Bringing a crib along for baby while traveling is something that we have tried, but that we no longer do. We try to minimize our luggage and stuff that we bring along with us, especially when we are flying. Especially when we travel internationally, we are often only allowed one 23kg (50 pounds) bag for each of us. Adding even a lightweight compact crib to the luggage equation will result in bulk and unnecessary weight.
My husband and I have found a portable crib to be just another unnecessary thing to travel with, although we do own a couple. Our daughter has slept in bed with us since she was born, and now at 14 months she is capable of safely getting out of bed feet first. Having her in bed with us is comfortable for everyone- we know she is safe and secure, she feels safe and secure, and we’ve all slept well from the first day because no one has to get up to get her- she just finds my breast and falls back to sleep; and no, we have not crushed the baby. Millions of moms and babies in the world have been sleeping like this since the beginning of time, and still do. It also makes it convenient for traveling because we don’t have to lug around a crib, sheets, and accessories. If co-sleeping is not for you, though, the following portable cribs/ bassinets may be good travel options:
The KidCo PeaPod Portable Travel Bed SHOULD NOT BE PURCHASED OR USED. I had previously recommended this as a travel bed option due to its packable size, convenience, and mosquito protection based on other parents’ reviews. However, there has been a recent death of a 5 month old baby that SUFFOCATED sleeping in this bed. The autopsy showed that the baby did not die of SIDS, but of SUFFOCATION.
For small babies still using bassinets, the First Years Close and Secure Sleeper is a good option for parents that want baby to be close in bed with them, but still have a designated space for babies. It is used in adult beds between pillows and has head and foot barriers. It’s lightweight at only 3 pounds, and folds compactly to fit easily into luggage.
The Brica Fold N’Go is also light at under three pounds and folds with sturdy and safe side walls. It also comes with a carrying strap to easily carry. However, it folds in half and might be rather awkward to pack, unless you were packing it on the bottom or top of a wider suitcase. This style of bassinet would not be used in bed, but rather next to mom and dad’s bed. There are several other brands available like this.
If you are stuck on having a traditional crib to travel with, the Graco Playard Pack’N’Play is a good option that is as lightweight and compact as a crib is going to get with lots of hard metal parts. It is sturdy, reliable, and a great crib if you need one when traveling. It folds up nicely into its bag into a size that can fit in a large checked bag, although it is going to take up most of the room and weight in the bag, so you have to be really committed.
One last option to consider is the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet Convertible. This attaches to the side of the parent’s bed for co-sleeping with a designated space for baby, and is for younger infants. Like the Playard, it is a heavier option and has bulky metal parts, but can be packed into a suitcase (that, again, will take up most of the suitcase and weight allowance). This also converts into a playard for parents interested in having both a safe sleeping place and playing place while traveling.