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When I was expecting my twins we started looking at the different options for daytime sleep when they were newborns. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage carrying moses baskets up and down the stairs in the early weeks and so wanted something that could stay in our living room. I knew we would want a travel cot for visiting my parents and so this seemed like a good option for at home too.
As we were planning on using it a lot for newborns we went for an option with a bassinet and changing table.
Setting it up
The travel cot comes in a storage bag and the changing table and the bassinet have to be put together before they can be attached to the cot. Likewise you need to take them apart to get them back in the bag, by the time we used it for travel we only needed the main travel cot and so didn't have to worry about keep taking them apart.
To put up the main travel cot you pull apart the sides and push down the base, this then locks securely in place. The buttons to release this lock are on the 4 cot sides, they are located on the outside and so can't be played with by your child.
The changing table
This is slightly padded and so comfortable for your baby. The raised sides meant that your baby was safe during the nappy change although there are warnings with the cot to never leave your baby unattended in the changing table. I used this to change my twins for the first few months whilst I was recovering from my c-section, it was great as I didn't have to bend down to change the 10+ nappies a day. As it was over the bassinet I could still see my other baby and it was easy to just swap them over.
I also used to use the changing table to give my girls their top and tail washes, I had it placed next to a window so I could use the window sill for my water, cotton wool and clean clothes.
It was easy to wipe clean and any accidents were kept within the changing table by the raised sides.
This attaches to either side of the cot and has mesh sides so you can see through to your baby. As it sits in the travel cot you don't have to bend down to place your baby in, again great whilst recovering from a c-section.
The bassinet is only suitable for newborns, as my girls were both small their combined weight stayed under the weight limit for the first couple of months. I loved seeing my girls snuggled up asleep in here and they used to sleep so well that visitors would ask where they were not realising they were in the same room.
The mattress was comfy for them and it allowed them to sleep flat which is the best position for newborns.
The cot comes with a toy bar and 3 toys which you can place over your baby. I wasn't impressed with this as it was too far above the girls for them to be able to touch them and it was in the way when putting the girls in. It got removed again very quickly!
The travel cot
We borrowed another travel cot when we used this for travel so only ever had one baby sleeping in it. The cot was used monthly and whichever of my girls was in it always slept well. They have outgrown it now as they approach 3 but it is still in great condition.
It fitted easily in our medium family car and when most of it was packed away in the storage bag it didn't take up too much space. The travel cot is on wheels which makes moving it about easier.
Price and availability
This model has been updated to the Graco Electra which has additional electronic features. We were very lucky that our travel cot was a gift from a good friend but I think she paid around £100 for it. This may seem expensive for a travel cot but the added bassinet and changing table features make it so much more than a travel cot.
Would I recommend?
Yes, as a daytime option for newborns it's ideal if you haven't gone for moses baskets or like myself have had a c-section and so are unable to easily carry one up and down the stairs. The travel cot can also be used as a playpen if you have an older child or pets that you want to keep away from your baby.
This travel cot is a good design and doesn't take too long to put up or pack away, ours has lasted nearly 3 years and it would be on my must buy list if I was to do it all again with hindsight!
I was given this travel cot as a gift and first used in on a family holiday in Cornwall.
The Graco Contour Travel Cot can be used as a crib with the raised bassinet which is suitable for newborns up to 6.5kg. It can then become a portable travel cot without the raised bassinet, suitable for up to 15kg.
Other extras include a nightlight, music centre with timer, gentle vibrating mattress, changing table, storage carry bag with holes for the wheels, canopy with 3 removable toys.
The whole travel cot weighs 12.8kg all packed up in it's travel bag.
Size when erected 110 (l) x 75 (w) x 85 (h) cm
Size when folded 81 (l) x 26 (w) x 23 (h) cm
My first impression was that it was heavy and that I would not use it much. However, it does have wheels and is both easy to put up and down. More importantly, my Daughter had restful sleep throughout the holiday.
We had not practised putting it up before arriving on our holiday destination and I can honestly say that it took less than 5 minutes to put together due to it opening up like an umbrella and then you just click the sides to secure it, then unfold the mattress and place inside. Just note to clip the sides together before pushing the middle part of the cot base - otherwise the sides will not click together! Our mistake for not reading the instructions properly.
The bassinet is a little more tricky to put together but really worth the extra effort as for a newborn or smaller infant, it really saves your back. Also my Daughter loved it as it rocked her back to sleep whenever she moved.
I must add though that you are not supposed to put your child inside the travel cot with the changing table in place. So I used to only put the changing table on during the day and take it off at night time or when she had naps during the day.
My Daughter seemed to rest well in this travel cot, but I do think that the mattress could be improved. To touch it really seemed hard and due to this I put a fluffy blanket underneath her sheet.
I bought this just before my daughter was born as I was planning on using it for the first few weeks instead of a moses basket. My mother ended up giving me a Moses basket as a gift so it has gone unused really. I bought it in Mothercare for 150 euro about two years ago. It was actually on sale and i think I saved about 20 euro. However the other day I saw the same model in Mothercare for 100.
I didn't get much use out of it as whenever we went away we were provided with a travel cot. Was used on three occasions on visits to relatives.
It functions as a play pen, travel cot, bassinet and a changing table that is quite good. It also includes a toy bar and a little box that you attach to the that can play music. The mattress can vibrate but plugging a wire under the mattress into this music box.
The mattress is easily cleaned but the rest of this travel cot is not detachable so it's not possible to throw in the washing machine.
The first few times I tried to pack it away I found it very hard to get each side to click out of position but once you get the knack of it you'll have no difficulty.
Each side has a button that clicks into place to make the cot stand. It is easy to assemble because you just take it out of its travel case and pull apart, the sides once straightened will click into place. When disassembling the trick is to lift the side of the travel cot as you push the button and this will cause it to collapse. By not knowing this I have had very sore thumbs many times!
It's very easy to manoeuvre because there are two wheels on one end. When packed in it's case it can be moved around easily too and it's not too heavy. I can haul tin and out of the car boot without a struggle.
I liked it and it was very stylish compared to cheaper travel cots and liked all the features that come with it but if you won't be using it often I strongly suggest you get something half the price because it's a bit of a waste.
We bought this travel cot for 2 reasons, one for obviously when we go away and two to have in our living room to use as a play cot.
Once the travel cot is assembled it is very steady and has plenty of room for your little one to play in. The cot comes with a handy carry bag for when you pack it away.
Its not the easiest to assemble but if you are patient and good with things like this is will probably take about 15 minutes.
The base of the cot can be put at different levels which is useful when your baby is quite small so you don't have to bend right over to pick them up.
The mattress can easily be removed for cleaning and the sides of the cot your baby can see through which is great if they can see you for reasurance that your there.
The changing mat fits securely on top with raised sides to stop your little one from falling off, my daughters grandma has bought the same cot and on both of ours we have noticed the changing mat is slightly slanted to one side which is a bit of a pain when she keeps rolling that way but also benefits if she wees when her nappy is off it goes to one side.
There is an archway over the top with toys dangling but I think its pretty much impossible for my girl to reach them!
My parents bought a Graco Contour Electra travel cot (bit of a mouthful I know!) to keep at their house for those times when my little monkey became too much of a handful & had to be sent off to Grandma's for a reprieve for mummy...
I was shocked that they had spent so much money (£100) on something that would only be used infrequently - I fully expected them to buy something basic instead.
However, now that the cot has actually been used a few times I think we are all in agreement that the extra cost was well worth it.
This cot is perfect for my parents since they are (quite!) old & not as flexible as they used to be. The mattress can be used in 2 height positions, so that whilst my son is a baby, they don't have to over-stretch to lift him in & out. Also, there is a sturdy changing mat which straddles the cot, allowing them to carry out nappy changes at a comfortable height. The mat is well padded & wipe clean, & has a safety strap which buckles across baby to prevent little wrigglers falling.
Everytime my son sleeps over do I receive comments the next day along the lines of 'ooh, he was good as gold', 'we didn't hear a peep out of him' etc etc. I used to be surprised by this since he never warrants such comments when at home! It transpires that the mattress has a 'vibrate' function which he loves. The vibrate lasts 15 mins when activated, so pretty much every 15 mins through the night my mum is pushing the button to re-start it & keep my son quiet! Humph. Obviously I need a vibrating mattress in his main cot too....
The cot also has a lullabies function, but as with most baby products, the sound is pretty terrible, so this function is kept in the 'off' position. There is also a small nightlight at the end of the cot, which is perfect for night-time nappy changes.
The cot also has a small canopy over one end, which doesn't do much shade-wise, but looks cute. There are 3 toys which dangle from the hood, & my son likes to kick the mattress hard to make them shake!
When not in use, the cot folds up & fits in a bag. The wheels on one end of the cot protrude through the bag, so that it can be wheeled around easily.
Overall, I think this is really a good travel cot with many useful features.
My son has now grown out of his swinging crib and his moses basket, but with our bedroom being quite small i didn't want to ahve to drag his cotbed in and take up what little room there is left so i looked at getting a travel cot with a bassinet, as he's still only little, plus i didnt want to have to be leaning over to grab him out in the middle of the night for his feeds! After looking around I made my choice and chose the graco contour electra as from what I could see it does everything but wash up!!!! It has the oh so important bassinet, but also has a canopy over to add darkness, but this has toys on for him to play with when awake. It also features a vibrating mattress, nightlight and music function as well as a changing table which sits over the top of the travel cot, all of which I have found to be a godsend and am now dreading the day that he outgrows this wonderful travel cot! He sleeps so happily in it, and it is worth every penny i paid!
This has well and truly been a product that money has been well spent on. My daughter has slept in a travel cot full time since birth as i feel they are safer for children then cots due to a friend's baby slipping through her cot bars and ended up being in hospital very badly hurt. This is just my opinion dooyoo members.
I chose this certain travel cot due to many reasons one of the main ones being it has wheels so can easily be pulled into a different room if need be, it has a changing table that can easily be clipped on to the top of the travel cot and is very safe to use and easy to clean although i did not use this for very long as my daughter became far to wriggly for it, it also has a built in mobile that clips on to either side of the cot it can be taken of and a different one can be attached i have a separate winnie the pooh light station attached to my daughters cot and was very easy to do. The travel cot also comes with a bassinette which is great for newborns and your back, it is very is to attach and also rocks from side to side so will soothe your baby to sleep within seconds, once your newborn is at the stage to sleep in a full sized cot you just un attach the bassinette and changing table and it's done, it is as easy as that.
I have bought a travel cot mattress from mothercare to fit this travel cot to make it that bit comfier for my daughter also if you go onto the graco website you can purchase a vibrating block which is easily attaches to the bottom of the graco travel cot and is hidden away i would recommend this as my daughter loves the vibrating sensation through the mattress.
The travel cot can be picked up from Toys R Us for £69.99 it comes complete with a changing table, toy bar with three detachable toys, sponge clean mattress, bassinette for newborns and a storage bag on wheels.
I find this very easy to put up and fold away i have never had any problems with it at all, the instructions are very easy to follow once you get it home and start to put it together.
Complete with toy bar featuring 3 removable padded toys, a baby changing table and sponge clean mattress. It turns into a full size travel cot with wheels for easy mobility.