If you’re in the market for a pack ‘n play, there are many inexpensive options out there that work just fine for occasional use. But if you travel frequently with your family and/or plan to have your baby nap often in a pack ‘n play, you may want to consider the Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib. Yes, at around $200, it’s pricey. But it’s also lightweight, sleek, extremely safe, and ridiculously easy to set up, break down, and transport.
Guava Family claims on its website that the crib takes 15 seconds to set up. Let me tell you—they’re not lying! You simply remove the crib from the carry bag, unclip the strap, unfold the legs, pop the crib open, unfold the mattress, and set the mattress in the crib. Easy-peasy! And packing it all up is just as simple. You remove and fold up the mattress, push buttons in the center of the crib to fold it up, clip the strap, fold down the legs, and place the whole thing back in the travel bag. Even I could do it quickly without my husband’s help, which I’m embarrassed to say is a huge deal!
Here are some other cool features of the Lotus Crib:
- It has a zippered side door: That means no more bending over to put your baby into the crib and take him back out. You can simply kneel down and slide him in! You can also lie down next to your baby in the crib with your legs sticking out if he needs soothing. And, once your baby is older, he’ll appreciate being able to get in and out of the crib himself. He’ll see it less as a prison and more as his own space. Even my twin boys, who are almost 3, enjoyed crawling in and out of the crib while I was testing it!
- It’s very safe: The Lotus is made of breathable mesh that allows full airflow and an unobstructed view of your child. The mesh sides go all the way down to the mattress—which sits on the ground—to create a safe, breathable sleep environment. All materials are free of toxic chemicals such as PVC, pthalates, lead, and flame retardants. And, the top rail locks automatically and hinges inwards instead of downwards like other pack ‘n plays, making the Lotus Crib strong and stable.
- It’s extremely portable: At only 13 pounds, the Lotus Crib is much lighter than other pack ‘n plays, making it very easy to carry around—especially because the carry bag easily converts into a backpack! Guava Family is the only company in the world that makes cribs that pack into a backpack. It also fits within the carry-on allowance of all U.S. airlines, so you can travel with it without needing to check it.
- It accommodates bigger kids: The mattress is 42 inches long and 24 inches wide, and the crib is 25 inches deep. The crib is the same depth as standard pack ‘n plays, but the mattress is three inches narrower and three inches longer. That means it can accommodate bigger kids—even up to age 3+—who’ve already outgrown standard pack ‘n plays, but it can also fit more easily in a tiny hotel room. Both of my 33-month-old twins could fit fairly comfortably while lying down in the Lotus Crib—not enough that they could still get a ton of use out of it, but enough that they’d be able to sleep in it in a pinch! And because the mattress is supported by the ground, there is no weight limit for the Lotus Crib.
- It’s easy to clean: The cover is easy to remove and machine washable, meaning you’ll never have to worry about spit-up, drool, or icky hotel germs.
- It’s beautiful: With a sleek gray, white, and black design and pretty artwork on the legs, the Lotus is attractive and would blend in with any decor.
One downside to the Lotus Crib? Because the mattress has unique dimensions, standard pack ‘n play sheets don’t fit on it. That means you’d need to purchase sheets specifically made for the Lotus Crib, which are not the cheapest. You can buy the sheets and other Lotus accessories here, and I’d recommend air drying the sheets so they don’t shrink. You can also purchase a conversion kit to convert the crib into the Lotus Bassinet.
Overall, I think the Lotus Crib is worth the splurge if you plan to use your pack ‘n play often while traveling. If not, you’d probably be OK with a cheaper model.