• Simple setup and take-down
• Lightweight and easy to carry with a compact carrying case
• Mattress is soft and comfy yet still firm
• Won’t fit into most suitcases, so you have to check it separately at the airport
The lightweight carrying case and firm but soft mattress makes this travel crib a breeze to bring to the airport or throw in the car. It’s super-easy to set up and provides a safe and comfortable place for baby to sleep whenever you’re away from home.
Rating: 4.5 stars
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Being an avid traveler, I always imagined that I’d be jet-setting around with my kids when I finally had them. Then reality hit: With two babies only 18 months apart, the hassle of lugging around a crazy amount of baby gear and the fear of exhaustion from disrupted sleep schedules have kept me closer to home. And one of the biggest factors keeping me from taking those family trips I’d dreamed of was not wanting to carry heavy playards that I would then have to wrangle into place like I was playing a game of Twister. I’ve also worried that having to put my 5-month-old daughter—who was only just beginning to get over colic—to sleep in a travel crib would certainly lead to neither of us getting any sleep at all. Thankfully with the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light that wasn’t the case.
Getting this travel crib was a game changer for me. Not only is it compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry at the airport or throw into a car, but opening it up and folding it back down can both be done in under a minute. And the crib itself is super-comfy so baby (and by extension, you!) can get a good night’s rest.
The first trip we took with both kids was a baby step to test my comfort zone: a four-hour drive to visit my mother for the weekend. I loved how easy it was to pack the BabyBjörn—it comes in a black compact carrying case with handles, like a big briefcase. At only 32 inches long, 24 inches tall, and 44 inches wide, it doesn’t take up much trunk space. Plus, it weighs only about 13 pounds (which is about half of what the Pack ‘n Play weighs), so I could carry a baby in one arm and the playard in the other.
The setup was relatively frustration free, especially since I hate reading instructions and find no joy whatsoever in trying to figure out how to put things together. I need even more idiot-proof gear considering I have to also keep a constant eye on my toddler to prevent him from trying to hit his baby sister in the head or hurl a toy in her direction. Happily, I didn’t need to read any instructions (or watch any YouTube videos!) the first time I set up the crib. I simply unzipped the case, pulled out the crib frame that was nestled inside the folded mattress and snapped the legs into place. Then I clipped the mattress tabs onto the poles at each of the corners—that keeps the mattress from sliding around and helps with stability. Done!
Once it’s set up, the crib is very stable and doesn’t wobble, since the mattress rests on the floor and the frame has a wide base. I also like that the breathable mesh sides make it easy for me to see my daughter from any angle. The padded edges around the top rail make it more comfortable for me to lean over and soothe her—and they’ll make it safer when she starts standing, so she doesn’t bang her head. The mattress is soft, but also firm enough that I don’t worry about safety.
Folding up the crib took a few minutes to figure out because it wasn’t immediately intuitive to me that I had to pull the legs out and up in order to release them. But once I figured that out, I simply put the crib back into the case the way it came—by first placing the folded mattress inside and then tucking the collapsed crib frame into the center of the mattress so it was protected on the outside. Then I zipped up the case and threw it in the back of my car.
The real test was seeing if my daughter, Athena, would go to sleep in the crib. My husband and I refer to her as the “princess and the pea” because she does not like to be uncomfortable in any way—and lets us know it by her sharp cry. I did the same bedtime routine we do at home, which starts with bathtime and a baby massage. Then I turned on a sound machine app that I use on the iPad, plugged in the night light I brought, and put her Lullaby Gloworm doll in the crib.
She usually doesn’t go down very easily and I did have to rock her in my arms and sing to her for about 10 minutes, but when I placed her into the crib, she fidgeted for only a few minutes before falling asleep.
Athena still woke up a few times during the night as usual (though I fed her only once), but she went to bed on time, didn’t have much trouble falling back to asleep when she did rouse at night, and she awoke right on schedule at 7 a.m. I was thrilled that sleeping in the travel crib didn’t seem to disrupt her normal sleep routine.
Since I know that my daughter is comfortable in the crib and that it’s lightweight and easy to carry and set up, I even bring it with me for visits to friends’ houses during the day when they overlap with Athena’s naptime. I also sometimes use it as a playard in my living room; I put her in it with a few toys when I want to keep her contained (and protected from her 23-month-old brother).
I have the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light in Silver, and am really happy with the quality. The mesh material is durable and hasn’t snagged while letting you easily keep an eye on baby. The mattress cover can be removed for easy cleaning (love that it’s machine washable for when we have accidents!), and the mesh fabric also unzips so you can take it off and wash it easily.
The crib looks sleek and compact when set up, and I like the silver color, which gives it a luxe feel (it also comes in black, blue and pink/purple). The angled legs help the crib not take up a lot of space while giving baby plenty of room to sleep. The storage case is also really well made, and I like that it looks like a small suitcase when folded up so it fits easily under a bed or in a closet. When toting it around it can be carried like a briefcase, but I do wish it also had a backpack-style carrying option to make it easier to lug when my hands are full.
Fears about disrupting baby’s sleep schedule and the hassle of packing heavy gear may hinder some parents from traveling with baby—this was the case for me. The BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light helps ease these concerns. The soft yet firm mattress gives babies a comfy place to sleep, and the lightweight, compact design with a sturdy storage case makes it easy to transport. You can assemble and disassemble the crib in under a minute to make setting up a portable nursery a snap when you’re away from home.
Holly C. Corbett writes for The Bump, Parents, Redbookmag.com and other national outlets. She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey with her husband, toddler son and baby girl.