A travel cot is simply a portable cot for your baby. They collapse into a very small space, very neat for storing in the back of a car or wardrobe, and can be expanded quickly to form a fully enclosed sleeping area for your child.
As their name would suggest, they’re great for travelling. If you’re not sure if your intended accommodation will be able to arrange a bed for your baby, or if you’re staying with friends who don’t have any kids, a travel cot is the ideal solution. It’s compact enough to take with you, and many designs having their own carrier system.
They’re not only used for travelling either. Perhaps you have children staying with you regularly, maybe friends or grandchildren, but not regularly enough to justify buying a whole new crib. A travel cot is the perfect answer. Take it out whenever you need it, and when your young guests have gone, simply pack it away out of sight in minutes.
Although there are different models available, one of the most common travel cots is a â€˜Pack n Playâ€™, which comes in two parts that are packed together. The first part is usually wrapped around the rest, and is usually held together with Velcro. Simply undo the Velcro straps, open it up, and hey Presto! A comfortable, padded base ready to use! The second part is the main crib frame. Setting it up is usually a simple matter of pulling it gently to expand the basic shape, then firmly twisting a few catches to secure everything in place. Add in the base, fit your sheets and blankets as needed, then you’re all set!
Nowadays, however, there are even more convenient travel cots available. These are simply taken out of a carrier bag, and they pop up into shape! The popup models are usually much lighter than the Pack â€˜n Play, and much easier to set up. Because of these features, they’re great for families who are travelling a lot, especially without their own car. The pop up travel cribs can also be taken on day trips much easier, so if your baby needs a nap at the beach, it’s ready to go in seconds!
There are other models too, like inflatables and hybrids, so have a look at the resources section at the end of this article to see whatâ€™s currently available!
What Travel Cot Should You Choose?
Which design you choose depends on your own family’s needs. If you’re travelling, and just need something lightweight for your baby’s naps, then the pop-up is a great choice. On the other hand, if you need something sturdy to keep at home for a spare crib, or to double-duty as a play yard, then a Pack n Play is hard to beat (this is the model usually available in hotels). Some of the stronger models also include attachments for baby changing tables too!
Travel Cribs in Action
What does a Pack n’ Play look like? How easily does it assemble? How much room does baby have? Get the lowdown from Professor Product:
Pop-up models are fast to assemble. How fast? This guy assembles 5 of them and packs them back up again in about a minute!
Travel Crib Resources
A range of travel cots are available from Amazon UK.