Travel Beds: Size Matters

There are a million options out there for Travel Cribs (AKA baby cots, pack n plays, etc).  I am not even about to go into comparing them ALL to each other, but I wanted to share this option since so many of my parent-friends are struggling with their tall toddlers and where they sleep on trips!

Normally, we call ahead to hotels and request a packnplay or baby cot. Inside the USA it was always the standard size.  However, on our last trip to Europe we noticed these beds were considerably longer!  Every single Airbnb we stayed in had a LONG baby cot and Charletta (2 years old at the time) would sleep through the night with no issue.  She even had ROOM to move around and lay on her stomach. 

Now that we had two babies, we can't always secure TWO baby beds, so we started the hunt for our own Extended length packnplay!

SO, here is my honest comparison of a "Standard Size" and an "Extended Size"

Standard (Left) vs Extended (Right)

Standard (Left) vs Extended (Right)

Standard Size:

OUr son at 5 months in a standard pack n play and a dockatot grand

OUr son at 5 months in a standard pack n play and a dockatot grand

Almost ALL travel beds sold in the USA are 40L X 28.5W inches -- they typically weigh somewhere between 18-30 pounds. (Our particular bed weighs 18.5lbs) Different beds come with different options such as bassinet attachments, changing table attachments, co-sleeper attachments, etc.  I am only talking about the STANDARD, NO FRILLS bed, so that means just the bed. Like the pad, the frame, the carrying case ONLY. 

We used a standard pack n play for close to 2 years with our daughter.  She started resisting it around 19 months and by that point was almost completely refusing sleep in it.  Why?  Because she was too dang tall.  Most of these standard size beds are only for children 35 inches or smaller, which is more like 33 inches when you consider the dimensions are to the OUTSIDE of the crib frame. 

Cost for our basic pack-n-play: $50 NEW on Amazon Prime (HERE) or we bought one second hand for $20

 

 

 

OUr daughter (2 years old) sleeping in an extended pack n play -- she has So much room

OUr daughter (2 years old) sleeping in an extended pack n play -- she has So much room

Extended Size:

It took an embarrassing amount of time scouring the internet and reaching out to AirBnB owners to find out where I could buy a longer packnplay and what the brands were.  I eventually found a couple brands, but we're a no-frills kind of baby bed user, so we went with the most basic.  We seriously could not be happier.

HERE is the BabyDan Travel Cot we decided to go with. This bed measures 47.3L X 23W inches and weighs 17.5lbs.  It's slightly thinner, but the extra SEVEN inches of length is a total game changer with toddlers (or giant infants like our son).  BONUS, if you are a Dock-A-Tot user, THIS BED IS PERFECT FOR THE GRAND!!! (If you aren't -- YOU SHOULD BE.  Use that link to get 10% off and code: EXIT10 for another $10 off)

Here you can see the beds are pretty much the same size when packed into their travel bags(extended on Left, Standard on Right)

Here you can see the beds are pretty much the same size when packed into their travel bags(extended on Left, Standard on Right)

We bought our BabyDan off AmazonUK for about $100 after we paid for shipping.  Amazon Prime doesn't work from Amazon UK.  HERE is the link to the BabyDan on the US site and HERE is the link to the BabyDan on the UK site.

You will need to find what works for your family, so shop around.  This Travel Bed has been SO great to us and we will be using for a long time!

Scroll down to see how Charletta has gotten taller and needs more space.  3 photos of her in her DockATot Grand in a travel bed.  First two are in a standard size and the last is in the extended.  She has considerably more room and is able to stretch out and sleep whichever way she wants.  I will say that we are using the DockATot less with her since she is transitioning to a normal size bed (please stop growing up), so when we travel, she typically does not have her DockATot anymore.  However, we still travel with an extended Travel Cot AND a DockATot Grand for Latham and will for a long time.

As always, Fly Brave, Travel Often, See Everything,

Tavia

Charletta at 9 months in a standard pack n play with DockaTOT grand

Charletta at 9 months in a standard pack n play with DockaTOT grand

charletta at 16 months in a standard pack n play with a dockatot grand and she is running out of room

charletta at 16 months in a standard pack n play with a dockatot grand and she is running out of room

Charletta at 2 years, 4 months in an extended length travel cot -- she can fully extend her legs and sleep on her stomach.  (also, don't pay attention to her stained tshirt)

Charletta at 2 years, 4 months in an extended length travel cot -- she can fully extend her legs and sleep on her stomach.  (also, don't pay attention to her stained tshirt)


Our Orb Travel diffuser + our tranquil roll on.  We use Essential oils to support more restful sleep with the babies and ourselves! (Photo from our time in Vienna, Austria)

Our Orb Travel diffuser + our tranquil roll on.  We use Essential oils to support more restful sleep with the babies and ourselves! (Photo from our time in Vienna, Austria)

PS: Another way we've had more successful sleep on trips is Essential Oils.  I know, I know, but they work and there is no denying it.  We typically use an oil blend called Sleepyize on the road because it's only one bottle (less to carry) and it's formulated for use on children.

At home we use a combination for Charletta of Lavender + Cedarwood in the diffuser.  For Latham we use an oil called Gentle Baby and we rub it on one foot and down his spine.  For ourselves we diffuse Lavender OR Cedarwood mixed with a blend called Release.  I highly recommend using oils for sleep.  Most babies and kids are sensitive to scents and having a familiar smelling environment while traveling has helped us tremendously on the sleep front.  You can check out more about Essential Oils HERE.