The amount of stuff you have to remember to pack when you’re traveling with babies and toddlers is enough to give anyone a headache. Not to mention how forgetting the most obvious thing at home can ruin your whole trip. Plus it can be a costly mistake if you have to go out and buy an emergency backup. Hotel accommodations can be unpredictable, no matter how much research you do or what the reviews say, as can relying on relatives to have a safe spot for your mini to snooze (i.e., the crib your in-laws used several decades ago can look pretty dodgy and we doubt they have the latest toddler bed rail). You’re best off arriving at your destination prepared. With a convenient portable baby crib you picked out yourself (one that’s from 2020 and not 19-something), everyone—yourself included—will be able to get a safe, sound sleep.
So what do you need to look for in a travel crib? Well, that all depends on the needs and preferences of your family. Are you looking for a foldable wooden crib you can use at home and take to grandma’s a few towns over? Or a lightweight convertible bassinet/playpen you can carry easily through an airport? From compact mesh styles that you can throw over your shoulder to more substantial, grow-with-your-kid options that last for years, we’ve found the best portable baby cribs to score in 2021.
Best Portable Cribs
Is it a crib or a backpack? Well, both. This certified, non-toxic travel crib features breathable mesh sides, a lockable zip door, and folds up into a convertible lightweight backpack, leaving your busy mom hands free.
Oh hello, life saver—and sleep saver. The best portable baby crib for newborns (until kiddo can pull herself upright), Mika Micky’s bedside sleeper adjusts to seven bed-height positions and has an easy open side panel, so you don’t have to stumble around in the dark to soothe/feed.
Use this foldable crib at home or while traveling: It comes with a 2-level removable bassinet, converts to a playpen (hence the “removable” part), and folds up at the push of a button. Twenty percent smaller than standard playpens, Graco’s portable crib is super convenient for smaller spaces–just be sure your lil’ one is under 35 inches tall and/or not a climber!
Best Mesh Travel Cribs
Oh baby! Play, sleep, change—REPEAT. This versatile Retreat Nursery Center from Amazon features everything you’ll need to keep your day on track. Remember, a happy baby = a happy mama. The rock-a-bye bassinet, complete with a canopy, handle, and two toys will come in clutch when running errands. Once it’s time for recess, your toddler will have boatloads of fun in the playard which can easily be moved (and secured… nobody wants a rolling baby) thanks to fully-functioning wheels and brakes. But that’s not all. You’ll also find a changing table and deluxe parent organizer to keep your $h*t together. Lure baby to sleep with soft music and nature sounds which can easily be controlled from a panel found on the bassinet. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work remotely, or are just a sucker for convenience, this is an investment piece every parent should own.
‘Cuz it’s nap-o-clock somewhere (be it your home office, grammie’s house, or elsewhere)! The thing about babies is that they never stop—yup, just like the Energizer Bunny—you’ve always got to be on standby to meet their every need. Graco’s airy mesh Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard is specifically designated for movement, hence the handy wheels. It includes a cushiony changing pad for maximum comfort and a removable bassinet for uninterrupted sleep. The best part: When you’re ready to go, it takes approximately 1.5 minutes to pack up (give or take 30 seconds) and folds up compactly for fuss-free road trips and storage. Moms everywhere, including this Amazon buyer, love to see it. “We live in a 2-story house and I bought this as a secondary to keep downstairs. Baby has been using it since he was a newborn in the raised position and it’s perfect for tummy time, changes, and naps.”
Easy to set up or fold up in a single step, take this lightweight portable baby crib on everything from holiday vacations to overnights at your parents. It comes with a convenient carrying bag and since messes are pretty much a guarantee at some point, the crib fabric and mattress cover are both removable and washable. Phew.
This 3-in-1 mesh pack and play from Arm’s Reach comes with all the bells and whistles. It grows with your baby from free-standing bassinet, to bedside sleeper, to travel play yard.
“I recently ordered the Arm’s Reach Co Sleep bassinet for my daughter who was just recently born and it was one of the best purchases I have made!” said one happy customer. “It’s design is simple and easy to set up, use and fold back apart for travel if need to! The colors they have and designs are adorable! Overall, it’s a great product to have! You can use it freely throughout the house or you can attach it right to your bed and have your little one right next to you through the night, making it much more comforting!!”
At 6lbs, phil&ted’s compact option is super lightweight, easy to set up indoors or outdoors, and comes with a self inflating mattress and fitted sheet. It’s a baby travel bed you can take pretty much anywhere: Because naps wait for no babe and sometimes mom just needs a dang break!
A sleek, modern option, Nuna’s portable baby crib can be used as a bassinet or a playpen, thanks to adjustable mattress positions. It’s also got skid-proof legs, easy foldability, and an airy design that keeps baby cool and comfy–so you both might actually get a good night’s sleep!
Whether you’re on the road or just need a minute at home to get stuff done without baby on your hip, this convenient travel crib sets up in seconds. It comes with a comfy mattress (and machine-washable cover) and net sides to keep your little in sight.
Best Travel Bassinets
The LulyBoo Bassinet To-Go Travel Bed is as convenient as it comes for portable bassinets. It’s bestseller on buybuy BABY for the backpack fold, waterproof base, and 3 adorable colors (including blue, pink, and beige). One reviewer said, “It truly has been a life saver. I put it on the bed or couch and let my little one sleep/chill in it without worrying too much if he’s safe or not. It’s sturdy and easy to use! Folds up quickly and unfolds even quicker!”
If you’re tired of trying to pack bulky cribs to take on a plane or even fit in the car, this Fold N’ Go bassinet from Munchkin is a lifesaver. The updated design features mesh panels, breathable fabric, and a locking frame so you can have a peace of mind while your baby sleeps.
What’s not to love about a baby travel bed that’s a bassinet, changing table, and diaper bag in one? Freaking genius! With reviews that say things like “perfect for traveling” and “don’t even bother with other diaper bags,” you’ll want to snag this one for anything from a long flight to a short day trip.
Another Fold n’ Go bassinet option is this one from Delta Children. When fully collapsed, it easily fits right inside the travel bag provided. The mesh sides provide airflow and added ventilation. For added protection there is also a removable mesh canopy to shield your baby from any curious pets or insects while they sleep.
When traveling with a newborn, you want to make life as easy as possible. Enter this easy-folding bassinet that comes with its own compact carrying bag and can switch between stationary and rocking modes. Plus, it’s mesh on all sides, so new mamas can have eyes on baby from every angle.
Best Wooden Portable Cribs
One and done— at least for a while. This sustainable wood crib has lockable wheels, allowing it to be stationary or mobile as necessary, and it converts to a toddler bed and day bed as your kiddo grows. In your room tonight, in their own room tomorrow. YES.
This mini crib folds flat for easy storage, making it an ideal pick if you’re low on space and/or planning on needing it again (gulp). Two mattress heights mean you can adjust as baby starts to sit or stand and, thanks to wheels, it can move seamlessly from room to room.
City parents, take note of this lightweight, foldable option, with 3 adjustable levels that convert it easily from a crib to a playpen or changing table. If space is in short supply (and trust us, it only continues to shrink), this is the portable pick for you.
It may be a splurge, but this nest-like option could potentially provide your baby bird with a spot to sleep for years. With the purchase of a few additional pieces (and additional $$), Stokke’s oval crib transforms from newborn to baby to toddler to junior sizes.
Found the best portable baby crib for your kiddo? Peace of mind and sound sleep: Score! To make life even easier, shop more convenient and essential baby gear here!