The Best Travel Cribs for Active Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler is never easy, but one of the fundamental ways to make any trip more enjoyable for everyone involved is to pack the right baby gear.

A travel crib for a toddler is an absolute necessity. You cannot depend on a hotel having a suitable bassinet or cradle available for your little one. Your easiest option is to bring your personal travel crib along to take the worry away.

A Travel Crib Isn’t Just for Overnight Trips

Even if you aren’t planning an overnight trip with your toddler, you still might want to invest in a suitable travel crib for those days when you decide to visit a friend or see grandma for the day. Your toddler might become cranky and require a nap so having an appropriate and safe place to let the tot rest is an asset.

Portable Cribs and Beds: Understanding the Difference

Many people use travel cribs for their infants and toddlers. However, if you have a larger toddler, you might want to invest in a portable bed that is slightly bigger but still provides the same benefits.

  • Portable Crib: A portable crib, also called a travel crib,  is merely a safe bed that can be transported easily. It folds up into a compact size that makes it ideal to place in a trunk or even carry onto an airplane as hand luggage. In many ways, a travel crib is an excellent alternative to an actual crib. It provides a safe sleeping environment anywhere. When not in use, it can be conveniently stored.
  • Portable Bed: A portable bed is designed for a toddler who is two and over. It is more significant than a portable crib and often not intended to confine the child which many parents consider a downside when traveling and staying in a hotel that might not be child-proof if your little one should get out of the bed.

A Travel Crib Offers Familiarity

Babies and toddlers enjoy a stable schedule and things that remain familiar. Often traveling can upset a child, and many have a difficult time falling asleep in unfamiliar surroundings or on a new bed.

However, if you have your portable crib, then your toddler will become familiar with the smell, sight, and feel of the cradle which is reassuring. Most toddlers will readily fall asleep in a crib that they consider safe and homelike instead of in an unknown bed provided by a hotel. This allows your child to gain a good night’s sleep and awake refreshed.

The Crib is Not Just for Travel

Many parents are opting to use a travel crib at home too. There are numerous reasons to choose a portable crib over a conventional model.

Here are three of the top reasons to purchase a travel crib:

  1. Economical: Nowadays, traditional wood cribs carry a high price tag. A portable crib is highly affordable and works just as well.
  2. Safety: Overall, a travel crib is safer than a traditional wooden crib that has slates, according to a report by the Child Safety Experts. Historically, many infants have gotten stuck in the wood slats of a classic crib. The mesh sides of a travel crib are safe and allow ample air circulation.
  3. Resale Value: Many baby resale stores no longer carry wooden cribs because of the potential dangers and yearly recalls. A mesh sided travel bed does not have the same problems so can easily be resold when your child outgrows it.

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is the Editor’s Choice Pic by Baby Gear Labs. It is easy to assemble and doubles as a travel crib and playpen for your little one. It comes with a carry bag that has easy to hold handles. The crib folds up and slips inside the pocket with ease for effortless transportation.

Things to Consider

The mattress of the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is soft but firm. It is manufactured free of any harmful chemicals so it won’t hurt your toddler. The sides are mesh which makes them safe and breathable. All the fabric pieces and the mattress pad can be removed for washing.

Who’s it Best for?

When folded, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib weighs a lightweight 13 pounds for easy transportation. Beneath the mattress is a built-in base plate that creates optimum durability and sturdiness. This prevents the crib from tipping so it will confine your rambunctious toddler. The crib has a high price but is built to last.

Graco Pack N’ Play Playard Jetsetter Rockweave

Graco Pack N' Play Playard Jetsetter Rockweave

The Graco Pack N’ Play Playard Jetsetter Rockweave folds into a convenient size and can be easily placed into the included backpack. It also has a domed canopy top that is designed to shield your sleeping tot from the sun so if you are enjoying an outdoor outing your baby can take a nap in safety.

Also, the canopy helps shield out light in a bedroom or house so your little one can nap undisturbed if you have the lights on. Lucy’s List picked this portable crib as one of their top choices.

Thing to Consider

This portable crib doubles as a play yard and bassinet. The bassinet even has a soothing 2-speed vibration feature that lulls your little one to sleep. It comes with a portable changing pad that slips into the included backpack so you can change your baby anywhere.

Who’s it Best for?

The Graco Pack N’ Play Playard Jetsetter Rockweave weighs only 19 pounds, so it is easily portable. It is an affordable price compared to other travel cribs. One of the nice features about the crib is that it is built to grow with your child from infant to toddlerhood.

Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard

Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard

The Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is a leading choice by Asher & Lyric. The crib is backpack portable and takes less than 15 seconds to set up which makes it very convenient.

Things to Consider

There is a side zipper on the travel crib that lets you open it up. This is a great feature if your little one has a hard time falling asleep in new surroundings. You can unzipper the bed and lay next to your child until they drift off to sleep.

Then you can merely zipper the bed, so your toddler is safe in the crib’s confines. It is made of breathable mesh so you can see your sleeping child.

Who’s it Best for?

The Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard are incredibly lightweight. It weighs only 8 pounds so anyone can carry it with ease. It has a particular backpack case that many parents appreciate.

Another critical feature is that it is merely not a crib but also doubles as a playard. This crib is an affordable portable crib option that should not be overlooked

Phil & Teds Portable Traveler Crib

Phil & Teds Portable Traveler Crib

The Phil & Teds Portable Traveler Crib doubles as a portable crib and a playard. The Travel Crib Review picked the crib as one of their main choices for 2018. The crib slips into the included bag to be carried over a shoulder or across the back. It weighs only 7 pounds so is highly portable.

Things to Consider

The travel crib is supported by two strong bars that snap together with ease. There is nothing complicated about assembling this crib. The side of the bed has a convenient zipper that opens up so mom and dad can lay beside their toddler. Once the little one is asleep can be zipped up to create a haven.

Who’s it Best for?

The Traveler Crib comes with a self expanding thermal insulating mattress. It also included fitted sheets that are designed to be gentle on your baby’s skin. The crib has a moderately high price, but it will last for years. It can be used from the time your baby is a newborn until three years old.

4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard

4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard

The 4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard was a leading choice by Roadaffair. It is more substantial than the other portable cribs listed. The crib weighs 24 pounds, but it is designed to be used from infancy all the way up through toddlerhood.

Things to Consider

This portable crib is very easy to use. You just set it up and press down on the central hub, and the crib opens up. To fold it back up all you do is pull up on the central hub. It has no confusing latches. You can open and close this crib quickly. The sides are made of breathable mesh. It easily doubles as a crib or playard for your child.

Who’s it Best for?

The 4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard comes with a removable bassinet and a handy carry bag. It is designed for toddlers up to 30 pounds. It can be used all the way up until your child can climb out of the crib’s confines. It is an affordable travel crib that will last for years.


Liz Coyle

Liz is a Scottsdale-based writer and mom of two young children and one not so young Boston Terrier. She is a lover of cooking, travel, and any activities she can do with the kids. She loves to share her experiences of being a high-strung, type a mom in an imperfect world.

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