If you plan to travel with your baby, either for vacations or to spend a weekend with a family member or friend, a travel cot can make the stay more relaxing for you and your little one.
This type of crib not only offers your baby a safe and familiar place to sleep when you are away from home, but it can also be useful while at home so that you can nap in the garden or in another room of the house.
On the other hand, it gives parents the freedom to be able to travel and stay almost anywhere, without having to worry about where or in what conditions our child will sleep.
Without a doubt, having a suitable travel cot will help both of you to have restful nights away from home.
What is a travel cot?
It is a crib specially designed for trips that involve staying overnight.
Due to this, it has a series of characteristics that distinguish it from any other type of crib: they are lighter, fold and unfold easily, and are usually quite compact once closed.
It is an excellent option if you do not want to limit your options when choosing accommodation since not all sites have cribs or even having them, they may not give you total confidence.
It is also a good option if you are going to visit a family member or friend since it is normal that they do not have a crib, except if they have a baby of a similar age or children not very old.
Where to buy a portable travel cot?
Typically, you will find travel cots in any store that sells children’s items: “neighborhood” stores, large maternity stores, department stores, and online stores. However, keep in mind that the smaller the store, the less variety it will have, simply for a matter of space.
Those that do not suffer from these types of limitations are online stores. In addition, they tend to have a better price than physical stores.
If you choose to buy the travel cot in an online store, I advise you to do it on Amazon. It has variety and a good price, usually the best. Also, if once you have bought the travel cot, you don’t like it or it simply doesn’t meet your expectations, you simply return it. Without explanations, quickly and easily and without any additional cost.
Types of travel cots
There are two large groups of travel cots:
Designed especially for the little ones, until the child is able to sit up. They are suitable for both exterior and interior. These nests are usually textile and have a canopy, mosquito net, inflatable or padded mattress, and a play arch. Its base is flat and they do not have legs. They are very light (approx 3 Kg) and usually have a pop-up unfolding system (assembly with a single movement).
They can be used since the child is born. Another thing is that it is more or less comfortable to use it with very young babies. Its walls are made of fabric and mesh and many of them have a liftable level for newborns. In addition, some include a removable and portable changing table for the first few months.
Within the traditional travel cots we find 2 types:
Folding travel cots
They are lightweight versions that can be easily folded to take up as little space as possible. Because of their lightness, they can be less sturdy, so they may not be suitable for larger, more active babies.
Classic travel cots are generally heavier, less ergonomic, and more difficult to transport. On the other hand, they are tough enough to do a good job in all situations, as well as with large, active babies.
Which is the best option? Everything will depend on what type of trips you usually make. If you regularly use the car to get around, a heavier or bulkier crib will be less of a problem than if you use public transport. If you plan to use it for campsites, camping, etc., you definitely need a lighter and more portable model.
How to choose the travel cot that best suits you?
Before buying a travel cot, you have to verify certain things, such as the suitability for the baby’s age, weight, and size, the type of mattress, or stability, among these other things.
Also, we advise you to take into account the following aspects:
Easy to assemble
Whether you’re a handyman or not, you’ll want to assemble the crib as soon as possible.
Some travel cots can be assembled in seconds, easily unfolding and moving parts to secure the frame; other models are more complicated to assemble since you have to dock it piece by piece. Choose a model that you can assemble without anyone’s help, in case it ever happens.
Do not forget to assemble it at home before the first trip, otherwise, you could have difficulties assembling it when you arrive at your destination and the baby may end up sleeping with you in the same bed.
The time that you are going to use it
The length of time that you plan to use the travel cot will help determine which model to purchase. Different travel cots are suitable for specific age ranges and use outside of those ranges is not safe.
The right size
The manufacturer of each model will determine the maximum size and weight that the child must-have for each crib.
Some of the more compact cribs are lightweight and easy to store and transport. For this reason, they usually last up to 18 months.
The largest and heaviest models can be used for all stages of the baby until he can sleep in his own bed, so you can get the most out of them.
Special mention is the travel nests, designed specifically for children from birth until they are able to get up, so they are the ones that we can use the least time.
The most important feature when buying an accessory for the baby is safe. Not only does it have to be manufactured according to current European regulations for cribs, but it also has to be made with resistant, non-toxic, and fire-retardant materials. In addition, it must have good ventilation.
Obviously, you want your baby to be as comfortable as possible to make sure they get a good night’s sleep. If the crib mattress is too thin, you may not feel comfortable and may have trouble sleeping. Therefore, if you opt for a crib that has this type of mattress, you will probably have to buy another mattress so that your child is comfortable.
In addition, it is preferable that the mattress has a machine washable waterproof cover so that it can be easily cleaned.