Photo from BabyBjorn
A few years ago, I was pregnant and looking for a "pack and play" to add to my baby shower registry. I couldn't find anything I liked. I knew what I didn't want: plastic; too many bells and whistles (hanging toys, noisemakers, things that lit up); and bulk.
After searching the Internet for hours, I finally found the travel crib of my dreams: the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. It's light (11 pounds); easy to set up and take down, spacious enough for baby; and it comes with its own carrying case. Plus, it's safe and the crib and the mattress are free of toxic chemicals.
I really wanted it, but I couldn't have it. The crib wasn't available in the U.S. But my husband was going to France, where the crib was available so I found a store where he could get it and gave him all the info. Just before he left for his trip, he looked online to check it out and, oh lucky day, the crib had just that week become available in the U.S. I was so excited.
My dad bought it for me and we've been using it ever since at home and when we travel. I liked the flexibility of being able to give my daughter her favorite toys to play with and when she was younger, I attached a mobile, which hung over the crib and that I could easily take off.
I can't recommend this travel crib enough. It is expensive ($225 at Amazon), but it is worth it. It's incredibly well-made and you can use it for all your babies or hand it down to a friend or relative or even sell it when you're baby has outgrown it.
What's your favorite piece of baby gear?