Who says you should put your love for travelling on hold once you have a baby? With the right gear, travelling with a baby is not as daunting as it sounds.
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After having tried and tested both, we can say the best baby crib depends on what you're using it primarily for.
The Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is the best travel crib for you if:
- you are a frequent traveller
- you want to double it up as a play space for your child
- your baby wakes up easily when you try to lay him down
- your baby nurses to sleep
- you have a bad back or has a short frame
- it will be frequently used at the grandparents' house
At 11 pounds, the Lotus is 2 pounds lighter than the BabyBjorn which makes it the best lightweight travel crib because we all know when it comes to travelling, each pound makes all the difference.
It is easy to pack in that it folds up neatly into a carry-on sized backpack that you can bring with you on plane without checking it in (can be carried like a briefcase too).
Usability and convenience wise, we like how the Lotus has a thoughtful side-zip design which we think, is its biggest winning point over other travel cribs. See pictures below:
Mattresses for travel cribs are usually placed a long way down so a side zip opening will allow you to easily lay your sleeping baby down without risking waking her up.
Not only that, it makes it easier for you (especially if you are on the petite side) or grandparents to do so because you do not need to lean all the way in to lay baby down or lift him up.
You will appreciate this feature even more if you nurse your baby to sleep because it allows you to lay down with your baby and later slip out gently when baby falls asleep.
More often than not, parents will want to use the travel crib as a play space for baby as well and in this regard, we like the Lotus slightly better over the BabyBjorn because it has a wider opening at the top, making it less claustrophobic.
Of course, the BabyBjorn works perfectly fine as a play space so this may be just a slight preference of ours to note.
Parents may find that the mattress of this travel crib is on the thin side but there is actually a reason for this.
The federal standard for this product specifically limits the thickness to 1 inch because having a padding thicker than that may allow a gap to open between the mesh sides and this could potentially cause an entrapment hazard.
The mattress provided is of high quality padding but you can always get an extra plush quilted sheet produced by the same company (Guava) for extra softness when your child turns 1.
To summarize, the Lotus Travel Crib is the best travel crib for flying, best portable bed and best play yard and it is cheaper than the BabyBjorn which has very comparable features.
In our opinion, we think the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light makes for the best travel baby bed if your baby will be doing a lot of sleeping in the crib because its mattress is thicker and plusher than the Lotus.
Users have long raved about the plushness of the fabric which is soft to touch and is tested and approved in accordance with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (class 1 for baby products).
This is a big assurance that the fabrics are free from harmful and allergenic substances to the extent that it is even safe for baby to chew on!
The fitted sheet of the mattress is made of super soft organic cotton that guarantees will not trigger allergies and it is tailored to fit and stay in place.
The biggest difference of this travel crib compared to the Lotus is its mattress. There is a built-in base plate in this mattress which keeps this lightweight crib standing strong and sturdy and the mattress is almost double the thickness of the Lotus.
We note you may have concerns about its safety given the thickness of the mattress so rest assured that the risk of entrapment hazard is very low, if not nonexistent.
This is all due to the mattress securing mechanism of its design. The mattress pad is anchored with a hook-loop which you secured by pulling the red tabs through the corner slots of the crib.
Not only is this easier and faster to do compared to the Lotus, it also creates a perfect fit into the frame of the crib.
And added to the fact that the crib does not open up at the side, its mattress is even more budge-proof thus eliminating any risk of entrapment.
Because of its arguably more comfortable mattress, the BabyBjorn is regarded as one of the best portable bed for babies or best crib for grandmas' house.
It is very easy to set and fold up that even grandparents will not have trouble manoeuvring. We like that it takes up lesser floor space in that its legs do not stick out as far as the Lotus' which makes it ideal for smaller rooms.
The high quality, thicker mattress and ease of set up and use of this travel crib are definitely BabyBjorn's biggest selling points as the best travel bed for baby.
Sure, babies will eventually grow out of it but some parents would still like one so that they can use it as early as the newborn stage.
If you are one of them and is looking for the best travel cot with bassinet, we recommend the Graco Pack 'n Play On The Go Playard.
One of the main reason that many parents choose to forego a travel crib with bassinet is that they think it is cumbersome to separately carry the bassinet. This is because most carry bags that come with the crib do not fit attachments as such.
The Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Playard addresses this issue by having a foldable bassinet design in that you do not have to detach the bassinet at all.
Simply fold it in with your playard and put it into the carrying bag that comes with it.
Everything is in one portable package without any attachment parts so it is easy to carry around wherever you go!
it features folding feet and wheels to its playards which allow for a 20% more compact fold so that it is easy to store and carry.
Despite this, it still opens up to a standard full size bassinet for your baby to rest and sleep. Closing/folding this playard is easy and fuss free with Graco's signature push-button fold and this is one feature that parents raved about so highly.
Graco Pack 'N Play On the Go Playard is really the best playpen bassinet combo because not only is its bassinet super sturdy and comfortable, it also comes with a toy bar with soft toys to amuse your little one.
Once your baby outgrows the bassinet, you can remove it and make the Pack 'N Play a playard for your toddler. Many have no problem using it as a full time crib for toddlers as it comes with a firm, padded mattress that toddlers can nap on.
If you are looking for just a very basic and cheap travel crib without any features or attachments, the Graco Pack 'n Play Playard is your answer.
It folds up easily into a compact, small bundle thanks to Graco's signature push-button fold (with automatic folding feet and wheels) which you can then stow away in the carrying bag that comes with it.
It is very durable as it is built with low centre of gravity. The legs are very stable and low to the ground so you do not have to worry about it tipping or rocking when all the child's weight is put to one side.
This playard is best if your primary use is to have a safe place for your little one to play or take a quick nap near you when you're attending to some quick house works.
Not only is it one cheap portable crib, the Graco Pack 'n Play is also one of the best travel playard that is light, fuss-free and durable.
Many parents choose this to store permanently at the grandparents' place because it is so compact which is why it is also dubbed the 'best portable crib for grandma's house'.
We wouldn't say it is the best travel bed for baby mainly because the 'mattress' that comes with it is not very cushioned.
If you intend to use it for overnight sleeps, we recommend buying a separate mattress pad for it and this is a perfect fit.
There are not many travel cribs that are of a smaller size and we admit it took us awhile to find one, but we can safely say that the Graco Travel Lite Portable Crib with Stages is the best mini travel crib.
This mini travel crib has a unique space-saving design that makes it 20% smaller than traditional playards and it weighs less than 20 pounds.
This, together with the inbuilt wheels makes it easy to move around your house or for travelling abroad. It also has a compact fold like the Pack 'N Play On The Go Playard so setting up and taking it down is a breeze with its signature push-button feature.
Aside from its smaller size, we also like how it comes with a height-adjustable bassinet.
Yes, you read correctly - this pack and play has a one-of-a-kind 2-level adjustable bassinet that grows with your baby.
This means you can use it no matter what 'stage' your baby is, and once the bassinet is outgrown of, you can remove it and convert the crib to a full-time portable playard.
Even though it is small, it is big enough to keep your little one comfortable and it even comes with a canopy with toy bar to keep baby amused.
Do adhere to the weight limit provided at the manual to ensure you adjust the bassinet accordingly to keep your baby safe and sound.
With unique features like adjustable bassinet and compact size, the Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages is really a one-of-a-kind product that caters to specific needs of parents.
We think it is one of the best travel cot for newborn.