Going to Lake Powell with a baby can be such a great time! As long as you are prepared with these tips, you have nothing to worry about.
It’s Lake Powell season! This has become one of our favorite vacations to take as a family. It’s really relaxing and because there isn’t cell service on most of the lake, you can really unplug and reconnect with yourself, your family, and nature.
I will admit that going to Lake Powell wasn’t always my favorite though. Why, you may ask? Because the thought of going to Lake Powell with a 7-month-old baby was pretty terrifying! I didn’t want to spoil the fun for everyone, so I did what any mom would do and scoured the internet for tips, and although there were some things that helped, nothing helped more than actually experiencing it and knowing what worked and what didn’t. So here I am, sharing my experiences! There are so many things I would and wouldn’t recommend when taking a baby to Lake Powell to help make sure that you have an enjoyable vacation. Let’s do this!
This post is all about the best tips for going to Lake Powell with a baby.
Tips for Taking a Baby to Lake Powell
Just like with most trips with babies, being prepared goes a long way! There have been trips that we have tried “winging it” with a baby that did not go as well as others that we planned ahead for. On that note, just a head’s up that something will go wrong. It’s just life. That’s why setting reasonable expectations is so important! As long as you are prepared with the tips below and have manageable expectations, there is no reason to have a great trip!
Where to Stay at Lake Powell with a Baby
This is one of the most asked questions we get about Lake Powell! We have only ever done a houseboat and based on everything we have heard from others, would recommend a houseboat over camping for sure. Most of them have air conditioning and bedrooms that make it easier to keep your baby cool and maintain their sleep routine. Houseboats are a little spendy, so if you don’t know anyone with one, you can always split the cost of a rental with a few friends.
Houseboat rental prices will vary whether you are going during peak season (June – August) or off-peak (September – May). You can find the costs and different houseboat options here.
When you are driving up the lake to find a spot to park it for your stay, try to find an area that is secluded and on a beach. There are plenty of beaches throughout the lake, regardless of water levels, so you will always be able to find one. Finding a secluded area will help keep your houseboat steady and free from waves from passing boats. It will also make it safer to swim around the houseboat as well! A spot with a beach will help you be able to get out of the houseboat and spend time allowing your baby to explore and play in the sand.
Hotel in Page, Arizona
Another option would be to stay at a hotel in Page, Arizona, and then drive into the Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell every day. This one works best if you have access to a boat to allow you to get around the lake. However, if you don’t have access to one, you can still have fun doing it this way! There is plenty of water and little beaches for you and your baby to play in that will make it a fun trip. If you’re going to Bullfrog Marina, there is one near the Marina and then a few a short drive away.
When to Go to Lake Powell
When to go to Lake Powell will depend a lot on your preference! If you prefer warm water to play in with your baby and don’t mind the warm temperatures, I would recommend going in July or August. We’ve gone in June, July, August, and September, and the water temperature was definitely perfect for swimming in July and August. If you want mild weather and don’t mind the cooler water temperature, I would recommend going in April, May, or even September.
If you’re staying on a houseboat, it is usually busier to get around and find a spot to park it on the lake during the peak season of June – late August. The lake is so big though that there will still be places for you! You just might have to drive a little further than you would if you went during the off-peak season between September – May.
How Long to Go For
Headed to Lake Powell with a baby and not sure how long is too long? I would recommend going no longer than 5 days. This allows you to get a good and relaxing vacation without getting burnout. We have done 7 days and while it was fun, it was a little too much for us to be cooped up on a houseboat with a baby. It works for some people though! 5 days is a good start though and if you find that it wasn’t long enough, you can always extend your trip next time.
What to Bring for Your Baby
Let’s talk about what to bring to Lake Powell with a baby! Those of you who have gone anywhere with a baby know that they don’t travel light. However, for Lake Powell, you definitely want to make it as light as possible! Here is a list of items that I recommend bringing for a baby for a 5-day trip to Lake Powell baby packing list.
- Pack and Play and SlumberPod or Bed Rails
- Sound Machine
- Bumbo/High Chair
- Sleep Sack
- Diapers and Wipes
- Changing Pad
- Diaper Rash Cream
- First Aid Kit
- 5-7 Onesies
- 3 Outfits
- Swim Shoes
- Life Jacket
- Swim Diapers
- Sunscreen / Sunscreen Stick for Faces
- Bibs/Burp Cloths
- Extra Pacifiers
- Small Toys & Books
- Blanket for Laying Baby on the Floor on the Boat and on Sand
- Cooling Toys
- Baby Snacks
I know that the only reason you guys are here is to talk about sleep! Leave a comment if that’s you! All kidding aside though, that was one of my biggest concerns when it came to taking a baby to Lake Powell. We had just spent so long sleep training him and now we were going to stay in a houseboat with a bunch of people in a place that he wasn’t used to. Thank goodness babies are more resilient than we give them credit for though! We kept the basics of his routine the same before bed and nap (diaper change, book, song, swaddle), which helped so much!
Now on to where he slept. If you are staying on a houseboat, there are three sleep arrangements that I would recommend:
1. Room with Pack and Play
On most houseboats, the staterooms are not big enough to put a pack-and-play in your room. If that’s the case, what you can do is get your baby their own room. We’ve done that will Ollie and it was perfect to provide him with his own space for naps and bedtime. This made things so nice! Also, if you can, you can lean the mattress against the wall so you can put the pack-and-play on the bed box.
2. Room with Bed Rails
If you can’t move the mattress against the wall or if there is no solid box underneath the mattress, I wouldn’t recommend putting the crib on the bed though. You want to make sure that the pack-and-play is sturdy and can’t fall and on a mattress, it’s not sturdy. When we can’t put the pack-and-play on the bed, we have brought tall bed rails to put on the side of the bed so Ollie couldn’t roll off. Here is a link to some tall and really sturdy ones that you can use!
3. Pack and Play with SlumberPod
Another option for a baby sleeping arrangement is a pack-and-play with a SlumberPod in the living room or main area. This one is of course a little tough because if you are putting your baby in the main area to sleep, people are going to have to be a little quieter once the baby is asleep. You can use a sound machine, but that doesn’t always block out all of the sounds. However, if your baby’s sleep schedule works with the family’s plans, then this is a great option! If you don’t know much about the SlumberPod, let me tell you! It is similar to a tent and goes over a pack-and-play to create a blackout environment for your baby to sleep with no outside stimulation. The SlumberPod is GREAT for travel, especially if you are sharing a room (or a houseboat) with a young baby.
You’ve probably heard that Lake Powell is hot and you’ve heard right! It can get pretty warm there, so keeping yourself and your baby cool is so important if you can, make sure that you can get into a houseboat with A/C. It makes a huge difference, especially at night. Lake Powell does get a little cooler at night, but often not enough for comfortable sleep. Here are some other tips on keeping your baby cool!
- Swimming – Taking advantage of all the water around is super helpful in keeping your baby cool! A dip in the water can do wonders for helping provide some relief from the warm sun.
- Fan – This rechargeable fan is one of our favorites for keeping kids cool in the heat.
- Cooling Pads – Below are two of our favorite kid-friendly cooling pads! These have been really helpful in keeping Ollie from getting too hot.
- Dressing Them Down – Keeping your baby in a diaper or light onesie can go a long way in keeping them cool during some of the warm Lake Powell days.
- Water – This one seems a little obvious, I know. But in the heat of the moment, it’s one that can be easily forgotten! See what I did there? Especially for babies who may still be nursing or are drinking formula. Just keep in mind though that it’s not recommended to give babies under 6 months water. If your baby is under 6 months, I recommend trying the other options to keep them cool.
Let’s talk about swimming at Lake Powell with a baby! Swimming is by far, one of the most common activities and such a great time for you and your baby! Let’s talk about some safety tips here. When swimming in Lake Powell, everyone in the water should have a life jacket, not just kids or babies. The Lake can get pretty deep and waves can come quickly if a boat drives neat by, so keeping a life jacket on at all times will make sure everyone stays safe.
Another baby swimming safety tip in Lake Powell is to not swim when it’s raining. Lake Powell storms can get crazy really fast! Even though it may be sprinkling a little bit, it’s best to be careful and head back in, especially if you are with a baby.
Boating at Lake Powell is so fun! The lake is so big, so you can get some really long drives on the boat to go exploring. If you’re not familiar with boating, let me share some safety tips for boating, in general, to keep you and your baby safe!
- On a boat, your baby should always wear a life jacket. This is actually a law, but it’s also really important in case something happens.
- Head into a canyon if there is a storm coming or the winds start to pick up – head out of the channel and into a canyon will be the safest place to be during a storm because you are more sheltered from the wind there and wait until the storm passes.
- When boating on the channel, try to stay at least 150 ft from other boats. The wakes from fast boats that get too close can get wild and dangerous so keeping a safe distance will help keep everyone safe!
- When the lake gets lower, there is more of a chance to hit rocks under the water, so while in the main channel, try to stay close to channel markers and keep an eye out for buoys that indicate hazards in the water.
- When swimming around a boat, make sure the engine is turned off to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Well, that’s a wrap for all of the tips for taking a baby to Lake Powell! As I said before, going to Lake Powell with a baby is so much fun, and as long as you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be stressful!!