Many people think that just because you had a baby, travel is no longer an option. Well, think again! Is traveling with a baby harder than pre-kids? Yes, I think we can all agree on that. Is it impossible? No, definitely not. Can it still be enjoyable? Absolutely! Of course, travel with kids is only enjoyable if they (and therefore you) sleep well. Getting kids to sleep when not in the comforts and familiarity of your own home can be a challenge. If you’re used to traveling light, bringing along a baby bassinet might feel cumbersome. However, providing your baby with a safe and familiar place to sleep by bringing a baby bassinet for travel is our number one tip to ensure a good night’s sleep while on the road.
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- 1 Quick 3 Top Rated Bassinets
- 2 What is a Travel Bassinet?
- 3 Travel bassinet comparison table
- 4 Using a Baby Travel Bed
- 5 Choosing a travel bassinet – key features
- 6 Types of portable bassinets for travel
- 7 Travel Bassinet Reviews
- 7.1 Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet
- 7.2 SwaddleMe By Your Side Baby Sleeper
- 7.3 Lulyboo Baby Lounge To Go
- 7.4 Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Portable Bassinet
- 7.5 Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet
- 7.6 Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet
- 7.7 Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Travel Lite Crib
- 7.8 Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard
- 8 Conclusion: What is the best bassinet for travel?
Luckily with so many great travel bassinets, it’s easier than ever to travel with a baby. Whether you are looking for a small travel baby bed or a portable bassinet here are some of what we consider the Best Bassinets For Travel.
Quick 3 Top Rated Bassinets
Here’s our quick 3 Top Rated Bassinets and Baby Beds For Travel. Read on to see more options and what you should look for when considering a travel baby crib.
What is a Travel Bassinet?
A travel bassinet is a portable baby bassinet, a baby travel bed that you can easily bring with you when traveling or on holiday. A portable bassinet for travel is generally foldable and more lightweight than regular baby bassinets.
Whether at home or on the road, I preferred having my baby in a bassinet rather than an actual crib. A crib felt way to big for that tiny little baby. A bassinet is small, portable and I wanted to have my precious little newborn as close to me as possible while we slept. I actually opted for a co sleeper bassinet, but that’s a personal choice.
Travel bassinet comparison table
Check our travel bassinet comparison chart for a quick overview and comparison of the top rated bassinets for travel on the market today.
Using a Baby Travel Bed
At the end of the day, when you are traveling with your precious babe, you want a portable baby bed that is lightweight, easy to carry, easy to set up and can go literally ANYWHERE in the world with you with minimal hassle.
There are close to endless options depending on what size you want to bring and what you feel most comfortable having your baby sleep in. For example, there are:
- Bedside Bassinets (like the Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet)
- Co-sleeper Bassinets (I like the SwaddleMe By Your Side best)
- Folding Bassinets (the Brica travel bassinet is a great choice)
- Foldable Baby Beds & playards (the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night is great for both newborns and older babies)
When Do You Use a Travel Baby Bed
The great thing about portable baby beds is that they can go just about anywhere with you. You can even choose to use a portable crib or bassinet at your house instead of a fixed one. That way you can easily move it between the bedroom, the living room or even the kitchen. This way, no matter where you go, your little one always has a safe and familiar place to sleep. And when you do travel, your little one can sleep in his or her own bed.
Because bassinets for travel are usually so lightweight and easy to set up, a few places you can use a baby travel bed are:
- Grandma and Grandpa’s house
- When visiting friends
- Airbnb rentals
- Layovers at the airport
Some hotels and Airbnb’s have portable cribs to borrow. This can be an option for slightly older babies and toddlers, but we wouldn’t recommend it for newborns. Many of these travel cribs are not cleaned properly or do not meet current safety standards. Also, a crib is huge compared to a bassinet. If your little one is used to sleeping in the enclosed space of a bassinet at home such a large crib might not feel ‘safe’ to them. We much preferred to just bring our own travel bassinet and know our baby was safe, clean and comfortable!
Who Needs a Baby Travel Sleeper?
The reality is that having a foldable baby bed for travel is not just for people who are on the go. Even if you just go out of town or sleep somewhere besides your own home once or twice a year, it’s still a worthwhile investment. Here are just a few reasons to have a fold up baby bed or bassinet on hand:
- Babies sleep better in more confined spaces (it feels more like the womb)
- You can easily use your foldable baby bassinet at home and move from room to room as needed
- You have friends or family who have babies and it’s easier to them to visit it you have comfy place for their baby to sleep in while visiting you at your home
- You need a baby travel bassinet because you travel frequently
- You book accommodations like Airbnb, where they may not have baby folding beds or travel bassinets for use
- Even though babies are almost always free at hotels, that doesn’t mean that there is a safe and clean option for them to sleep in
- You stay at friends or families houses overnight and need a familiar place for baby to sleep
At the end of the day, having something like a foldable bassinet is helpful to YOU. When your baby sleeps well, YOU can sleep well! Having a bed that bubs is comfortable in and knows well can help take the scary-ness out of being in an unfamiliar location.
When shouldn’t you use a bassinet
There are only a few reasons why a portable baby bassinet would not be the right choice for you.
- Your baby is older than about 4 months (in which case, you should consider the best travel crib)
- Your baby can sit up. A bassinet is much too shallow for babies who can sit and therefore may easily fall out.
- Your baby is too tall or too heavy to comfortably fit in a bassinet
Choosing a travel bassinet – key features
When looking at the best rated bassinets, there are a few things to consider in order to get the best baby travel bassinet for you, your baby and your travel styles.
Is it a portable baby sleeper?
A Moses basket bassinet makes such a cute bassinet, but it’s hardly suitable for travel. Having a portable sleeping bed for baby is going to be your top priority when looking for a travel bassinet. This baby bed needs to be easy to move around from place to place. You already feel like you doubled your travel gear when adding all the baby supplies, you don’t need something that is going to be cumbersome and hard to lug around as you travel.
Bassinet weight limit
There are actually TWO weight limits to consider when picking out the perfect travel bassinet.
Baby sleeper bassinet weight
Depending on your mode of travel, the actual weight of your bassinet is definitely something you want to take into account. Especially for air travel or if you’re backpacking or hiking, you are going to want the lightest option available. Between baggage weight limits and you having to carry it around, you’ll want to stick to something as lightweight as possible. Weighing only 1 pound, the Lulyboo To Go Bassinet is one of the lightest portable bassinets.
If you are traveling by car, then weight usually isn’t AS big of a concern but it’s still something to consider.
Baby weight limit
The other weight you need to keep in mind is your own baby’s weight! Unless you use a bassinet that’s used on the bed or another safe surface, most bassinets have a weight limit for babies (often around 15-20 pounds). So, if you have a baby that’s larger or heavier than average, make sure your bassinet can safely hold his or her weight.
Again, your mode of travel will determine if the size factor is important to you. When road tripping or using your travel bassinet for visits to the grandparents, size might be less important. But for air travel you’ll really want a small travel bassinet. Smaller bassinets are much easier to pack and can often fit in your suitcase or even a backpack. Our choice for the best small bassinet is either the SwaddleMe By Your Side or the Lulyboo Baby Lounge.
Of course, we’re talking about the size of the folded bassinet, unfolded the sleeping area they provide is roughly the same size although beside bassinets can be an inch or two larger.
Quick assembly and easy fold bassinet
When your baby is tired and cranky, or you yourself are tired and cranky from a long day of travel with your baby, the last thing you want to do is trying to finagle and figure out how to set up your bassinet! Please trust us on this. Making sure that the bassinet has clear instructions and you’ve practiced at home will make all the difference. Having said that, some bassinets are simply much easier and quicker to assemble than others. The Brica Fold n Go Bassinet for instance only takes seconds to set up.
A bassinet is absolutely perfect for newborns and babies. Traveling with a bassinet during this early stage is great because it’s not as big and bulky as a portable crib. However, if you know you are going to be traveling often, consider a 2:1 type of model like the Graco Pack n Play With Bassinet or the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard. These have a bassinet attachment and when your baby outgrows that, you already have the next stage of the travel crib.
When it comes to our precious little ones we can’t be too careful. Unfortunately there are still baby products on the market that aren’t completely safe and the materials used are very important.
- Fabric: Are the fabrics used natural, not treated with chemicals and safe for your baby? Are they breathable?
- Mesh sides: Not a necessity, but having mesh sides to a travel crib and particularly a bassinet is great. Mesh provides better air circulation plus it’s much easier for you to see inside.
- Zippers: If there are zippers, are they easy to zip and sturdy?
- Velcro: if there’s is any velcro used, will it last?
- Easy to clean: It’s no secret that babies aren’t exactly always clean and tidy! Can you easily and safely wipe away or clean with soap and water without damaging the material?
Travel bassinet accessories
There are a few ‘extras’ that are great to have when considering a bassinet for travel:
- Is it a portable bassinet with canopy? A canopy doesn’t just make a cute baby bassinet. It can be a great addition to a bassinet to help block out sunlight. You can also hang mobiles and toys to the canopy so that they have a safe place to just hang out, play and rest.
- Does it come with a travel bag? Having its own bag to pack it in makes a portable bassinet MUCH easier to travel with.
- Does the bassinet come with a mattress and sheets? Or does it fit regular bassinet sheets? Do you need sheets? While safe sleeping practices don’t advise using blankets to cover a baby at night, does the bottom of your bassinet need a fitted sheet?
The spectrum of costs of portable baby bassinets is a full range. A quality bassinet doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can get extremely affordable bassinets to take with you in those early months. Alternatively, if you travel often or know you will be having multiple children, a quality bassinet with multiple features could be a great option for you.
Types of portable bassinets for travel
While there are MANY portable bassinet options, there are four main TYPES of travel bassinets and cradles.
1) Co sleeper bassinets
2) Fold up bassinets
3) Bedside bassinets
4) Playards with bassinet
Please note: When we recommend a bassinet for plane travel, we are saying that it is easy for transportation on flights (easy to pack, lightweight to carry, etc), NOT recommending usage as a bassinet DURING flight (as there are flight specific bassinets required).
Co Sleeper Bassinets
If you want to safely sleep with your baby, instead of your baby sleeping next to you in a separate baby bed, in bed co-sleepers are ideal. A co sleeper bassinet is a baby bassinet for bed, meaning it’s supposed to be used as a bassinet ON parent’s bed. A bassinet that goes on bed is typically small and compact so that it fits easily and safely on the bed itself. This makes it a perfect bassinet for travel. It’s also great when you’re breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Smaller babies
- Parents who want to safely co-sleep
- Air travel
Best Travel CoSleeper: SwaddleMe By Your Side Baby Sleeper
Fold up bassinets
As opposed to a co sleeper bassinet, which is generally also a folding bassinet, this type of bassinets are supposed to be used ON THE FLOOR not on an elevated surface. They’re usually extremely lightweight, which makes then perfect for air travel. A great thing about these fold up bassinets is that they can often also be used outside, at a picnic or at the beach. They could potentially be used for co sleeping, but have soft sides which makes them less safe as they won’t prevent you from rolling onto the baby while sleeping.
We’ve heard of parents using these as an airplane baby bassinet. Obviously this will only work if you have bulkhead seats and can place the bassinet at your feet. Keep in mind that you require permission from the flight attendant to use it! As there are generally more bulkhead seats than airline provided bassinets, it’s definitely worth it to inquire!
- Air travel
- Traveling with carry on only
- Nap time outside
Best travel sleeper for baby: Lulyboo Foldable Travel Bassinet
These portable bassinets typically are easy to move around and can be placed right next to your bed if you so choose or in another area of the bedroom. They are stand alone and all that’s required is some free floor space. They take up very little space, so are perfect to use in hotel rooms or in your own bedroom. Some bedside bassinets are portable rocking bassinets (like the Fisher Price Portable Rock n Play). This type of bassinet generally requires some assembly.
- Parents who want to be as close to baby as possible without actually sharing a bed
- Car travel
- Air travel (if you get a protective bag for flights) (Amazon Link?)
- Can also be used for slightly older babies
- Some have a slight incline, which is great for reflux babies
Best bedside bassinet: Dream On Me Traveler Bassinet
Pack n Play
A Pack n Play is a playard or playpen that doubles as a kids travel bed. While travel cribs, like the Lotus Travel Crib, are fantastic for older babies and toddlers, the Pack n Play Bassinet Crib is great because it takes you from newborn with the bassinet insert all the way through toddler years with the crib and playpen. Therefore it’s a great travel accessory that will last you for years to come.
While a regular pack and play is usually quite heavy and therefore mostly suited for car travel, there are also lightweight alternatives. At only 15 pounds the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard can also easily be taken when flying with kids.
Don’t forget that baby equipment such as a stroller, but also a baby bed can usually be checked in for free when flying, even with a child under 2 who doesn’t have his own seat.
- Families looking for travel gear that will last
- Families looking for a sustainable alternative instead of having to buy multiple kids sleeping solutions over the years
- Car travel
- Air travel (it comes with a carry bag and baby beds can often be checked in free of charge)
If you’re looking for a portable travel bed for infants and toddlers, including the best lightweight travel crib, don’t forget to check out our Best Travel Beds For Toddlers Guide
Bassinet Vs Crib
What is the difference between a portable travel crib (also called a portable infant sleeper) and a bassinet? The main differences have to do with the baby’s age and the dimensions of these baby travel beds. Travel bassinets are much smaller in size compared to travel cribs. They are mostly used for sleeping (although some also double as a changing station and a baby lounge) and are only for young babies (usually up til 4 months or 15-20 lbs). As soon as your child starts to move and sit up you need to transition from a bassinet to a crib.
Alternatively, the best portable cribs often also function as a play pen in addition to being used as a sleeping unit. A playpen with bassinet insert can be used from newborn all the way through toddler, like the Pack and Play with Bassinet.
Travel Bassinet Reviews
Checking out the top rated baby bassinets reviewed by real travelers is the best way to figure out which bassinet to purchase. Whether you are looking for a small baby bassinet, a foldable baby bassinet or even one just for your precious newborn here are detailed reviews to help you choose.
Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet
The Brica Fold and Go Bassinet is absolutely ideal for little babies and newborns. It’s our choice for the best bassinet for travel because it’s super lightweight and folds up small enough to fit in a suitcase. The Fold N Go Travel Bassinet is incredibly easy to set up and take down. It literally takes seconds as it just folds into itself. The Brica travel bassinet is a great choice for all types of travel (plane, train, car).
Pros of the Brica Baby Travel Bed:
- Comes with a fitted sheet
- Has an easy carry handle
- Can fit in a suitcase
- Is super lightweight at 2.4 pounds
- Has mesh sides making it breathable and easy to see in
Cons of the Brica Portable Bassinet:
- Really only suited for immobile newborns
SwaddleMe By Your Side Baby Sleeper
Our choice for Best co sleeper bassinet for travel is the Swaddle Me By Your Side, one of Amazon’s top bassinets and our favorite pick for newborn baby bassinets for travel. If you are looking for a baby co sleeper bassinet option to keep your baby right next to you in your own bed, this is a great option. The SwaddleMe Beside Your Side bassinet is a great choice for all types of travel (plane, train, car) due to it’s compact size and easy set up.
Tip: when you check more reviews online, make sure they are for the SwaddleMe By Your Side and not SwaddleMe By Your Bed sleeper, which is a foldable bassinet similar to the Fisher Price fold up bassinet.
Pros of the SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper:
- Lays on top of the bed with you
- Provides high walls making it a great, safe co-sleeping option
- Cute baby bassinet with gender neutral stripes
- Easy to put baby in and take baby out of
- Includes vibrations and music
- Can fold down easy enough for a suitcase
- Easy to clean
Cons of the SwaddleMe By Your Side Bassinet:
- CAN fit on a queen but depending on the two adults’ sizes can be a snug fit
- Inside pad is not waterproof, so make sure to have a waterproof layer underneath the fitted sheet
Lulyboo Baby Lounge To Go
The Lulyboo Baby Lounge is our choice for the best portable baby bed. We love the Lulyboo Bassinet To Go as an infant bed sleeper. It doubles as other useful baby gear, such as a changing station and a rest & play area and can travel just about anywhere. You can also use it outside as it has a nice canopy for shade, the bottom is waterproof and the entire liner is removable and washable. The Lulyboo to go is great for car travel and can be folded small enough to fit in a suitcase.
Pros of the Lulyboo To Go bassinet:
- Canopy is detachable
- Toy hangings are also detachable (which means you can replace with others to continue to engage your baby)
- Can potentially be placed on the bed as a cosleeper bassinet
- Liner can be completely removed and washed
- Easy to use outside due to waterproof bottom
- Some parents have used this during flights (check with your airline to ensure it is approved)
Cons of the Lulyboo Bassinet To Go:
- Bottom is soft, so moving the whole bassinet once baby is asleep in it can be a challenge
- Due to the way it folds up for carrying, it can be hard to retain the oval shape once unfolded
Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Portable Bassinet
There are many raving reviews for this bedside Fisher Price Bassinet, which is our top pick for Best Rocking Bassinet For Travel. Most parents claim that their babes sleep incredibly well in this easy to move, rockable bassinet. I never imagined a portable rocking bassinet. But if you want a rocking bassinet that you can take on your travels, this is it.
The Fisher Price Portable Bassinet is fantastic for tossing in the car when you head to someone’s house for a few hours. It gives a safe and comfy place for baby to sleep. If traveling by car where you don’t have space or weight limits, it’s easy to bring along as well.
There are two models for this Fisher Price foldable bassinet. There is an automatic rocker and one where it simply rocks with a simple push from you.
Pros of this Fisher Price portable sleeper:
- Very easy one click set up and take down
- Great for babies with reflux due to the slight incline
- Babies love the rocking motion to fall asleep
- Great for car travel
Cons of the Fisher Price Rock n Play Portable Bassinet:
- If you have the automatic version of this Fisher Price bassinet you may need a plug converter when traveling
- Not great for air travel
- Great for short trips, but not for longterm travel. Due to the shape of the bassinet, it may cause a flat head with prolonged use
Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet
The Chicco Lullago Bassinet, our choice for the Best Bedside Bassinet For Travel, really is a great baby travel product. It’s a lot smaller than most travel cribs, yet slightly larger than many travel bassinets. The manufacturer recommends it for babies up til 20 pounds or when the baby starts to push up.
This is a proper travel bassinet that even comes with a travel bag. This means that the Lullago portable bassinet is much easier to lug around than other bedside bassinets. It’s also great for using at your house. While it’s not a ‘cute’ baby bassinet, it has a modern and stylish look to it.
Pros of the Chicco LullaGo Bassinet:
- This ‘bassinet to go’ is extremely quick and easy to set up
- Fabric is all removable for easy washing and cleaning
- Bigger than many other bassinets meaning baby can sleep in this longer than many others
- A nice carry bag is included
Cons of the Chicco Travel Bassinet:
- Legs are not adjustable so it may not reach the height of your individual bed
- There have been some instances of faulty constructions and uneven sleeping surfaces, so make sure to test your bassinet’s construction upon arrival
Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet
Our choice for the Best Portable Bassinet, the Dream on Me portable bassinet, is similar to the Chicco Travel Bassinet above but much lighter. It’s an extremely easy to set up bassinet. A full inch longer than the Lullago bedside bassinet, the Dream on Me folding bassinet is especially well suited for tall babies. Be mindful that while this bassinet has mesh at both ends, the sides aren’t mesh and potentially dangerous once your baby starts to move and roll over.
This portable and foldable bassinet comes with a travel bag. At 7.5 lbs (3,4 kg) it’s light enough to carry. This bedside travel bassinet folds to 23x20x3 inch ( 58,5x51x7,6cm) and can fit inside a large suitcase. Alternatively, on most airlines a baby bed can be checked in free of charge.
Pros of the Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet:
- Nice and roomy, making it suitable for larger than average babies
- Bassinet mattress included
- Quick and easy set up and take down with a snap of legs
- Comes with a travel bag
Cons of the Dream On Me bedside bassinet:
- Leg height is not adjustable
- Sides are not mesh
- If baby shifts around too much the mattress pad may become bunched
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Travel Lite Crib
Our choice for the best Pack n Play With Bassinet is the Graco Pack n Play Bassinet. The Graco brand is well loved by many parents. And especially for this product, it’s easy to see why. With the Graco bassinet insert this pack and play will last you from newborn all the way through toddlerhood. This versatile playard functions as travel bassinet, travel crib and portable pack n play. At slightly less than 20 lbs it’s quite a bit heavier than our other travel bassinet choices, but still very portable and especially suitable for car travel.
Pros of the Graco Pack n Play Bassinet:
- Comes with the Graco portable bassinet insert
- Can be used as both a crib and a toddler playpen
- Space-saving construction that can fit in most hotel bedrooms
- Quality material and construction
Cons of the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Travel Lite:
- Heavier than most travel bassinets and travel cribs
- Must purchase sheets separately
- The canopy must be securely attached to prevent it from falling down
Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard
Fisher-Price is an extremely reputable baby gear company, so you know they’ve thought of almost everything. Our choice for the Best Pack and Play for Travel, the Fisher Price Day and Night Playard is a lightweight, all in one sleeper. The removable inclined bassinet is fantastic for babies and you can continue to use it all the way through toddlerhood. The company claims it takes only 10 seconds to set up, which is a definite plus.
Pros of this Fisher Price Portable Sleeper:
- Lightweight at only 15 pounds for easy travel
- Inclined bassinet great for comfort and reflux babies
- Incredibly quick and easy set up and take down
- Easy carry case
- Fits easily in hotel rooms
Cons of the Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard:
- Larger than many other travel bassinets and travel cribs
- The mattress of the crib section is quite low to the ground, potentially making it difficult to get baby in and out of
- The napper pad needs to be cleaned regularly as it collects moisture which can cause mold
Conclusion: What is the best bassinet for travel?
Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean that travel needs to stop. One way to make trips easier is to make sure you have the right travel gear, including the perfect travel bassinet. But which one is best for you? This guide aims to make your choice a lot easier. Assess what kind of travel you do most. Do you fly often and need small, compact and lightweight options? Do you drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s for overnight stays? Do you need something with longevity? Once you know this, it’s easy to narrow down the specific type of bassinet that will make traveling enjoyable with that precious babe!