But first, a big vacation hit! We just got back from a long weekend in the north woods, at a small rustic lakefront cabin without running water or electricity, but with peace and beauty a-plenty. Joy particularly liked hanging out on the pier, so we did a lot of that. Photo credit to JoyDad:
Now, about the products. We had a new goodie this trip that made life much easier: the KidCo Peapod Plus travel bed.
Joy started climbing out of her crib at an early age. She still won't sleep anywhere that she's not contained; a "big girl bed" is currently out of the question. However, we did manage to make continued use of the crib with a Tots In Mind Cozy Crib Tent:
The tent velcroes around the top rail of the crib, and then the front panel zips down to get your kiddo in and out. It worked so well that we got a similar tent for the Pack-n-Play portable crib that Joy slept in at daycare! We then used a Pack-n-Play with the tent when we went on vacation.
The tent works best on the crib, because you don't have to keep taking it down. The one that goes on the Pack-n-Play has 10 separate tent-pole pieces, and something like 12 clips to attach it to the playpen. It's been a pain in the patoot to assemble and disassemble every time we travel, but at least it was working -- but Joy was growing, and the Pack-n-Play was ceasing to be safe.
Enter the PeaPod. Compared to the Pack-n-Play tent, it's a marvel of engineering. You open the carrying case, and the PeaPod snaps all the way open. Kapow, no rods to assemble, no clips to clip. It does have a thin air mattress that you have to inflate with the small hand-pump that comes with the package, and then you insert the mattress into a zippered compartment at the base of the Peapod. The sides are nicely ventilated, and it comes with a little sleeping bag too. Really nicely designed.
Joy slept lovely full nights up at the lake in her PeaPod. She's also been napping in it at daycare. It's supposed to be good up to age six, so we may get two years out of it, until she realizes that she can zip the panel open herself...
Our product "miss" for attempting the same purpose was a Secret Castle Bed Tent, a tent that fits over a twin mattress like a fitted sheet. We thought that might be a nice way to transition to a big-girl bed.
Cute, huh? Alas, the bed tent didn't have a zipper at the bottom of the flaps, so Joy could crawl right out. Also, when the front flaps are down, there's not enough ventilation and the thing becomes a sweatbox. I tried to fix things by sewing snaps to hold the flaps down, and cut a comforter to fit inside because otherwise she'd be sleeping on tent nylon. Joy simply popped the snaps and refused to nap.
So we gave the bed-tent to older sister Rose for a play toy. At least it's good for something.