Traveling with a toddler requires special arrangements and travel gear to make sure your little one is safe and comfortable. A toddler travel bed comes in handy when it's time to sleep, and as a parent you may want to consider buying one of these for your kids comfort- and your sanity.
When buying portable beds for toddlers, the stakes are very high- the wrong pick will leave you with unsettled kids to contend with. There are lots of portable toddler beds in the market which come in different sizes, shapes and features, making finding the best toddler bed for travel a feat in itself.
We just about always travel with our own travel bed for toddler and have tried out several alternatives. After all my research and experience, I have written this guide to help you choose the best toddler travel bed and hopefully help you make a smart choice.
I review the features you should look at when choosing a portable crib for your family travel needs, and will also share the best models you should consider if you want your toddler to sleep in a safe and comfortable environment when you're away from home.
The Best Toddler Travel Beds
Babybjorn Travel Crib Light
With dozens of fantastic baby products this travel crib by Babybjorn is one of the best in the market. Sturdy, lightweight and easy to set up
Brica Fold'n Go
Lightweight, very portable and even easier to set up this bed is a winner if you're on the move often.
Lulyboo Bassinet to Go Metro
Folds into a tiny backpack and can be used as a travel playpen. It can't get much more practical than this.
Very practical and cool for kids, it has UV protection and a comfortable sleeping pad.
Shrunk Inflatable Travel Toddler Bed
This portable air mattress with rails is ideal if you want a simple travel bed for your toddler.
Scuddles 3 in 1 Portable Bassinet
A portable travel crib with multiple compartments for storage, a portable diaper changing station and a carry bag.
2 in 1 Stationary & Rock Mode Bassinet
This impressive travel bassinet allows you to rock you little one to sleep yet folds in one second.
Lotus Travel Crib Backpack
Portable and spacious it's easy to set up and safe for your little one.
But First, What is a Toddler?
This might sound like a dumb question, but it really isn't.
The Merriam- Webster Dictionary describes a toddler as a child who's learning how to walk or toddles, which happens when kids are around 1 year old.
Encyclopedia Britannica however defines a toddler as a child who's between 12 and 36 months old (1 to 3 years old).
Are 1 year old kids about the same size as a 3 year old? Definitely not. Do they have the same needs or do they behave similarly? No and, again, no.
So how can we recommend a toddler travel crib if we can't even agree on what a toddler is?
Based on my own experience and after thorough research we've decided to include in this guide what we consider are the best travel beds for kids in their early years. What you choose will depend on your budget, travel habits and intention of use.
Why Do You Need a Portable Toddler Bed?
Toddler traveling beds are portable cot beds for your kids that are meant for travel. They are usually light in weight and portable for you to take on any trip.
Kids like routine and predictability, and this is the main reason you may want to buy them a portable travel bed. By taking one kids portable bed every time you travel your kid will familiarize with it allowing him or her to rest and get some sleep.
As a parent, this gives you some precious quiet time to relax or perform other activities. Changing your child’s sleeping quarters every time you travel will unsettle them- and we all know how restless unsettled kids can be!
Other than this, other benefits of getting a portable travel cot for toddler include;
- Save money. You will not have to book expensive hotels to accommodate the entire family.
- You are not restricted to hotels with family rooms.
- You get a spare toddler bed for use at home.
Types of Kids Travel Beds
There are different types of portable toddler bed for you to choose from. They include;
1. Inflatable toddler beds
Inflatable toddler travel beds have to be inflated for them to be used as beds. They compress when deflated for easy packaging and transportation . Inflatable beds for toddlers are often raised on the sides to ensure that your kid doesn’t roll off the mattress.
They are popular with backpacking parents or those who often travel by plane.
Make sure you always have a puncture repair kit.
2. Kids air mattress for babies
Air mattress for babies could be an option for you if your child is not very active at night. These baby travel cots are very similar to inflatable toddler beds but don’t have protective bed rails on the sides.
An air mattress did not work for me as Teo is quite active and most mornings I would find him off the bed having rolled off the toddler air mattress.
3. Toddler ready beds
A toddler ready bed features an in-built sleeping bag for tucking in your little ones. The mattress has a raised pillow which eliminates the need to get a baby pillow for your family travel needs.
The bag can be detached from the bed for cleaning and the beds usually feature impressive cartoon designs that will appeal to your children.
4. Folding toddler bed
In additiona to inflatable toddler beds, foldable toddler beds are available in two types: those that require no assembly and those with a tent-like construction and loose poles.
Those that require no assembly are easy to set up as all you have to do is unfold them and you're good to go. The fold-up baby cots require some bit of practice for you to figure out how to set them up quickly.
Features to Consider When Buying the Best Toddler Travel Bed
Here are some of the important features that you have to consider when buying a portable travel crib for your baby.
Weight of the crib
The travel toddler bed should not be heavy to make it easy for you to pack when traveling. The best travel bed for toddler can be compressed into a compact structure to make it easy for you to include in your luggage.
The size of the toddler bed
If you have a particularly tall kid you need to make sure that the crib is the right size.
The toddler bed for travel that you get should be comfortable so as to ensure your baby is at ease when he or she is sleeping. Check customer reviews to see what other parents have to say about the bed before making a purchase. Inflatable mattresses are usually more comfortable than other sturdier options.
An inclusive travel bag
The collapsible bed should have a bag for convenient packaging and transportation.
Ease of use
The travel beds for toddlers that you choose for your baby should be easy to use. It should not take long to set up as this can cause a lot of frustration and ruin your travel experience.
Reviews of the Best Baby Travel Beds
1. BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light
If you travel a lot with your little one, then this is one of the best travel toddler beds that you can get. At just 13 pounds, the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light is easy to carry around and this will make your family travel escapades less stressing.
Setting it up is easy since all you have to do is fold it and your baby will be sleeping soundly in the crib in no time. The mattress is soft and comfy and this guarantees your baby the ultimate comfort every time you set them up for sleep.
The mattress has a firm plate on the floor making the crib stable enough to withstand external pressures. The stand-up design of this crib provides your baby with a secure environment to sleep without the risk of rolling off.
The mesh fabric has a see-through design that allows you to monitor your baby even when you are far away, as well as fresh air to filter through providing fresh air for your toddler.
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light
A solid product by a solid brand.
This toddler travel bed is great if you want to buy just one to use for years to come. It has plenty of space for your kid as he grows during his first years, while still being comfortable when very young. The design is sturdy and will definitely last many years if treated well.
2. Brica Fold N' Go Travel Bassinet
This travel bassinet was designed for the parents who are always on the move. It is compact and foldable, very easy for you to take with you everywhere you go (which reminds me, do you know how to secure an airplane bassinet for your flight?)
Weighing less than 3 pounds it's as light as a travel crib can get. All you have to do to set it up is unfold it and you're ready!
Perhaps it's biggest drawback is its size. This toddler travel bed is on the small side, and once you little one is 11-12 months old it will begin to feel small.
Brica Fold'n Go Travel Bassinet
Lightweight and easy to set up.
The Brica Fold'N Go doesn't have many bells and whistles, and that's exactly why we like it. It weighs next to nothing, is easy to pack and set up. If you want a simple travel bed for your toddler that does the job this is a great buy.
3. Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Metro
The Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Metro is a multi-use tool that will make it easy for you to get your baby to sleep whether you are traveling or at home. It has a comfortable sleeping pad and can be used as a playpen as well as changing pad.
The fabric is breathable and machine-washable and this makes cleaning it easy.
This kid travel bed was designed with portability in mind as it conveniently folds into a tiny backpack to make transportation and storage easy. It has a removable canopy on the top side that provides a shade to your baby on those hot and windy days.
This kids travel cot also comes with two colorful play toys for your baby’s enjoyment and development- it's a jack of all trades!
Lulyboo Bassinet To Go
A playpen with a bed and toys too
We love how practical it is and the many functions it has, but it's quite small and you're little one will outgrow it sooner than you'd like. If you simply want a small travel bed for your baby it's a great buy, but as soon as your little one is 12 months old you'll find yourself shopping for a bigger one.
4. KidCo Peapod Infant Travel Bed
The KidCo Peapod Infant Travel Bed has most of the features that you would expect in a toddler travel bag. It has a lightweight design with a carry bag that makes transporting and setting it up very easy.
The mesh on the sides allows air to flow freely within the crib making it one of the coolest toddler travel cots you can get for your baby. It also features a UV protection shade at the top to keep your little one from harmful harmful sun rays.
This travel bed for toddler has anchor straps for attachment, ideal for outdoor use in the mountains or at the beach!
KidCo Peapod Infant Bed
Fresh, simple and practical for the outdoors.
An easy set up and the breathable mesh make the KidCo Peapod a fantastic bed for you to use outside. Whether at the beach or in the mountains it will keep your little one safe from the outdoors, comfortable and happy. The confined space may be unattractive for active toddlers though who want space.
5. Shrunks Travel Air Mattress for Kids
Making sure that your kid is comfortable should be one of your top priorities when choosing a children's travel bed and the Shrunks Travel Bed for Kids is perfect in that regard. This kids inflatable bed features a soft mattress bad that is gentle on your little ones as they grow.
The heavy-duty PVC construction of this toddler blow up bed gives it the stability to withstand rough play from your active kids and the guard rails keep your kid from rolling when they asleep.
Standard crib sheets will fit this bed and it also comes with an electric pump to inflate when in use.
Shrunks Air Mattress
A mattress you can take anywhere.
The Aerobed Air Mattress is convenient and practical, a simple place where to put your toddler to sleep. It won't keep him from crawling away though and the risk of a puncture will always be there. If all you want is a soft and comfortable surface where to put your little one to sleep then this is a perfect solution, but we'd go for something more useful.
6. Scuddles- 3-1 Portable Bassinet
Your family travels will be simplified a great deal when you buy the Scuddles- 3-1 Portable Bassinet for your baby. This portable travel crib comes with a soft mattress for your child to sleep on when you are away from home.
Other than a sleeping pad, it also comes with a diaper bag and a changing station that makes it easy to attend to your baby’s needs. This crib also has several compartments for storing your baby’s essentials including an insulated pocket to keep things hot.
The bassinet is made from top quality materials and this ensures optimum protection and air circulation when the baby is relaxing.
Scuddles 3 in 1 Bassinet
Travel crib, sleeping pad and diaper bag
7. 2 in1 Stationary & Rock Mode Bassinet
It shouldn’t take you long to set up your toddler’s crib when you are on the road and the 2in1 Stationary & Rock Mode Bassinet will make it easy for you to set your baby up for sleep.
Its one-second fold design simplifies the process of getting your baby to sleep and the mattress pad is soft and comfortable for your baby.
The crib’s rock mode will soothe your little one for a quick sleep and the bassinet is made of breathable fabric for proper air circulation.
All these features in an easy to fold system for quick set up and transportation.
Stationary and Rock Bassinet Miclassic
A versatile travel bed for toddlers that is easy to carry.
We liked this versatile travel crib for toddlers. There aren't many out there that allow you to rock your little one to sleep while being easy and big enough for you to use with your little one as he grows past his toddler years.
8. Lotus Travel Crib – Backpack by Guava Family
This toddler travel crib has been designed to be easy to carry as it compresses into a compact structure that you can fit into its included carrying case.
It weighs just 13lbs when packed making it one of the lightest travel cribs that you will ever come across and will only take you 15 seconds to set up without having to read the instruction manual-it's that easy.
The materials used to make this crib have been certified. The raised side panels protect your kid from external dangers as well as preventing him or her from rolling off when he or she is sleeping.
The Lotus Travel Crib is one of the best toddler travel beds and will probably be among the final choices you have to make.
Lotus Travel Crib
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The Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family is one of the most solid purchases you can make. It is perhaps bulkier than some of the other great toddler beds we've featured, but you'll be able to use it for more time and will keep your little one under control.
The Best Toddler Travel Bed- What to Buy
When traveling with your little ones, you might want to consider having a portable travel bed they can sleep in. Kids are not always comfortable sleeping in foreign places and most of these can be used as a playpen as well, even a changing pad.
The different travel cribs vary in shape, size, style and price though, so choosing one might not be as obvious as you'd think.
What do I recommend?
The BabyBjorn Travel Bed and the Lotus Travel Crib are perhaps the best built of the lot, and will keep your little ones safe and comfortable when traveling or even at home. They are bulkier though, but this also means you'll be able to use them for longer and I recommend one of these if your kid is under 2-2.5 years old.
If, on the other hand, your toddler is under 1 year old and you want something simple to use on the go when you need to put your little one to sleep the Brica Fold'n Go is what you need. You won't be able to use it for as many months, but weighing just 3 lbs will make travel so much easier!
Finally, if your toddler (or child by now) is more than 2.5 years old I would go for the Shrunks Air Travel Mattress.
But these are just my opinions. Check the cost of each one, what your needs are, what other parents say in reviews and theyn make your best choice!