How to Choose a Travel Crib (What Parents Need To Know)

Choosing a travel crib might seem like a no-brainer but you might be missing out on some little things that you might not have considered in the first place.

Like thinking of the question, do you even need a travel crib? Is there a cheaper alternative to it? 

What do you consider first in a travel crib?

What should you do first BEFORE using a travel crib?

So this article will help you with those questions, how to choose a travel crib and more. 

Let’s start first with the most basic, noob question.

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What Is a Travel Crib?

A travel crib, also known as a portable crib or a travel cot, is a lightweight and collapsible bed designed specifically for travel purposes. 

It provides a safe and familiar sleeping environment for your child, allowing your little one to rest comfortably during trips away from home.

Should You Even Get a Travel Crib?

Before choosing your travel crib, let’s take a moment to consider if it’s really necessary for you to get one!

Think about things like how often you travel and for how long, whether you can easily find suitable sleeping arrangements at your destination, and of course, the age and mobility of your child. 

Because if you travel every weekend to the in-laws, you might not need a travel crib. You might just need a portable bassinet or even a pack n play that will stay there at your in-laws. 

Related Article: Do I Need a Pack n Play? (What You Really Need To Know)

But if you’re always on the go, you’re always in hotels, camping, road trips, etc., – then you definitely need a travel crib.

If your family frequently goes to places where finding a cozy place for your child to sleep might be a challenge, then investing in a travel crib is definitely a smart move. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Travel Crib

Your Budget

If you have a tight budget, this is the first thing you should think of.

But if budget is not really a priority, then eff this, go to the next step.

If you’re on a budget, consider this first then.

Travel cribs come in all sorts of price ranges, so it’s important to decide how much you’re comfortable spending. 

Of course, you should always keep safety and durability in mind because the well-being of your little ones is priceless. 

Types and Size

Consider the different types of travel cribs available, such as traditional travel cribs, pop-up cribs, or inflatable cribs. 

Which one is within your budget, comfortable, and easy to use?

Assess those things primarily, to ensure they can comfortably accommodate your child and fit within your travel space.

Ideally, your travel crib should be lightweight and easy to carry and lug around. 

Safety, Age, and Weight Limits

Prioritize safety features such as sturdy construction, secure locking mechanisms, and certifications that meet industry standards. 

Take note of the age and weight limits specified by the manufacturer to ensure the crib is suitable for your child’s developmental stage.

Travel Size Restrictions

If you plan to travel by air, check the size restrictions imposed by airlines to ensure that the travel crib can be carried on board or easily checked as luggage.

Portable travel cribs such as the Guava Lotus Travel Crib can be brought on as a carry-on in a plane, as it can fit in most overheads which can save you luggage fees! It’s also lightweight and comes in a backpack, making it super convenient to travel with. 

Just sharing.

Related Article: Guava Lotus Travel Crib Review [With Super Detailed, Practical Info!]


Consider the comfort features of the travel crib, such as a flat, supportive mattress, and breathable mesh sides for ventilation.

Ease of Use

This goes without saying but look for a travel crib that is easy to assemble and disassemble, with clear instructions and intuitive mechanisms. 

You don’t want something that takes you ages to put together and take apart!

Test it out before using it on a trip. Make sure that it folds down compactly and you can easily carry and store it.

Travel Bag

Most, not all travel cribs usually come with a dedicated travel bag or carrying case so just make sure that it doesn’t have any holes in it, it’s sturdy, or no zipper issues.

Machine-Washable Fabrics

Some of the best travel cribs like the Chicco Alfa Lite® Lightweight Travel Playard come with an easy-to-clean, machine-washable fabric.

Which would make life easier especially when you’re traveling. 

Multi-Purpose Travel Crib

This isn’t really a must and not a lot of travel cribs offer this but if you can find one that has other features such as storage pockets, or even a detachable bassinet, that would be fantastic.

Travel Crib Alternatives

If you find travel cribs a little too out of your budget, consider the following instead:

Pack ‘n Play

Think of these as multipurpose travel cribs – some have adjustable heights, bassinets, storage pockets, and whatnot.

Most are cheaper than travel cribs but they are heavier and less portable.

Related Article: Travel Crib vs Pack N Play (Which One Should You Get?)


If you have a newborn or a very young baby, you may consider the best portable bassinet, instead of a regular travel crib.

The best ones actually have a bassinet in them, like the Guava Lotus Travel Crib! So if you’re traveling with a newborn, it’s not so hard to put them down in the travel crib if it has a bassinet.

Meaning, you don’t need to bend too low on the floor or zipper down and go by the side to put your newborn down.

Most portable bassinets are lightweight and easy to carry but some don’t have travel bags or carrying cases, which makes it less convenient.

You can also consider bedside bassinets, as some can be lightweight enough for traveling. 

FAQ on Choosing The Best Travel Crib

What can I use as a crib when traveling?

You can use a travel crib when traveling. It’s easy to set up and disassemble, it’s lightweight and portable and some can even be carried as a carry-on in a plane, like the Guava Lotus Travel Crib.

Is it necessary to have a travel crib?

It’s not necessary to have a travel crib but if your family is traveling a lot, it’s a lot more convenient to have one. As it has all the things you need for a safe, portable, and lightweight sleeping space for your child.

What is the difference between a travel crib and a pack-and-play?

The differences between a travel crib and a pack and play is their portability and price.
Most pack n plays are cheaper than travel cribs but they are heavier and less convenient to carry and set up and disassemble.

What age can you use a travel crib?

You can use a travel crib until your child doesn’t want to stay in one anymore. Since most travel cribs have floor mattresses, there’s no weight limit on them.
But if your child is trying to escape from their travel crib, it’s time to think about other crib alternatives.

Travel Crib Health and Safety Tips

Here are some things you should do before and when using a travel crib for your little one:

  • Check The Crib Carefully

Before each use, inspect the travel crib for any signs of wear and tear, loose parts, or damage. Double-check that the crib is stable and free from any hazards.

  • Test Out the Crib Before You Travel

Set up and test the travel crib at home before your trip to make sure that you know how to set it up safely and disassemble it when needed.

Let your child test out the crib. 

Let them lie on it, sleep on it, to make them get used to it.

  • Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines

You still need to follow safe sleep guidelines recommended by pediatricians, such as placing your baby on their back to sleep and such.

And if you have a newborn or younger baby, keep the crib free from pillows, blankets, or stuffed toys.

  • Get the Right Sheets

Use fitted sheets specifically designed for the travel crib to ensure a snug fit and reduce the risk of entanglement.

  • Consider a White Noise Machine

It’s one of the best baby sleep products that you can add to your travel crib.

Having a white noise machine can help your baby sleep longer, as it can help mask outside noises, preventing them from disturbing your baby’s sleep. 

  • Clean the Crib After Each Trip

It’s ideal to clean the crib after each trip to maintain it and ensure that nothing nasty stays on it.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and ensure that all fabric parts are dry before storing.

  • Know When to Stop Using the Travel Crib

As your child grows and becomes more mobile, they may outgrow the weight and age limits of the travel crib. 

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and transition to a suitable bed or sleeping arrangement when necessary.

How to Choose a Travel Crib: Wrapping Up

If budget is not an issue, I would highly recommend going for the Guava Lotus Travel Crib. Get the one with the bassinet conversion and you’re all set for family travels!

But if you’re on a budget, then regular travel cribs will do, so long as they’re lightweight, safe, sturdy, and easy to set up.

If you like this article, check out my guide on Baby Bjorn Travel Crib vs Lotus Comparison Review, Baby Bjorn Travel Crib vs Pack n Play, and How To Travel with SNOO