The expert guide to buying a travel cot
Having a travel cot means that you can take your baby on holiday, to Grandma’s or to stay with friends safe in the knowledge that it’s always available, safe and clean. So often, hotels claim to provide a cot but when you arrive you find it’s old, broken or just a bit mucky!
Look for a light, easy to move model but bear in mind that larger cots – which will last much longer – will be heavier. If you only want to use one while baby is tiny, there are some small pop-up versions. Your baby will get a good night’s sleep in a cot he’s familiar with and it can double as playpen, too – just add toys!
Are you a travel cot kind of mum?
A travel cot is good for you if you:
- Intend to travel with your baby quite often for holidays, short breaks and trips to see friends and family.
- Don’t want to rely on using a cot or travel cot in a hotel that has had many babies sleeping in it.
- Need a safe place for baby to play and have short naps in your home during the day, near you but allowing you to get on with things.
A mosquito net is a helpful addition to a travel cot; some come with one attached or you could buy one from a camping shop.
A baby likes to have familiar sounds and smells around when he is ready for bed; travel with his mobile or night light and musical toys to help calm him, bring his favourite sleeping bag or sheet and pack travel size bottles of his usual toiletries so he can have a soothing bath before bed.
Try to keep baby’s routine as near to your normal home one as possible but don’t be too rigid – babies are very adaptable and can nap in the most unlikely places. Having happy parents is essential!
What to look for when buying a travel cot:
- Generous size sleeping area with a good mattress and mesh sides that make it east to see in and out, with easy to clean mattress cover.
- Easy to put up and collapse down with simple instructions; a storage bag; wheels to help you move it around in your home or when travelling.
- Added extras; a changing unit or bassinet for tiny babies on the top, a storage area, toys to keep baby amused, musical units and a vibrating mattress to help get him off to sleep.
With a lightweight curved aluminium frame, this cot is suitable from birth to around two years old and has lots of extras for you and your baby. The mattress can be adjusted higher for smaller babies, lower as they grow and there's a clip-on changing table and accessory holder. It has lockable wheels, is easy to assemble and fold down and it has a storage bag too.
There's also a mobile and you can add a more comfortable mattress if you're going to use it a lot..
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