By now you have learned: traveling with a baby makes you feel like you’ve never traveled a day in your life. Gone are the days of tossing a few things into a bag, coasting through TSA Precheck and strolling to your gate. Now you find yourself filling a suitcase three times the size of your child with all of their stuff: diapers, wipes, clothing (and back-up clothing), the white noise machine, their special bath soaps, stuffed animals and toys — and that’s not even the carry-on bag. You might not want to add one more thing to your luggage, but trusting a hotel to have a crib can leave you stranded at Walmart at 8 p.m. looking for a cheap substitute. Thankfully, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light ($239) makes paternal travel much easier.
The size of the crib means it’s no problem to toss in a car for a road trip and when flying it fit perfectly into a traditionally-sized suitcase with extra room for fitted sheets, diapers, a baby monitor, etc.
Baby Bjorn is best known for their iconic baby carriers, but the Travel Crib Light may actually be their best product. Travel cribs can often be heavy and annoying to set up; this one weighs only 13 pounds, yet still feels stable and durable. The fabric mesh and mattress cover are washable, which is convenient, and the fabric itself meets Oeko-Tex Standard 100 class I requirements, meaning it’s free from “health-hazardous substances and allergens” — which is extremely important, since your child will be sleeping on and breathing near these materials. The size of the crib means it’s no problem to toss in a car for a road trip, and when flying it fit perfectly into a traditionally-sized suitcase with extra room for fitted sheets, diapers, a baby monitor, etc.
Tips for Traveling with a Toddler
To help them feel more comfortable and sleep better on the road, use the same fitted sheet they sleep on at home. It has a familiar smell and texture, which makes them feel comfortable and relaxed.
If you are flying, bring the stroller and carseat with you to the airport. They will be gate-checked items and you can drape all kinds of stuff on them like a personal pushcart.
Bring extra wipes. Regardless of whether you’re flying, road tripping or camping, you will use them all.
We tested it on a road trip from L.A. to San Diego and flew with it twice, using it in at a spacious wooden cabin in Maine and a small New York City hotel room. It performed perfectly in each setting. The crib was self contained in a carry bag with nothing to attach. To assemble we simply unzipped the bag to reveal the mattress folded around the crib frame. We unfolded the crib, pulled the legs outward — which automatically locked into place — and dropped in the mattress; the whole thing happened in about 60 seconds. The mattress was suspended about an inch off the ground, and the slightly toed-in design allowed for a marginally wider footprint at the base, though it still used very little floor space.
If there is anything I’ve learned from traveling with my daughter — who would be Delta Gold status by now — it is to do everything you can to ensure they sleep well because that ensures you sleep well. $239 is a fair price to pay to guarantee that you and the little one will always sleep like a baby.