Anyone who has already scanned the shops for baby baths, cribs and cots etc, will be well aware that those early post-birth weeks will be filled with cramming the car (or train luggage) with paraphernalia to take away on family visits to show off the new arrival.

Once your baby is out of her crib, bedding suddenly gets huge, including the travel cot. Handy as they are in the toddler years to come, travel cots seem so huge when you put a baby who is a few weeks old down to sleep in one. Also, despite being as compact as possible, they fill the boot of your car and usually weigh a ton.

In the past three years, one of the niftiest items to arrive in the shops is the pop-up cot. There are a few places which stock them, including Angelcots, who sell the Samsonite Pop-Up Travel Cot.

Light and easy to use, the cot is safe for babies from birth until your baby can sit up unaided. It folds down into a flat round disc, has a cotton mattress and comes with three toy loops and a mosquito net. It retails for about £29.99.

The Pop-Up Bubble Travel Cot (pictured) suits older babies and children up to 18 months. This is really useful when you are going away and don't want to have to take your own big travel cot but aren't entirely confident that the facilities at your destination will be up to the job. (As ours definitely weren't in a French gite when our daughter was 11 months old!)

The cot measures 96 x 82 x 60cm when open but folds down very neatly into a compact shoulder bag weighing 3kg. This usually retails for around £55 but is currently on offer with ten per cent off if you check out the Angelcots website for these cots and lot of other nursery essentials.

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