The first time we traveled as a family, our daughter was 4 months old. We took a trip from Ohio to Siesta Key, Florida in July.
Now, I know what you're thinking and I agree. Taking a baby...to the beach...in Florida...in the summertime when it's 100 degrees outside is completely bonkers! What on Earth were we thinking?
We had no idea what we were doing. I was constantly concerned about Claire being too hot. I was a ball of stress the entire time. Just trying to go to the beach was a total shit-show. I can still picture my husband sweating bullets and cussing under his breath while trying to set up the beach tent by himself; the wind whipping around him making it all the more difficult. Claire and I would hang back in a shady spot with our caravan of first-child necessities until the tent was ready for her. By the time we got settled and splashed her feet in the ocean a few times it was nap time and we'd have to pack it all up and leave. It was not a relaxing trip.
Baby Claire cooling off in the rented beach tent.
The only thing that made it better was coming back to the little condo we had rented and having all of our home away from home necessities there.
In my exhaustive research and preparation for the trip I had discovered that you can RENT all of the baby gear you need and have it delivered to you. Genius. This was such a relief since we had chosen to fly instead of drive and trying to figure out the logistics of how we were going to bring all of the baby stuff with us was answered.
I rented a full-size crib (brought our own sheets), a boppy, a baby bathtub, the beach tent (which was actually a total life-saver once it was up), and some new toys for her to play with. If baby gear rental hadn't have been "a thing" back then, our trip would have been a whole lot tougher.
If you're a new mom planning to travel with your babe, I can't recommend renting enough. There are so many great baby gear rental companies now. Just search for them in your vacation location and you'll likely have many to choose from. As usual, choose those with the best reviews and high marks on things like cleanliness and prompt drop-off and pick-up.
In doing a little research for this post, I came upon a company called BabyQuip. From the BabyQuip website:
BabyQuip helps families pack light and travel happy to hundreds of destinations in the US and Canada. Powered by a trusted community of trained, insured and (we think) amazing Independent Quality Partners (QPs), BabyQuip delivers and sets up clean, quality baby gear at a family’s hotel, vacation rental or private residence.
Founded in 2016 by parents who believed family vacations could be more restful, memorable and fun, BabyQuip addresses a common family travel challenge. It's nearly impossible to carry little ones through crowded airports while also lugging all the bulky baby gear necessary to enjoy a comfortable, home-like experience when traveling.
BabyQuip offers a simple solution. We provide families with a wide assortment of clean, quality baby equipment—everything they need to keep their little ones sleeping well at night and happily engaged during the day. When this happens everyone gets to rest, relax and recharge.
There are BabyQuip partners in 270 cities. The BabyQuip partner in our city has 25 5-star reviews and offers pages and pages of anything you could ever need to make you and your baby or big kid feel comfortable away from home. From cribs, monitors and sound machines to toys, strollers, and car seats you can travel really light and walk into a hotel room that's already setup for nap time. They'll even meet you at the airport's car rental location with car seats ready to install - now that's service!
Whether you're planning a family vacation or a trip to Grandma's house, baby gear rental is a no-brainer!