Sunday, February 24th, 2019
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when we started looking into travel cots and realised that very few of them actually seem that suited to travelling with unless you are going by car. Quite a few people recommend the small pop up tents, but we were after a more traditional cot style. The two that came recommended again and again were the Phil and Teds and the Baby Bjorn. We’ve ended up with both. My parents have the Baby Bjorn at their house for when we stay and we have the Phil & Teds to take on holiday with us when needed.
S$459 from Motherswork in Singapore
£185 from Amazon UK
The Baby Bjorn advertises itself as lightweight, portable and easy to set up. Weighing in at 6kg, it’s definitely lighter than a lot of other cots on the market. It is however still quite bulky when folded up and if you were travelling by plane, it would count as a piece of luggage (assuming you’ve used your two baby items for the pram and the carseat). Putting it up is very straightforward, unfold the frame and then tuck the mattress inside and you are good to go. The foam mattress is soft and comfortable and you can also purchase the mattress seperately in case you want to replace it after a few years. The sleeping area seems spacious, although as Lyra has only just turned 1, we’ve not yet been able to test their claims that it will last until she is 3. It does feel very sturdy once assembled and as you would hope for the price seems very high quality.
S$269 from Motherswork in Singapore
£120.99 from Amazon UK
The Phil & Teds travel cot is the lightest on the market, weighing in at just under 3kg. It packs up smaller, into a tent style bag. However it’s unfortunately a bit long once folded to fit into our suitcases, if you had the really big style of suitcase then it probably would fit. Assembly of the Phil and Teds is more complicated than the Baby Bjorn. The frame needs to be assembled and then the fabric put on top of that. The mattress is inflatable, supposedly self-inflating, although I have not managed to get this to happen and so put a few puffs of air into it myself. With the inflatable mattress, I would feel bad for Lyra if she were to sleep in it for extended periods of time and as such we’ll probably just use it for weekend trips. I was a bit disappointed with the quality. On the instructions it implies that when putting the pieces of the frame together there would be button snaps, but they seem to be missing on ours. The mattress is also meant to attach to the cot fabric, but on ours, rather than clips on the cot fabric, there are just fabric hoops as on the mattress so no way to attach them. I didn’t bother to check this with Phil & Teds or the retailer since we purchased it in England and needed to take it back to Singapore a couple of days later. It doesn’t seem to affect the safety of the cot. Sizewise it’s a little smaller than the Baby Bjorn, so might not last quite as long.
Given we travel a lot, we assumed we would get a lot of use out of our Phil & Teds. However, everywhere we’ve been in Asia has provided a cot for Lyra to sleep in. Some places this has been a travel style cot, in others a more traditional wooden cot. We’ve been pretty happy with what’s been provided in most cases. Only on our trip to Borneo where they struggled with lowering the base of the cot to a safe height and used a plastic bag as a mattress cover did I wish we’d brought our own cot. Cot bumpers and excess bedding seem popular everywhere but are easily removed to make it safer.
The Baby Bjorn at my parents house is used for extended periods by us when we visit the UK and will probably be used by other grandchildren in the future so a worthwhile investment there. Our Phil & Teds however has just been used by Lyra one night when she was poorly and I wanted her sleeping in our room. It’s useful to have on hand for friends visiting with little ones so I’m sure over the years it will become a worthwhile investment.
I think both cots have their merits. It really depends what your priorities are. If you don’t mind the bulk or the price, then the quality and comfort of the Baby Bjorn are great. However, if you want something truly lightweight and portable then the Phil & Teds is unbeatable. The first time we traveled with it, we actually managed to put it in the same bag as the carseat and check it in that way. If however you want something that’s going to fit in a suitcase then you’re better off looking at one of the tent options. I can’t imagine Lyra sleeping very well in one of those though.