One thing that is important to us on our family trips is getting everyone a good night sleep. Travelling can take a lot out of a baby or toddler, so we want to make sure we are setting our little ones up for the best rest they can get. We also want to make sure we are well rested, because night wakings, tantrums and all that other parenting stuff definitely follows you along on your trip!
The first step for us is deciding what type of accommodations will work best for our family. We were happy with booking hotel rooms until our daughter was able to stand and see us over the top of her travel crib. There are still ways to make this work (ahem, hotel bathroom or closet), but we also really enjoy staying in an Airbnb or VRBO apartment. This is more our style especially now when we are travelling with two kids. It gives us more space and gives us the ability to separate our kids if needed so they aren’t waking each other at night.
Now that accommodations are booked, it’s time to start thinking about where the baby will sleep. There are several great options to consider. Not all will work for every family, so choose which is best for yours.
If you plan to have your baby sleep in a travel cot, but aren’t interested in the extra weight or luggage while travelling we recommend the following:
1. Contact your hotel to see if they can provide a travel crib. If they will have one available, send them an email a few days before you arrive to confirm that one will be available for your stay.
2. If you are staying in a vacation rental like Airbnb or VRBO, contact your host to see if they have a travel crib available. Even though it is not part of the list, they may still have one available or can access one for you.
3. Find a reputable baby equipment company in the area. Often you will find you can get safe, sanitized equipment delivered right to your hotel or apartment. Don’t forget to read the reviews to make sure others have been happy with their service.
4. Depending on where you are travelling, consider having one delivered right to your destination from Amazon. Make sure to contact your hotel or apartment host to see if this is possible (in case it arrives before you do). This is also a great option if you are visiting family and plan to do so frequently.
If none of the options above are a good fit for your family or if you prefer to bring your own travel bed, here are our favourite options:
For co-sleeping families, the Dock-A-Tot makes a safe sleeping situation. It can also be used for play, tummy and diaper changes. The womb-like design may be just what you need to keep your baby sleeping through the night even while you travel. You will likely need to take it as an extra piece of luggage, but at only 4 lbs it’s very lightweight.
For newborns, this travel bassinet has a firm mattress and fitted sheet to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. It folds flat in seconds and includes convenient carrying handles, but can also fit in a suitcase. At only 2.4 lbs, it’s a great option for your 0 to 3 month old (discontinue use at 3 months or 15 lbs and if your baby is up on their hands and knees).
The Lotus travel crib has backpack portability and sets up in 15 seconds. At only 13 lbs and claims that it fits as a carry-on, you could even use it for naps in the airport! With a side door that zips open, your little one will even have their own safe area to play wherever your travels take you! With over 500 reviews on Amazon averaging 4.8 stars out of 5, this travel crib is sure to please everyone!
At a similar weight and size, the Baby Bjorn travel crib is also easy to bring along and set up. Though it does not fit as a carry-on, it can still be gate checked. It does have an added benefit of having removable mattress cover and crib fabric that is machine washable. This travel crib can be used from 0 to 3 years old.
Starting at one year old, the PeaPod and PeaPod Plus make an excellent travel bed for toddlers. It’s weight (3.5lbs for the larger PeaPod Plus) and size make it super compact and allow it to be packed right in the suitcase. The larger PeaPod Plus can be used up to 5 years old, ensuring you will get plenty of use out of it.
We travel with the PeaPod Plus and enjoy it so much that we have included it in our "must have" baby travel items.
RELATED: KidCo PeaPod Plus Review
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