Going on Vacation and My Toddler Is Too Big for a Pack N Play...

Updated on June 29, 2013
A.B. asks from Naperville, IL
21 answers

Hi Moms/Dads,
We are going on vacation in less than a week and my 2 year old is too big for a pack n play and the beds where we are going are high up and not ideal for a 2 y/o. I have bed rails I can bring but that means my husband and I would share a bed with her...we are fine with this but she's a light sleeper and wakes if bumped. I've looked into renting a crib but the cost would be $160 (I could buy a crib for this amount!). I'm sure others have came across this issue so I'm just wondering where you had your 2 year old sleep on vacation.

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So What Happened?

I found a toddler air mattress on bookoo.com for a good price so I bought it! Thank you for all your suggestions! I would've put her in bed with us and of course, we'd survive but I'm not going to nap with her everyday and I'm 100% sure she'd end up falling out of bed, rails or no rails. We are staying in a rented townhouse so it's not a hotel and cannot rent anything or ask for additional beds. My daughter is tall for her age but slender and last year, believe it or not, the pack and play was getting a small for her height. I'm sure she'll love her "new" bed :) Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

Sleeping bag and pillow, on the floor. That's how the little ones slept at grandma's when there were too many kids for the beds. They loved it, it was like camping!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I would bring a sleeping bag or just fold up some blankets and make a little bed on the floor. If you really want a "bed," bring an air mattress.

Really, a two year old does not need that much padding, and the floor is much safer than a tall bed.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Cumberland on

The larger, square pack 'n play-it's a padded playpen-with mesh sides

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Sleeping bag on the floor? I never had an issue because they were already sleeping in a regular bed long before they outgrew a pack and play.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You could get a toddler sized air bed. I know Aero makes one, and their products are great.

I have one from a different manufacturer and it works great for our needs, and allows us to cram more people into 1 hotel room ;-)

Good luck and enjoy your vacation!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

When my DS was that age we got him what was called a Ready Bed. It is the perfect size. It is an air matress that you can manually pump up in a matter of minutes and it even has a little zip up blanket, like a sleeping blanket built in. It deflates and rolls into an included tote to a size smaller than a sleeping bag.

Sam loved it and I was sad to see him outgrow it. I would google Ready Bed and see what you can find. I don't recall spending more than 50 bucks on it and he used it for years and we still use it if he has a friend sleep over who will fit in it. 2 is so much fun....enjoy it!!! :-) S.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

They make great toddler blow up beds. They don't cost much, around 50.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Get a Regalo My Cot. It's between 20 and 30 bucks. I think I got ours from Amazon. It folds up somewhat small (I packed it in my suitcase) and my son really liked it. It kind of dips in the middle so you don't have to worry about them rolling out. It's worked really well for us when we travel.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

You could go to Walmart and get one of those little couches that pull out into a bed. I think they are $20? Then it can double as a special place for her to sit during the vacation.

This is what I mean... It's $35

When we were on vacation, my 3yo slept on blankets on the floor with no problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Most hotels have cribs you can use for no price. Other than that what we do is put pillows around the little one on the bed. You do get less sleep bc if you are like me you wake up every time they roll around worrying they will fall off the bed. You can stack some pillows on the floor to so if she falls she will at least land on something soft. You make do. The other hting we have done is made a "pallet" on the floor. A bed made of soft blankets to sleep on and a pillow. You put a pillow on each side as the "Rails" to kind of keep them in. Yes, it's a bit of a pain but it's worth it for a vacation! Oh yes... i totally forgot that when my oldest was that age we had a blow up bed for him we could travel with. It was a sleeping bag on top and a blow up mattress underneath. It was just his size and folded down small(ish) so it could fit in one of our bags. We got it at Costco but it seems like the kind of thing you can find at a Walmart or Kmart. Look online to see what you can find. Google blow up toddler bed or inflatable toddler sleeping bag.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We always rented cribs, and have found baby gear rentals to be extremely reasonable. I'd call a few other places.
Otherwise, I'd take the rails, use a few strategically placed pillows and hope for the best!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We've never used a pack and play, or owned one. I feel you on the high beds, though. My husband and I have an Asian style bed, which is a platform on the ground. My son's bed is a twin bed, but also close to the ground. I have worried about him rolling off the sides. (He's a mover and shaker when he sleeps!!) We just put a pallet on the floor. A sleeping bag, some blankets, pillow. He's done fine with that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I would get a small air mattress or something like that for her.



answers from New York on

Just put her in bed with you. You all will survive.



answers from Washington DC on

We used to have an inflatable infant/toddler bed from the catalog firm One Step ahead. It looked just like a little life raft, with rounded sides high enough to keep a kid from rolling out but low enough for the kid to get out if really needed. (Forget about corralling a kid once they're past crib stage.) Either that or carry a small air mattress -- however, you need some form of pump; the One Step Ahead bed came with a foot pump.

If your child does not use a crib at home-- don't use one on the road. And don't use a hotel or rented crib; they are VERY likely to be older cribs and could have all kinds of safety issues! All drop-side cribs are now considered dangerous and should not be used (go to cpsc.gov) and many hotels etc. use really ancient ones, use ill-fitting mattress covers and sheets that can pop off and entangle a child, etc.

If you really need to, stay where you can get a room with one double (or queen or whatever) bed for you and hubby and a twin bed for daughter. Use the crib rails on the twin bed so it's "her" bed. You will probably need to lie on your own bed until she is asleep in hers, because she is in a new place and uneasy; that is normal and fine and does not mean she will forever then want you in her room back home in order to get to sleep!

If you are no longer using a baby monitor, I would bring it on vacation anyway - if you're in another room or whatever and she wakes in a strange room, you want to be able to hear her call.

We have traveled with our child a lot (now 12 but we did this all through infant and toddler years) and it will be fine. But I really do advise avoiding cribs that are not the one she knows and the one you know is safe.


answers from Grand Forks on

Air mattress for the floor.



answers from Victoria on

There was some kind of "pod" tent that we looked into when our little ones were little. We did not travel enough to purchase one (look for a used one) but its a little tent that you can zip up .



answers from Seattle on

The Tot Block pack n play is what will work. I think it's 36" square. Don't rent a crib b/c in most cases it's going to be a pack n play anyway! :) I found my tot block on amazon a few years back. i've never seen one in a store.
Otherwise lay some blankets on the floor if you think she'll stay put. We usually rearranged the hotel room like tipped over desks etc! LOL to make a separate area for our son to sleep in and to help him sense he was "contained" - even though he was 12 inches away from us.



answers from Washington DC on

How big is your daughter?? My daughter is 3, and she still fits in a pack and play. But most of the hotels I've ever stayed in had a crib that we could use for free.


answers from Hartford on

You can get a blow up mattress.

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