phil&teds Traveller Travel Crib vs. BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

A customer asks:
What has been your experience/feedback with the Phil n Ted travel bed vs. the Baby Bjorn one?


The phil&teds Traveller Travel Crib is more compact and lightweight. But the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is faster and easier to set up and break down. The Traveller takes approximately 5 minutes to set up, vs. 30 seconds for the Travel Crib Light.

The Travel Crib Light is also more bed-like and comfortable. It has a real-feeling mattress. The mattress on the Traveller is a slim-profile backpacking mattress. The fabric of the underside is designed for a subtle hammock effect that is nice.

The Traveller is water-resistant. Totally appropriate for outdoor use, camping, beach, picnics, etc. You can purchase a optional UV mesh top for the Traveller that will allow you UPF 50 sun protction and provide mosquito/insect protection.

If you need to contain a child, the Traveller is also more suitable, due to the taller sides of the crib, plus the optional mesh top.


phil&teds Traveller Travel Crib

phil&teds Traveller Travel Crib

phil&teds Traveller Travel Crib

  • outdoor use: camping/beach/picnic
  • deep sides help with containment when you need it
  • lightest and smallest when packed
  • modern look and feel
  • $199
BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

  • super-quick setup and breakdown, in just one motion
  • cozy and bedlike, top-quality mattress
  • for travel, home, visiting friends’ and relatives’ houses, hotels, cabins…inside use
  • $265

Does that help?

Rules for Safe Babywearing


The TICKS Rule for Safe Babywearing – not the loveliest name, but a good way to remember some basic principles. Keep your baby close and keep your baby safe. When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget the T.I.C.K.S.


TIGHT – slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close 
to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric 
will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their 
breathing and pull on your back.

IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES – you should always be able to see your baby’s face
by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close
around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position
your baby should face upwards not be turned in towards your body.

CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS – your baby’s head should be as close to your
chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able
to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.

KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST – a baby should never be curled so their chin
is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is
always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.

SUPPORTED BACK – in an upright carry a baby should be held comfortably
close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and
their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose they can slump
which can partially close their airway. (This can be tested by placing a hand on your
baby’s back and pressing gently – they should not uncurl or move closer to you.)

A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.

If you like the above graphic, you can download a PDF of it for printing or sending to others.

Babywearing: Proper Positioning for Your Baby’s Legs and Hips

Here’s how to correctly position a baby’s legs while babywearing in a soft structured baby carrier such as the Boba G3, Beco Gemini, Ergo, Pikkolo, Tula and similar.

Legs shouldn’t hang straight down. Put your baby into the carrier, then grab your baby gently under the thighs on either side, and lift the thighs a little while pulling towards you lightly.

This will seat your baby more deeply into the carrier, and lift the knees to hip height, for an even distribution of weight across the baby’s back, bottom and legs  (crotch dangle position causes a pressure point at crotch and base of spine).


Babywearing Leg Positioning

You want a carrier that is wide enough on the bottom to allow for this, of course. Avoid narrow-seated carriers like the Baby Bjorn, as they do not support your baby under the legs enough to allow for a seated position with knees at hip height.

Homemade Playdough

How can you occupy your children on those long days when they are driving you crazy, and you are fresh out of ideas? I recommend making up a double batch of homemade playdough, and giving your child an unopened  can to roll it out with, cookie cutters, spoons, small blunt butter knife to cut with, etc. Whatever you have in your cooking utensil drawer that looks fun (and safe) to use with playdough.Enjoying some homemade orange playdough, rolling it into snakes!

If you have a big cookie sheet with edges, put everything on there and let your child go to town. Easy cleanup, contains the mess! Then put it away in an airtight container when done, and it will be ready for use next time when you are looking for a fun activity. Lasts much longer than store-bought playdough. Also, kids are not inclined to eat it past a little taste, because it’s REALLY salty. Bonus!



2 cups of plain all-purpose wheat flour

2 cups of water (you can add food coloring if you like)

1 Tbsp. of cooking oil

1 tsp. cream of tartar (available in baking/spice section of grocery stores, keeps dough fresh and pliable)

1 cup of salt


Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan. Cook slowly on low-medium and stir it until the playdough thickens and comes together, then let cool and knead until smooth, just a minute or two.

Keeps best in an airtight plastic container, and will last for *months* if you put it away after playing.

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make, but provides hours of fun!


If your child is allergic to wheat or gluten, try this recipe instead, same procedure:

1 1/4  cups  rice flour
1/2  cup  salt
2  tsp  cream of tartar
1  cup  water
1  Tbsp  oil

Family Camping Checklist

I’m thinking about our annual Spring family camping trip in the California desert. Love the trip, hate packing for it. Packing for the family is a big chore.

Ready for dinnerHere’s my camping checklist. This is a car camping list, not a backpacking list, which you probably would have figured out by the time you got to “carpet remnant for tent entrance”. Still, I can fit everything in a smallish VW station wagon with two giant carseats in back, so it’s really not all that much stuff, either. You certainly don’t need an SUV.

If you don’t have a camping checklist, try this one as a base. As you find yourself making additions and subtractions, write them down to make the list your own!


  • tent
  • air mattress
  • sheets for air mattress
  • manual or battery-powered pump
  • sleeping bags for everyone
  • pillowcases (stuff them with sweatshirts/towels to make pillows)
  • carpet remnant for tent entrance
  • lantern
  • flashlights
  • headlamps for little kids (or for everyone, if you prefer. Little kids under 5 need headlamps because they don’t get the concept of pointing the beam where they want to go, also they tend to drop flashlights and lose them)


  • tablecloth
  • Tuffo Mat
  • camp table (don’t need if there are picnic tables)
  • camp chairs
  • firewood
  • kindling
  • newspaper
  • camp stove
  • propane bottles
  • tea strainer/tea
  • coffee press/coffee
  • dishwashing bucket
  • Dr. Bronner’s soap (not peppermint – stings eyes when used as face wash)
  • sponge
  • scrub brush
  • Klean Kanteens, one for each person.
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • scissors
  • corkscrew
  • can opener
  • bottle opener
  • matches and lighter
  • ice chest w/ice (if you are bringing perishable food)
  • trash bag
  • large water cooler
  • saucepan
  • frying pan
  • dutch oven
  • plates
  • bowls
  • forks
  • spoons
  • knives
  • mugs
  • aluminum foil
  • roll of paper towels
  • vegetable peeler


  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • nail clipper
  • nail file
  • washcloths (one per person)
  • towels (one per person)
  • shampoo (or can use Dr. Bronner’s soap)
  • conditioner (for long hair)
  • moisturizer (body and face)
  • sunscreen (body and face)
  • lip balm
  • sun hats for everyone
  • sunglasses
  • diapers (for kids who still need them, or for bedwetters. You do NOT want to experience a peed-in sleeping bag. Better safe than sorry)
  • wet wipes
  • deodorant
  • hairbrush/comb
  • ibuprofen
  • first aid kit
  • any necessary medications or vitamins
  • portable potty for little kids
  • toilet paper
  • tweezers
  • tampons/pads/menstrual cup, etc.


  • underwear, one pair per person per day
  • socks, one pair per person per day (ideally Smartwool, as they do not get stinky or feel damp)
  • jeans
  • sweatpants (can be used as pajamas)
  • sweatshirt (ditto)
  • black or dark-colored wool sweater
  • shorts
  • T-shirts
  • fleece vest
  • fleece hat
  • warm coat
  • hiking/walking shoes
  • Crocs (for going in the water, beach, pool, wearing in campsite showers, slipping on to go pee in the middle of the night, etc.)
  • bathing suit
  • swim/sun shirt
  • swim goggles
  • Swim Cushions for beginning swimmers


  • baby carrier
  • screwdriver
  • pliers
  • camera
  • camera charger
  • journal
  • maps and guidebooks
  • pens
  • Swiss Army knife
  • clothesline (for hanging towels, bathing suits, washcloths, rinsed out clothing)
  • prefold cloth diapers (used for drying dishes, cleaning up random spills and wet spots, padding, endlessly useful to have 5-10 of these along)
  • guitar and pick
  • games, books and toys for kids. My favorite is a big bucket of Legos.
  • iPod for car stereo
  • cell phone
  • cell phone car charger
  • laptop
  • laptop power supply
  • batteries
  • duct tape
  • daypacks for carrying lunches, water, camera, maps, etc.


This depends on the facilities available, personal taste, etc. I don’t really like to cook a lot when I’m camping. Some people are really into it, I am not, unless I am camping with a group to share the labor. When camping with kids, if I spend time and effort cooking over a campstove and they don’t eat it, it’s a GIANT PAIN. With my camping pantry staples below, they can just grab what they want and not waste food or create a pile of dishes that need to be washed. After all, the whole point is to have fun and relax, not chore like I do at home.

  • apples
  • avocados
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • cheese
  • salami
  • chocolate
  • oranges
  • hot dogs
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • bread
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • Clif bars
  • marshmallows (for toasting over the campfire)
  • Nutella
  • graham crackers
  • fruit leather
  • dried fruit (dried cranberries, raisins, etc.)
  • trail mix
  • carrots and/or celery
  • salt
  • sugar
  • hot chocolate packets
  • canned baked beans
  • canned corn (mix beans and corn together in a pot and heat. delish!)
  • TetraPaks of milk – dairy, almond, soy, rice, hemp, etc.

What did I forget?