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When we first bought a Travel Cot (and we have three now. One at both grannies and one at home) I remember thinking how large and cumbersome it was. How could anything so heavy really be deemed as "For Travel" but I have come to realise that this is the norm for a Travel Cot. We own three different ones, and the size and weight of them when folded is pretty similar throughout. I know you can get ones on the market that are light- such as Pop-up Samsonite, but then you lose on a little on the strength. I bought my first travel cot from the Argos book, but the Hauck Baby Centre was one that I took a shine to when I saw it in a baby department. Mine is not like the one in the image. It is red with squares of colour around the top edges. But it is the same in all of it's other features.
I was driven by appearance when I bought this. It is so cheerful and happy looking with it's bright colours. And as I knew it was going to stay assembled in my living room as a playpen when I needed to keep my son safe, I wanted something that was nice to look at. I was also keen that I should have a bassinet this time. My cheaper travel cots were basic and just one level. So the bassinet feature was important to me. This 'Travel Cot was going to be an investment and see me through my next baby so I needed it to be as functional as possible.
The assembled dimensions of the Travel Cot are 120cm x 66cm internally and it has a hight of 66cm. When my daughter was born and I was buying a new mattress for my son's cot so that she could use it, I found out that we could fit my son's old cot mattress into the Travel Cot to give it more cushioning. Not all Travel Cots can take a standard mattress, but this one can. My son was not even two at the time and his mattress had been immaculate so although I had changed it for my daughter's safety, I thought that it was too good to throw away so it became a lovely cushiony base for the travel cot. We did eventually chuck it, but it was great for another year.
The Travel Cot does of course have it's own mattress. It is a small thin, but fairly well padded one. It is adequate for a child to sleep on, but personally I wouldn't fancy it for a long sleep myself.
To assemble the Travel Cot from it's folded position, you simply open it out and let the legs click into place. Most of the time this will work very easily, although occasionally you may find yourself getting into a tangle. I've found that the best thing to do in this situation is to start again. It always seems to work on the second attempt! I don't know why this is, but it works.
To unlock the Travel Cot there are buttons located on the top ridges. Once you click these the cot will begin to collapse on itself and you simply pull it up from the middle. Then you strap the mattress around the outside and it's all done. It weighs 13.5kg at this stage, so although it is heavy, it is still within an acceptable level to lift.
Now, although I had initially thought the bassinet feature was the one that was most important to me. It turned out that it really was more trouble than it was worth. After I used the bassinet once (Actually it was very good indeed, particularly after I had a C-Section and was not great at bending down) I had to take the bassinet out to use the travel cot as a play pen for my eldest. And the next time I went to put the new baby in, it seemed like such a kerfuffle to put the bassinet back on to the cot, so I just left it off.
I also did not use the cot top changer (It ripped!) or the mobile. My daughter must surely be suffering from second child syndrome as I would have tried all of these things out with my eldest! When it came to having two children I just wanted things to be as simple as possible. And that meant using the Baby Centre with no bassinette or mobiles. I have tried them in the past though. The mobile is a little cheap looking. The night light is barely there and the music is a little blah! But don't let this put you off.
So to conclude. Although I didn't use the features that I thought I would, I still believe that this is a good option for you if you are in the market for a travel cot. It has great flexibility and it folds up neatly into a storage bag so that you can carry it around easily. The mesh panels allow you to see your child from 3 different angles in the room. There is a Zipped play entry at one end, which my two children love at the moment- we cover the top and they think they are in a tent. And it's still going strong in it's third year. I would also like to add that it is quite a spacious cot.
It cost us £89 at the time, but I can see that there are much better deals than this online at the moment, so you could have a snoop around the internet and see this for yourself. I'm happy with the investment. While my cheaper Travel Cots are fine, this one still looks the part after 3 years solid use.
My mum bought the Hauck travel cot just before my son was born, she wanted something my son would be safe from her 2 adorable yet boisterous Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They bought it from Argos for £79.99.
My parents managed to put it up in their lounge in around 5 minutes,I just stood there watching (and laughing), as I was still heavily pregnant.
-The travel cot comes in a handy storage bag, making it easy for travel. Although as the travel cot is on the larger side, it's not very lightweight.
-There are mesh side panels allowing you to see through to your child and vice-versa.
-It has a thin mattress with cardboard back.
-There is a bassinette level for young babies, this is so handy as you don't need to reach right down into the cot. I would also rock it when my son was crying and he would calm quickly.
-It has a cot top changer which is a fantastic addition. It means I don't have to take a seperate changing mat over when we visit, it also has straps to stop the wriggly little one falling off.
-It has a detachable mobile featuring 3 teddy bears.
-It plays soft music which to be honest we've never used, the travel cot hasn't yet been used for overnight sleeping.
-There is a night light, which is very dim. If I'm honest it's not particularly worth it.
-There is a handy storage bag, we tend to keep toys, nappies etc in there.
Assembled size (L)125, (W)75, (H)85cm.
Folded size (L)82, (W)28, (H)27.5cm.
It is relatively easy to put up, the hardest part being the basinet level. Once assembled it is very spacious and my 6 month old son has plenty of room to roll around. I find it very sturdy and my son seems comfortable having his naps in there, as well as playing. It was definitely good value for money as it is a high quality product. It's not just a travel cot, it's a luxury travel cot and I would definitely recommend it.
Polyester cover, nylon mesh panels and metal base; comes complete with mattress; basinette level for young babies; conveient cot top changer; and detachable toys. Assembled size (L)125, (W)75, (H)85cm. Folds into carry bag.