With our guidance, you’ll be able to select a travel cot that not only makes your infant’s sleeping environment cosy and secure but is also simple to set up and take down, making it ideal for travelling.

 

Used mum playing with baby in travel cot 436532

Are you taking your infant with you on vacation, and do you require a portable crib? Whether you’re only going away for the weekend or for a longer period of time, you’ll want to bring the greatest travel cot possible. Babies and toddlers have a tendency to sleep better in environments that are familiar to them. A travel cot that has been thoughtfully constructed can function almost as well as their own bed when you are on vacation or visiting with family or friends. Because they are simple to set up and take down and because they offer a comfortable place to sleep, the finest travel cots eliminate the need for you to lose any sleep over concerns regarding your child. The majority of travel cots are constructed with a frame made of plastic or metal, sides made of woven cloth or mesh, a hard segmented bottom, and a minimally padded folding mattress. Both the base and the mattress are essential components of the travel cot as they work together to provide the device with structure and ensure that it remains stable.

What sort of budget should I set up for a portable crib?

There are travel cots available for anywhere from $25 and $200 when purchased brand new, while there are others that cost considerably more than that. You might even find some even cheaper as part of the baby events that are being held in select stores, like Aldi or Asda, for example. In general, the most fundamental components will make up the cheaper models. You won’t get much more than the structure of the cot, a mattress of minimal quality, and a tote bag to store everything in. The more expensive variants may come with more opulent fabrics and coverings as well as additional amenities. Some examples of these additional features include a removable bassinet level for smaller babies, a bouncing chair, noises and lights or lullabies, and even a thicker, more comfy mattress. How frequently you anticipate making use of the travel cot will likely play a role in determining how much money you are willing to spend on purchasing one.

The good and the bad of travel cots

 

The benefits of using travel cots

There are a number of parents that put a significant amount of use out of their travel cots. In our most recent study of parents, we discovered that 41 percent of them felt a travel cot to be useful. (based on results from a poll conducted by Which? members in March 2018 with 3,445 parents.) They can provide you the freedom to stay practically anywhere you want without having to worry about where your baby will sleep, allowing you to enjoy your freedom during this exciting time in your life. You will already have a cosy resting spot for him or her in the trunk of your vehicle. A travel crib can double as a convenient additional sleeping space for infant guests who will be staying with you at your house. The models with a size comparable to a playpen have an even greater potential for daily use. Despite this, you should verify the instructions first.

Negative aspects of portable cribs

Numerous infant travel cots are only ever used a few number of times, thus it is possible to get a good number of them on websites that offer pre-owned items. Even when folded, certain travel cots can take up a significant amount of storage space, and despite their portability, they can be difficult to transport because of their weight. So don’t buy one until you’re confident you’ll get some use out of it.

Should I get a travel cot for my baby?

A baby travel cot is really only something you need if you plan on taking your infant on frequent overnight visits to locations that do not provide cots. It might be worthwhile to invest in a standard-sized crib for your baby’s grandparents’ home if you anticipate your child spending the night at that location on a frequent basis, for example at their grandparents’ house. However, if the grandparents don’t have a lot of space or don’t want the cot to take up space in the spare room, a travel cot is an excellent alternative for them to consider. If you are going to be staying at a hotel or a vacation home, many of them will either supply a cot for you to use during your visit or help you make arrangements to rent one. If you like to know exactly where your baby will be sleeping each night, though, purchasing a travel cot could be a worthwhile investment.

Instructions for folding and stowing a travel cot

The assembly of a travel cot and its disassembly should not be too much of a hassle for the user. A good travel cot shouldn’t require a degree in engineering to set up and should be ready to use without any additional assembly required. In most cases, folding and unfolding a travel cot is accomplished through the use of a central locking mechanism. This mechanism requires you to raise a ring or handle located in the middle of the travel cot base, click the sides into place, and then lower the ring or handle to keep the locked sides rigid.

Many of the models feature a folding mechanism that is very similar to one another. This mechanism allows the mattress to be folded around the legs to form an oblong that should easily fit back into its travel bag. Some of the versions are collapsible, and others don’t even come with a carrying case. It’s possible that these won’t fold up tiny enough to fit into the trunk of a car, which makes them less ideal for travelling. However, they work just well as an additional cot for visitors. Some of the models can also be used as playpens, although the amount of room they offer will be significantly less than that of a traditional playpen.

Travel cot characteristics that you should look out for

Bassinet level

There are certain travel cots that can convert into a bassinet. If you have a young child, you will find this feature to be quite helpful.

When you use a cot with a bassinet level, you won’t have to bend down quite as much to pick up your child because the level fits over the top of the cot. It also means that you will have a slightly easier time seeing your kid. However, older babies or newborns who are already able to sit up without assistance should not attempt this level.

Size and weight

There is a variety in the amount of space provided by each infant travel cot. Take a look at the dimensions; if you intend to use the cot as a playpen, you may wish to select a larger size than what is offered. There is a wide range of possible cot weights. If you intend to go by public transportation or by airline rather than by automobile, you will probably find that a lighter one is more convenient. However, smaller and lighter ones have a greater propensity to be the case. In most cases, the weight should be included in the instructions or specs that come with the cot; however, this is not always the case.

When shopping for a travel cot, there are six important characteristics to look out for.

Be wary of travel cots with flexible sides: pop-up, tent-style travel cots may be very fast to set up and take down again, and they may seem really great, but their sides aren’t rigid, which means that if you fall against them, they may not be able to support your weight (if you accidentally stumble in the night, for example). Take additional safety precautions if you are utilising a travel cot of this kind.

Check the folding mechanism of the cot. Folding mechanisms can be difficult, but practise is usually all that is required to get the hang of them. Before you make a purchase, give a couple cots in the store a test run by unfolding, folding, and lifting them. If this is not an option for you or if you are purchasing the cot online, you should find out if you are able to return it if you are not satisfied with the folding mechanism after you have practised it at home.

Travel cots that are simple to clean should have a cover that can be removed from the frame and one that can be removed from the mattress. This will make it much simpler to clean and wash the cot.

Additional features: some models come with a variety of further features, such as a changing pad that can be placed on top of the cot, toy storage pockets, lullabies, a light display, or even a baby bouncer attachment. Other models do not have any additional features. Think carefully whether you will actually use these; if you don’t, you may end yourself paying extra money for something that isn’t necessary, and they will add to the total weight and bulk of the package.

Is it possible to use a travel cot as a playpen? If you want the cot to function as a playpen, then having four mesh sides rather than two will provide you and your infant a greater view of what’s going on inside the enclosure.

Investing in a pre-owned travel crib: if you are considering investing in a pre-owned travel crib, make sure you have a look at our travel cot safety advice for top suggestions on what to look out for when purchasing a pre-owned travel crib.