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As my little one was out growing her mosses basket an didn't really like being in the bouncer or the swinging chair we had brought her I decided to look for a travel cot to have up in our living room but with not having a very large room I wanted something not too intrusive but practical.
Whilst looking online I spotted this travel cot, which is around half the size of the standard ones so it would go nicely in my living room without taking over the room.
It was the very first travel cot I had ever seen with a bassinet on the top for younger babies like my daughter. It was a rather simple but pleasing design, it is simply a piece that clips over the sides to mean that the base is only around a foot from the top of the cot for young babies who cannot yet sit up which at the time my daughter couldn't so was great as it meant I could get to her without leaning into the cot too far and would also have been ideal from a new born to use instead of having the mosses basket in the first place which I was a bit disappointed I had missed out on.
As well as the basinet I was pleased to be able to find this one with the hood too as this was ideal for keeping the sun off my daughter whilst she had a snooze in there as the only spare place for it was by a window so if it hadn't had this feature I would have had to attach a sun umbrella to it which wouldn't have looked as good or worked as well.
One my daughter was old enough to sit up I took the basinet part out so she couldn't fall out and used the deeper space which she loved to be in as it wasn't new to her because she had been using the same thing for months as Casey really doesn't adjust to change well at all.
As she was getting older she wasn't sleeping in it as much so it doubled as a mini play pen to be able to pop her in for a few minutes if I had to go out of the room too, it washed down easily and didn't fade from the sun light either which I was pleased about.
It is a simple design that is really easy to put u and take down, it came with a bag with a carry handle on to pack it away neatly into to travel with so would be perfect for holidays and especially in small spaces like caravans but due to its size only up until around 12 months of age.
I was lucky enough to get mine from an Argos clearance store so it was discounted in price, as they are quite expensive compared to other travel cots but in my opinion so much worth it for the extras and the fact it is compact too.
In the early days when my twins were born, sleep was something they did a lot of. During the day, I didn't want to have them in the bedrooms for sleeps as I was a slightly neurotic terrified parent. The bedrooms of our flat that we were living in at that time were positioned far away from the living areas, so because I did not want to rely on the baby monitor they slept in the living room during the day. The only piece of advice I had been given was don't bother with Moses baskets for twins (which was sensible as the boys co-slept for 15 weeks) so for day time naps we purchased a travel cot. We were in the process of selling our home and were lacking space so opted for a smaller travel cot plus wanted a travel cot with a bassinet to prevent having to bend right down into the travel cot to pick them up. So we purchased the Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot.
***Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot***
The Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot is 20% smaller in size than a standard travel cot. It offers use as a crib or travel cot for babies from birth up to around 9 months (or 10kg/ 22lbs).
The travel cot has four mesh sides with the option of a detachable canopy over the top of the travel cot. There is the option for a bassinet which is the full size of the travel cot. This is for babies from birth up to when they can pull themselves up or reach 7kg (around 16lbs). The travel cot has 7 feet giving it lots of stability. There is also a travel cot mattress supplied with cot which can be used in the travel cot and bassinet section.
It is a very compact option its open dimensions are 59cm wide, 80cm long and 82cm high. It can be assembled in under a minute and comes with a carry bag making it easy to transport, in particular as it is very light and weighs only 8kgs.
The travel cot comes in a number of colours including Hedgerow (cream, beige and yellow), Apple (dark beige with multi-coloured apples on it and Dots (beige with green, yellow and orange dots). We had the Dots versions therefore I will be reviewing this model.
The Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot is available from Boots and John Lewis but surprisingly it is not available in all the typical high street baby stores. Online the choice of retailers is greater with Amazon, Kidddiecare and smaller online retailers selling the cot.
The RRP for the Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot is £60 making it a slightly more expensive travel cot however this is partially due to the Bassinet feature. A standard travel cot may cost around £30 however those with a bassinet will cost in the region of £50-100.
We purchased the Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot on in a new condition with tags still attached and including P&P it was £30. What was even more surprising is that when we re-sold this item on eBay once we were finished using it we sold it for £25 (advertised as a used item). The resale value on this cot is pretty impressive as we have over 15 people bidding on the item therefore although your child will outgrow the cot; you do get some of your money back on the item making it quite an economical choice!
Even though we bought this off eBay the item came as it would do from a retailer. The travel cot comes in a long thin cardboard box and is inside the carry case. The "carry case" is in fact the travel cot mattress which wraps around the travel cot itself and on the underside has a handle.
Assembling the travel cot is quite simple although as a new parent it does take some getting used to so my advice would be definitely have some practice at it before your little one arrives if you can. The instructions for assembly or actually printed onto the underside of the mattress/ carry cot bag therefore you can lose them. The assembly is the same as most other travel cots with an umbrella type folding mechanism. To assemble you pull the side bars straight push down the leg in the centre of the travel cot and squeeze the locking mechanisms on the side of the travel cot. To dissemble you squeeze the locking mechanisms on the side of the cot, pull up and also pull the cord in the centre of the cot. Once you have done this a few times it is very simple and can be put up and down in under 60 seconds but you do need some practice at knowing what part of the locking mechanism to put pressure on. The bassinet requires poles to be inserted through the material to give it a rigid structure then it simply clips onto the sides of the travel cot. It is very light to transport and when folded also compact. I found I could put in easily in the foot well of the car when travelling.
The travel cot when assembled looks great and is very sturdy even though it is so compact and light. Even put on smooth laminate flooring it does not move or slip because of the grips of the seven feet. I was slightly concerned at the bassinet not feeling secure as it clips onto the travel cot but it is clipped to the sides of the travel cot at 10 different points so even if one came undone (which would require you to actually lift it off so couldn't do so itself) it would still hold up even with a child inside. The bassinet also is sturdy and even when I had two 16 week old babies inside it did not look like it was being pulled down because of the weight of them.
I took the bassinet out of the travel cot at around 20 weeks as my boys were starting to roll and I did not feel comfortable knowing they were on the move. The bassinet is low enough down for a baby to not be able to roll out of it but if they sat up and were near to the edges of the cot it may be possible for them to pull themselves over the end of the cot. This would be rare for babies under 6 months to be able to do but please remember I was at this point a completely neurotic parent! The bassinet even with the weight of two 15 weeks old (small babies) was very secure and did not dip or look like the boys were too heavy to be inside of it.
The travel cot section itself is the same size of the bassinet and definitely more suitable for older babies especially if you have had a C-section as you do have to lean down low in order to place your child into the cot. Both my boys adjusted fine to being moved into this section of the cot however. Once inside they were perfectly comfortable and I would often find them kneeling pushing themselves up against the mesh sides. These were perfectly secure and held their weigh fine. I did find though that I often would hear them running their hands on the mesh and scratching it. This is quite noisy and annoying for parents but completely harmless for babies!
The cot is smaller than a standard travel cot so you may find if you have a particularly long baby by around 6-7 months they may be starting to outgrow it but it is perfect to use for younger smaller babies especially if you want them to sleep in the same room as you but do not have the space for a traditional cot by the side of your bed but your child is too big for a Moses basket. I moved my boys into their own room at 5 months and they both were going to sleep in two standard cot beds because at this point they had been alternating between the cot bed and travel cot as we could not fit two cot beds down the side of our double bed. However one of my sons did not settle well in the cot bed so we let him sleep in the travel cot permanently until we moved house when they were 8 months and he went into the cot bed (without a problem despite protesting when we lived in the old house!).
I sold this cot when the boys reached 8 months old and purchased a (cheaper) but larger travel cot for when we spend nights away from him. But I could have used the Grace Petite Bassinet as a playpen for when I need to leave the boys for a short period of time (i.e. answering the door) to ensure the boys stay out of mischief or when I am taking them into the car one child at a time. The cot is small but would hold two children in easily and would not have taken up much space and they would not have been able to climb out of the cot.
My main criticism of the cot is that the "mattress is not in fact a mattress that I feel would be suitable for a baby to lie on, either in the bassinet or travel cot. It is around 5mm thick made from a hard plastic covered in a wipe able material very much similar to the portable changing mat that was included with my changing bag. As a result I purchased a suitable travel cot mattress from Kiddicare for £20.
Keeping the travel cot clean is very easy. The mesh material can be wiped over. The material sections of the travel cot were made from a light material but had a coating over the material so stains were not absorbed meaning they could be wiped off with a damp cloth. I found that even after 8 months of regular use the cot really was in as new condition.
This without a doubt was one of the best most economical purchases that Mr Lools and I made for our boys. It was used regularly for 8 months then re-sold on eBay for only £5 less than we purchased it for! It is very easy to put up and down and although it is smaller than a standard travel cot I did not feel even when I would put two 16 week old babies into the cot that they looked at all squashed or cramped.
My only criticism of the Graco Petite Bassinet Travel Cot would be that the "mattress" which is stated to be included in the travel cot is very thin and I was not comfortable letting my babies lie on this both in the bassinet or the main section of the travel cot therefore there was an added cost (£20) to get an additional mattress to fit into the cot.
If you are looking to purchase a travel cot that will be long lasting and can be used right until your children are able to sleep in a bed this may not be for you due to the smaller size. However this is a very sensible option for those who are lacking space or require a travel cot with bassinet for the early months.
A great cot which is practical and a great quality, one of my twins even preferred sleeping in it over his proper cot!