As a mom of three kids, anything that makes a busy, exhausted mother’s life easier is a win in my book—because I’ve been there. I’ve carted my babies all over the country, on road trips, on airplanes… and we’ve slept at Grandma’s and in hotels and at our adult sibling’s houses in guest rooms and on living room couches. So whether it’s the best travel crib or the best baby carrier for walking the streets of Disney, I know, first hand, how valuable it is to have somewhere safe and comfortable for baby to sleep both at home and away. That’s why a portable bassinet is one of the smartest investments parents can make.
Related: 4moms just launched a smart bassinet (and we’re obsessed with its features)
Because think about it—it’s not just traveling that you’ll use it for. You can take your portable bassinet to the park, to an afternoon at a friend’s house or in the backyard while your older kids play. Carry it with you from room to room in your own house while you deep clean or bring it with you when you finally get a chance to try that postpartum barre workout you’ve been hearing about. I can even remember attending a Super Bowl party years ago when my third child was a baby and we carted our giant pack and play with us, just so he could nap sometime during the day. A portable bassinet would have been far easier to bring along!
Also, a portable bassinet is a great buy to store at Grandma’s house, or your regular babysitter’s house, or to keep right by your bedside for those nighttime feedings during the newborn breastfeeding stage. It’s just one of things that maybe you didn’t think you needed, but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. However, like with any baby product, there are endless choices out there, so we rounded up our top 7 and we’re confident at least one of these will fit your needs.
Related: Yes, you can rent the super pricey SNOO
Motherly’s top picks for the best portable bassinet
Why we love it: I mean, just look at it! There’s no bassinet like the DockATot—in style and sustainability. This beautiful baby bed (that comes in 8 colors and patterns!) is made from responsibly harvested cardboard, so when baby has grown out of it, you simply remove the mattress and recycle! Also, for every bassinet sold, a tree is planted.
Reviews say: “We love the DockATot. The fabric is breathable and high quality. Also the design is beautiful. Lovely colors and print. Our baby loves lounging in his DockATot and we will definitely bring it with us when we travel.” – Amelia A.
Why we love it: The Portable Baby Dome from Fisher-Price offers more than just a sleep space—it’s a safe play area too! Plus, it has a canopy to protect baby from the sun’s rays and netting to keep annoying bugs out.
Reviews say: “Very Happy beach baby… I love this item! we have gone to the beach, and used at my MIL home as a crib/sleeper, weekend get away, for my NB. It’s much smaller than a pack and play, and easier to set up, and collapsed it take up minimal space in the car. Highly recommend!” – Rosemari
Pottery Barn Kids
Why we love it: The HALO® BassiNest Flex Portable Bassinet has bedside features that set it apart from the rest, including a patented lowering bedside wall, which is helpful for moms who breastfeed or are recovering from a C-section.
Reviews say: “I love this bassinet! It is the same as the more expensive versions except for the legs which I actually prefer like this bc the X shaped legs are a tripping hazard in the middle of the night. For how short of time you actually need a bassinet, this is perfect! I also love the height. It is the tallest one I could find and it works so well changing diapers without having to bend over!” – Sarah
Why we love it: The Lotus Bassinet and Travel Crib offers far more than just one option for baby, making the investment worth it. Once baby is over 18 pounds, you can convert the travel bassinet to the crib in just five minutes—and you still have a great portable option that is safe for your growing child.
Reviews say: “I bought this for my grandson. The bassinet folds up into a nice size carry case. It is separate from the crib portion which is really nice as you don’t have to take the entire crib with you when all you need is the bassinet portion.” – Cari R.
Why we love it: This affordable portable bassinet folds up in seconds, making it truly one of the most “portable” options on our list. Also, the entire thing can be thrown into the washing machine! And here’s an extra bonus—you can also use this bassinet as a storage basket for diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes.
Reviews say: “My baby was not sleeping through the night in the bassinet we got him. We got this as a gift and note said ‘tonight you will get some sleep’ It was the best gift ever! Baby chose this over an expensive bassinet.” – Eli
Why we love it: Evenflo’s Loft Portable Bassinet offers a few tech features parents will appreciate, including a Bluetooth connective speaker to play music or soothing sounds, a soft nightlight and a room-temperature monitor for optimal comfort.
Reviews say: “As a soon-to-be second time mom I knew that a portable bassinet was probably one of (if not the most) used items for a newborn from day 1. Rock & Plays are awesome but aren’t safe for overnight sleeping so you’ll definitely need a flat bassinet. This one is super aesthetically pleasing which is something I selfishly really care about LOL, a really good size without being too big, will be perfect for living room hangs, bedside sleeping in our room until baby’s old enough to sleep in crib and to take to grandparents houses/babysitters and have peace-of-mind knowing your baby is sleeping somewhere safe. It folds up and is lightweight. Wish I would’ve had it the first time and will definitely recommend to other parents. Also the nightlight is bright and will be another really awesome feature for middle of the night feedings and changings.” – sr94
Why we love it: The Brica® Travel Pod is offers the ultimate combo of lightweight portability but also comfort and safety for baby. Its breathable mesh panels and removable and locking steel frame provide comfort and security for your precious little one. And, it folds flat and weighs less than 3 lbs!
Reviews say: “I initially bought this in lieu of a changing table for my kiddo because I could fold it up and take it anywhere. While I have used it for that purpose, I also lay my kiddo in it when I’m doing chores around the house and I don’t want to leave them in their crib. We’ve taken it to the in-laws house during family gatherings so kiddo can nap while we eat or socialize.When the weather gets a bit better, I plan to use it when we go on picnics or to the park. Kiddo loves sleeping in it.” – Keana
Why we love it: For one, this top-selling portable bassinet comes from a parenting brand we all know and love. But also, it’s a simple, practical baby bed that has everything you need—breathable mesh side panels, an adjustable canopy with hanging toys that blocks the sun, and it’s easy to fold up and carry out.
Reviews say: “We love this bassinet! We had one bought for us when we had our son (2019) and loved it so much we bought another for our daughter (2021). We have a large family and friend group. We travel a lot to see them, this bassinet is perfect for travel. We use changing pad covers as sheets for the mattress pad. The sun shade is perfect for blocking out light during naps.” – AFergie
Or, if investing in your own portable bassinet doesn’t seem like the right option for you, rent one next time you need it from BabyQuip!
Why lug 800 pounds of gear you may or may not use? One of the slickest tricks to save you the struggle is to rent the things you need instead! Strollers, car seats, even cribs and toys can be delivered directly to your destination via the pros at <a href=”https://www.mother.ly/travel/babyquip-review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>BabyQuip</a>. (They’ll even meet you at the airport!) Not only do they deliver it–they set up everything for you, and pick it up when you’re done—all at your convenience. All rental gear is clean, safe and insured so you can rest easy and just enjoy your vacay!