Hosts who welcome babies and toddlers - how do you do it?

I’m a host considering encouraging families to book a whole home listing of mine. What would I need to be aware of to make sure this works out well? What amenities are necessary? What can be overlooked?

We have a few family with babies and toddlers staying. Definitely the house is messier when the kids are around. We have a travel cot but ask the guests to bring their own linens for the baby.
We provide a few children’s books and also some plastic cups and plates for the kids to use. We also provide a high chair.
There is a list of amenities on Airbnb that they classify as I think it’s called “family amenities”. We don’t tick all the boxes just the odd few things as mentioned above


yes it will be messier, kids hand prints everywhere, i supply kids toys, (get some from an op shop) a high chair and a travel cot.

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My listing has “kid friendly” in the title and I’ve included pictures of the available pack & play, dining booster seat, and nearby playgrounds in my listing. I have a bunch of kids’ books in the 0-12 age range, some games, kid dining plates/utensils, and drawing supplies. There are electrical socket covers in case a parent wants to use them. The bookcase is fastened to the wall.

The apartment itself is fairly uncluttered so there’s not a lot a kid can break or mess up. I’m in the city, but have an enclosed patio for parking strollers. I had more damage from the 6 “lads” on a guys weekend than little bittys!!

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I accept babies and toddlers, though I checked “not suitable for infants” because my guest suite isn’t childproofed, and I clarify with each parent that they must supervise their child at all times. I have a barn door that children LOVE to play with (and adults too) and there really isn’t a way to childproof. And no amount of childproofing replaces parents supervising their children.

I offer a Pack-n-Play crib, which I already had because I have a toddler myself who outgrew it a few months ago. That’s about it. I took 1.5 years off hosting to have my kid, and I’ve only been hosting again about three weeks, but my first new guest booked my place because of the Pack-N-Play. Pack-N-Plays are very common on Craigslist and local parenting Facebook buy/sell groups, but I wouldn’t think it would be used often enough to really warrant going out and buying a new one. A lot of parents bring their own anyways.

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Do you think accommodating parents of small children pays off?

The house we’re listing is near the gulf coast and people frequently stop in that area on the way to the beach. Often that means they are families traveling together. That’s why I was considering it.

I’m a newish host,but I have 2 toddlers and our listing allows all kids. Things that I think make a place good for kids:

  1. pack n play or crib
  2. High chair
  3. Plastic or melamine plates/ cups
  4. A few kids toys, crayons, coloring book, tv
  5. No glass furniture, not a lot of breakable decor items
  6. Outdoor space

Other things we offer/ might be nice depending on location but definitely not necessary: kids water toys or life jackets, changing pad, swing or bouncer, baby carrier backpack, stroller.


Pack’N’Play for sure. Go to your local library and see if they have a used book sale. I hoard children’s books. I have a baby gate, a large yard the kids can roll around in, and loooooooots of stuffies!!!

Make a guestbook (for all guests not just families with babies). In that guestbook, have a page with kid info. What to do with kids, babysitter phone numbers, outdoor activities, family friendly restaurants…

Word gets around between families, especially on social media, and we are well known to traveling families which come to this area.

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So many hosts specifically don’t want kids, I think if you do welcome kids, it’s a good way to differentiate. My kids are 8 & 12 so I just migrate books and items they’ve outgrown or no longer use to the ABB, which helps me too :grin:

You should make sure the space is uncluttered with no furniture that could tip (bookshelves, dressers). And know where good kid-friendly playgrounds, shops, etc are.

There’s a lot of “stuff” associated with small children and when you have kids, it’s nice to not have to drag it around with you!

Hi Xena,
Do you have that in writing or verbally ( to ask parents to supervise their kids all the time)

In the house rules and confirmed via messenger.

We often house families. I actually find they leave the place cleaner, generally they are very aware of mess the kids might leave and clean up after them. Our other guests are often groups of friends traveling together, it’s noticeably cleaner when there is a family with someone in charge to ensure its all clean. When it’s five individuals their cleaning standards are not always up to scratch and no one cleans up after the other.

We don’t leave many items at kid height that is breakable, and parents have commented they’re happy to let their children roam around and not worry about them messaging things up. A travel cot, high chair, some baby utensils and a few toys are generally all smaller children need.

We also have 3 bedrooms which families often look for so the kids can have separate spaces ( full house rental).

I have a. 2 yo so perhaps I subconsciously set up my place to cater for our needs!

My 3 bedroom cabin gets a lot of kids, I have legos and games and a highchair if they ask. Stay away from balls and toys that can break windows, I had a guest leave a football and I am like, no way am I going to leave that out. When they leave put on your headlamp and look around at their level, Sunday I had a booger smeared on the fridge about 20" up from the floor. Ewe. Also they snot up the leather couches.


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People make fun of my headlamp, black light, lint roller and fresh TP (but not my reviews and ratings.) Even though I don’t allow kids I’ve found a surprising number of issues with the bright light and getting on my hands and knees on the floor. I recommend everyone do so periodically, especially if the rental isn’t well lighted or if their eyesight is getting old.


I always use my headlamp! Look up and you see cobwebs, look low and find the boogers and snot. Look at baseboards and under the couch. If I owned a cleaning service they would be required.


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I allow families with infants and toddlers but I tell them upfront that my house in not child proof. I don’t have outlets covers, high chair or gates. I only have a crib and mattress. Whenever I have these guests the house is messier: poop smeared on the bathroom floor, sticky fingers on the tables, under the tables and every imaginable surfaces, stained chairs, sofa, carpet. But I had messier adults so what can I say? If the parents make an effort to clean after the kids and I see that, I’m not going to protests. I also provide games etc.

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My rental is very similar to yours. I agree you can count on a mess when they leave.

HOWEVER Ollies (discount retailer) purchased most of the Toys are Us final stock and has a nice toy selection and good prices while supplies last. For anyone hosting families, it may be worth the trip to purchase toys.