The trickiest part of the camping experience always seems to be the sleeping arrangements. It is especially hard when the camping child has reached the age of 18-30 months. Too big for the Pack-n-Play, too small for the air mattress, causing major questioning in regards to what kind of sleeper to get for the little explorer.
In the past, I have found that the best sleeping arrangements for this age group fall in the crib/mattress hybrid. What the camping enthusiast needs to remember is that the more you can replicate your home sleeping arrangements in your tent situation the better.
The summer where my most spirited of children was in the middle of his toddler years, I discovered that the KidCo PeaPod Plus was a great option.
It is both fun (tent within a tent!) and convenient. It has it’s own air mattress that zips into the bottom of the tent and its own sleeping bag. The fact that it zips closed was helpful as well because that meant any night waking did not result in a small child falling all over the tent to find mom and dad.
Another great option is the Phil&Teds Traveller.
What I like about this sleep option is that the Traveller packs up ultra compactly and weighs only 7 pounds (without mattress). The other nice feature is that the side unzips so instead of having to lift the kids in and out like with the Pack-n-Play all you need to do is unzip and the kiddo is free. A little bigger than the PeaPod, the Traveller offers a nice play area or holding area for toys during the day. You can also but a mesh top as an accessory for UV protection.
The final option I would recommend is the AeroBed Sleep Away Inflatable Bed. An air mattress with raised sides, it will keep even the restless of sleepers inside the mattress. If your kiddo is ready to try to sleep on a mattress this would be the way to go. Just ensure that the option you are buying comes with a chargeable or battery operated pump. Sad is the camper who cannot plug in their air mattress pump!
Hopefully this is helpful in deciding where the 18-30 month old needs to sleep when out in the woods.
The best advice for making sure the sleeping arrangements work? Exhaust them!