Baby Bjorn Pack and Play

Selecting Portable Cribs and Playpens

Portable cribs and playpens are essential to keep babies and toddlers safe and comfortable when traveling or playing. Hotels will often have cribs to use, but there is no way of determining the cleanliness and stability in advance. Bringing one along when traveling is wise. Playpens are versatile and can be used inside or outdoors.

How to Chose?

Portable baby furniture varies greatly in terms of stability, quality, safety, durability, weight, and pricing. There are multitudes of manufacturers and options that range from cheap and flimsy to over-priced and over-rated. Exploring the choices that fall in the middle is the best way to select portable baby furniture that is affordable and will last. Independent review websites provide objective reviews from customers.

Although pricing is an important component in the decision, it should not be the first consideration. The lowest price will not save parents money if the furniture falls apart and needs to be replaced. The highest price does not ensure quality.


This is the most important aspect of selecting anything for children. A crib that has a mattress simply laid on the bottom, for example, can result in injury or suffocation. The mattress should be attached to the frame to keep it in place. The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib, for example, has loops and hooks that attach the mattress to all four corners of the frame.

Other safety features for mattresses include a waterproof cover and flame retardant materials. The thickness of mattresses will vary as well, which makes a significant difference in comfort and maintaining the sleep patterns of babies. Many portable cribs can weight as much as twenty-five pounds. Some, like the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light, weigh only thirteen pounds and are easier to carry.


Playpen safety features depend on the style. Some playpens consist of low barrier panels that connect together to keep babies and toddlers in one area. The danger here is the connection mechanism for the panels. They should be completely enclosed once the playpen area is set up. Otherwise, the baby or toddler can become injured. Fingers can get caught, skin can get torn, and bones can break.

Those that have a frame should lock in place so children cannot pinch their skin when they attempt to escape. A weak pen can collapse inward and trap those playing inside it. One high-quality example is the Baby Bjorn Pack and Play. Legs lock closed, the frame is sturdy, and the top has padded fabric.