I was always a minimalistic packer, but when baby came on board, traveling lightly became a thing of the past. There’s the car seat, the stroller, the mountain of diapers, the mound of wipes … the list goes on. And because I never quite trust the cribs available at the hotel (who knows if the model has been recalled or when it was last sanitized!), I insist on bringing a travel cot for baby as well.
Thankfully, I recently had the pleasure of trying out “the only full size cot/crib that’s lighter than the baby”: the phil&ted’s traveller. The tagline doesn’t lie—the traveller weighs in at just 6 pounds! It stows neatly in a small carry bag and fits with no problem into a suitcase or overhead bin. On a recent trip, I toted the cot as a carry on and, when our flight was delayed several hours, found a quiet spot in the terminal to set it up and let my little one snooze. She took a great nap and was even pleasant on the 3-hour flight!
I was glad that I had first practiced setting up the travel bed at home, however, since the process was a bit complicated. I pulled it out of the box one night when my brother and sister-in-law were over for dinner. Perhaps if my brother hadn’t jumped the gun and started putting the pieces together prior to consulting the owner’s manual, we would have assembled it correctly the first time. But it wasn’t until the three of us college-educated adults admitted initial defeat that we pulled out the instructions. We started over and read and followed the directions step by step. And get this: It worked! We managed to fit all the pieces together and build the traveller without further confusion or frustration. Subsequent assemblies have proven hassle-free, now that I’m familiar with the process, and I had the sleep spot put together at the airport in just a short time. I hardly ever glance at the instructions anymore; I use it often enough that I’ve got the routine down pat.
The bed is suited for newborns babies on up to 3-year-old tots. It includes a self-inflating mattress (which can be manually assisted to reach maximum inflation) that slides into a sort of zippered envelope at the bottom of the cot. I like that the mattress is separated from the sleep space so it doesn’t get twisted or jostled when my little one squirms, however it does make it impossible to use a bottom sheet—or so I thought. Upon inquiry, I found out that the mattress is also certified-safe for use outside of the envelope. How about that? So when baby is playing, I can tuck the mattress inside; and when she’s sleeping, I make her space cozier with a fitted sheet. Perfect! The zip-down side has been nice for squatting down and sliding my girl inside instead of bending over and lowering her in, and it’s also great when she’s playing and wants to crawl in and out. The zip-on top helps keep bugs out, and slim shadee, the UV sunshade, protects from harmful rays. Although these tops (hopefully!) aren’t necessary in a hotel, they’re great for camping trips or days spent at the beach. The cot is, in fact, made for the purpose and includes stakes for keeping the cot stationary while enjoying the great outdoors.
Dissembling the cot is quick and easy. Within minutes, my newest travel companion was packed back into its carry bag and ready to head out on our next adventure.
To buy: philandteds.com