Planning a family vacation? Let’s talk about the SlumberPod and SlumberPod alternatives that will help everyone sleep better on the road!
The first time we traveled with our daughter as a baby, I really believed I had packed all the right gear to help her with sleep.
But then as we were setting up her Pack N Play in our hotel room, I looked at the clock that said 7:00 PM, then to the window where the not-yet-set summer sun was peeking through the curtains and I thought, Hmm, how is this supposed to work?
All of a sudden, being in such close quarters with no way to hide ourselves or the ambient light from our daughter was proving to be a real problem.
Let’s just say that night didn’t go great.
We tried to piece together makeshift blackout curtains with some extra hotel blankets to create a dark room, and my husband and I huddled in the bathroom out of sight until our daughter finally fell asleep much later than we had hoped for.
Many families have a hard time when traveling and staying in such close quarters with their little ones.
I didn’t know it at the time, but there are actually privacy pods like the SlumberPod that would have made that first vacation go a lot more smoothly for us!
If you want to set yourself up for the best baby travel sleep, and maintain healthy sleep habits on the road, check out the SlumberPod and SlumberPod alternatives!
What is the SlumberPod?
The SlumberPod is a blackout privacy pod that you place around your baby’s travel crib or Pack ‘N Play to create privacy and darkness for your baby even when room sharing with them.
It’s truly one of the best ways to make your baby’s room dark.
It’s also a great way to give your baby their own space while room sharing in a hotel or at grandma’s house.
It’s bottomless and has a front panel with a zipper opening so you can place baby in it and easily peek on them.
There are a lot of great things about the SlumberPod that parents swear by.
First of all, it’s 100% blackout, so your baby is sure to get optimal sleep without daylight cutting naps or bedtime short.
Not only does the Slumber Pod keep out light, it also prevents your baby from being able to see you from their sleep space. This really comes in handy when you’re sharing a room on vacation, but your baby is used to having their own room at home.
The SlumberPod is easy to set up, safety tested, and made of breathable fabric that light blocking.
Because it has a larger height, it’s also good for older kids who still sleep in a Pack N Play. Many people shy away because of the price tag, but if you get a SlumberPod when your baby is young, you’ll be able to use it for a long time to help your whole family sleep on vacation.
If you’re familiar with camping and setting up tents, the SlumberPod is a breeze. But even if you’ve never set up a tent before, there are easy-to-follow instructions included.
Are There SlumberPod Alternatives?
Although there are a lot of things that make the SlumberPod great, some people say it’s too big, too hard to see into, or too expensive.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives on the market that address these issues and can still help your family get good sleep.
If you’re looking for a smaller or cheaper alternative, here are five of my favorite SlumberPod alternatives!
If you’re looking for a SlumberPod alternative that is cheaper and made specifically to fit around your Pack N Play, look no further than the SnoozeShade!
This is a great blackout solution for anyone who finds the SlumberPod too large or too expensive. At nearly half the price of the SlumberPod, the SnoozeShade is a great deal.
The SnoozeShade fabric cover is made to fit the Pack N Play’s specific dimensions (up to 41” by 30”), which means it’s shorter and has a smaller footprint than the SlumberPod.
It also boasts the ability to block 94% of the light outside. The SnoozeShade’s blackout ability makes it a favorite of parents who have babies who sleep best in dark spaces.
You’ll notice the Snooze Shade isn’t 100% blackout like the SlumberPod, but that also means the material it’s made from is a little bit thinner. Plus, the SnoozeShade has side panels that you can raise to let light and breeze in (or just a quick peek in!) as needed.
See my full comparison of the SlumberPod vs SnoozeShade here.
Like the SnoozeShade, the Dofilachy is designed for use with the Pack N Play. It utilizes ties (as opposed to the SnoozeShade’s velcro straps) to secure the cover to the Pack N Play, so you’ll need to make sure you secure them tightly.
The Dofilachy advertises 75% light blocking, making it less darkening than others on this list. It’s also machine washable, and has plenty of positive reviews from customers who appreciate its affordability and function.
3. Guava’s Lotus Travel Crib With Shade
Instead, the Lotus’ shade goes on one side of the travel crib, which is enough to block yourself from baby’s view, but doesn’t fully cover the entire crib.
The Lotus Travel Crib folds up compactly and fits in a carrying case with backpack straps, making it a breeze to add to your carry-on luggage.
It can also be used outside, making it at a great SlumberPod alternative as their product is not recommended for outdoor use.
Like the SnoozeShade and Dolfiachy canopy cover, the Brolex is fitted directly to your travel crib and has a smaller footprint than the Slumberpod.
The Brolex play yard cover features top and side mesh windows that you can unzip to allow for better airflow or visibility, while still creating a dark space for your baby.
What sets the Brolex apart is its stretchy fabric, which helps it to fit around many different brands of playpens, including the Pack N Play and the 4moms Breeze Playard.
While it’s not as cheap as the Dolfiachy, it’s more affordable than both the SlumberPod and SnoozeShade. It might be worth the extra investment for mini cribs that are larger than a standard Pack N Play!
The Joovy Gloo Children’s Indoor and Outdoor Travel Tent is another option for families looking for a Slumberpod alternative that doesn’t have to fit directly over a play yard.
The Joovy Gloo is a portable travel tent with a compact size, making it perfect for a road trip or camping!
It comes in two sizes, so it works for babies as young as 6 months (the regular size is 44” long), or children as old as 5 (the large size is 51” long).
Even though this tent is not completely blackout, there are darkening panels around the top rated at SPF 50, providing sun protection. The tent’s lower portion is mesh, making it easy to peek in to check on your little one without unzipping the tent.
This is a great option for baby’s naps that may be on the go, especially if you won’t have a mini crib with you.
Where to Buy a SlumberPod
I recently saw the SlumberPod up close and personal and it is made of such high-quality materials. It also passes all applicable consumer product safety tests for baby products.
You can buy a SlumberPod blackout pod directly from their website.
Use the code POSTPARTUMPARTY20, to get $20 off and check out our tips for getting the best sleep with the SlumberPod.
Look through this list to see if a SlumberPod alternative is something you want. Otherwise, I highly recommend getting the real deal! Note that the SlumberPod is not approved for outdoor use, so if you want to go camping or to the beach, you should choose a different product.
What are some of the best alternatives to the SlumberPod that your family has found for overnight stays and your baby’s sleep? Leave a comment below and I’ll add more great options to this list!