Friday, February 26, 2010

Kidco, Inc. - PeaPod™

Kidco Peapod Travel Bed
The Kidco, Inc. - PeaPod™ is an innovative approach to the travel bed. No longer must parents pack around the heavy and awkward playpen, when compressed, the Peapod is about the size of a couch pillow and weighs only a little bit more. When expanded the Peapod provides adequate room for a toddler to lay or sit up, though it will not allow for any standing. It comes with its own carrying case - with handles - and a self-inflating matress (or a hand pumped one depending on the model), the tent mesh provides UV coverage so its great for a picnic at the park or a day at the beach and the Peapod is a cinch to setup and once you've practiced a few times, putting it away is actually pretty easy too!

My son was eight months old when we traveled for three weeks to China, Hong Kong & Thailand and prior to departing I spent some serious time trying to figure out where he was going to sleep. We've never really co-slept, my son won't fall asleep in the bed with me, and I wasn't so sure I wanted to start that habit at eight months old. Enter the Peapod, we practiced at home, placing the Peapod right inside of my sons crib at naptime (it fit perfectly) and we took the Peapod to our friends' and families homes so that he would have a chance to get familiar with "his tent" as we called it.

The price on the Peapod is around $80, which seemed a little steep at the outset, but I only wish I had bought it a little bit sooner as it would have been perfect in those early months when your baby is barely ever awake. Introducing the Peapod during those early trips to the grandparents, would have meant easy sleeps at any locale as the baby got a little older. Regardless, the Peapod is well constructed and sturdy, offers comfort, familiarity and UV protection to your little one and is lightweight and easy to transport. All things considered, you get what you pay for and I think the Peapod is worth the price.

For $10more, I chose to purchase the Peapod with a self-inflating mattress, rather than one that must be inflated by hand (it does come with a hand pump). Like most self-inflating mattresses I have ever used, the Peapod mattress quickly inflates on its own, but I usually would add a little more air manually as I like the mattress a little firmer than it inflates on its own. The Peapod comes with a zippered pouch to insert the mattress, however I chose to place the mattress directly inside the tent instead, as that allowed me to put a crib sheet over the mattress, which was preferable from my perspective.

As I alluded earlier, the take-down of the Peapod can be challenging at first, as it requires a twist and compress method, but after a few tries it practically does it on its own. I do find myself a little hesitant to use the Peapod now that now that my son is a little older and likes to stand in his bed, but I know that in a few more months the Peapod will be a great tent for play and imagination, so I'm not too concerned about the amount of use it is currently getting. The Peapod was a great investment and an absolute must for traveling (especially if you are going touring and will be changing locales frequently.

All things considered, I give the Kidco Peapod Travel Bed 4.5/5!

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