If there’s one thing you hope for while traveling with little kids, it’s probably sleep; that’s why having a comfortable travel crib — and a travel car seat! — for your little one to rest is important. Of course, you can always ask your hotel for a crib, but you might find that they’re old, worn-down and maybe even too small for your child. And there’s always the chance that you get to your family vacation spot and the crib you arranged in advance is no longer available — it, unfortunately, can happen.
This is where a portable travel crib comes into play — one that is comfortable, easy to carry, easy to check as luggage and capable of being set up and collapsed in no time. Bringing your own travel crib with you means you know exactly what your child is going to sleep in. But even with a travel crib, you’ll still want to make sure you’re following the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) safe sleeping guidelines.
Fortunately, there are many portable travel cribs for you to bring on your vacation. We found 15 cribs, bassinets and travel beds that are lightweight, compact and comfortable for your child. These cribs can be used while staying at a hotel, visiting Grandma and Grandpa or even on your next camping trip.
Our favorite travel cribs
Listed at just 11 pounds, the BabyBjorn was rated the best overall pick when it comes to travel cribs by the popular baby website What to Expect. The crib sets up and breaks down in seconds and folds into an easy-to-maneuver carrying suitcase, making air travel much easier with a child. The mattress is thick and cozy and will allow your baby to sleep well. The mesh sides allow you to watch your baby while they’re sleeping while also providing a safe sleeping environment.
Although the crib is close to $300, this is one of those purchases where you’ll be happy you spent the money if you’re traveling often. The crib is also large enough to fit most children until they’re ready for a real bed.
The Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib will give you everything you’re looking for. The crib will grow with your child, as it offers a higher bassinet position — for the infant stage — and then a lower position for once your child is more mobile. Baby List lists this crib as its overall favorite and states, “There are so many things to love about this sleek, modern travel crib — it’s tough to choose just one.”
The crib offers mesh sides, a mesh floor and even a quilted mesh mattress. The mattress promotes maximum air circulation to ensure your child gets the best night’s sleep. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic mattress cover zips off easily and is machine-washable. The crib folds easily with just one hand and comes with a travel bag, making it incredibly convenient to take on your next trip.
The crib also goes above and beyond the required safety standards, as it is GreenGuard Gold certified. Your child will have less risk for chemical exposure, as it’s free of flame retardants, formaldehyde and lead phthalates. Although pricey, this is truly one of those cribs where you get what you pay for.
The relatively new-to-the-market Bugaboo Stardust Playard advertises itself as an incredibly easy-to-use travel crib, stating that it “unfolds in one second and folds back in three.” The crib offers two heights — one for newborns and then one for the toddler stage — making it easier for the parent. It also folds down extremely thin, making it easy to take on the go in the included storage bag.
At about 17 pounds, the fabrics are machine-washable and chemical-free. The mattress is also multilayered, which is thick and comfortable for a child. However, the crib is slightly smaller than some other travel cribs and is advertised to fit children only up until 2 years old.
Transporting the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib & Play Yard is incredibly easy — and lightweight — due to the backpack storage case and the fact that it’s only 11 pounds. The crib comes with a GreenGuard Gold nontoxic certification and offers mesh sides for breathable air circulation. The company also states that its mattresses contain no harsh materials, such as PVC, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, arsenic, mercury, cadmium and flame retardants. It also meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
Getting your child in and out of the crib is also incredibly easy with the side-zippered doors. This allows your child to crawl in themselves — or you can easily slide them in — without it being hard on your back.
Our favorite travel bassinets
If you’re looking for a travel crib specifically for the baby stages, then the Delta EZ Ultra Compact Bassinet is perfect for your needs. With its detachable mesh canopy, the bassinet allows your baby to be fully protected. This can come in handy if you’re looking to use the bassinet outdoors and there’s a concern about bugs and insects. While this crib will not grow with your child as they hit the toddler stage, it can be used up until your baby is 15 pounds.
The Baby Trend Foldable 2-in-1 Bassinet offers an easy fold system that allows you to easily pack up the bassinet in the included bag and take it with you on the go. With a quick switch on the feet of the crib, the bassinet can be switched between rocking mode and stationary mode.
Our favorite baby travel beds
At just 2.45 pounds, this is by far the easiest travel bed to bring for your child. The bed folds into itself and allows you to easily pack it in your luggage. This can also easily be taken with you on the go, such as to the beach or on a picnic if your adventures fall during nap time. And with the lightweight UV mesh cover, this serves as both a sun canopy and mosquito net. One Amazon review states that the crib ”folds up small, weighs next to nothing compared to a pack-n-play and provides a comforting sleep space that looks the same to your kid no matter where you travel.”
However, this is not a crib or playard, as there are no sides to keep your child from escaping, which also means you’ll need to make sure the space is baby-proofed. You’ll also find that the sleeping pad isn’t as thick or cushy as other travel crib mattresses, but this is something your child may or may not notice. This travel bed also isn’t recommended until your child turns 12 months old.
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