Taking the kids along on summer vacation is easier with these new items, all of which have been tested by the author.
-- Judi Dash
Raising a child
AeroBed, maker of a popular line of quick-inflating mattresses, has introduced a model for children. Just plug the kit's pump into an outlet, and it inflates the vinyl bed in 60 seconds. A quick-release valve deflates the bed in 15 seconds. The AeroBed for Kids has a 50-by-25-inch sleep surface with a raised cushion around the perimeter to keep Junior from rolling off. The bed, which is much more comfortable than a sleeping bag on a hardwood floor, comes with a washable fitted mattress pad, a vinyl repair kit and a duffel for storing everything. The bed weighs about 6 pounds and accommodates up to 150 pounds.
AeroBed for Kids is $79.99; (888) 462-4468, www.thinkaero.com.
Too many bad experiences on the road prompted one couple with children to invent the Diaperbridge, a compact plastic folding changing table that turns the top of a bathroom sink into a sanitary changing station. Unfolded, the product forms a rigid platform to hold the baby. The Diaperbridge includes a pad for comfort and a four-point harness that secures the baby to the platform. Another strap secures the Diaperbridge to the sink fixtures. The table weighs 2.5 pounds and fits easily in diaper bags and suitcases.
Diaperbridge is $39.99; (888) 730-2525, www.diaperbridge.com.
Lighter than the baby
Graco's new Travel Lite Crib is full-size yet compact and weighs less than 20 pounds, making it great for car travel or for stashing in a closet at Grandma's house. The folding crib comes with a full-size bassinet with a quilted bumper pad for babies less than 15 pounds. After that, the baby can nestle in the bed proper on top of the quilted pad. The crib has dust ruffles and comes with a partial canopy for blocking out harsh light. The delicate gray and white Windsor pattern model (my pick for the prettiest) comes with two little stuffed bears hanging from the canopy. Other patterns are also available.
Graco Windsor Travel Lite Crib is $79.99; (800) 345-4109, www.gracobaby.com.
Gear & Gadgets appears monthly.