Whether you’re visiting family or friends or jetting off on a much-deserved vacation, the question of where baby will sleep is bound to arise. If you co-sleep at home, chances are that where you’ll be sleeping while you’re away will not have your baby’s safety as their main priority. Obviously, you need to make it yours.
Unless you are absolutely certain that your hosts or hotel will supply a safe crib or cot, a baby travel bed should be on your list of things to bring. There’s no shortage of available travel cribs and sleep accessories, so we’re here to help you wade through the best baby travel bed options when planning a trip with baby.
Best Baby Travel Bed Options:
phil&teds is one of the originators of excellent baby travel gear, and their Portable Traveller Crib is the first I ever experimented with. It is slightly complicated to assemble for the first time (regular campers may have an easier time of this) but is ultra-lightweight (only 7 pounds). The full mesh sides allow for total ventilation. It folds down very compactly and easily fits in a regular suitcase or can be brought on board as carry-on.
The phil&teds Portable Traveller Crib includes a cotton sheet, with an available UV mesh top for extra protection during outdoor use. At around $200 US, it’s average price-wise in the baby travel bed world. Most Amazon reviews for this item are favourable–noting that this travel crib doesn’t have to be checked as baggage when flying with baby.
Seeing as I’m a tad *camping challenged* the first time I saw the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light set up I was sold. Truly, it unfolds in seconds and is very sturdy with a soft foam mattress. At 13 pounds, it is almost twice the weight of the phil&teds Traveller and is a bit more expensive. When folded, it is roughly the size of a flat suitcase. For flying, it would have to be checked as a separate piece of luggage.
If you think you will mostly be doing car trips or you need a portable crib for Grandma’s house and the occasional vacation, it’s hard to beat the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light. The Amazon reviews for it are almost 100% positive.
At 11 pounds and roughly $210 US, the Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is somewhere in the middle between the phil&teds Traveller and the BABYBJORN Travel Crib. It unfolds similarly to the BABYBJORN and is somewhat larger when folded down. The carry case option has straps that convert to a backpack-style.
According to the (again, highly favourable) Amazon reviews for this item, the fabric on the Lotus Travel Crib is a little less supple than the BABYBJORN. This is a great piece of sturdy baby travel gear to employ on vacation (added to your checked luggage pile) as well as at Grandma’s house for occasional naps and baby jail usage.
At 15 pounds, the Fisher Price Ultra-Light Day and Night Play Yard is the heaviest baby travel bed featured here, but is significantly lighter than typical playpens. It is also half the price of the others shown here.
I thought the top was a UV mesh thing, but it claims to be in incline sleeper for an infant unable to roll over or pull up, whichever comes first. I am not sure how I feel about leaving baby to sleep there all night; I’d be more apt to treat it as a place for baby to hang out that’s not the floor.
A change pad is included and the mattress fits standard crib sheets. It appears to set up and fold just as easily as the BABYBJORN Travel Crib and the Lotus Travel Crib, and the Amazon reviews are almost entirely positive. But, like the BABYBJORN and Lotus, it’s big enough to need to be checked as baggage. At half the price of comparable travel cribs, the Fisher Price Ultra-Light Day and Night Play Yard might be your best bet for a portable baby travel bed.
Best Travel Sleep Accessories:
Inflatable Travel Bed Rails are ideal for families who co-sleep to help make hotel room beds safer for baby. I’ve heard of some families who either move the hotel mattress to the floor or just make a bed on the floor in their hotel rooms, and I would actually rather not sleep than do that.
These inflatable travel bed rails are BPA-free, Phthalate-free, lead free, and pump up in minutes with the included foot pump. The Amazon reviews are mostly positive, with the only complaints related to full-time use at home. This is a great and relatively inexpensive way to baby-proof a hotel bed if using a travel crib is not an option for you.
One thing hotel rooms are usually well-equipped with are blackout curtains. But you might not necessarily be staying in a hotel! If your kiddo is used to sleeping or napping in a completely dark room, any brightness might be an issue. In that case, lugging along a travel blackout blind would be definitely worth the effort and the investment.
This clever item attaches to windows with suction cups to eliminate any trace of light that might interfere with baby’s (and your!) precious sleep.
Grobags are a combo of sleeper and sleeping bag that are a safe way to keep baby warm and cozy without bulky blankets. They’re great for kids who tend to kick their covers off, too. These travel Grobags are a travel version with an opening that allows a stroller harness pass through the legs, so baby can doze off while still safely buckled. If you’re able to do the sleep transfer from stroller to crib, baby is already bundled up for bed and will hopefully stay asleep.
In some photographs of this product, it’s used in a car seat. Please don’t do this. It’s unsafe to have anything between baby and the car seat.
- The Ultimate Baby Travel Tips List: Sleeping
- The Best Travel Crib and Safe Sleep Advice
- Fixing Baby Sleep Problems after Travel
- How to Help a Toddler Sleep on a Plane
- Will Travel Mess with Baby’s Sleep?
- Baby Travel Gear Guide: Sleeping
- Baby Travel Gear Essentials
- Coping with Time Changes and Baby Jet Lag
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