Daddy wrote this in 2013 when we were expecting our first child; it still applies today and we still use this crib, so I wanted to pass on the information to you!

There are affiliate links in this article – we love these products and use them in our home.

We had the pleasure of having our baby shower recently and we are very thankful for all the wonderful gifts we received from our friends and family.

One of those awesome gifts was the Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages we chose to use with our little one. Here are my first impressions.

Pack ‘n Play Style Playard

We thought for a long time about what kind of sleeping arrangement we wanted for our son. At first we considered getting a large Pack ‘n Play style Playard like this one with integrated bassinet and changing table.

The benefit of those systems is that they can be used for multiple purposes. They can be used as a place for baby to sleep until he is able to sit up on his own, at which point a different crib would have to be used since the “crib” part of these systems is pretty shallow. It’s pretty cool that they can be used as a changing table, but most of the time it’s a hassle to attach and detach the part that is used for changing. Once baby is able to sit up on his own, the “crib” can be converted into a playard where he can safely entertain himself. All of this can be done with the convenience of portability by folding the unit into itself… or so it seems.

We have family and friends scattered around the city and we wanted the option to take a playard or crib wherever we needed it. The problem with most of the playard systems we saw is that they are way too big and heavy. Some even have wheels to roll the thing around once it’s folded and packed away. Besides, once our son was too big to use it to sleep in, we weren’t going to want to keep using it for a changing table. We decided to go with something else. Something simpler, smaller, and more manageable on-the-go.

We opted for the Graco Travel Lite Crib

We opted for the Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages. It’s similar to a Pack ‘n Play style playard but it’s way easy to set up and to pack up, and it’s really, really light. We already opened it up and set it up.

First of all, it obviously doesn’t come with a built in changing table, but we found a very nice one for the difference of the cost of one of the larger playards. You could always just use the top of your existing dresser or bed, too.

I found that putting the Graco together was very easy and straight forward. One thing I struggled with at first, however, is that I didn’t make sure to lock the side bars before pushing down the center part of the crib. But once I figured that part out, it’s a cinch to set up. The “stages” part of the crib is very cool. You simply slide some metal rods through either the Stage 1 or Stage 2 openings that are clearly marked.

Folding up the unit and packing it up is just as easy. Again, I had one issue, but once I figured it out, I was able to unpack and pack up the system relatively quickly. When packing it up, the mattress pad wraps around the unit to keep it nice and tight. All together, the unit weighs less than 20 pounds and is very easy to transport.

We are very happy with the Travel Lite Crib and recommend it to anyone that needs a smaller, lighter, and easy to transport crib/playard combo. It was just what we wanted and I can’t wait to actually get to lay my son down to sleep in it.

What system do you use at your home?