Tips for Finding the Right Portable Baby Bed for Travel

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Tips for Finding the Right Portable Baby Bed for Travel

EmilyTips for Finding the Right Portable Baby Bed for TravelMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily:  My daughter is 6 months old now, and we’ve taken a total of 3 trips!  We get a lot of questions about tips for traveling with infants, so I wanted to share what has worked best for us for sleeping arrangements.

Just remember, every baby is different and each family has different parenting styles.  There’s no one right way, just do what works best for you and your family!

Portable Baby Bed
There’s Nothing More Perfect Than a Beautiful Sleeping Baby!

Our Home Set-Up

At home, we use a side co-sleeper crib, which has been very convenient for those middle of the night feedings early on.  We were also gifted a SnuggleMe (thanks again Laura! ;)) and put that inside of her crib.

Our baby has slept there from day one, and fortunately has pretty much always been a good sleeper.  By good sleeper, I mean sleeping for ~5 hours straight at a few weeks old, and at 6 months, she sleeps for ~12 hours straight!

Portable Baby Beds for Children 0 to ~5 Months Old

We brought our SnuggleMe on her first 3 trips.  It’s like a small dog bed, and the baby lays securely in the middle.  It’s small enough to fit into your luggage (I’d always pack it with her car seat and check it in for free).

The downside of it is that you have to find a secure space to place it on, like another bed or a sofa.  And it’s also pricey.

On our first family trip, our bed was located next to a sofa.  So we put her SnuggleMe baby bed on the sofa while we slept nearby.

Portable Baby Bed
A Less Expensive Alternative to the SnuggleMe Is the Brica Fold n’ Go Infant Travel Bassinet. I Haven’t Tried It, but It Looks Like a Great Option!

On our second trip (this was a road trip from Texas to Michigan), we took her SnuggleMe and her Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family.  We put her SnuggleMe inside of her Lotus Travel Crib while we slept in a bed in the same room.

I like the Lotus Travel Crib, but it’s essentially another big piece of luggage.  And you have to pay extra for it (strollers and car seats are free).  So it’s a lot to lug around!

Pro Tip:   Certain credit cards offer free checked bags.  For example, you can get a FREE checked bag (a savings of up to $100 per round-trip) when you use your Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Card to purchase your United Airlines ticket.

And remember, you can find a TON of gently used baby supplies & furniture on the Facebook Marketplace and posting in moms’ groups.  Babies outgrow stuff so fast and there is nothing wrong with saving some money!  I recently found a crib and changing table for $120 – the regular full price would have been at least $700!

Portable Baby Beds for Children ~5+ Months Old

Now that our baby is frequently rolling over, we phased out the SnuggleMe.  She was recently in the Lotus Travel Crib by herself and slept well.

The other benefit of traveling with a playpen like this is that it’s a contained, safe play area.

Portable Baby Bed
The Lotus Travel Crib Is One of the Most Compact Travel Cribs Available

Other Options to Consider

When my baby turns ~1 year old, I’m excited to try the KidCo PeaPod or PeaPod Plus Travel Bed.  It looks really lightweight and easy to fit into checked luggage.

Portable Baby Bed
Team Member Meghan Used a PeaPod When Her Daughter Was Between 1 and 2 Years Old and Loved Its Portability!

For toddlers, Million Mile Secrets Instagram commenter @jacqnh suggested an inflatable bed.  Based on my research, the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed also looks like an easy bed to travel with.

Portable Baby Bed
An Inflatable Travel Bed That Folds Nicely Into Its Own Carrying Bag…How Cool Is That?

Always Check With Hotels & Airbnbs

On a recent trip to North Carolina, we stayed at a Staybridge Suites, where they delivered an actual crib on wheels to our hotel room.  And for an upcoming Airbnb stay, a crib is available for use.

I’m a fan of traveling lighter (and saving money!), so check with your host to see what infant sleeping beds they have so you can leave yours at home.

Portable Baby Bed
I Saved a $50 in Luggage Fees and Instead Used This Staybridge Suites Crib

Other Tips to Make Sleeping Easier

Our baby has slept in a swaddle from day one.  Now that she is rolling over, we started using a Zipadee-Zip transition swaddle.  These swaddles are safe for babies that roll over, and also help keep them warm at night.

We also have a white noise machine that mimics the sound babies hear in the womb.  And l dream feed (feed her again right before I go to sleep) so she stays fuller longer.

Portable Baby Bed
Arya’s Ready to Snuggle In for the Night

Bottom Line

There are several portable baby bed options you can use when traveling with your baby.  The SnuggleMe and Lotus Travel Crib are 2 baby beds we have used in the past.  Swaddles, sound machines, and dream feeding your baby can also help them sleep.

What’s worked (or hasn’t worked!) for you and your family?  Let me know in the comments!

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We love the phil&teds travel crib! It’s the smallest and lightest travel crib and fits in a large suitcase. Although lugging around a large suitcase is a pain, I prefer having less items on trains when traveling internationally.

Author

Oooh! This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

As a pediatrician, I can say that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly cautions against SOFT BEDDING/Pillows/bumper pads/soft stuffed animals etc for infants under age 2 in sleeping area due to increased risks of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). They look comfy, but can be deadly. The safest sleeping situation for an infant under age 2 is in a crib, sleeping in parents room,sleeping ON BACK(not belly or side) on a FIRM MATTRESS , no pillows or soft bedding, no bumper pads, no stuffed animals, avoid blankets, just dress baby in sleeper that is appropriate and does not cause overheating (also a risk factor for SIDS). Grandparents and babysitters should be aware of these new sleep recommendations, because they have changed over the years, and they may be unaware. Babies who are typically sleeping on back then put on belly by a sitter, for example, are especially at risk for SIDS. We do not know what causes SIDS, but taking these precautions seems to decrease risk.

Author

Thank you for your feedback! Safe sleep is the best kind of sleep. 🙂

We have the Lotus crib and love the zipper door on the side and how it packs into the small bag and is fairly lightweight. It ends up being a carry on for flights and doesn’t take up much space in the trunk for road trips. Our son just turned 1 and he has slept in it on numerous trips and visits to grandparents. Between the phil&ted and Baby Bjorn similar options we’re glad we went with the Lotus since it is so easy to set up & take down – just wish the little slots the Velcro straps from the mattress were a little bigger!

Author

Glad to hear you also like the Lotus! It seemed like a better choice than the Baby Bjorn, too.