If your family is getting ready to take some well-deserved (socially distanced) vacations, you may want to consider investing in a travel crib for your littlest adventurer. Travel cribs are convenient for when you’re on the go or even at home if you have limited space.
Travel cribs are extremely convenient. Not only do they give you a place for your little one to rest their head when you are away from home, but they also give you space for them to play safely or to have on hand when friends and family come to visit with their babies.
What is a Travel Crib?
A travel crib is specifically designed to be portable. It is often lightweight with flexible rods that are easy to assemble. Many times you can simply pop up the travel crib and click it into place without the use of additional tools. Travel cribs are usually smaller than traditional cribs and have mesh sides so your baby can see out and you can see in, as well as provide increased airflow and ventilation.
Many travel cribs are designed to be moved easily. They often come with carrying cases so they can be traveled with by car, plane, or train. They are great options for those families who travel often or who need the flexibility of having an additional play space or sleeping place. Since they are smaller than traditional cribs, some families use them as a crib until a child is old enough to sleep in a toddler bed or twin bed.
Read more: 5 Tips to Make Travel Easier with Kids
How a Travel Crib Can Be Used at Home
Travel cribs don’t just have to be used when traveling. Although they are great for hotels, visits to grandma’s house, or visiting families and friends for the day, they also have a variety of other uses. Some of those uses include:
- Playpen- Travel cribs can often double as a safe place for your little one to play. They can often be used indoors or outdoors, and the breathable mesh fabric allows them to easily see you, you to easily see them, and proper ventilation.
- Outdoor play– Travel cribs are great for outdoor play. Many parents use them as a safe space for their baby to play when they can’t have constant supervision on them like when doing yard work, working out, or tending to another sibling. They are also great for camping or playdates at the park.
- Secondary place to nap or rest– Travel cribs can be used within the home as a secondary place to nap or rest, too. If you like having your baby close by when they sleep, especially young babies, travel cribs offer a place where you can keep an eye on them without having to stay in their rooms with them while they sleep.
- Temporary co-sleeping– Most travel cribs fit children from newborn to ages 3 years old. This offers parents a place for their little one to sleep in their rooms for co-sleeping situations without having to place a large crib in their room. Some travel cribs even have a bassinet that is perfect for a newborn.
- Used in place of a traditional crib– If you are limited on space, travel cribs work just as well as traditional cribs- only they don’t take up as much space. A travel crib can easily be put up and taken down, leaving you room throughout the day or it can stay up without taking up too much room.
Safety Considerations When Using a Travel Crib
It is important to keep in mind some safety considerations when using a travel crib. You want to ensure that the crib is assembled properly each time. Double-check that all poles are clicked completely into place so there is no risk of the crib collapsing on your little one. Also check that the travel crib is on steady ground, especially when being used outdoors, to prevent it tipping over as your baby moves around in it.
If you are using the travel crib as a playard, it is important to remember to check on your little one! Although they may be contained, you want to monitor them to ensure they are safe. If you are outside, you will want to make sure they are not getting overheated and continue to stay hydrated.
Best Travel Cribs to Use for Your Next Trip or While at Home
Travel cribs are extremely convenient for both traveling families or for use at home. Here are ten of our favorites that are easily portable but offer different features that you might find useful for your family.
The Lotus Travel Crib is one of the top-rated travel cribs. Parents and babies love this compact, lightweight travel crib not only for its ease of use but also for its comfort. This travel crib is perfect for frequent travelers and has been designed specifically to be easy to fly with. It has a backpack carrying case and only weighs 13 lbs when packed. It is made with low VOC and no lead, phthalates, PVC, or heavy metals. It is certified non-toxic with the GreenGuard Gold certification.
The Lotus Travel Crib sets up easily in only 15 seconds. It has a quiet side zipper door that makes it easy to put your little one into the crib when you have snuggled and soothed them off to sleep. The comfortable mattress is perfect for sleeping and the soft foam is approved for newborns up to children of 3 years of age. But the Lotus Travel Crib is not just for sleep either. You can use it for play indoors or outdoors, while at the park, or while visiting grandma. It the perfect travel crib for little ones and for parents.
The BABYBJORN Travel Crib is a simple and effective travel crib for newborns and older. It sets up in just a matter of seconds and is a great option for travel or for those families who don’t have a ton of space for a large crib. The soft and comfortable mattress is perfect for sleeping, even overnight, or for playtime. The BABYBJORN Travel Crib can be used indoors or outdoors as the mesh fabric makes it breathable with plenty of ventilation.
The BABYBJORN Travel Crib is a perfect option for parents looking for a simple crib, a safe playpen, or an extra spot to pop up when visiting friends and family.
If you are looking for something small and convenient for your baby, the Lulyboo Travel Bassinet for Infants is a great option. This specially design bassinet is perfect for the youngest members of your family, from ages newborn up to 6 months old. The comfortable mattress will help them sleep soundly all night long or for nap time. The retractable shade cover keeps their faces covered from the sun if you are outside or adds a little bit of additional darkness if you are inside.
The Lulyboo Travel Bassinet for Infants is super easy to take along with you, too. Simply fold it up, buckle it, and it quickly turns into a backpack to carry along wherever you go. This cute bassinet is perfect for travel, beach days, playdates, family visits, or even at home to take baby from room to room with you or for co-sleeping.
No assembly is required with the BABY JOY Foldable Travel Crib. It sets up in seconds with a simple foldable and collapsible design. You just unfold it, click it into place, and you are ready to go. The aluminum tubes and mesh cloth means its super lightweight, and it can be packed easily in the carrying case for use when traveling.
The foldable crib isn’t short on room though. It is big enough for children to use from newborn to 3 years old, and the comfortable foam mattress makes it cozy enough for overnight sleeping or nap time. It can be used as a crib or as a safe play space both indoors and outdoors. The mesh liner allows parents to easily see inside, babies see outside, and gives proper ventilation. There is also a side zipper door that allows baby to get in and out more easily.
BABY JOY Foldable Travel Crib is ready for any accidents, too. The mattress is removable and washable. The frame is sturdy and firm with ASTM certification. The four corners of the bottom are evenly stressed to prevent the playard from tilting and enhance stability so that your baby can play safely.
Babies need plenty of space to move around no matter if they’re sleeping or playing. The Joovy Room2 Portable Crib and Playard is 50% larger than most traditional travel cribs and playards so it will last longer as your baby grows. It has over 10 square feet of space, giving your baby or toddler plenty of room to move around. This is often a favorite among parents of twins as it gives plenty of space for two babies to move around, sleep, or play.
The Joovy Room2 Portable Crib and Playard is easy to set up, too. Just unfold and click it together, and you are ready to sleep or play! It has two wheels so it is easy to move once set up, allowing moms, dads, and caregivers to take their babies with them into whatever room they are in. It also comes with a fitted sheet and a carry bag so you can take it along with you when traveling.
If you’re looking for a more traditional style travel crib and playard, then the Graco Pack n Play Playard is a great option. It offers several different options for you for newborns up to 3 years old, allowing it to grow with your baby. Not only is there a large crib for older babies, but is also has a portable infant seat that can double as a bouncer as you take it from room to room that holds children up to 18 lbs. There is also a baby bassist that has a large extended use changing table. There is even a built-in storage organizer that can hold diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and more.
One other unique feature of the Graco Pack n Play Playard is that the infant seat and bouncer also has a soothing 2-speed vibration option that can instantly soothe your little one with music or nature sounds. As your baby grows older, you will be able to use the main part of the Graco Pack n Play Playard as a travel crib or as a playard.
The UNIPlay Portable Crib and Playard is a safe and comfortable portable travel crib that your little one will love for sleep and play. It is made with child-safe materials that are eco-friendly. One of the most unique designs of this travel crib is that the legs of the travel crib can be adjusted so that the crib can remain stable even on uneven ground, making it the perfect travel crib or playard for outdoor use. It is also made with breathable and waterproof materials for easy cleanup and wiping down.
The UNIPlay Portable Crib and Playard is lightweight and durable. It can withstand daily use and travel without compromising the functionality and design of the materials. This makes it ideal for travel and for outdoor use. It also has a convenient carrying case. It is a great option for active families who love to camp, or those who just enjoy being outdoors but want their children to stay safe in a playard or have a place for them to rest as a travel crib.
One of the most popular travel cribs, the 4Moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Crib and Playard has a convenient one-handed quick set up that makes it easy to put up or take down. It comes with a travel bag to take it with you when you travel or visit grandma, and it can hold children from newborn to 30 lbs.
The 4Moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Crib and Playard is a simple travel crib that is comfortable enough to sleep in every night if you have limited room or for the occasional use while traveling or visiting family. It can also double as a playard. The mesh sides allow you to see in and baby to see out, as well as provide plenty of ventilation. It can also easily be wiped down when messes occur.
The Chicco Lullaby Glow Playard is a traditional styled travel crib and playard that is convenient for newborns all the way up to toddlers of 3 years of age. It has a newborn lounger, bassinet, travel crib/playard, and changing station all in one. The newborn lounger can be taken with you from room to room and the bassinet is perfect for co-sleeping families to keep your little one close at night. Since the Chicco Lullaby Glow Playard doesn’t take up a ton of space, it is perfect as a temporary option for co-sleeping families or for travel.
The Chicco Lullaby Glow Playard can also help your little one fall asleep faster with the nightlight, lullabies, and soothing nature sounds. As your little one gets bigger, you can use the travel crib portion as a playard or a sweet spot for nap time.
The Baby Delight Go with Me Nod Deluxe Portable Crib and Playard is a super simple travel crib that is lightweight and easy to take with you. The compact fold and carry bag is easy to take with you whenever you travel. It pops up easily for quick assembly.
The mesh walls of the Baby Delight Go with Me Nod Deluxe Portable Crib and Playard provide increased visibility and better airflow to keep your little one cool while sleeping or playing. It is a great option for indoor or outdoor use as the fabric is removable and washable.
Travel cribs are an easy and convenient way to travel with your little one but they are also great for use at home, too. Travel cribs can often double as playpens or a safe space to keep your little one while you make dinner (or the 700th snack of the day) or tend to a sibling. They are worth the investment for traveling families, families with more than one child, or those who are limited on space.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.