We Needed A Non-Toxic Travel Crib...
We didn't invest in a lot of traditional baby products. We don't own a changing table, baby swing, bouncer, stroller compatible with our infant car seat, or travel crib. I like simplicity and I also hate investing in things that either don't like up to my non-toxic standards or won't get a lot of use. We were able to borrow a baby swing to use when Finley was little because that was something we used a lot, and it was nice to be able to give it back to the owner when he outgrew it and not have to worry about storing it! But before we left for vacation in a private home that didn't provide cribs this past summer, I realized we didn't have anywhere for Finley to sleep... unless we wanted to take our wooden crib with us or share our bed with him, and let's just say we are NOT a co-sleeping family. Co-sleeping for us equals co-tossing-and-turning-all-night-long.
Hence, my hunt for a non-toxic travel crib (pack and play/playard) began. I was almost immediately able to narrow my choices down to the Nuna Sena and the Lotus Everywhere Crib.
Oeko-Tex certified fabric
Can be found for around $200
Mattress can be used at two height levels
Optional attachments available (changing table, etc.)
Larger to transport
May take longer to assemble and disassemble... although I'm not sure this is fair to use as a con. It seems it might be about equal to the Lotus Everywhere Crib, maybe even less.
Lotus Everywhere Crib
No flame retardants
No PVC, phthalates, or lead
Can be found for under $200
Setup of the crib frame is super fast
Folds up SUPER compactly to fit in overhead bin of airplane
Zippered opening on side of crib
Mattress sets right on ground
Securing/unsecuring the mattress is time consuming
Using a sheet might cause the mattress to not lay flat
Mattress can only be positioned at one height level... UPDATE: The Lotus Bassinet is now available! It's intended to be used for younger children, and then a conversion kit can be purchased which turns the Lotus Bassinet into the Lotus Everywhere Crib. Note that the two combined make the overall price much more than it would be for the Nuna Sena. I'm seriously considering purchasing a Lotus Bassinet for easy travel with our second, younger child!
And The Winner Is...
The Nuna Sena! Here's why: the fact that the mattress of the Lotus Everywhere Crib lays right on the ground freaks me out. Carpets/carpet pads are notoriously awful when it comes to chemicals so even that little bit of extra space and airflow between my baby's head and the floor makes me feel better. Secondly, when my babies are newborns I like the keep their cribs near my bed and easily accessible for nighttime nursing. The fact that I have the option to use the mattress on a higher level (like in a "normal" crib) convinced me that the Nuna Sena was right for us. We weren't planning on having another baby so soon, but now that we have another one on the way and no plans to buy a second "real" crib immediately, I'm even more thrilled that I purchased the option that won't have me bending over any more than I have to. These things make a big difference in the middle of the night!
The quality of the fabric and structure of the Nuna Sena seem excellent. I purchased an organic pack and play sheet on Amazon and it fits perfectly after its been washed and dried. As far as set up and take down, the mattress has metal rods you insert behind it for extra support and that's the only slightly annoying aspect of this travel crib. The rest is easy as pie: there's a red tab hidden under the mattress that you pull to releases the locks and allow the crib to fold easily. You then wrap the mattress around the body, slip everything into the travel bag, and you're good to go! When using the mattress on the higher level you don't even have to remove the fabric portion that holds the mattress up high; it folds right with the crib.
Overall, I highly recommend this product! We've been using it a few times a week for half a year and it still looks and works like it's brand new. I wouldn't have felt comfortable investing in a more popular brand (like Graco), knowing that most companies have no commitment to avoiding toxins in their products, never mind the flame retardants I'm sure most travel crib mattresses are laden with! Finally, the design and colors of the Nuna Sena allow it to fit right in with our other decor. There's nothing tacky about it. The money we spent on our Nuna Sena was well invested and I have no hesitations recommending this product to others :)
Photos Of Our Nuna Sena!
***I spoke with a Nuna representative and was informed that Nuna stopped using flame retardants on the Sena on 10/25/13. According to Nuna, California changed the flame retardant requirement at that time and they then began following the new California standards. You can find out when your Sena was manufactured by looking under the crib body when it's fully unfolded. There will be a sticker on one of the metal bars with the manufacture date in European format (year, month, day). Before Nuna stopped using flame retardants, they used one in the ammonium polyphosphate category.