|Lorelei demonstrating "night night" in her PeaPod|
Life on the road generally means hauling around a lot of stuff. Between the gear, merch, suitcases, and extra kid necessities, the loading/unloading process can be a little ridiculous! We used to use a Pack n' Play for Lorelei, and it worked fine, but it was pretty bulky, and we noticed as LJ grew she seemed less comfortable in it. After using the Pack n' Play for about a year, we made a stop in Racine, WI where we were staying with a couple we'd become friends with after doing several concerts there. Mark represents KidCo, and naturally, told us all about their products seeing as we have a little one! He generously gave us a PeaPod Plus and told us to try it out when we got a chance. We've been using it for a while now and we much prefer it over the Pack n' Play. Check out my review after the jump!
The PeaPod is basically a pop-up tent sized for little ones that folds up into a bag for packing. It comes with an air mattress and hand pump that takes maybe two minutes to inflate. It really doesn't take much longer than the Pack n' Play, and seems to offer more comfort. The mattress then slips into a zippered pocket on the bottom of the tent. There is a zippered screen "door" and another zippered covered "door" on top of that. There are also two screened side windows and a larger back screened window. Every opening has toggles to roll up the covers and allow air to flow freely.
The PeaPod Plus is surprisingly spacious. I actually got in it several times with Lorelei when we made the switch because she wasn't totally comfortable at first. I was a little crunched, but I was shocked that I fit in there at all! Lorelei has plenty of room to move around and get comfortable, and we love that it's covered to help filter light and prevent distractions. Once she got used to it, it was no problem for her to sleep in it on a regular basis.
I should note that in the photo above, the mattress is covered with a fitted crib sheet and placed inside the tent. KidCo suggests you do not place the mattress or any other bedding item inside the tent, to prevent suffocation. Originally, we placed the mattress underneath and just gave her a blanket, but the material was loud when she moved and she would often wake up sweating from laying against it. She started sleeping much more soundly with the sheeted mattress inside the tent, as it's more like a real bed. Again, please note that KidCo states that no bedding should be placed inside the tent.
The only other considerations are that the zippers are double-sided, so kids can unzip themselves (and thus escape), and we have had a few funny incidents with Lorelei getting out. We always keep an eye on her or have her video monitor on to avoid any unplanned adventures on her part. The PeaPod can also get quite warm depending on the temperature of the room, so we make sure to keep the screened vents uncovered if the room seems stuffy or warmer than we find generally comfortable.
All in all, I have been extremely happy with the PeaPod and we plan to use it until Lorelei can't fit inside or her needs change. She seems to love it too, as she will often put herself inside when it's time for bed! It takes up so little space in our vehicle, it is so lightweight, and the mattress is noticeably more comfortable for Lorelei. Thanks to Mark and Mary for such a lovely and practical gift! If you're in the market for a travel bed, I'd encourage you to check out KidCo's PeaPod line for sure!
Our PeaPod was gifted by a friend, who is a KidCo representative. This post is in no way sponsored by KidCo.