I recently purchased the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light for my 18 month old son to use when we travel. I had been using a Eddie Bauer Pack and Play since he was a newborn but it was very heavy and not travel friendly at all. I was concerned about buying a lighter portable crib because I didn’t want to sacrifice durability or safety. After reading several reviews for light portable cribs, I went with the BABYBJORN and was very happy that I did.
Even though it is much lighter than the Pack and Play, (13 lbs v. 35 lbs) it feels very durable in construction. Durability is key since we are often checking it when flying and we know luggage tends to get tossed around quite a bit during transit. We have checked it once so far on an international flight with absolutely no wear and tear issues to be noted.
As far as safety goes, it is Oeko-Tex Certified so I know it has been tested for any chemicals that might harm my little boy. The square frame also seems pretty much impossible for a baby/toddler to push over while they are inside and trust me, my little guy has tried. I also love that the sides are transparent all the way to the bottom so it’s easy to see baby inside.
I absolutely love how portable this product is! It is so light and isn’t awkward at all to carry inside its carrying case. The pack and play was really awkward to carry since it folded up into a long rectangular box and almost seemed too heavy for its carrying handle. When it comes to setup/take down, you probably can’t get much simpler than the BABYBJORN. You literally just pull it open and all the legs just snap into place. You can easily do it one handed which is pretty much a must for any baby product. It also folds up with the mattress still inside which is a nice feature. My husband and I would always try to pawn the set up of the pack and play off on each other because it was such a pain. There is a certain order to how you can lock the sides into place and if you get it wrong, you have to start all over again. We love how mindless it is to set up our new portable crib since we are often arriving to our destination pretty late in the evening.
I love how soft the mattress is and my baby sleeps so much better on it than the pack and play. I understand that babies should sleep on a firm mattress for safety reasons but the pack and play mattress was hard as a rock! The BABYBJORN mattress is more like a cushion but definitely doesn’t feel like it would be too cushiony to cause any safety concerns.
This product is very easy to keep clean especially on the go. It comes with removable, machine washable fitted sheet that I just throw in the washing machine whenever we get back from a trip. It has so-far withstood all washings. I’ve just been spot cleaning the fabric around the sides but they are removable and machine washable as well.
One con to this product is that it doesn’t convert to a bassinet or have a changing table for baby when they’re small. Since I started using this product when my son was well over 20 lbs, it wasn’t an issue but I really liked these features on the pack and play when he was a newborn. It also doesn’t have a zipper opening on the side to make it easy to get baby in and out like some other light weight travel play pens out there. As long as you don’t mind bending over to pick up baby, it really isn’t a big deal. The only drawback to this product that I would say could really be a deal breaker would be the price. It’s definitely pricier than most pack and plays on the market so it might be worth it to some to save the money and forego the added convenience of the BABYBJORN.
I would recommend the BABYBJORN to anyone who travels a lot with a baby. Traveling with baby can be super stressful and your travel crib should not add to that stress. I’m so glad I no longer have to lug around that heavy pack and play and dread setting it up. Although it doesn’t have a bassinet feature, I think it’s still suitable for a newborn. I wouldn’t bother with getting a separate product early on if you know you’re going to want the convenience of the BABYBJORN once baby gets a little bigger. It’s really a great product for you whether you travel mostly by plane or by vehicle because it’s light weight, durable, and simple to use.