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Picking Out the Perfect Travel Crib

Natalie Vereen-davis
July 10, 2015

Help your little one travel in comfort with the help of these top travel cribs.

Whether you're driving to see the grandparents or you're taking a flight halfway around the world, you want your family to be comfortable. Even though they may find traveling fun, babies and small children often have trouble sleeping while they're away from home. To help ease the transition between home and hotel, many parents turn to a travel crib.

"Hotels can rarely guarantee a crib and, in many places, safety standards are not what they should be," says Sharon Gourlay, a family travel blogger at Where's Sharon? She used a portable crib with her children when they were small to ensure they had a safe and familiar place to rest. Safety is often a major motivator toward purchasing a crib. "Using your own pack-and-play decreases the chance of coming into contact with any bacteria or viruses from previous crib users," adds Colleen Lanin, an author and founder of the family travel blog Travel Mamas. You and your child know when the crib has been washed and how it was taken care of when you use your own.

You baby will also likely be more at ease in his own space. "Your child may like the familiarity of a portable crib that's been used before and which smells like home," Lanin says. When your baby feels comfortable, he or she is likely to sleep better, which translates into more rest for the entire family. No matter which model you choose, you should think carefully about how you're going to use it and where you'll take your portable crib. That will dictate the type of crib you buy. For example, frequent fliers may value portability above other features. "You don't want one of the big pack-and-plays, but something that is compact and ideally can fit in your suitcase or can be carried on board," says Gourlay.

Mobility Matters

  • Graco Baby Travel Lite Portable Crib
    The Graco Baby Travel Lite Portable Crib comes with a bassinet, which makes it perfect for every stage of baby's life. The attached wheels and compact size allow it to fit easily into a hotel room.
  • Chicco LullaGo Travel Crib
    This bright bassinet can hold infants up to 20 pounds. The Chicco LullaGo Travel Crib's unique design makes for easy assembly and movement.
  • KidCo PeaPod Travel Bed
    The KidCo PeaPod Travel Bed is an ultra-compact way to provide your infant with a safe, familiar place to sleep. When folded into the included travel bag, this bed fits into a backpack or carry on.

Multiple-Use Cribs

  • Lotus Everywhere Crib by Guava
    The extra-portable Lotus Everywhere Crib by Guava zips into a backpack for convenient travel. Use it as an enclosed play yard or a sleeping area. One side can also be removed to make a space for baby to have fun.
  • I'coo Panama Play Yard
    The I'coo Panama Play Yard comes equipped with everything that a family on the go needs: a diaper dispenser, a mobile, a bassinet and removable changing table. The wooden bottom allows for extra stability.

Perks for Mom

  • 4Moms Breeze Play Yard
    With a waterproof changing pad and travel bag, the 4Moms Breeze Play Yard makes taking care of baby a breeze. You'll sleep better at night knowing that your child is protected by a special linking system that keeps the crib stable and rigid.
  • Summer Infant Deluxe Travel Bed
    The Summer Infant Deluxe Travel Bed can be used for naps or quick diaper changes for babies up to 29 inches long. Attach the mobile to soothe baby to sleep, then quickly fold up the bed and carry it by the attached strap when your baby is up again.

Lightweight Cribs

  • Phil and Ted's Nest Portable Baby Bed
    The Phil and Ted's Nest Portable Baby Bed is another option for parents who need a lightweight sleeping option for their infants. Designed for babies up to 9 months old, this bassinet easily pops up when you need to lay baby down for a nap.
  • Mitata Co Baby Sleeper
    This is great for families who co-sleep but want baby to have a defined space on the bed. The Mitata Co Baby Sleeper on-bed design also means that this sleeping option is lightweight.

The Most Comfy for Baby

  • BABYBJoRN Travel Crib
    The BABYBJoRN Travel Crib is made of a breathable mesh to keep your traveling baby cool and comfortable. When broken down, it meets current carry-on regulations.
  • Nuna Sena Travel Crib
    Your little one will sleep in comfort on Nuna Sena Crib's quilted mattress, and you'll love the one-handed folding feature.

Natalie Vereen-Davis travels with her toddler regularly and has come to regard their travel crib as an essential for any trip. You can find her family's adventures on her travel blog, Cosmo Mariners.

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