Choosing the best portable baby bassinets for travel can be a daunting task for new parents. The market is flooded with a myriad of options, each with its own unique features and benefits. Our goal in this guide is to simplify this process, helping you find the most suitable portable baby bassinets that cater to your specific needs and lifestyle, ensuring your little one’s comfort on the go.
Choosing the Best Portable Baby Bassinets for Travel
Becoming a parent doesn’t mean the end of your travel adventures! Yes, traveling with a baby can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible and can certainly be enjoyable. The key to a successful journey with your little one? It’s ensuring they get a good night’s sleep.
Sleeping away from home can be difficult for children. The unfamiliar surroundings may disrupt their sleep routine and make them uncomfortable. This is where a portable baby bassinet comes in handy. It might seem like an extra burden to your luggage, but it provides a familiar and safe sleeping environment for your baby.
A good quality travel bassinet makes it convenient and more comfortable to travel with a baby. There are numerous fantastic options available, ranging from compact travel baby beds to larger portable bassinets. This guide will help you explore some of the best portable baby bassinets for your travel needs.
Quick 3 Top Rated Bassinets
Here’s our rapid rundown of the top three highly-rated portable baby bassinets and travel baby beds. Be sure to continue reading for additional options and important factors to keep in mind when selecting a travel baby crib.
- SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper: An outstanding option that ensures your baby is always in close proximity.
- Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet: This travel-friendly bassinet is known for its convenience and top-notch quality.
- Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet: A foldable and extremely portable bassinet, perfect for on-the-go parents.
What is a Travel Bassinet?
A travel bassinet, also known as a portable baby bassinet, is a compact, lightweight baby bed designed for ease of travel. Unlike the traditional, bulkier baby bassinets, these are typically foldable and lightweight, making them a perfect companion for holidays and travels.
The beauty of a travel bassinet is not limited to journeys alone; it’s equally advantageous at home. For many parents, including myself, the vast expanse of a crib just seems too overwhelming for a tiny newborn. The bassinet, being smaller and portable, allows for closer proximity to the baby during sleep times.
Best travel bassinet 2023 – comparison table
Let’s delve into the specifics. Here’s a comparative analysis of the best travel bassinets for 2023, presenting their key features, pros and cons at a glance. This comparison table will assist you in making an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences best.
Using a Baby Travel Bed
Traveling with your baby should be a pleasure, not a hassle. To ensure this, you need a portable baby bed that is:
- Lightweight: Carrying around a heavy bassinet can be challenging, especially when you have other luggage.
- Easy to Carry: A comfortable handle or carrying case can make all the difference during travel.
- Easy to Set Up: You wouldn’t want to spend hours setting up the bed after a long journey.
- Flexible: It should easily fit into any travel plan, whether you’re going camping or staying in a five-star hotel.
There are plenty of options to suit your specific needs. Here are a few examples:
- Bedside Bassinets: For example, the Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet is a great choice for keeping your baby close at night.
- Co-sleeper Bassinets: The SwaddleMe By Your Side is perfect for parents who prefer co-sleeping.
- Folding Bassinets: If space is an issue, consider the Brica travel bassinet, which folds up for easy storage and transport.
- Foldable Baby Beds & Playards: The Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night is a versatile option suitable for both newborns and older babies.
Remember – the right choice depends on your comfort, your baby’s comfort, and the nature of your travel.
When Do You Use a Travel Baby Bed
A travel baby bed is an essential item for a wide range of scenarios. Its primary use is for vacations and trips, providing a familiar and safe sleep environment for your child, away from home. When staying in hotels or at relatives’ houses, you can’t always guarantee a suitable infant sleeping arrangement, making a portable travel bed invaluable.
But the usage of a travel baby bed is not limited to trips alone. These flexible beds also serve an excellent purpose at home. Portable baby bassinets provide a cozy and secure space for your baby to nap during the day, which you can easily move around as required. Whether you’re working in the kitchen, relaxing in the living room, or spending time in the garden, you can keep a close eye on your sleeping baby.
In essence, a travel baby bed is an adaptable tool, offering convenience and peace of mind, regardless of your location.
Who Needs a Baby Travel Sleeper?
Having a portable baby bassinet is beneficial even for those who aren’t constantly on the move or traveling extensively. Here are a few reasons why it’s advantageous to have a foldable baby bed or bassinet on hand:
- Comfortable Environment: Babies tend to sleep better in more confined spaces as it mirrors the womb’s environment.
- Home Utility: A foldable baby bassinet is not just useful for travels; you can easily use it at home, moving it from room to room as required.
- Accommodating Guests: If you have friends or family with babies, having a comfortable place for their little one to sleep makes their visits more convenient and enjoyable.
- Frequent Travelers: For parents who often travel, a baby travel bassinet is a must-have.
- Alternative Accommodations: When you book accommodations like Airbnb, they may not provide baby folding beds or travel bassinets. Having your own ensures your baby’s comfort.
- Hotel Stays: Despite babies usually being free at hotels, a safe and clean sleeping option isn’t always guaranteed.
- Staying with Friends or Family: When you stay overnight at a friend or family member’s house, a portable bassinet provides a familiar place for your baby to sleep.
When shouldn’t you use a bassinet
While portable baby bassinets offer numerous benefits, there are certain situations where it might not be the ideal choice for your child. Here are a few such scenarios:
- Age Factor: If your baby is older than approximately four months, a travel crib may be more suitable than a bassinet.
- Motor Skills: A bassinet might not be the safest option if your baby has developed the ability to sit up unaided. Given their shallow design, there’s a risk of the baby falling out.
- Size Considerations: If your baby is too tall or weighs more than the bassinet’s recommended limit, they might not fit comfortably in it. In such cases, you might need to look for other sleeping arrangements.
Choosing a travel bassinet – key features
In your quest to find the top-rated travel bassinets, several factors should be taken into account. These considerations will help you select a portable baby bassinet that aligns seamlessly with your needs, your baby’s comfort, and your travel habits.
Is it a portable baby sleeper?
The allure of a Moses basket bassinet is undeniable. Its quaint charm and adorable aesthetics make it a delightful addition to any nursery. However, despite its appeal, it’s not the best fit for travel. The primary attribute to consider when choosing a travel bassinet is its portability.
The baby bed you select must be effortless to relocate, shifting seamlessly from one location to another. This ease of movement becomes crucial when you consider the additional luggage that accompanies baby care.
Traveling with a baby can often feel like you’re hauling double your usual gear. The last thing you need is a cumbersome and challenging bassinet to add to that load. Hence, a travel-friendly, easy-to-carry baby bed becomes indispensable.
Bassinet weight limit
The actual weight of your bassinet is vital, especially if you’ll be air traveling, backpacking, or hiking. In these scenarios, you’ll want the lightest option possible. Baggage weight limits and the physical burden of carrying it around require a lightweight solution. The Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet, weighing only 4 pounds, is one of the lightest options on the market. For an even more lightweight solution, consider a diaper bag with a built-in bassinet, such as the LexiRoman Diaper Bag Backpack with Bassinet. If you’re traveling by car, the weight might not be as significant but is still an important factor to keep in mind.
Baby Weight Limit
The other weight to consider is your baby’s weight. Most bassinets have a weight limit for babies (around 15-20 pounds). So if your baby is larger or heavier than average, ensure your chosen bassinet can safely accommodate them.
Size of the Bassinet
The size of the bassinet is another critical factor, especially when air traveling. You’ll want a small travel bassinet that’s easy to pack. Our top pick for the best small bassinet is either the SwaddleMe By Your Side or the Biliboo Premium Baby Lounger.
Quick Assembly and Easy Fold Bassinet
A cranky baby or a tired parent after a long day of travel don’t want a complicated bassinet assembly process. Ensure the bassinet comes with clear instructions and practice setting it up at home. Some models, like the Brica Fold n Go Bassinet, take only seconds to set up.
While a bassinet is perfect for newborns and babies, often traveling parents might want to consider a 2:1 model like the Graco Pack n Play With Bassinet or the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard, which can be converted into a crib as your baby grows.
Material and Safety
Material quality and safety are paramount. Ensure the fabric is natural, chemical-free, and breathable. If a bassinet has zippers or velcro, check their durability. Furthermore, verify if you can safely clean the material without causing any damage.
Several extras enhance the functionality of a bassinet, such as a canopy for sunlight protection, a travel bag for easy packing, and included mattresses and sheets.
Travel bassinets come at various price points. Choose according to your budget, frequency of travel, and the possibility of having more kids in the future.
Types of portable bassinets for travel
Traveling with a baby necessitates a variety of portable bassinet options. Yet, primarily, four categories of travel bassinets and cradles are dominant. These include :
1) Bassinets designed for co-sleeping
2) Bassinets engineered to fold up for easy transportation
3) Bassinets that are meant to be stationed beside your bed, and 4) Playards that come equipped with a bassinet.
Co Sleeper Bassinets
Co-sleeper bassinets are the perfect solution for parents who want to safely share their bed with their baby. Designed to be placed directly on the parent’s bed, these bassinets provide a secure and separate sleeping area for the baby, right within arm’s reach. Their compact size ensures they fit safely and conveniently on the bed, making them an ideal choice for traveling parents.
In addition to their travel-friendly design, co-sleeper bassinets are also a boon for breastfeeding mothers. The close proximity to the baby allows for easier nighttime nursing and helps strengthen the bonding experience.
Perfectly suited for newborns and smaller babies, these bassinets offer the comfort of co-sleeping without compromising safety. Whether you’re embarking on air travel or simply want a convenient bedside bassinet for your little one, a co-sleeper bassinet could be the right fit for your needs.
Bedside bassinets are independent units that are easy to maneuver, making them a versatile choice for your sleeping arrangements. These portable bassinets can be conveniently positioned next to your bed or in any other suitable area within your bedroom, requiring only minimal floor space. Their compact size makes them an excellent choice for hotel rooms or your own bedroom.
Certain bedside bassinets, such as the Fisher-Price Portable Rock n Play, also function as rocking bassinets. These may require some assembly, but the soothing motions they provide can be a valuable asset.
Best suited for parents who want their baby close by without sharing the same bed, these bassinets are ideal for both car and air travel. For air transit, consider a protective bag to ensure the bassinet’s safety. Some models even cater to slightly older babies and come with an incline feature, offering relief to babies experiencing reflux.
Pack ‘n Play
A Pack ‘n Play is a versatile travel accessory that transforms from a playard to a children’s travel bed. An excellent choice for babies and toddlers, the Pack ‘n Play Bassinet Crib offers a long-term solution to your travel lodging needs, growing with your child from infancy through the toddler years. While most of these units can be bulky and more suited for car travel, there are lighter options available such as the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard, a mere 15 pounds, which makes it a viable choice for air travel too.
Remember, when flying with kids, baby equipment like a stroller or baby bed is typically checked in for free, even if the child under two does not have their own seat. It’s an ideal choice for families who desire long-lasting travel gear and a sustainable alternative to purchasing multiple sleep solutions over the child’s early years. It is particularly recommended for car travel due to its multifunctional nature.
Bassinet Vs Crib
A common question among new parents revolves around the difference between a portable travel crib and a portable travel bassinet. The distinctions primarily involve the baby’s age and the size of these travel beds.
Portable travel bassinets are significantly smaller compared to travel cribs. These compact units are primarily designed for sleeping, although some models also feature a changing station and a baby lounge. They are ideal for young babies, typically up until they are 4 months old or between 15-20 lbs. However, as soon as your baby begins to sit up and move around, it’s time to transition to a crib.
On the other hand, the best portable cribs often serve as a playpen in addition to a sleeping space. This multifunctional approach means that a crib with a bassinet insert can be used from the newborn stage through toddlerhood. An example of such a product is the Pack and Play with Bassinet. These portable cribs offer a long-lasting travel solution that grows with your child’s needs.
Choosing the best portable baby bassinets for travel can be a daunting task, but considering your specific needs can simplify the process. Whether it’s a co-sleeper, bedside bassinet, or a Pack ‘n Play, each offers unique advantages. Remember, safety, comfort, and versatility are key when selecting portable baby bassinets. Ultimately, the ideal travel bassinet should offer peace of mind while catering to your baby’s needs, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience.
Do I need a travel bed for my family travels?
While it’s not a requirement, a travel bed can greatly ease your travels with young children. Depending on the age of your children, you might want to consider a portable bassinet, a travel crib, or a toddler bed for your travels.
Which is the best travel bassinet?
The answer to this can vary based on personal preferences. We suggest going through our detailed reviews of various travel bassinets to understand their pros and cons. However, if you want a quick recommendation, the Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet and the Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet are excellent choices.
What is the price range for a baby travel bassinet?
The cost of a travel bassinet can vary based on quality and specific features. Generally, you might need to spend between $40 and $100 for a decent travel baby bed. Co-sleeper travel bassinets tend to be more cost-effective compared to portable bassinets with stands.
How does a travel bassinet differ from a regular bassinet?
A travel bassinet can typically serve as a regular bassinet, but the reverse isn’t always true. The main factors that differentiate them are portability and foldability, along with weight and dimensions.
Should I opt for a bassinet or a crib for my newborn?
Bassinets are smaller than cribs and are suited for babies up to 20-25lbs. They are ideal for newborns and small infants. Cribs, however, are larger and typically used for older infants and toddlers. Some parents choose a (travel) crib for their newborn over a bassinet. For more insights, refer to our Travel Crib Guide.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a bassinet along with a crib versus just having a crib?
A crib is larger than a bassinet, which some parents feel is too big for a newborn. While a bassinet is generally used for the initial few months, a travel crib has a longer lifespan. For travel, a portable bassinet is usually smaller and lighter than a travel crib.
Can a pack and play serve as a bassinet?
Yes, some pack n plays, like the Graco Travel Lite, come with a bassinet insert. This means they can function as a travel bed and playard, serving your child from infancy through toddlerhood. However, Pack and Play bassinets are generally heavier than regular travel bassinets.