A convenient way to help new parents when they visit grandparents
It’s almost that time: summer vacation and the beginning of the grandchildren visiting season. What do grandparents need to do to get ready for these precious visitors? One of the best ways is to help new parents by minimizing the amount of stuff they need to bring with them when they visit.
I’ve written before about how helpful it is to have baby gear on hand for when your grandchildren visit. Traveling with small people is hard enough without having to lug a portable crib, car seat and baby toys along. But what if you don’t have the room to store a highchair between visits, or it doesn’t make sense to invest in a really good car seat? There’s an answer: renting baby equipment for the duration of their stay.
What Baby Equipment Do Grandparents Need?
Whether your grandchildren come to your house every day or just once a year, there are things you’ll want to have at your house to simplify visits for everyone. For babies and toddlers, a safe place to sleep and somewhere to sit during meals are probably the most important. If your grandchild and her parents are arriving by plane, having a car seat already installed when you pick them up at the airport will earn you gold stars. (Just make sure you’ve checked with the parents to confirm you get the right kind, and read both the car seat directions and your car’s owner’s manual carefully to ensure you install it correctly.)
Those three things are the most vital, but there are lots of other things that will make the visit more relaxing for everyone. Depending on the baby’s age, you may want to have safety gates or an infant bathtub. You’ll want things to keep your grandchild occupied with toys, books, an activity gym or a swing. You can make bedtime easier with a blackout curtain, noise machine or toddler night light.
If your grandchildren will visit often, it may be worth it to buy the most basic items like a portable crib and foldable high chair. But it doesn’t make sense if they only visit once a year! Luckily, you can now rent baby equipment in many places.
Where Can I Rent Baby Equipment?
There are several large companies that offer baby gear rentals. They include
Once you have consulted with your grandbaby’s parents about what equipment will be useful to have on hand, search for “rent baby gear near me” and see which companies serve your area. If there is more than one company, compare prices on the items you need. Keep in mind: some baby gear rental companies book out weeks in advance, so the sooner you can make a reservation, the better!
What Equipment Can I Borrow from Baby Gear Rental Companies?
The best baby gear rental companies carry everything you might possibly need. The list of inventory covers:
How Much Do Baby Gear Rentals Cost?
Cost depends on many factors: location, duration of rental, and what sort of baby gear you need are among them. According to Carly Vierzba, a BabyQuip provider in San Diego, a crib (complete with mattress pad and sheets) runs about $20 a day. You can also rent a package including a crib, car seat and highchair for about $35 a day. Smaller items, like a toddler booster seat for the table, can be rented for as little as $3 a day. Discounts are available for longer stays and twins, and many baby rental companies offer package deals.
Is Rented Baby Gear Safe and Sanitary?
In a word: Yes! All the baby gear rental companies we mentioned above have their cleaning policy on their website. Companies regularly replace worn items, and also track equipment recalls. According to Vierzba, “We cannot buy used car seats. We also have a company system where each item has to be selected in the system and we have to add serial numbers to all car seats to check expiration.” Unlike that used car seat your neighbor offered, you’ll be confident that one from BabyQuip will be safe for your grandbaby.
Renting baby gear won’t always make sense, but it’s a useful and sensible option for many families. If you are getting ready for a visit from your grandchildren, it’s worth looking into.
Have you ever rented baby equipment? Please share your experience in the comments!