Going on holiday with your little one means finding the right equipment to make them feel at home wherever they are. Travel cribs and bassinets give your baby somewhere safe and secure to sleep. This helps them to remain calm and gives you the chance of a peaceful night’s sleep even when you are on vacation.
There are many to choose from on the market and below we outline what you should look for and the best options you can buy right now.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
What is the Difference Between a Crib and a Bassinet?
Travel cribs and bassinets both provide a cozy, safe sleeping area for your baby, both at home and on vacation. While they both have many uses for parents on the move, there are differences between the 2 options that you should consider before you buy.
What is a Travel Crib?
A travel crib is a lightweight and portable alternative to the traditional wooden crib your baby may use at home. Designed to be taken anywhere with you, a travel crib has soft sides and a collapsible structure making it easy to fold up and pack away when in transit.
Made from durable and breathable materials, these kinds of cribs can double up a safe play space for your little one, both at home and away.
What is a Travel Bassinet?
A bassinet, on the other hand, is smaller, more compact, and designed to better suit the needs of newborns and very young babies. These safe sleeping areas are perfect for babies who cannot yet sit up unaided and will keep them snug while they sleep close beside you.
Most travel bassinets have soft sides that can be folded up for ease of transport and handles for you to carry. Some can even be used as an inner lining for the bassinet that attaches to your stroller.
Why Use a Travel Crib or Bassinet?
Some hotels may offer to provide you with a crib or bassinet in your bedroom. Vacation apartments or Airbnbs may also have separate infant sleeping facilities, but you will need to check before you book.
However, you may not want to put your baby in a crib that has previously been enjoyed by somebody else, or you may be staying somewhere that doesn’t offer additional facilities.
Whatever your reason for wanting one, here are some compelling reasons why you should indeed use your own travel crib or bassinet on your next trip.
Help Your Baby Sleep Better
Young infants can become very unsettled when they are taken away from their usual routine. Having a travel crib that they use regularly will feel familiar to them, even if they are vacationing with you a long way from home. You can also swaddle them in their favorite blanket or throw in a special toy to help your little one feel relaxed and settled.
They Can Be More Hygienic
If you are taking your own travel crib with you, you know exactly how clean it is before you set your baby down to sleep in it. You can also be sure that you have your own sheet that fits the crib properly or any other special items that your baby likes to sleep with.
You Can Keep a Watchful Eye
Travel cribs have mesh sides that allow you to see your baby as they sleep or play. This means that you can keep a close eye without disturbing them, all the time knowing that they are safely placed in a secure crib on the floor.
Give Your Baby a Safe Space to Play
When you need a moment to yourself, or simply want to give your baby some downtime, your travel crib also makes an excellent playpen. Secure, visible, and always within easy reach, you can pop your baby in the crib with his or her favorite toys and let them play. The crib can be used as a playpen at home, too, making it an even more worthwhile investment.
If your baby is very little, you may want to consider a travel bassinet instead. These lightweight and incredibly portable safe spaces make cozy beds for babies who are not yet on the move. Safer than just laying your baby on your bed, you can keep your baby comfortable and close at hand without worrying about them rolling or falling.
Hot Tip: Like travel cribs, travel-sized bassinets can once again be very useful in your own home. Keep your baby next to you on the sofa, sleeping in the kitchen, or even just as a spare sleep space for taking with you when you visit friends and family.
Things to Consider With Travel Cribs and Bassinets
Not all baby travel cribs and bassinets are the same, so before you invest, consider the following:
Size and Weight
With the focus being on travel, your crib or bassinet needs to made of lightweight material that can be folded up small enough to carry with you. It will also need to be large enough to comfortably house your baby without them being squished up when sleeping. It should also be able to fold down small enough to be able to be stowed away in transit easily.
Materials and Durability
Travel cribs and bassinets are designed to be incredibly lightweight, of course, but they also need to be durable and hard-wearing. With this in mind, most of them are made from high-grade nylon and breathable mesh to withstand the movement of your baby as well as the bump and knocks caused by travel.
A travel crib, in particular, will last your baby well into the toddler years, so it will need to be durable enough to go the distance, as well as sturdy enough to withstand opening and closing over long periods of time.
Your Child’s Age
Travel cribs and bassinets are designed to accommodate babies and toddlers of different heights, weights, and ages. Your bassinet will only suit your baby in the first few months, while your travel crib could be with you for a couple of years.
Check out the best recommendations for your child’s age, weight, and height before you buy, and make sure you know what the maximum age recommendations should be. Be aware that as soon as your toddler can attempt to get out of the travel crib, they are definitely way too big for one.
Hot Tip: Travel cribs may be unsuitable for tall toddlers as they won’t feel comfortable sleeping in a restricted area. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation and measure them against the size of your child before you buy it.
Folding and Portability
Getting your travel crib upright and locked into position can take a bit of practice, but pretty soon, you will become an absolute expert at it. Making sure you can fold it back down and stash it back in its carry bag will become equally as important, too.
Before you purchase, check out the weight of the crib as well as the folded dimensions to ensure that you will be able to carry it with you on your journey realistically. Better still, if the crib comes with a carry bag that has a strap, you can simply stow it over your shoulder and go!
Safety and Comfort
As well as being lightweight, portable, durable, and made to last, your travel crib or bassinet also needs to be proven to be safe for your little one. Check out the reviews and compare different makes and models before you commit, and always settle for the best quality travel crib or bassinet you can afford to buy.
Cheaper models may have very thin mattress bottoms, which may not be comfortable for your baby or toddler. More importantly, they may not be made to withstand the most curious of tiny fingers or the lifetime of assembling and disassembling that your travel crib is required to go through.
The Best Travel Cribs
A Roomie Travel Crib Bigger Than Most
Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard
Designed to provide parents with peace of mind when your baby is on the move, this traditional-style travel crib is strong enough to contain your toddler while still being plush enough to offer babies of all ages an excellent night’s sleep.
Complete with its own fitted mattress with a cotton sheet, the Room2 is slightly bigger than some other cribs on the market, yet it still folds small enough to be carried in transit in the matching travel bag included. For your convenience, the large mesh sides provide a perfect 360° view both in and out, and with nearly 10 square feet of interior space, this is a not just a great travel crib — it is a pretty awesome play space, as well.
Designed and built by the baby loving experts at Joovy, the Room2 is an affordable and incredibly practical playpen and travel crib that is well suited to older babies and toddlers on vacation. Newborns can also be accommodated, but you’ll want to invest in the additional bassinet attachment for your convenience.
A Travel Crib Lighter Than Your Baby
phil&teds Traveller Crib
This incredibly lightweight travel baby crib weighs just 6 pounds and has a super compact design that opens out to become a comfortable, breathable, and useful sleep and safe space for both you and your baby to enjoy.
Designed to be strong and sturdy, despite its featherweight proportions, the full mesh sides allow for easy viewing and complete ventilation. There is a side opening with easy zipper access so your bigger baby can crawl in and out as and when they want to, and a self-inflating mattress and fitted sheet for use when it is time to hit the hay.
Being able to fold up small enough to carry on most airlines, this is a winner for families heading away on vacation. Being made by one of the most innovative providers of baby gear out there, it is no surprise that the Traveller Crib looks incredibly stylish, is uber-cool and functional, and even has top quality fabrics making it soft and gentle on baby’s delicate skin.
Award-Winning Design That Creates a Darkened Environment
SnoozeShade Pack N Play Crib Canopy and Tent
Designed for parents by a mom herself, this breathable, net canopy for play yards, travel cribs, and playpens is designed to provide a calm, dark, and distraction-free environment for your little one.
Perfect for trips away where bright sunshine or busy bedrooms might throw your baby’s sleep habits out of whack, this simple canopy is like a tent for your baby’s bed.
Free from complicated attachments, and small enough to fold and carry with you wherever you may go, the Snooze Shade simply stretches over the travel crib and attaches using nothing more than Velcro. It also offers excellent protection from mosquitoes, bugs, and cats.
Unique Design From a Big Name Brand
Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome
This super cute travel crib is perfect for younger babies and makes a safe and secure cocoon for them to enjoy midday naps or nighttime sleep close to mom or dad.
Suitable for babies under 20 pounds and those that are not yet able to push up on their hands and knees, this is an excellent addition to your newborn baby inventory, and perfect for those first few nights away.
The Baby Dome is particularly useful for parents visiting warmer climates or those planning on spending time outdoors. With a canopy offering UPF20 protection and a bug shield, this is a soft, cozy, and protective shell for your little one to sleep in.
The overhead play bar comes with 2 colorful toys to keep your baby amused, and the dome itself folds up, ready for you to pick up and go when you are ready to move on. Cute, comfortable, and perfect for the little person in your life, this offers your baby their own safe space, even when they are very small.
Folding Feet and Wheels for a Compact Folder
Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard with Bassinet & Blanket
Be sure that your little one is comfortable on the go with the Pack ’n Play travel crib from brand leaders Graco. Featuring 2 fantastic features in 1, this portable sleep station has a removable full-size bassinet and a travel crib for older babies. There is also a super cute toy bar that features a selection of soft toys to keep your baby amused.
Incredibly easy to set up, this model features the signature Graco push-button fold that makes for super speedy assembly when you need it, and fast fold-ups when its time to move on. It also comes with a convenient carry bag and fold-up wheels that make for a 20% more compact fold.
Suitable from birth using the bassinet, you should remove this completely when your baby can push up on their hands and knees, and the main crib can be used until your child can climb in and out. Made from durable and wipeable nylon and mesh, you and your baby can enjoy this safe sleep station on the go.
Protect Your Baby With Sun Shade and Bug Screen
Travel Crib For Baby by Elanbambino
For use, both indoors and out, this easily portable travel crib is perfect for use in the home, in the garden, at the beach, and even on vacation. With its very own custom bag with shoulder straps, it can be carried with you, wherever you are heading.
With a setup time of less than a minute, your little one will love sleeping on the comfortable, and completely washable mattress or playing in safe, secure surroundings. When your baby is old enough to crawl and walk, the side can be zipped down to make a fun and easily accessible play space, as well as offering an alternative access point for moms or dads to set the baby down for the night.
An excellent choice for those who like their baby to be outside with them, this model comes complete with a removable insect net and a sunshade canopy, meaning your baby can stay safely at your side however you spend your time. Parents can also buy the fitted cotton bed sheet to match the Travel Crib but will need to purchase this separately on Amazon.
Simple Assembly and Easily Collapsible
Flisko 2 in 1 Travel Crib & Bassinet
With a lightweight design and compact size, this is a great, multi-purpose travel crib for parents on the go. The simple folding mechanism is quick and easy to use, while the carry case converts into a backpack, meaning you can keep your hands free when traveling.
Made from a breathable mesh fabric to ensure healthy airflow and increased visibility, this travel crib is suitable for babies from newborn to 3 years. The plush, insulated foam mattress is perfect for nights away from home, while the side zipper can be opened to create a crawl-through door for your little one and an alternative access point for you.
For tiny babies, you can also purchase the separate bassinet that keeps your newborn close by to you. The rigid frame keeps the crib stable and balanced and the sturdy construction is designed to last your baby for a peaceful night’s sleep and many years of fun vacations.
Folds up in Handy Backpack Carry Case
Lotus Travel Crib
Offering a modern take on traditional travel cribs, the Lotus Travel Crib is suitable for babies from 0-3 years old. The unique zippered bottom panel transforms the crib into a safe and fun space for your toddler to enjoy, then a cozy crib when it times to go to bed.
Designed to be super portable and perfect for taking on vacation, this crib can be set up in around 15 seconds, and when you are done with it, you can carry it in the included backpack keeping your hands free.
Your little one will love the freedom that the Lotus crib offers, and you will like the way it keeps your baby safely contained when you need it to. Most of all, this lightweight, portable, and easy to set up travel crib will give you the reassurance you need when traveling away from home.
Airy Design for Good Supervision
BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib Light
Weighing in at just over 13 pounds, this travel cot from the brand leaders at Babybjörn is a little more expensive than some of the others of the market, but it’s innovative design and impressive build quality makes it worth every last cent.
The sides of the cot are made from mesh material, allowing air to circulate and giving you a great view of your baby, whatever he or she is up to. With its unique click and fold frame, the Travel Crib Light can be set up in just seconds, and the upside-down design means it will remain stable and safe, even as your baby gets bigger.
Suitable for babies from birth to 3 years old, it comes with a comfy mattress and a waterproof, breathable cover, to help your baby sleep peacefully wherever they may be. When not in use, you can leave it set up as a safe play space for your little one, or fold it back up to stash in its very own practical carry bag.
Expands From a Travel Crib to a Play Yard in Seconds
Skip Hop Portable Playard and Foldable Expanding Travel Crib/Playpen
Offering an innovative 2-in-1 solution for parents on the go, this expandable travel crib can easily switch from quiet sleeping space to fun-filled playard in a matter of seconds. The crib mattress and sheet can be used for nap time and night time, then unzip the sides to use the comfy, wipe-clean mat as a playpen as the entire crib expands up to 60% to make a perfectly square play yard.
The mesh sides allow for excellent ventilation and will ensure that you can see your baby at all times, whether they are fast asleep or wide awake in there. Suitable for babies from newborn to 3 years old, this is a travel crib that really will grow with your child to last them even longer.
Easy 1 Push Open, 1 Pull Close
4moms breeze GO portable travel playard
Complete with its very own super cool looking carry bag, the 4moms GO portable travel crib and playard is an excellent choice for use both at home and away for an overnight stay or on your next vacation.
Suitable from birth until around 30 pounds, your baby can sleep, play, and chill out in this sturdy and well-built travel crib and playard. Wipe-clean, breathable fabrics help to keep the crib hygienic, and the mesh sidewalls allow for easy viewing both inside and out.
One of the best features of this particular model is the super-easy “push open, pull close” mechanism that allows mom or dad to set it up in just a matter of seconds. Simply push down on the central hub to open and pull it back up to close while the automatic latches click into place, making a safe, secure, and super cozy crib and play area for your little one, wherever you may be staying.
The Best Travel Bassinets
Amazon’s Choice for Bassinet
2in1 Stationary&Rock Mode Bassinet One-Second Fold Travel Crib Portable Newborn Baby
Perfect for parents that want their little one to sleep close by, either at home or away, this bassinet is super easy to set up and incredibly comfortable for your baby. With a rocking mode to soothe your baby to sleep and a stationary mode for when they do drift off, you should all be able to get some sleep after a busy day of vacationing.
With its very own carry bag, the MiClassic Bassinet can easily be stowed in the trunk of your car, kept at Grandma’s house, or even taken on a plane. The unique 1-second open and fold system means it is quick and easy to put up and take down again, and the breathable mesh sides will keep your baby safely within sight at all times.
This is a tremendous little bassinet for babies on the go — those who like to be rocked to sleep while still being close to mom or dad.
Nap Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere
Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet
This cute and cozy portable bassinet is perfect for keeping your little baby safe and sleeping soundly both at home and away. Suitable for babies up to 3 months old or 15 pounds, this is a great addition to your newborn baby equipment that offers a comfortable and safe space for your little one.
Lightweight and incredibly portable, this travel bassinet can be set up and folded down in a matter of seconds, and the carry handle makes it super easy to take anywhere with you. The locking frame and durable sidewalls keep it feeling strong and sturdy, while the breathable, mesh sides help the air to flow around your baby and allow you to see them at all times.
The specially designed firm mattress and fitted sheet will allow your baby to sleep soundly, and while this should not be used on an elevated surface, this is a good travel bassinet for overnight stays and vacations with your newborn.
The Bassinet That is Also a Diaper Bag and Changing Station
Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet for Baby – Foldable Baby Bed
This fabulous little baby bed offers everything you need as a parent on the go. As a portable changing station, a travel crib, and a diaper bag, you and your little one will all set for any kind of vacation adventure.
The same size as a regular diaper bag, you can store diapers, creams, spare clothing, wipes, and all of your usual baby gear in the smart-looking pockets and carry bag. When it is time for a change, the travel crib can be used as a clean, hygienic changing station that protects your baby from dirty surfaces or hard floors.
At bedtime, the cozy sleeping area has an extra thick pad that can be used as a mattress, and the sturdy sides will keep your baby safe and sound as they sleep. Suitable for babies up to 3 months old, this is a brilliant idea for parents taking their newborn away with them.
Lightweight, Versatile and Can Be Used Outdoors
Dream On Me Karley Bassinet
Made of lightweight polyester with a strong metal frame, the Dream On Me Karley Bassinet combines all the useful features of the stroller and a travel crib and is perfect for taking on overnight stays, leaving at Grandma’s, or simply as an extra crib in your own home.
Suitable for babies from birth up until they weigh around 25 pounds, you can use this portable bassinet as an extra sleep space in your home, a safe space in the garden, or a changing station with additional storage.
With a double canopy and a soft, comfortable sleeping pad, your baby can sleep soundly either on the integrated stand or on the floor, and the compact and quick folding mechanism means you can store the crib away when not in use.
Conveniently Folds Into a Backpack
Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Metro
This wonderfully portable little baby bed can literally go anywhere with you. Have your baby asleep close by at home or in your hotel room, or use it to let your baby join you outside on your next adventure. The 2-position canopy will protect your baby from the sun and wind, and the machine-washable fabric can be removed for cleaning while also being waterproof along the bottom.
Whether you chose to use this bassinet as a travel crib, a co-sleeper, a playpen, or even just a changing station, the affordable price tag and the ability to be quickly folded and carried as a backpack, make this an excellent choice for parents on the move.
Suitable for babies up to the age of 3 months old or weighing less than 15 pounds, the hanging toy bar will keep your baby amused and the cozy cocoon with mattress and canopy will give them a safe space to sleep in.
Keep Your Baby Close and Protected
SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
This small and portable bassinet is designed with co-sleeping parents in mind and offers your baby a safe sleep space that can be kept within arms reach at bedtime.
The mesh sides ensure that mom or dad can see the baby and check on their wellbeing as they sleep, and the compressible sidewalls mean you can easily reach your newborn. Popular with parents who are looking to feed, soothe, or similarly monitor the well being of their baby, the sturdy metal frame is designed to prevent your baby from the dangers of parents rolling over while co-sleeping.
Suitable for newborn and very young babies, the By Your Side Sleeper also features a removable, washable pad, and the bassinet can fold compactly for travel.
Taking your baby away with you is an exciting time. Having everything you need to keep them comfortable is the key to a successful trip, and having their own space to sleep and play in will help your little one enjoy their time away even more.
Get a good night’s sleep with a safe and secure bassinet or full-size travel crib, specially designed to fold up small for easy transportation wherever you are headed. These robust but portable sleep spaces also make useful playpens and extra beds when back at home, too.