Baby travel crib and safe sleep tips for travel
Sleeping and maintaining good sleep routines is a major concern for traveling parents. Well Named ! Good sleep begets good sleep. We spend so much time and energy helping our babies nap and sleep through the night… Who the hell wants to mess with that? I have already written about Travel spoiling baby’s sleepand the worry that “travel hangover” can cause. But, with a little preparation (teeth, big time changes, and side sickness), we can keep sleep issues to a minimum when traveling with toddlers.
But no matter where you stay, whether it’s a fancy hotel or grandma’s house, your baby or toddler needs a safe place to sleep.
Co-sleeping while traveling:
If you sleep together at home, consider that hotels and family guest rooms may not have the safe setup or baby-friendly bedding and linens that you have at home.
I have heard of some families pulling the mattress on the floor or making a bed on the floor. This option would not suit me. Hotel carpets disgust me! But, for security reasons when sleeping together in a hotel room, it may be necessary. Another option is to bring a portable crib or a travel bed rails.
The next step is to bring a travel crib Or child travel bed with you. If you plan to do a lot of traveling, or if a second bedroom would be handy to have at Grandma’s, this is a worthwhile investment.
You’re spoiled for choice when it’s time to shop for a travel crib. The phil&teds traveler is still a popular choice after many years on the market. It is truly a lightweight and portable travel cot that is suitable for toddlers to toddlers. I’ve demonstrated this item a few times and it gets easier to put together and take apart the more frequently you do it.
I have seen firsthand how the Baby Bjorn Travel Bed Lamp East. It doesn’t fold up as compactly as the phil&teds, but it’s SO EASY to put together and take apart. When folded, it’s the size of a small suitcase, but flat. But if you check it in as baggage anyway, that’s okay. THE Baby Bjorn Travel Bed Lamp is more expensive.
THE Chicco Alfa Lite is another great option at a lower price.
A tip for using a travel crib: Bring a crib sheet from home. If possible, take the one they were just sleeping on out of their crib. The familiar feel and smell might help them feel more comfortable and secure in their travel cot. Click here for more baby travel sleep tips.
Now, once your babies turn into toddlers and they can’t or won’t sleep in any of these things, you still have options!
I’ve tried a few duds that I won’t bother to write about, but I will say I wish I had known about The Shrunks products. THE inflatable toddler bed weighs less than 8 lbs, uses standard crib sheets, and packs into a travel bag that can be purchased separately and contains the bed, plus the pump, sheets, and blankets. The Shrunks also makes a inflatable bed rail for travel. This is a great idea if you have a busy sleeper and aren’t sure if where you’re staying offers bed rails or if you can push the bed up against the wall.
In a pinch, you can always channel your inner McGyver and tuck extra pillows and rolled up towels or blankets under the sheet on the side of the bed. It worked for us.
Of course you don’t have to bring your travel cots or cribs with you. Cribs or playpens may be available at the hotel or rental you are staying in. They may be totally clean and safe… Or they may not be. Our first experience with a hotel crib was not good. After that, we always brought our playpen with us. Then all the following hotel cribs were fine of course 😉
Rent or borrow a crib for travel:
Another option, and especially good if you’re staying at the home of a family member or friend without children, is to rent a crib or playpen. We have quite a large baby equipment rental pagebut always looking to add more listings!
And don’t forget to use social media! Equipment rental can be expensive, so you can try Facebook to see if you have any friends or acquaintances in the area you will be visiting who can lend you equipment.
In a previous speed guide (and the television appearance I did to support him) I recommended the Peapod travel cot. After reading a heartbreaking tale of baby suffocation on Amazon, I pulled it from my gear guide.
I’m sure they’ve improved the design over the years, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending this travel cot or any other tent-style travel cot.
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