Travelling with Children – Our Guide to the Most Luxurious Sleep Solutions.
Whether you’re off for a weekend break in the UK or a fortnight in the sun, anyone with a baby or toddler knows how important it is to make sure your little one has somewhere comfy to sleep – if they sleep you sleep, so finding the best portable sleep solutions is key. Here is The Sybarite guide to the most luxurious travel beds for kids.
Nuna SENA aire Travel Cot
There are so many travel cots on the market that it can be hard to decide which one is best for you and your baby. Being a lover of luxury products, I am always of the mind set that purchasing high quality products is a worthy investment. With the option to purchase a travel cot from as little as £150, the Nuna SENA aire is definitely on the pricey side – however this is a cot like no other, which will last your baby from newborn to toddler. The cot is easy to assemble and compact enough to carry with ease. It’s clever, modern, zigzag leg design, pops open easily into a soft, sturdy dreamland, and then refolds with just one hand for a quick getaway the next morning. I think it took me less than a minute to assemble on arrival at our Cornwall cottage.
The SENA aire was intentionally designed to go against the norm and have an above ground base so that nap times for little ones could remain draft free and comfortable; which is something that is not always achieved with a standard travel cot that sits directly on the floor. For me this is it’s best feature, most young babies will sleep like this at home in their own cots, and I felt this would unsettle the baby to suddenly be sleeping so low to the ground with high cots sides engulfing them. Plus as most mums will know, it can play havoc with your back. But it’s clever design doesn’t stop there, in fact, it’s the only cot on the market that folds with the upper cot in place, making setup and fold down so simple.
The cot can be used from birth to 15kg (3 years on average), doubling as a playpen as your little one grows. It has padded edges that prevent finger pinches and skid proof feet which keeps the cot quiet and still. Having tried many travel cots, this is the first one where I have been happy with quality of the mattress. As standard it comes with a luxury padded mattress, on which my son slept soundly. The SENA aire is available in two colours.
For those who care about good design, practicality and babies comfort this is the travel cot for you.
Discover Fly Legs for Kids.
Now most parents will know you have to be ruthless when travelling with children, only taking what you actually need – especially on board the plane. My little boy is only 2 and a half, but over his short life I have already gathered a whole range of travel accessories which (supposedly) are meant to make my life easier and him more comfortable. However when I heard about Fly Legs, a product which transforms an economy plane seat into a bed for kids, I was eager to try it out and with a 10 hour flight booked to the Maldives, I was praying it worked.
The idea is simple: you attach the product around the tray table in front – so it can also be used in Premium Economy too but not in the front bulkhead seats of economy – and with different size inflatable cushions to fill the gap from the seat, it makes a sort of hammock or mini shelf to let smaller kids lie flat rather than try to curl up in the cramped space. And it all packs down pretty small into a 10-inch drawstring bag, which fits three inflatable cushions and the main product itself.
I first attempted a trial at home, as I didn’t want its first outing to be at 35,000ft. But without an actual plane seat it was hard to visualise just how it would fit. So once on board and having taken off for our family holiday to the Maldives, I got my husband to take our son for a little explore of the plane as I set it up. I was surprised at how easy it was to figure out and how quickly I was able to fix it in place. The kids set comes with three inflatable cushions, but really I only really needed 2 of these to make the bed space level.
We had put Zachary by the window so it didn’t restrict us getting in and out and to make sure once he was a sleep (fingers crossed) we didn’t disturb him. His new seat-bed looked really comfortable and I keep saying for the size on him, he must feel like he is in business class. The time was now around 8 o’clock, his normal bedtime so I popped him in his pyjamas and gave him his milk before reading him a story and settling him down.
And it worked – for the next 6 hours he slept, lying flat and able to turn over without falling off the seat or using me as a cushion. (Which was great, as being 3 months pregnant I also needed my sleep and as any parent knows, you can’t put a price on sleep. Although if I had to, £50 for a good night’s sleep on a long-haul flight for both of us seems a small price to pay.). Zachary would have slept longer, but 2 hours from landing the lights were turned on and the noise of breakfast coming round woke him up.
On the way home we had a day flight, the Fly Legs set up meant Zachary had a play area and didn’t keep losing his toys on the floor. He also slept comfortably for about 3 hours while I had a doze. Being a family who enjoys our long-haul holidays during the winter months this is definitely a product I now couldn’t do without.
Fly LegsUp has been comprehensively tested by a CASA authorised aviation engineer, who is qualified to oversee the introduction of new products onto commercial world airlines. The hammock complies with FAA airline safety and compliance regulations.
The Shrunk Toddler Tuckaire Travel Bed
Zachary is at a funny age for travelling. Too big for a travel cot and too small for a full sized single bed, where he doesn’t feel so comfy and secure – meaning we get many more wakes ups than normal. So for our latest family trip away I order The Shrunks inflatable toddler Tuckaire travel bed. From being horribly noisy to just outright uncomfortable I’d heard many horror stories on toddler blow up beds, so I was determined to make sure I did my research and ordered the best on the market – I wasn’t disappointed.
The bed comes with it’s own electric pump which means that both sections blows up in about 30 secs. However the feature I like most about the bed is the ability to tuck in the sheets or blanket around your child into the gap between the two parts of the bed. This really helps when you have a child like Zachary who constantly kicks his covers off and wakes up. It also meant that I was able to use his normal cot bed bedding.
The bed also seems really comfortable. The inner mattress (brown bit in the middle) has a grooved quilt-like surface so your child’s weight is distributed evenly. It’s got a lovely soft velour feel. It also has raised edges at the side mean your child won’t fall out if they’re tossing and turning, they’ll feel enclosed, snug and secure.
And just as importantly, the materials it is made from are safe. (Phthalates-safe, BpA-safe and Lead-safe.) It’s robust and perfect for a night in a hotel, at a friend’s, a sleepover and camping. I love this bed and most importantly Zachary slept well. I would question whether he actually realised he was in a different bed from home.