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This post was updated on May 30, 2018
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 a toddler. 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.
What does this have to do with finding the best travel crib? It's important to understand what your style of travel is before buying a a baby travel cot. Though we want to help you find the best travel cot, it's good to know the other options before buying and for this, you'll need to know where you plan on staying.
Now that accommodations are booked, it’s time to start thinking about the best baby travel bed or toddler travel bed for your travelling with your baby or toddler. Before we recommend the best portable baby bed to buy, there are several other great options to consider. Not all will work for every family, so choose which is best for yours. If buying a travel cot is the best option for your family, we've included travel bed options for infants, babies and toddlers below.
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 baby travel cot. If they will have a travel crib 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 baby or toddler travel crib available. Even though it is not part of the listing, 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 a safe, sanitized baby travel crib or toddler travel bed 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 a toddler or baby travel bed 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 crib for your baby or toddler, here are our favourite options:
For co-sleeping families, the Dock-A-Tot makes a safe sleeping situation while travelling with your baby. It can also be used for play, tummy time 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 3-5 lbs it’s a very lightweight baby travel bed.
Looking for a newborn travel bed? We like this travel bassinet as an infant travel bed because it 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). If your baby is up on their hands and knees, it's time to move on to one of the other baby travel cribs listed!
The Lotus travel crib is a lightweight travel cot with 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 and a very high star rating, 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, so if you buy it early you'll get plenty of use out of it as you can continue to use it as a toddler travel cot.
If you are looking for a travel bed for a 1 year old (or older), 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. This toddler travel tent is also good, since you don't need to worry about the possibility of your toddler trying to climb out like the other travel cots above.
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
No longer want a travel crib for a toddler? Or perhaps your toddler is trying to climb out or doesn't like the toddler travel tent? There may become a point where a travel cot just doesn't work for your toddler, but he just isn't quite ready for an adult bed yet. This inflatable toddler travel bed is lightweight, portable and comes with an electric pump. The bed rail bumpers will keep your little one safely in the bed all night. We especially like the lifetime guarantee.
TRAVEL BED COMPARISON CHART
|TRAVEL BED||AGE||WEIGHT||PRODUCT WEIGHT||FITS IN SUITCASE||PRICE|
|DockATot Deluxe||0 - 8 months||5-22 lbs||3.0 lbs||No||Check Price|
|DockATot Grand||9 - 36 months||22-40 lbs||5.0 lbs||No||Check Price|
|Brica Fold n' Go Travel Bassinet||0 - 3 months||< 15 lbs||2.45 lbs||Yes||Check Price|
|Lotus Travel Crib||0 - 36 months||< 35" tall||13 lbs||Claims to fit as carry-on||Check Price|
|Baby Bjorn Travel Crib||0 - 36 months||n/a||13 lbs||No||Check Price|
|KidCo PeaPod||12 - 36 months||n/a||2.5 lbs||Yes||Check Price|
|KidCo PeaPod Plus||12 - 60 months||n/a||3.5 lbs||Yes||Check Price|
|Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed||> 18 months||n/a||8 lbs||Yes||Check Price|
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