The SlumberPod Creates a Cocoon-Like Environment for Your Kid—Here’s Why I Won’t Travel Without It

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SlumberPod review toddler standing in crib cover universal
  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Sleep Inducing: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 91/100

One funny thing about being a parent is how often you find yourself in situations that you couldn’t possibly have dreamed of pre-children. Take, for example, the three nights I spent sleeping in the basement with my 6-month-old daughter in the room next door in what can only be described as her very own personal tent, all while my husband and son slept in their own beds upstairs. Even weirder? Our temporary bed set-up worked great.  

SlumberPod review tent in basement
Alexia Dellner

Some Background

My daughter had been sleeping terribly for, well, probably about six months but our sojourn to the basement occurred after a particularly dreadful week of teething where she not only woke up her poor parents multiple times a night but also her very grumpy 3-year-old brother. I was desperate. And so we decamped to the basement where I figured her crying wouldn’t wake up my son so at least someone could get a decent night’s sleep. But our TV room in the basement is full of distractions and light coming in from the street outside, so we decided to try out the SlumberPod, a blackout canopy crib cover that we had been planning on using on vacation. Except the craziest thing happened—my daughter slept so well in it. Which meant that everyone in the family slept well. A slumber miracle!

What You Need to Know About the SlumberPod

The SlumberPod is a blackout privacy pod designed for babies ages 4 months and up that can be installed over any mini crib, toddler mattress or pack ‘n play. It’s essentially a bottomless tent that can be placed over your baby’s sleep space to create a darkened space (it blocks out 90 percent of light, per manufacturers). Set-up is relatively straightforward (it takes my husband about three minutes to get the pod up and running, although he did need to consult a YouTube tutorial the first time he built it) and with the fabric canopy, two set-up poles and 12 pole clips, it does feel a lot like pitching a camping tent.

In terms of safety, the SlumberPod passes all applicable juvenile product safety tests in the USA, Canada, and Europe and features four ventilation flaps. (You can read more about the safety of the product here.) There’s also a fan pocket and fan included for extra air flow if you’re going to be somewhere hot or humid. We never had to use the fan, but we did leave the main flap slightly unzipped in one warm-weather destination.

Another nice-to-have feature is the baby monitor pocket on top of the pod with a clear window so you can use a video monitor and still see your child. We didn’t use this one either because if my daughter is awake, we’ll know about it—we nicknamed her the banshee for the first few months—but it’s a clever feature that many parents are sure to appreciate. (You can also put a sound machine in the pocket if you prefer.)

Sleep 101, for Getting the Most Use Out of It

Baby sleep experts often recommend keeping your kid’s room as dark as possible and many also suggest putting the baby in a separate room so that everyone (mom and baby!) sleep better. But this isn’t always possible when traveling. We’ve been on three big trips with my daughter and had to room share on all of them—and that girl gets serious FOMO knowing that her favorite people are just within reach! But that’s what makes the SlumberPod so ingenious—it creates a little separate “room” just for baby, minimizing distractions and light. It’s also easy to travel with, weighing just five pounds and folding up into a small bag (dimensions: 17 x 5 x 6 inches).

Two Things to Consider Before Buying

Because the SlumberPod is designed to fit over most mini cribs and pack ‘n plays, it’s by no means small; once fully assembled, the dimensions are 50 inches long, 36 inches wide and 56 inches in height.

Another downside? The cost. At $200, the SlumberPod costs more than many cribs! But for frequent travelers and tired parents who will do anything to get more sleep (hi!), the SlumberPod might just be worth the expense. And while I personally wouldn’t put my toddler in there (my son would just spend the night playing and climbing in and out of it), the pod is safe for use up to 5 years old, meaning parents technically could get a lot of use out of it. 

The Bottom Line

 The SlumberPod isn’t cheap but its ability to create a cozy and dark sleep environment for kids makes it an excellent product for travel. (Or, you know, for home when your baby is teething and you’ll do anything for some zzzs.)

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The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...