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Portable cribs have multiple uses

Portable and travel cribs are a must-have item for families that travel, don't have much space, or need a second crib at home or grandma's house. The words "portable" and "travel" are interchangeable in some companies' crib descriptions, but ConsumerSearch differentiates between the two.

Portable cribs often are made of wood and fold up so they can be stored under a bed or in a closet. Some are narrow enough to be moved from room to room, while others need to be folded to fit through a doorway. They are the best choice as a second crib for a parents' bedroom, or to use at grandma's house.

Travel cribs are lighter than portable cribs and can be disassembled or folded to fit into a carrying bag that is often small enough to fit in a plane's overhead compartment. They also won't take up much room in a trunk. Travel cribs are a must for families on the go to insure their baby has a safe, clean place to sleep: in a hotel, while visiting friends, or even camping out.

Play yards can also be used as a travel crib, but a dedicated travel crib is more comfortable for sleeping. Many travel cribs can also be used as play yards. Portable and travel cribs tend to be highly affordable, but, like anything else they can vary widely in price. Most fall in the $100 range, but some pricier mini cribs can cost upwards of $350.

All new portable and travel cribs meet strict federal standards for safety established in 2011. However, two popular travel cribs that receive positive reviews have been recalled: the PeaPod Travel Beds and the PeaPod Plus Travel Beds, both made by Kidco.

ConsumerSearch has analyzed a number of expert reviews and hundreds of owner reviews to evaluate the safety, ease of use and top lifestyle features of portable and travel baby cribs. The result is our top picks for the small cribs for your baby.

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