The picture above shows the baby tent folded up, and that picture illustrates why we want to use this thing for a travel bed. See that small, round, cloth bag hanging on the smiling man's shoulder? That's the whole thing, folded up. He's smiling because he's got an 8 lb. bag on his shoulder instead of a 35 lb., unwieldy, difficult to fold up, Pack N' Play. We have a Pack N' Play. We've used it. But man, this thing is so much better! Vance and Terri introduced us to the Peapod baby tent, and we requested one as a baby gift when Seth was born. They used it when they went to Germany for the summer when Isaac was about Seth's age. Isaac slept in it all the time, for naps and at night, and as a result, they could put him down anywhere and everywhere, and they did. We quickly realized what a good deal this was as we watched them do it. Since it's so lightweight and compact, it's easy to just throw in the car for a trip to a friend's house. It's small, so it fits places that a pack n' play won't. It fits in small corners, on stairway landings, etc. And since it's enclosed mesh, when Baby wakes up, he's always in familiar surroundings, no matter where he is. And it's just as comfy as a mattress. Basically, the tent has a small air mattress that you pump up with the hand pump. Then the mattress zips into a separate compartment in the bottom of the tent. Voila, soft and comfortable digs for baby!
Ok, so we started putting Seth to sleep in this thing a couple of nights ago. We were a little nervous that he wouldn't take too kindly to it, but we put him in it wide awake so he had a chance to look around and get his bearings while he was falling asleep. He could still hear us, and even see us through the mesh, and we put it where his cradle would normally go. He did great. He did wake up more often in the night than usual, but he always went back to sleep. We put him in there for his morning nap yesterday morning, and he slept soundly. And last night he slept normally, just like in his crib. I think we're going to use it for the rest of our time here in DC, just so he gets really used to it before we're on the road.
I've got to admit, though, I'm a nervous Nelly. We put Seth down the first night in the tent, and of course, he immediately rolled sideways and stuck his face up against the mesh. Instantly, Mommy freaks out, sure that he's going to smother to death. I sat by the tent, watching for him to breathe. I put my hand between his face and the tent, nearly waking him up. I then Googled "Peapod smothering deaths." =) Nothing. There isn't even a warning label on the tent, and these people make safety equipment as well, for crying out loud. David insisted that this was breathable tent fabric, it wasn't like a crib bumper. I almost called off the whole experiment, but I decided to trust David and the fact that my nephew is still alive and well after many, many nights in it. Everything is fine. Seth has learned not to get wedged in the corner anymore, I think, so that helps my peace of mind.
I promise, the Peapod people are not giving me any advertising revenue for this post. =) But I do love this thing, and I think more people with babies should know about it.