I just wanted to write a recommendation for the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.
I know many of us travel alone with infants, and it sucks.
Initially when my son was born, I had a Graco Travel Lite Crib, Winslet, which worked perfectly at the bedside until we transitioned him to his larger crib. We live overseas and travel a lot, and thus begun the daunting task of transporting his much larger Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Travel Playard, Go Green . It wasn't until one of my airlines told me that infants in arms were entitled to 20lbs of weight - to include stroller, car seat and any other accruement, that I started to panic. I knew my pack n play was heavy. I estimated about 10lbs... Well surprise surprise, it was 22 lbs. I also knew that I could no longer travel without a bed for baby - and I couldn't continue buying a new, cheap pack n play where ever we went and disposing of it when we left(something we had made a habit out of). Thus, I was lead to the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.
I ended up buying the Travel Crib II and two other "lightweight" pack n plays with the intention of returning two. These were:
The Lotus Crib (Guava Family) Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
The Phil and Ted's "Traveller". phil&teds Traveller Crib, Silver
Firstly, the phil and ted's traveller: I'm pretty sure you need an engineering degree to put this thing together. It's ridiculous! It took me 25 minutes to set it up and another 15 to take it down. However: It's VERY lightweight and it folds up really, really, small: You could easily put it in your carry on bag. However, because I'm buying this to travel alone, I had to pass on this one and send it back. It was just too much work to put together.
The Lotus Crib is the one I thought I would keep. I really liked that it had backpack straps, it was fairly light and fairly small. FYI for those of you familiar, it folds up about as small as aGraco Travel Lite Crib with Stages, Peyton. So, while its smaller than your conventional pack n play, and definitely lighter, it is still the basic shape of a pack n play when folded. If you're like me and feel like you play tetris with luggage carts every time you have to load one up: especially nowadays when you're paying 5 bucks per cart at the airport! I also had trouble with the fold, and all the velcro and buckles you have to do up. I kept it for about a week while awaiting the Baby Bjorn to make my decision. I liked how long the Lotus was, because I have a long baby, I could see alot of use out of it. It will also shortly be able to convert to a bassinet with a new product the Guava family is putting out. I liked the zipper entrance, too. It works well.
Well, finally the baby bjorn came and I am soooooo sooooo happy. Immediately I knew that I would be keeping it. The long, flat shape is stellar, for packing and stacking: I could either put it in my suitcase, or leave it out, its about the height of a standard carry on bag, but wider. I dont think you could carry it on most airlines. However, it's so flat, It will easily stack. It felt lighter than the Lotus Crib, even though its only about 1lb lighter. I thought it would be smaller than the lotus crib, but its almost the exact same size. The only thing it doesn't offer is the zipper entrance. The fold, for me, anyway, was easier. AND I can get it back into the bag no problem (Am I the only person who can never get these things back in the bag?).
I really like the mattress on the bjorn, it's "Squishy" and reminscient of Memory Foam. I found a regular crib sheet worked fine for my 11 month old. Although not the tightest fit, it's certainly not loose, and I would use a regular crib sheet with any child over 3 months (who can roll, etc). I used a Gerber 2 Pack Cotton Knit Fitted Crib Sheets Yellow/White Jungle Design sheet, and I left the sheet on the mattress when folded. It did make zipping the bag back up a little tighter, but saves me time and effort when I'm trying to get it set up.
The only negative, for me anyway, is the price. Yup, it's expensive. It's one of those things you have to toss up. I love quality baby items - and I tend to spend a lot on them. If you are at a lower price point, I would recommend the new Valco Baby Zephyr Travel Crib, Storm, which is priced lower (or was when I was looking). It's a similar design with a few more steps involved and a little more weight, but still miles lighter than your traditional pack and play.
So if you are travelling alone this summer, I highly recommend the Bjorn. It's fantastic!