When you’re travelling with your baby, you may wonder, where is the best place for your baby to sleep on holiday? Here’s how to choose the best travel cot for you and we show you some of our favourites…
How do I choose a travel cot?
There are lots of choices available, so think about your lifestyle; will you often visit friends and family with your baby? Do you travel a lot, or just occasionally? Do you love camping or a festival? Do you need it to double as a playpen? Travelling with baby becomes simpler if you invest in a good quality, portable travel cot that is right for you.
There are three kinds: pop-up travel cots, ideal for small spaces and
occasional use, small travel cots if space is a problem in your hotel or holiday room and larger travel cots that can be used for a couple of years, may have changing facilities and can be used for playtime as well as sleep.
What features are useful when choosing a travel cot?
Some features come as standard but what extras are handy?
- Wheels: to move it across the room or, when folded, to transport it to the car or through the airport.
- Travel case:most come with their own case to keep all the pieces together and to keep it clean.
- Bassinet:this is a cosy little bed for newborns that is fixed to the top of the travel cot. It is useful to prevent backache, as it’s easier to put your baby down to sleep.
- Changing unit: a useful feature, as you don’t need a separate changing outfit.
- Toys:look for toy arches, mobiles, or music units. This can help with settling your baby for naps.
- Mesh sides: easy for you and your baby to see each other.
- Mattress:it should be supportive and firm. If you use it a lot, it’s worth buying an additional mattress and fitted sheets.
Sleep safety: you should have your baby in the same room as you during their first six months
To make the most of your trips away, make sure your baby's nap schedules are maintained and stop them waking up early due to early morning sun by packing a SnoozeShade for Travel Cots. Air permeable and easy to use, it allows fresh air through and blocks 94% of light and distractions. It will help your little one get good sleep without you needing to black out the whole room- ideal when you're on holiday.
Ten of the best travel cots
1) Babybjorn Travel Cot Light £245
In three colours to suit all decors, this clever travel cot has the frame outside the mesh sleeping area, which means that the inside is soft and gentle against your baby’s body even if they fall over. Compact and lightweight, it’s easy to take with you in the car or on a plane and it packs neatly to be stored when you’re not using it. Weighing just 6kg, it sets up with just one movement and can be used for up to three years. The soft, thick mattress is included, plus a fitted sheet in organic cotton and it packs neatly in its own travel bag. It’s easy to keep an eye on your little one through the mesh and all materials are OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which means they are kind to baby skin, plus they are machine washable. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
This neat piece of kit gives you two options, all in a handy travel bag. Firstly, for newborns up to around four months, or when your baby can roll or pull herself up, there’s a bassinet that sits at the top of the cot and that quickly and easily clicks on and off the frame. Remove this to use the good-sized travel cot that is useful up to three years. Wheels on one end make it easy to move within your home and when taking it to the car or plane. It’s slightly heavier than some, at 9.79kg but will be durable and last you through several children. You can see your baby through the mesh panels, though the fabric areas mean that they will not be as easily distracted by you moving about in the room. If you travel often or want a play and sleep option in a different room of your house, this is the travel cot for you. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
3) Graco Contour Electra £99
Want a travel cot that is all singing, all dancing? Travel a lot and need to be able to care for your baby all in one handy place? This is one for frequent flyers. This 12.95kg cot can be used from birth with the bassinet that clips into the top of the travel cot; remove it as your baby grows and use up to three years. You can add a handy changing unit on to the top, that allows you to change nappies with ease wherever you are. There’s also a toy arch with three black and white patterned balls to help your baby’s developing eyesight. Best of all, there’s an electrical entertainment unit that offers a nightlight, music and vibration. It has a timer, so it can turn itself off when your baby is asleep. The cot has two wheels for easy mobility and its own travel bag too. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
This roomy and easy to use travel cot can be used from birth right up to three years, so it’s a good long-term buy and will be suitable for using with more than one child as you add to your family. It’s quick and easy to set up – it just shakes open- and to take down again and it comes with a carry case that you can pop over your shoulder and carry it to the car or into a hotel room. It’s just 7kg! When your baby is small, there is a high-level bassinet that is not only cosier for your baby to sleep in but makes putting a tired baby into the crib much easier; it saves on backache, too. When your child is older, remove the bassinet and they sleep on the comfortable mattress. If you want to use the cot as a playpen, it has plenty of padding, so your baby won’t bump their head on the rails. It’s certified for overnight sleeping and acts as a co-sleeper that you can pull next to your bed when you’re travelling. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
5) Nuna Sena Travel Cot £179
Great for getting out with your baby, the 10kg Sena has an innovative frame that looks quite different from other travel cots and it collapses and erects quickly and easily, even with the bassinet in place. The handy and very roomy bassinet for young babies can be removed when they can roll or pull themselves up, from which point you can put your baby to sleep or play in the larger compartment of the travel cot. It has skid-proof feet, which is ideal if you have hard floors and it comes with a travel bag. All hard surfaces and corners are protected with padded fabric to prevent bumps. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
If you are going to be using a travel cot for a short time, perhaps at a festival or when camping, this little pop-up model is ideal. It’s space-saving, so you can pack it away neatly and can be used from six to 18 months. It has an integrated mosquito and insect net and the mattress is soft and padded. It weighs less than 1.5kg and has a handy little travel bag that it folds neatly into. Your baby can have fun crawling in and out through the zip opening and then can snuggle down for a good night’s sleep. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
7) Maxi-Cosi Swift £229
This travel cot is very sleek and stylish and can be used up to three and a half years. It may be a little pricier than some but you get a very light cot at just 7kg, plus it really does pop out and fold away in a quick, easy movement. With a bassinet for the younger months, there’s a larger sleep area for toddlers. The padded and cosy mattress is used unzipped for the bassinet and zipped back up for the cot. You can add fitted sheets to the mattress to give you all you need for trips away. It can be used for playtime when your little one needs a safe area and has a full travel case to keep it packed neatly away. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
8) Bugaboo Stardust £199
From the popular pushchair brand comes this all-mesh travel cot that weighs 8.2kg and packs away neatly to just 14cm wide. For busy people, always on the go, it promises to open swiftly and it really does – it takes just a second to unfold the travel cot, which simply pops up into place; just undo the Velcro straps and out it comes. It also folds in three seconds, with the mattress still in place. Rather than packing into a long shape with a square cross-section, it packs flat, so can be stored behind a sofa or door. It has a zip-in bassinet for smaller babies and all hard frames are covered with fabric, with the top being especially well padded. It has an integral mattress and all parts are chemical-free and wipe clean. Click here to find it on Amazon and read reviews.
9) Hauck Sleep n Play £82
A great price for a fully functional travel cot that has lots of great features. Inside the travel bag, the mattress is wrapped around the cot, so open this out to be able to extend the cot to its full size – simply click each of the four sides up to lock into place, then push the base down. The mesh bassinet for young babies zips into place just below the well-padded top rim. The mattress can be used for both bassinet mode and when the cot is being used. On top of the cot, you can fix a changing unit to be able to change your little one wherever you go and it has its own little safety belt: don’t forget you should never leave a baby unattended on a changing unit. It has two sturdy wheels for manoeuvrability and best of all, there's an arch in the side that unzips to allow your baby to crawl in and out when playing. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
10) Graco Compact Travel Cot £30
If you travel rarely but want the option of a travel cot that doubles up as a playpen and that won’t break the bank, this inexpensive model is fine. Suitable from birth to around three years, there are no fancy extras but the cot weighs just 8.95kg and comes with a neat travel bag. It has a padded mattress to keep your little one comfortable and all four sides are mesh, so you are able to see your baby as they sleep or play. It folds neatly and easily and the top rails are well padded to keep your child safe. Click here to find it on Amazon and read the reviews.
More travel with baby essentials:
If you're planning a trip away or you are room sharing with your little one, then you may need some of these handy accessories to help all get a good night's sleep.
White Noise machines
There are plenty of white noise machines available, which help create soothing sounds so that baby relaxes and sleeps easily.
Two of our favourites are
Ewan The Dream Sheep £39.99
Invented by a mum of five, Ewan is not only practical he's also incredibly cute.
Dreamegg White Noise Machine £27.99
Stuck in a room with no curtains or worried about room sharing?
SnoozeShade for Travel Cots £59.99
If you have a baby that is used to a darkened environment and you end up in a room full of light, it can be frustrating and you'll worry about whether your baby will sleep.
That's exactly why SnoozeShade for Travel Cots was invented. SnoozeShade's inventor Cara stayed with her young baby at her brother's house in a room with velux windows - and no blinds! Several 2am wake-ups later and SnoozeShade for Travel Cots was born. Recommended by Baby Sleep Consultants worldwide, it makes room-sharing with a little one easier for everyone. It fits all travel cots that take a mattress sized 95cm x 65cm. If you have a larger travel cot, you'll need SnoozeShade for Cots and Mini Cotbeds.