travel cot small enough for a camper van but big enough to contain an active 10m DS? Or - how best to arrange two small children in a VW van?

(41 Posts)
bohemianbint Sat 04-Jul-09 12:32:53

Does such a thing exist?

We're about to go away in the camper van for the first time with our two boys (nearly 1 and nearly 3) and we're trying to work out the logistics of it.

We figured that it would make most sense to put the boys up in the pop top (it divides into two small bedrooms, one on either side IYSWIM) so we could sleep at the bottom on the rock and roll bed and not disturb them clambering over them. They're both used to sleeping on their own in the dark so am really apprehensive about this whole thing. DS1 is not so much of a worry as I reckon he'll be alright up there once he gets over the excitement, but the biggest concern is how to make them safe so they don't fall out of the roof.

DS2 is at the cruising stage so he can get about a fair bit. We have a regular travel cot but it's way too big to fit in the pop top, and probably too big to fit in the van full stop. We had a small pop up one but we sold it because DS1 could roll the whole thing over from a really young age.

Anyone got any advice/experience/tips please?

bohemianbint Sat 04-Jul-09 12:52:22


bohemianbint Sat 04-Jul-09 13:18:23

We've just stopped him co-sleeping, which is great, but would have been much easier for camping if he would still do it!

Googling like mad, can't find anything. Might have to invent something.

Fennel Sat 04-Jul-09 13:42:45

We had 3 babies in a VW van, there was no way any travel cot would have fitted into ours. We generally coslept, dh and one or two up top, me and youngest down below. DP built a roof/upstairs section which they couldn't fall out of though, with a trapdoor to shut them in so they didn't fall down.

None of us got much sleep frankly by the time we had 3 small children in a VW van, it was just too exciting for the dds, they rioted happily instead of sleepign. At that point we gave up and moved into Sensible Big Boring Car and Sensible Family Tent. but that was with 3 children. Two wasn't as bad.

bohemianbint Sat 04-Jul-09 18:04:31

Hi Fennel - have had a bit of a wobble this afternoon and wondered if it's worth having the bloody thing if no one can sleep in it! Been out experimenting with every scenario. Have just bought a little life travel cot - if it fits up top, we're away, if not, we're screwed and will just have to accept that until DS2 is old enough not to climb of the top, we're camping in a tent.

Will see tonight if we can squash it in...

BetsyBoop Sat 04-Jul-09 20:28:50

not a camper-vaner,so don't know if they would fit - would it be possible to use the toddler bed guards up top? (The sort that fit on a single bed)

paisleyleaf Sat 04-Jul-09 23:40:46

Would DS2 perhaps be better off in one of those hammocks that just kampers do for the front cab?
We fitted one of these for DD and it worked out okay.

Otherwise, there's the option of the DCs sleeping downstairs and you two upstairs. If you didn't fold the bed down, they could sleep DS1 at the back, and DS2 on the seat but with a bed guard.

AWinHW Sun 05-Jul-09 19:13:53

How did you get on with the Little Life? We've got the same issue and im desperate to know if it fitted?!

bohemianbint Sun 05-Jul-09 19:25:34

thanks for the replies! We thought of the bed guards, and they'd be fine for DS1 but DS2 would be over the top. I worry he wouldn't stay in a hammock either. (He's at the pulling himself to standing stage and he does it all the time.)

We wondered about that paisley - it looked like the best idea but I think DS2 would be over the back of the seat onto DS1. And we'd have to climb over DS1's head to get into bed if we went up later.

We have just bought a little life cot which DH is assembling as we speak. If that fits up top, we're sorted, and they can both sleep up in the top. Otherwise - I guess we have to accept that we have to use a tent for a year or so until DS2 will be able to sleep up there without falling out...

bohemianbint Sun 05-Jul-09 19:40:52

Ah feck. It doesn't work, so back to the drawing board.

Surely there must be a long skinny travel cot? Or maybe we could just put him in a tea chest...hmm

bohemianbint Sun 05-Jul-09 19:44:57

DH is now wondering if one of those samsonite bubble cots would work if we could secure it to the floor so it wouldn't tip over...

AWinHW Sun 05-Jul-09 19:50:46


Oh well back to the drawing board to. Thanks for letting me know.

bohemianbint Sun 05-Jul-09 19:51:38

something like this would fit - but it's how to fasten it down. We did have one of these but as soon as DS started rolling it was really unsafe.

paisleyleaf Sun 05-Jul-09 20:00:36

Those hammocks really dip in the middle with the weight
it's a pity you can't have a go of one without buying as it might be good for your DS2

bohemianbint Sun 05-Jul-09 20:04:41

ooh, do they? I wonder if I can find someone nearby who has one I could have a look at. THanks for the tip. grin

Fennel Sun 05-Jul-09 20:57:21

Can you not just one of you sleep up top with the rolling baby and put him on the far side, away from the edge? So if he rolls you buffer him and he doesn't fall down.

BetsyBoop Sun 05-Jul-09 20:59:00

could you rig anything up using a BabyDan 'Gate To Go' Travel Gate or maybe two together using them vertically rather than horizontally IYKWIM?

BetsyBoop Sun 05-Jul-09 21:05:53

also I remember when we looked at travel cots that the baby dan one is narrower than most, what area are you working with?

NoFurtherQuestions Sun 05-Jul-09 21:06:19

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NoFurtherQuestions Sun 05-Jul-09 21:07:54

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maxybrown Tue 07-Jul-09 15:05:05

Can't you all just pile in together? grin We only have 1 DS but he just jumps in with us, but I'm sure we could squash another little one in grin

bohemianbint Tue 07-Jul-09 20:09:42

Aaaah - co-sleeping is no longer an option (just ended it after 10 months and a nervous breakdown!) as the little darlings go to bed at 7pm and won't sleep if there is anyone else in their space, unfortunately. If only we'd gone camping last month this wouldn't be an issue (but me being a sleep deprived banshee would have!)

We are now looking into awnings as we are going to need some kind of sturdy travel cot to contain DS2 or he will do himself an injury. I love the idea of the cab bunk thing, but for some reason I can't find them anywhere and it might be a bit of an expensive mission to get that sorted.

Other more way out suggestions from friends have been buying a doll cot - or putting DS2 into a grobag and sewing it to the cushions. hmm

Am sure it will be fine this time next year when they can sleep up in the roof together, but for now it's a real pain in the backside.

Surfermum Tue 07-Jul-09 20:12:39

What sort of camper is it? Dh builds the interiors for T4s. He's built a bed for dd and dsd in the space over the front seats and in the boot.

maxybrown Tue 07-Jul-09 23:06:52

what about a my first readybed on floor? Or a mat rolled out?

bohemianbint Wed 08-Jul-09 18:57:40

Surfermum - it's a T25, with one of those kinds of pop tops that splits into two, IYSWIM. Do you think there is something we could do with that?

He does need to sleep in something that has sides about a foot high to stop any accidental escapes/wandering...

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