The 3 Things We Use to Help Our Toddler Sleep Almost Anywhere

There are three things that we never leave home without when we are traveling because they help our little guy sleep almost anywhere we go.

These items have saved us more stress than we know because we all know that kids need their sleep (just like us adults).

But what do you do when you are in a place that doesn’t have a bed for your kid?

What do you do when you can’t find a quiet spot or a dark spot for them to sleep?

How do you create ideal sleeping conditions without hauling along a collapsible playpen everywhere you go?

Thanks to Alyssa’s keen research and savvy money habits, we found our solution, and we love it.

These are the 3 items that we have used to help Baby Jadon sleep at home, at the homes of other people, in our church building, in hotel rooms, in airport lounges, and in airport hallways.

KidCo Peapod Travel Tent

The KidCo Peapod is a popular travel bed and play tent designed specifically for children, offering a safe and comfortable sleeping environment while on the go. Here’s why we consider the Peapod a must-have for parents traveling with kids:

  1. Baby Jadon Sleeping in KidCo PeapodCompact and Lightweight Design: The KidCo Peapod features a compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport and set up wherever your travels take you. It folds down into a small, portable carrying case, making it convenient to pack in a suitcase, car trunk, or carry-on bag. When we fly, one of us packs this in our carry-on roller bag so that we can use it in the airport. It’s SO small when it’s folded and stowed!
  2. Versatile Use: The Peapod serves multiple purposes, functioning as both a travel bed and a play tent. Whether your child needs a cozy spot to sleep or a safe place to play, the Peapod has you covered. It’s perfect for hotel stays, camping trips, beach outings, picnics, and visits to friends and family. When Baby Jadon was smaller, he would play in it, but now that he’s older and more active, we only use it for sleeping.
  3. Built-in Mattress and Sleeping Pad: Unlike traditional travel cribs or playpens that require separate bedding, the KidCo Peapod comes with a built-in, removable sleeping pad. This provides a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface for your child, ensuring a restful sleep wherever you are. As you can see in the picture above, we don’t need to add any additional padding even when using the Peapod on a hard surface.
  4. Mesh Panels for Ventilation: The Peapod features mesh panels on all sides, allowing for optimal airflow and ventilation. This helps regulate temperature and prevents your child from feeling hot or stuffy while inside the tent.
  5. UV Protection and Bug Shield: Some models of the KidCo Peapod come with UV protection and a bug shield, making it suitable for outdoor use. The UV protection helps shield your child from the sun’s harmful rays, while the bug shield keeps insects and bugs at bay, providing added peace of mind during outdoor adventures. We keep our Peapod for indoor use, so these specific features are not as important for us, but they might be for you!
  6. Easy Setup and Takedown: Setting up the KidCo Peapod is quick and straightforward, requiring no assembly or tools. Simply unzip the carrying case and allow the pop-up tent to unfold itself. Takedown can be tricky at first, but once you know how to do it, it collapses just as easily. Put it back into the carrying case, and you’re ready to go to the next place!
  7. Safety Features: KidCo prioritizes safety in their products, and the Peapod is no exception. It is designed with sturdy construction, reinforced seams, and flame-retardant fabric to ensure durability and compliance with safety standards.

The price for the KidCo Peapod Travel Tent is somewhat steep at around $80, but Alyssa was able to buy it used from someone on Facebook Marketplace at a discounted price. Having now used it all over the world and in so many different environments, I can say that it’s definitely worth its full retail price. If you like the concept and want to go with a similar product, Amazon also sells some options for about a third of the price like this one and this one.

Crib Blackout Cover

Crib blackout covers for playpens are specialized accessories designed to create a dark and cozy sleeping environment for infants and toddlers, similar to blackout curtains used in bedrooms. We use one in conjunction with our KidCo Peapod Travel Tent, and we also use it at home on our playpen.

  1. Material and Design: Our crib blackout cover is made from a lightweight and breathable fabric that attaches securely to a playpen or can be draped over our Peapod. The cover has ties to ensure a snug and secure fit, effectively covering the entire playpen to block out light from all sides. When we use it with our Peapod, we just tuck the excess underneath the tent.
  2. Benefits: Using a blackout cover can offer several benefits for our little guy. It creates a dark sleeping environment that helps him fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. The cover is lightweight and easy to transport; in fact, we stuff it into the Peapod carrying bag when traveling! When used at home, it can be quickly installed and removed as needed on our playpen.

This is a much better option than just a regular blanket because it is breathable and lightweight. It also insulates the bed moderately well, holding in the body heat that is emitted by our child. So he often sleeps just fine without a blanket when we use this!

You can get a crib blackout cover for about $20 or less on Amazon. Once again, Alyssa got it at a discounted price from someone else on Facebook Marketplace, but, once again, we have found it to be worth the full retail price if that’s what you have to pay to get it.

Amazon Alexa Sleep Sounds

The third thing that we use to help our little guy sleep almost anywhere is Sleep Sounds on Amazon’s Alexa. If you have an Amazon Echo device or the Alexa app on your phone, you probably already have a general idea of what this is and how to use it.

If that last sentence was a foreign language to you, let me summarize.

Alexa is Amazon’s personal voice assistant, and you can enable her to perform various functions and skills. We have her do half of the work at our house, but you can have her do something as simple as play ambient noise for you when you are sleeping.

But Alexa is better than the noise machines that you might buy online or at the store because she’s free and can reside on your personal digital device that you already bring with you when you travel.

Furthermore, if you enable the free Sleep Sounds skill by Voice Apps, LLC, in your Alexa account, you can access over 125 different sounds like Heartbeat, Fireplace, Airplane, Frogs, Wind Chimes, Washing Machine, Box Fan, and our personal favourite, Thunderstorm.

You can download the Alexa app on your phone and have it play the sounds without having to bring along an additional device. Of course, if you prefer to have your phone accessible, you could always just purchase an Amazon Fire Tablet that already has Alexa built-in and bring it along with you. It would even fit in the Peapod carrying bag along with the blackout cover!

KidCo Peapod at the AirportSummary

When we combine these three things together, we can assemble an unstoppable sleeping environment in less than 2 minutes.

That’s not an exaggeration either since the Peapod opens itself as soon as we remove it from its bag.

The first picture in this post is from one of the concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, and the second picture here is from one of the concourses at Nashville International Airport. The KidCo Peapod Travel Tent takes up so little space, the crib blackout cover blocks out the light, and the Sleep Sounds by Alexa drown out the extraneous noise.

We have found that the closets in many hotels are even large enough to fit the Peapod, giving Baby Jadon his own little room.

(Of course, as much as possible, we stay inexpensively in nicer hotels and then get free upgrades to suites with an extra bedroom for our kids.)

I owe many hours of sleep and relaxation and happiness to Alyssa for finding these items and insisting that we needed to buy them.

Have you ever heard of these things or used any of them?


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