Travelling with an Infant: Are Travel Cots Necessary?
When it comes to infants, one of the most pressing concerns that new parents have is always related to creating – and maintaining – good sleep routines. This only does not include being able to sleep for long periods, which is necessary for small babies, but it should also be quality sleep so they do not get grumpy when they wake up.
This is perhaps the reason why many parents get anxious about bringing their little ones during travel.
The change in environment – and, sometimes, in time zone – can certainly mess a baby’s sleeping pattern. Most babies thrive in routine and, if you cannot provide them with a familiar environment even while you are away from home, it could mean going back to the entire process of establishing the sleeping routine.
So, what’s a parent got to do?
Well, thankfully, travel cots are there to the rescue!
But, how do you know which ones are the right for you? Below are some things you might want to check before making a purchase:
Travel Cot Features to Look Out For
Ease of use. If you are one who usually arrives at their destination late at night or you simply have a bad back, make sure that you go for a travel cot that can be assembled quickly. Have it assembled and collapsed at the store, right in front of you, while letting the retailer teach you the whole process. You certainly do not want to be stressed out simply with a travel cot that won’t assemble or fold down properly.
Dual-purpose. Another concern many parents have about travelling with their babies is finding a safe place for them to play in. If you are going to a house (or campsite or hotel) that has not been child-proofed, choosing a travel cot that also doubles as a playpen will be a big advantage. Plus, you can set-up the playpen when you are at home so you only need to get one item instead of two.
Ease in transport. Undeniably, most travel cots are at the heavy side, especially when they are packed with more features. The most basic cot can weigh at around 2.5 pounds while some can go as heavy as 22 pounds. Regardless of your most common mode of travel, you should consider getting one that you can easily carry inside a bag or one that has wheels to make carrying and transporting a breeze.
Bassinets and changing units. If you are travelling with a smaller baby then most travel cots are not designed for them. Models that come with bassinets should suit babies up to three months. On the plus side, bassinets are also placed higher in the cot so you do not have to bend so far and hurt your back. You can also opt for cots with changing units to make nappy changing much easier.
Machine-washable covers. Among the chores that parents hate is laundry, especially when it involves nasty things from babies. It would be a big plus if you can opt for cots with fabric covers that can be easily removed and are machine-washable.
Mesh windows. Most travel cots come with at least one side covered in mesh to make it easier for parents to see their babies inside. Models with mesh covers on all sides would also be helpful in keeping mosquitoes and other insects away. You might also want to consider those with roll-down blinds to cover the mesh and make the cot a little darker inside so it becomes easier for your baby to sleep.
Do You Really Need Travel Cots?
Obviously, not every family needs a travel cot, especially if they do not even travel a lot. Before you make your purchase, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
How do you sleep with your baby?
Travel cots are often preferred by families who do not co-sleep because it allows them to continue their sleeping arrangements even outside their home. However, even parents who co-sleep love using cots to stay on the safe side especially since most hotel beds are too small for everyone to fit in.
How long do you plan to use it?
If you are just planning to just go on one or two trips throughout your child’s infancy, you might want to reconsider if you truly need a travel cot. However, if you plan to use it from birth then you can opt for travel cots that have bassinets in them.
In case you are seriously considering getting a travel cot for your little one, make sure to look through the best and latest travel cots available in the market. Happy travels and happy sleeping!