When I first unpacked my portable crib as a rookie mom, images of global travel danced in my head. Our shared wanderlust was so important that my husband and I almost wrote it into our wedding vows. Instead, we named the tables at our reception after each of the destinations on our around-the-world honeymoon itinerary and made a hand-shake agreement to leave the country together every year.
Eight years later and I’m glad that we only shook on it. (We’ve left the country 1.5 times.)
Though my son took his first airplane flight at 3 weeks old, we spent more traveling to Grandma’s than to Grenada. Since our honeymoon, we have not made it back to Asia, but have been camping a handful of times.
Lucky for us the portable crib is mighty versatile in the real world and not just the one in my head.
Here are 5 great uses for a travel crib that don’t involve travel:
- Play yard (AKA Baby Jail). In a home that is filled with tiny toys for his big brothers, our baby has a safe place to play away from those choking hazards. See him lunging for the big boys and their LEGO creations with his bigger DUPLO blocks within reach? Yeah, the travel-crib-as-jail works like a charm.
- Mini ball pit. Want to make the baby cage even more fun? We received the suggestion to create a ball pit at home from a reader and are eager to try it when Sawyer gets bored with his life.
- Newborn’s first bed. Though we had a larger crib for the long haul, in the early newborn days we set up a portable crib in our bedroom when our baby seemed too wee to go it alone. If you live in a small studio or have other residents occupying the bedrooms, this arrangement might even last a couple years.
- Baby guest room (just in case). Even when Baby Milo shared a bedroom with his big brother at night, we maintained a travel crib for daytime naps in our home office. Whitney kept one assembled in her bedroom for almost two years as the host of a nanny share arrangement. We both held onto our portacribs long after our own children fit in them just in case a friend stopped by for a half-sleepover. Also perfect for Camp Grandma.
- Camping. Each of our children has been camping in their mini crib. If you’re considering it, let me add that camping trips are wayyyy more fun with other families (feel free to use my sweet camping-with-a-baby packing list).
This post is sponsored by BabyBjorn as part of our series of awesome tips for rookie parents. Learn more about their super simple sturdy Travel Crib Light.