanks so much for the idea!!