Given the expense kids can rack up, it’s no surprise baby gear rental sites are exploding! Here’s how you can get in on the action
By Lora O’Brien
Motherhood can feel like a minefield. Not only do you have this tiny human bundled in your arms, but your home is suddenly littered with stuff everyone insists you need. Like a $20 wet wipe warmer, or that $250 cushion that makes babies feel like they’re still nestled in the womb.
I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’ve got to tell you – half of it you REALLY don’t need to own. And nothing made me realise the sheer volume of baby stuff I’d accumulated quite like my first vacation. We were spending the week in Cornwall, a five-hour drive away, and when I tell you every inch of the car was stuffed with ‘baby essentials,’ I’m not exaggerating. We could barely move thanks to the pram, high chair, sleepyhead, travel cot, car seat, bottles, bottle warmer…. You catch my drift. It was a lot! And we could barely fit it all in on the return journey, so yep, I ended up leaving my buggy behind!
Which is a shame. The fact of the matter is: having kids generates a LOT of waste.
And as a writer for a sustainable magazine, that makes me sad. And a bit ashamed, if I’m honest.
But luckily, there’s a solution to this (literal) mess.
Why Buy When You Can Rent?
There’s really zero reason to buy all this baby stuff when you can rent it. After all, even if you’re planning on having another babe in your arms soon, your baby gear won’t be relevant to your wee ones for years to come. Or in some cases, even months to come!
But luckily, there are more baby gear rental sites that will allow you to keep your baby in the lap of luxury – without breaking the bank, or destroying the planet. (Yep – I’m talking plastic. Most toys, clothes and accessories are made of the stuff).
Babonbo is one such service.
This baby equipment rental service that makes having children easier than ever. Founded by a travelling mom who grew tired of lugging copious pieces of equipment with her, Duygu Sefa launched Babonbo, a platform that allows parents to rent their baby essentials instead of taking their own. And honestly, I wish I’d known about them sooner!
How it works
Babonbo – short for ‘baby on board’ – is one of the best baby gear rental sites around. The company has helped families to lighten their load for holidays by providing them with a platform to hire the essentials they need while they’re away, or at home. Helping families to save money, reduce their environmental impact and support a circular economy are just a few reasons this rental site is blooming.
Short term rentals: This service is perfect if you’re going on holiday and are looking to rent baby equipment while away. Whether you’re travelling by train, plane or car, Babono ensures your equipment is waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. Whether you’re renting a car seat, stroller, cot or toys, you choose where you’re travelling to, and they’ll be ready and waiting when you arrive. No more nightmarish hauls to and from the airport!
Long term rentals: If you’re wanting to hire baby equipment for a longer period, this is also available. Prestigious baby gear like prams and cots can be pricey and are used for such a short time. Choosing a long term rental can save you money, reduce your environmental impact, avoid storing unused baby gear once it’s no longer needed or are unsure what it is you’ll need. Even if you intend to buy, trying out baby brands beforehand is a great way to prevent impulse buys that end up discarded after a few weeks.
Meet the woman behind the brand
Babonbo was created with the sole purpose of making parents’ and babies’ lives easier when travelling by delivering essentials anytime and in any place needed; at home, grandparents’ house, vacation rental, hotel, or in the airport when jet setting.
We interviewed the woman behind the brand, Duygu Sefa, to learn more about what inspired the launch, what Babonbo has to offer, and what essentials she swears by for all new parents.
Hi, Duygu! What inspired Babonbo?
My personal experience of travelling with my first daughter when she was five months old. We made our first intercountry trip to Spain and I wanted to travel light, only bringing a baby carrier without travelling with our stroller. After arriving in Spain, we realized that a stroller was necessary for her sleep time. I thought about searching for a local rental business and I discovered that there were moms doing it via Facebook pages or simple low budget webpages. After a couple of emails and telephone calls, I was able to find the best stroller for us. However, searching and finding local options was very time-consuming and stressful. From that experience, I came up with the idea of creating a marketplace to ease the rental experience for travelling families and give an opportunity to moms to grow their business thanks to global visibility.
If you had to sum up Babonbo in 3 words, which would they be?
Comfortable, smart, sustainable.
Why do you think baby gear rental sites are exploding?
Renting helps you save money, time, and also the environment
Money – You are not spending your money wisely if you buy things and only use them for a short time. With renting, you can use the items for the time needed and sustain local families by helping them earn extra income
Time – Local families will deliver the baby equipment wherever you need, from the airport, rental home, hotel or resort. They assist you in mounting the equipment and explain any questions on how to use it or and explain how to use it. When you finish using the equipment, they will pick them up after. This experience saves you time and avoids stress!
Environment – We already know how much heavy consumption impacts the environment and climate change. With new natural disasters every month, it is becoming more evident how much our environment is being damaged. As a mother of two young girls, I am becoming increasingly more concerned about their future and I feel it is my responsibility to help make a change. I created Babonbo as a way to make more responsible decisions for the future of our children. Our service helps to reduce consumption and offers a more sustainable solution. Renting increases the lifetime of baby equipment by using it until it cannot be used anymore and then becomes recycling or waste.
What is the hardest thing you’ve found when travelling with kids?
My biggest concern (and many parents) is the possibility of your child getting sick on vacation. This happened once during our Seville vacation, where my daughter, Leila, had a high running fever and we had to take her to the hospital. The mother who rented us the baby stroller then became a local connection that I contacted for advice on which hospital to take Leila. This was extremely helpful and made us feel so supported in a foreign city. This is another amazing thing about renting from a local mom, you have a new connection to whom you can ask advice or support if needed.
Another difficult time to travel with young babies is when they are weaning. You should follow a diet, making it more difficult to have dinners outside and cooking at home is more practical. It is always better to stay in a vacation rental in which you have a kitchen and can also rent a comfortable high chair in order to manage mealtimes based on the baby’s schedule without stress.
Which essentials should parents rent when travelling?
Car seats – it is important to find the most suitable car seat for the age and height of your baby for maximum safety and comfortable trips in the car. Different from the one size fits all solution of car rental companies, you can select among a variety of car seat brands offered by local Babonbo providers, finding the one that fits best for your child’s needs.
A light and comfortable stroller – this is essential if you visit a city with a lot of walking and/or one suitable for outdoor adventures
A comfortable portable bed is crucial for your baby, this ensures that your baby and the parents both get a good night’s rest and can be ready for the next day full of energy.
What advice would you give other new parents?
If travelling and discovering the world was your passion before having children, you shouldn’t give up that with children. Kids adapt much better than us to any situation and travelling significantly boosts their development. Experts say that travelling makes children more empathetic toward cultural differences and more open to trying new things. It even helps them with linguistic development when they are as young as six months old. Apart from that, it is priceless for parents to see the excitement in their eyes when they visit and discover a new place in the world.
What’s one thing you thought you needed to own, only to realise you didn’t need it?
An indoor baby playpen. I remember I bought this thinking that my baby would spend the day in the playpen while I was doing housework. Our daughter never liked it, to the point that she cried every time that I left her inside. In the end, we spent a lot of money to keep that bulky baby equipment in the basement. At Babonbo, we encourage mothers to try our baby equipment, such as playpens, before making a buying decision.
What are three essentials you swear by for all new parents?
A co-sleeping crib, a bouncer to use at home, and a light comfortable travel system for outdoor.
What are some ways parents can be more sustainable?
We should try borrowing or renting before we make buying decisions. This allows parents to ensure the product is right for them and their baby before purchasing.
There are a number of more environmentally friendly baby brands on the rise that use recycled or recyclable materials. We should inform ourselves about these brands and make more responsible buying decisions.
Learn more about Babonbo here.
This post was sponsored