Traveling with a baby is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with its unique challenges. One of the main concerns for many parents is ensuring a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for their little one. That’s where a travel crib can come in handy!
What is a Travel Crib?
A travel crib is a lightweight, portable bed for your baby or toddler. It’s designed to fold up compactly, making it easy to carry along on your travels. Travel cribs often come with carrying cases, and some can even fit in the overhead bin of an airplane!
Why You Need a Travel Crib
Travel cribs are not just for globetrotting families. They’re an excellent solution for grandparents’ houses, playdates, and any situation where your baby might need a safe place to sleep or play away from home. They’re a versatile piece of baby gear that can make your life easier and your baby’s life more comfortable.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Travel Crib
When choosing a travel crib, there are several factors to consider. The best travel crib for your family will depend on your specific needs, travel habits, and preferences. Here are some key things to consider:
Safety is the most important consideration when choosing any product for your baby. Look for travel cribs that meet all safety standards and are free of harmful chemicals.
Ease of Use
A travel crib should be easy to set up and take down. You don’t want to be wrestling with a complicated assembly process after a long day of travel.
Consider the weight and folded dimensions of the travel crib. It should be lightweight and compact enough to easily carry and fit in your car or on an airplane.
Your baby’s comfort is essential. Look for a travel crib with a comfortable mattress and plenty of space for your baby to sleep and play.
Choose a travel crib that is sturdy and durable. It should be able to withstand the rigors of travel and frequent use.
Travel cribs come in a range of prices. Consider your budget and the features that are most important to you. Remember, a higher price often reflects better quality and additional features.
Best Travel Cribs for Your Baby
Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a travel crib, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.
Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family
The Lotus Travel Crib is often hailed as the best all-around travel crib. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but it’s packed with features that justify the price.
This baby travel crib is lightweight, weighing only 15 lbs, including the carrying bag. It packs into dimensions that allow it to be used as a carry-on, a huge bonus for air travel. It even has a carrying case with backpack straps, making it convenient for parents to carry.
The Lotus Travel Crib has the longest mattress among travel cribs, making it a great choice for taller babies. It sets up in just 15 seconds and features a side door that zips open, creating a safe play area for your little one.
While the Lotus Travel Crib is fantastic, it isn’t without its drawbacks. It’s smaller than other pack and plays, and it can be hard to get everything back in the travel bag. The bassinet isn’t included like with other similar products, which is an extra cost to consider.
Pros: Very easy set up, side zipper goes all the way down (crucial if baby needs direct skin to skin to fall asleep, which can make bedtime much easier), backpack straps on carrying case, very lightweight.
Cons: Smaller than other pack and plays but still bulky, expensive if you aren’t getting a lot of use out of it, it can be hard to get everything back in the travel bag, bassinet isn’t included like other similar products1.
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
The BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light is another top-notch option. It’s one of the most expensive travel cribs on the market, but it’s known for its excellent build quality and ease of use.
Weighing only 13 lbs, it’s travel-friendly, although its folded dimensions of 23.5″ x 19″ x 5.5″ mean it won’t fit as a carry-on. However, it can be gate checked. It comes with a travel bag, and its setup and fold down process is extremely straightforward, requiring just one move.
The BabyBjörn crib is recommended for newborns up to around 3 years old, and because the mattress rests on the floor, there’s no maximum weight limit. It’s free of harsh chemicals and uses Okeo-tex Certified fabrics, ensuring a safe sleeping environment for your baby. This travel crib is available in both silver and black.
Despite its higher price tag, the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light offers great value, especially if you plan to use it from the newborn stage through to the toddler years. It’s an investment that can serve your family well for years to come.
Pros: Very easy set up, removable mattress cover and crib fabric that are machine washable, good build quality, free of any harsh chemicals and uses Okeo-tex Certified fabrics.
Cons: It is one of the most expensive options, does not fit as a carry-on but can be gate checked1.
Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard
Next up is the Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard. I feel like there should be a drumroll every time I say that name. It’s like a concert tour title but for a baby bed!
In all seriousness, the Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard is a popular choice among parents. It’s perfect for those who want a combination of convenience, durability, and affordability. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of baby beds. Okay, not really, but you get the idea.
One key feature of this bed is its removable, full-sized bassinet. This provides a comfy rest area for your baby and can be easily removed when it’s playtime. How cool is that? Play and nap all in one place – it’s like a mini apartment for your little one!
The Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard is also super portable. It features a compact fold, which means you can pack it up faster than you can say “Pack ‘n Play”. It even comes with a carrying bag, which means it’s ready for travel whenever you are.
One thing to note, though, is that while it’s heavier than some other options, the extra features might just make it worth the weight.
- Full-size removable bassinet
- Compact fold for easy travel
- Durable frame makes it perfect for travel
- Heavier than some other options
Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard
After that, we have the Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard. Now, this one is a bit of a game-changer. With nearly 10 square feet of space, it provides a lot of room for your little one to play and rest. It’s like giving them their own personal mini playground!
What’s great about this playard is its large mesh windows. These provide great visibility, so you can always keep an eye on your baby. Plus, it allows plenty of light in, which creates a more open and enjoyable environment for your baby. It’s like having their own little world to explore!
The Joovy New Room2 also boasts a heavy-duty padded mattress that supports a weight limit of up to 35 lbs. This means it’s not just for babies – toddlers can also join in the fun!
One thing to keep in mind though, this spacious playard is larger than most others when folded. So it might not be the best option if space is a concern for you.
- Nearly 10 square feet of space
- Large mesh windows for great visibility
- Heavy-duty padded mattress supports up to 35 lbs
- Larger than most when folded
Finding the right travel crib for your baby doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By considering factors like your budget, the bed’s convenience, your baby’s comfort, safety standards, and the bed’s durability, you can find a portable baby bed that perfectly suits your family’s needs. Remember, the best travel crib is the one that makes traveling easier for you and more comfortable for your baby. Whether you choose the Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family or the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light, or another model altogether, the key is to find a crib that checks all your boxes.
We hope this guide has been helpful in your search for the perfect portable baby bed. Now we’d love to hear from you! What travel crib did you choose and why? Do you have any tips or advice for other parents looking for a travel crib? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles for more helpful tips and guides on parenting and travel. Let’s make the journey of parenting an exciting and enjoyable adventure together!