All You Need to Know About Inflatable Travel Beds for Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler can be as rewarding and it is nerve-wracking. On one hand, you’re probably excited to introduce your child to new places and experiences. Whether you’re staying with family or going on an exotic vacation, your toddler will learn more about the world and everything it has to offer – a vital part of their development!

But at the same time, traveling with a toddler requires careful planning. Little ones can get stressed when taken outside their home environment, particularly if they’re nervous travelers. Plus, you’ll need to bring plenty of provisions for the road, like changes of clothes, hygiene items, food, and more. One of the most vital considerations is where your toddler will sleep, particularly if they haven’t yet graduated to a standard bed frame — this is where inflatable travel beds come in.

An inflatable travel bed will provide your toddler the perfect place to rest their head during your travels. In addition to incorporating safety features like built-in bumpers, inflatable travel beds are easy to transport and clean. If you’re new to the world of portable toddler beds and are wondering where to start, we’ve gotten together a helpful guide to get you started. So happy traveling! (And make sure to browse hiccapop’s website for all your toddler travel needs!)

What are inflatable travel beds?

Inflatable travel beds are convenient and portable ways to ensure your child gets a good night's sleep. The beds are lightweight, compact, and, of course, much easier to carry than more structured bedframes. Parents typically use these travel beds when their children have outgrown their cribs but aren’t ready for a standard, adult-sized bed. Inflatable beds are designed for easy inflation and deflation when required — perfect for camping, vacations, road trips, hotels, and much more!

Travel beds vary in size, style, and price, with most models made of vinyl, PVC, and nylon. Some inflatable travel beds also offer additional features like built-in pillows, mosquito nets, or safety bumpers, so it’s worth doing some research to find the best travel bed for your particular needs.

What are the benefits of inflatable travel beds?

Where to start? There of heaps of reasons to invest in an inflatable travel bed, whether you’re an avid explorer or just looking to make sleepovers easier:

  • They’re easy to use: If inflating a bed sounds too much like hard work, rest assured you won’t need lungs of steel to set up your toddler’s bed. Most models (like hiccapop’s!) come with electric or hand-operated pumps, allowing you to blow the bed up in minutes. 
  • You can use it at home: You don’t need to restrict yourself to using a travel bed outside the home. If your little one is navigating the awkward in-between stage between sleeping in a crib and sleeping in a bed, an inflatable bed provides a safe, low-cost, and comforting surface to help them make the transition. Alternatively, you can whip out the travel bed if your child has a friend coming over for a sleepover. The opportunities are endless!
  • They’re affordable: Inflatable travel beds tend to be cheaper than traditional travel cribs or other kinds of portable beds, helping you stick to your travel budget. 
  • They’re versatile: You can place a travel bed almost anywhere, from hotel floors to tents.

Factors to consider when choosing an inflatable travel bed

It’s time to conduct a little research before buying your travel bed. Here are a few key features to look for while browsing:

  • Size: You don’t want your toddler to feel cramped and uncomfortable, particularly if they’re already feeling a little disoriented from traveling. Make sure you find a bed that leaves plenty of space for your little one to stretch out during the night.
  • Weight capacity: How much weight can the travel bed hold? You should try to find a bed that will carry more than your toddler already weighs, as they will inevitably grow much faster than you anticipate!
  • Price: While the inflatable bed market is wide-ranging, there are many excellent options on the market for less than $100. 
  • Reviews: The last thing you want when you’re on vacation is a travel bed that refuses to inflate (or deflate). Make sure you find a bed with great reviews so you can protect yourself against faulty or poorly-made products. While good reviews aren’t the be-all-and-end-all, they can indicate whether the bed is reliable and cost-effective. 
  • Comfort: A decent inflatable travel bed will feel just as comfy (if not more so) than your toddler’s usual bed. Assess qualities such as thickness, softness, and material before making a purchase. 
  • Features: What extra features will your toddler need? If your child is an active sleeper, they’ll need bumpers to prevent them from falling out of bed during the night.

Safety considerations when purchasing an inflatable travel bed

Reliable retailers will ensure their inflatable beds meet safety regulations. However, it’s a good idea to consider the following factors when purchasing and setting up your toddler’s bed:

  • Durability: If you’re planning to take your travel bed on all sorts of adventurous trips and vacations, it will need to withstand scrapes and bumps. Choose a bed made with safe, durable materials such as inert PVC (it meets all federal health standards and is often used in schools, senior living centers, and hospitals!).
  • Stability: Look for a bed with a stable or non-slip base to ensure your toddler doesn’t roll out of bed during the night. 
  • Age recommendations: Always follow manufacturers’ guidance to establish whether a bed is age-appropriate for your child. 
  • Inflation: Again, the manufacturers’ instructions will tell you how to inflate the bed in order to avoid overinflation. As well as making sleep less comfortable, an overinflated bed could burst or pop, potentially harming your child.
  • Supervision: Toddlers love to jump on anything squishy and bouncy. While most inflatable beds are made with excitable little ones in mind, we recommend supervising your child when using the inflatable bed to avoid any accidents (and ensure your product lasts as long as possible!).
  • Storage: To avoid leaks or damage, remember to store your inflatable travel bed in a safe place away from sharp objects and sources of heat. 
  • Inappropriate uses: While it may be tempting to use an inflatable travel bed as a kind of flotation device in water, it could damage the bed and pose a high danger risk to your child.

How to set up and inflate an inflatable travel bed

Some inflatable travel beds are trickier to set up than others. While every bed will be different, there are a few key steps you should follow for every make and model, including:

  1. Unpack the bed on a flat surface away from sharp objects or pets.
  2. Find the valve on the bed
  3. Connect your manual or electric pump and start pumping air in the bed.
  4. Check the firmness of the bed, ensuring it doesn’t overinflate.
  5. Once you’ve achieved the perfect firmness, remove the pump, seal the valve, and give the bed a gentle pat to ensure the air is evenly distributed. 
  6. Make sure there aren’t any leaks in the bed by pressing down on the mattress and listening for any telltale hissing sounds. If you detect any leaks, you may wish to repair the puncture using a patch.
  7. Add a sheet, duvet, or any other types of cozy bedding your toddler enjoys.
  8. Get ready for sweet dreams!

Tips for maintaining and cleaning your toddler’s inflatable travel bed

Cleaning up spills and stains is par for the course for all parents. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your toddler’s travel bed clean and safe with a few simple tricks, including:

  • Wipe the bed with a damp cloth after every use, ensuring you get rid of dirt and debris and preventing grime from accumulating. 
  • Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners — they’re unnecessary and could end up damaging the bed!
  • If you notice a stain, clean it up with a mild detergent and water. Avoid submerging the item in water, as you could end up with water inside the product. 
  • Allow the bed to dry fully before packing it away, as excess moisture could promote smells and mold. 
  • Store the bed in a cool, dry place, away from humidity and direct sunlight.
  • Remember to check the bed for signs of damage before every use. Tears or punctures will compromise the stability of the bed and ruin your toddler’s night. The good news is you can often address little holes and leaks using a patch kit.

Frequently asked questions about inflatable travel beds for toddlers

Here are a few of the most common questions parents ask about inflatable travel beds:

Is my little one ready to sleep on a travel bed?

The answer to this question depends on your child’s unique developmental journey. While some kids are ready to leave their crib at around 18 months old, others may take three years (or even longer). It’s important not to rush things for the sake of a vacation, and to do a practice run before traveling with your toddler. If your little one is struggling to make the transition to a travel bed, don’t fret — they’ll get there eventually! 

Is there a maximum age limit for using an inflatable travel bed?

While some inflatable travel beds have a limited weight capacity, products like hiccapop’s travel bed can hold fully-sized adults. Yep — even grownups have been known to indulge in these super-soft, cushiony beds! We won’t tell anyone if you decide to use it for a nap (parents deserve their rest, too).

Should I add a sheet to the travel bed?

This can be a great idea! Placing a sheet on an inflatable travel bed will protect the bed from dirt and spills, while ensuring your little one stays calm and cozy all night. 

Where to find an inflatable travel bed for your toddler

There are plenty of fantastic inflatable travel beds on the market, all of which come in a range of sizes, styles, and colors. However, we’re personally fans of hiccapop’s travel bed, an affordable, cozy bed perfect for almost any situation.

Our inflatable travel bed is one of the leading toddler travel beds on the market, and for good reason! It ticks almost every parent’s boxes. As well as surpassing federal safety standards, our bed is constructed using reinforced weld seams and thick vinyl for increased durability. It also contains robust bed bumpers to prevent even the most active sleepers from rolling out of bed at night. Whether you’re visiting grandma or embarking on a summer road trip, hiccapop’s travel bed is sure to exceed all expectations. Remember — our no-risk return policy will protect you if the bed doesn’t quite suit your needs!

Discover more about the hiccapop community

If you’ve found this article helpful, why not explore the hiccapop blog for more handy hints and tips? We know that parenthood can feel like an uphill battle at times, which is why we’re committed to developing articles and products that make your job a little easier. Need help with our products or services? Don’t hesitate to reach out today!

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