Important Organic and Green Products for Babies – Earth Day Baby Blog #2

Often times green products are not just healthy for Mother Nature, they’re also healthier for our bodies. When it comes to baby products this is especially true. Babies grow rapidly and each thing they interact with has the potential to affect their health, for better or worse.

Here are some basic starting points to keep your baby healthy and happy with organic and other environmentally friendly products.

  • Teething – The American Association of Pediatricians policy states that any teething toy or pacifier your baby uses should be BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
  • Bath Time – Newborns only need a sponge bath and rinse with warm water. Once a baby is a couple months old green products are a great choice as they are free of chemicals that can irritate skin.
  • Crib Sheets – Newborns sleep more than half a day on average, so a healthy sleeping place is important. Consider organic cotton sheets that are soft, chemical free, and most importantly, cozy. How you launder is important – an all-clear detergent, no perfumes/dyes.
  • Bottles – The bottles humans drink from are surprisingly impactful. Even when bottles are certified BPA free, they can give off other harmful chemicals. For babies and mommies, glass bottles and high-quality, green baby bottles are safest.

Babierge Above and Beyond Trusted Partner Award April, 2018 – Amber Brown

This month’s Above and Beyond Trusted Partner recognition award goes to our community’s walking ray of sunshine – Salt Lake City Trusted Partner, Amber Brown. A mom of three energetic kiddos, she juggles a part time career as a disability lawyer while always finding a way to make time for those around her who need help or advice.

Since joining the Babierge platform in May 2017, Amber, along with other Salt Lake City Trusted Partner Annie Kocherhans, have been the ideal example of how two Babierge Trusted Partners can put their energy, capabilities, and time together to create more opportunity and business for the whole rather than working exclusively for themselves. In fact, Annie chimed in to illustrate just how important Amber has been for her:

“Last month Amber definitely went above and beyond! We have started helping each other by borrowing gear when we are out of something. Our market was really busy the few months during the peak of ski season in Park City. We both had all of our cribs out and and had helped each other out quite a bit that week. But Sunday night I ended up having my appendix out. Amber was so helpful in getting all my gear returned that week after and doing 4 pickups for me as well as taking a couple orders that I was unable to fulfill. She definitely deserves this award.”

Looking for someone to pull out the stops for your next vacation in Salt Lake City? Amber and her little helpers are ready to make your vacation unforgettable.

Babierge Hitches a Ride with the Fourie Family

Start with one baby. Add a two-year old and a pre-teen boy. Two teenage girls. Last, mom and dad. Bake that for 7 months, 7 states, 3 countries, and 2,500 miles worth of travel distance and you get the Fourie Family.

Anyone can relate to the amount of preparation and effort the Fourie Fam puts into their trips, journey after journey. It’s all worth it though as mom and dad, Louise and Claude Fourie, have always believed in the benefits of exploration. “There is no better education than sharing this vast and beautiful world and all it has to offer with our children,” says Louise.

When Babierge caught wind of the Fourie Family’s epic travels we had to connect and see if we could come along for the ride. Just our luck, the family obliged and we hooked them up on their recent 4 month journey from Orlando to Arizona with strollers, car seats, toys, and much more.  

“Last year we spent 5 months in the States traveling from Florida to Colorado. For that journey we needed a huge car to take all our stuff and our youngest baby wasn’t even born yet. When I think of how easy this journey has been and how we simply could not have managed without Babierge it makes me feel quite silly that we didn’t think of Babierge much sooner in our travel adventures! Plus, it was so fun getting to meet Babierge Trusted Partners who were very friendly and quite helpful with tips and travel hints for each area. ”

Showing the Fourie Fam how Babierge takes the stress out of family vacations was a pleasure, as partners in Orlando and San Antonio met the Family at the airport and other accommodations with car seats, strollers, toys, and other vital gear. We were happy to catch Louise on her return home in late January to hear about the latest trip, and collect some special family travel tips from these veteran travelers.

 

  1. Has the Fam really been on the road for 7 months?

We travelled for 5 months in 2016 and then embarked on our Going West Road Trip in December 2017 starting off in Orlando, Florida, driving across the southern States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally ending up in Las Vegas, Nevada. All in all we travelled over 2500 miles. We’re a travelling family so we spend a fair amount of time in the air or on the road.

  1. What was your favorite stop?

It’s been hard for us all to agree on a favorite destination. We’ve been travelling with the kids’ grandparents (Claude’s parents) and Claude’s dad is obsessed with cowboys and so naturally he loved the cowboy town of Tombstone, Arizona. My bucket-list destination was my favorite – the Grand Canyon. Claude loved a personalized wine tour in Sedona. Most of our kids love Orlando and all the kiddie entertainment and parks there.

  1. Funniest experience?

Late one night we decided to go take a dip in the hot tub at our resort in Orlando. When we got there we were disappointed to see two ladies already in the tub. But a few seconds later we saw a furry creature emerge from the bushes behind the tub and walk right up to the women. When the two ladies turned and saw it they shrieked, shot up, and bolted out of the tub screaming! After thanking the raccoon for his services we enjoyed the hot tub all to ourselves.

  1. Coolest experience?

Probably one of the coolest experiences we enjoyed this trip was racing sports cars in Las Vegas. We got to Drift Race in uber fast cars with a company called Dream Racing on a proper Racetrack – it has got to be one of the coolest experiences I ever had!

  1. What do the kids miss most about home?

Our kids are quite used to being away from home as we travel a lot, but if there’s one thing they miss the most about home it’s probably their own toys and games. It’s hard traveling with Xboxes, bicycles and skateboards but luckily they haven’t missed their toys too much as Babierge has supplied us with fun toys and games along our journey.

  1. Where is the Fourie Fam heading next?

After the States we head back to Italy for a spell and then hit the road again in a few months! We have a few European destinations and then we’ll be back in the USA to explore more of your beautiful country.

  1. Any thoughts about what else a family like theirs might need to rent (beyond baby gear, or gear we aren’t renting)? What do you wish you also had on your journey?

Babierge really did supply everything we needed to make this journey stress free and easy! I know our teenage kids would have loved some Video Games. We like the kids to fully experience the destinations we visit but quite often there’s nothing to do on a rainy day and some video games would go down really well with them – like an Xbox or Playstation.

  1. What types of things are their kids learning on these trips?

Our kids are well travelled. In fact our oldest daughter learnt to walk at an airport in Namibia. JP our 2 year old learnt to walk before flying out of Las Vegas. Besides learning to walk, our kids have discovered amazing things and learnt life skills that they would not have picked up in school or from the tv. Travelling is very much experiential learning which tends to cement certain facts and information a lot more permanently in the mind than some books do.

We believe strongly in learning from other cultures, we try to immerse ourselves as much as possible in every experience. On a recent trip to South Africa our children got to spend a day with traditional Zulu people. We ate Mopani worms and ground Maze into flour. Pierre learned to stick fight and Bali carried pots on her head. We learnt how we live is not how everyone else lives. It opens your eyes to how beautiful, different and sometimes difficult other people’s lives are.

  1. Are your children homeschooled?

When we’re on the road our kids participate in an American Home Schooling program that keeps them up to date with international studies. They also continue with their Italian schooling online with the help of their teachers back home who understand our lifestyle. Our children are bilingual and we hope to further increase their language skills.

  1. What was their favorite Babierge item during the trip?

Although the strollers were probably used the most I’ve got to say the kids probably enjoyed the toy packs the most as these kept them entertained the entire time. A new toy pack in every new destination? Just like Christmas!

Keep up with the Fourie Family and their wild adventures on Facebook and their YouTube channel!

The Best Winter Getaways for You and Your Baby

February in North America is a prime moment to enjoy the snow – just in time to say goodbye to rough temperatures, while still being able to enjoy fresh powder soon to be rain. We checked in with Babierge Trusted Partners across the country to see what fun times are happening in their areas, and get some ideas for local kid-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and attractions for your family to enjoy the end of Winter.

Jessica Beemsterboer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor is the perfect winter mix of small town fun and mountain town sporting opportunities.

See: For playing in the snow, some beautiful walks, and sledding, try out Nichols Arboretum. The Hands On Museum is downtown and tons of fun, perfect for indoor play. It even has a great room just for 5 year olds and below, and a baby area too.

Eat: Zingerman’s Deli is a must-try! Afternoon Delight and Seva are a few of our other favorites and kid-friendly.

Stay: If you want to be downtown within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in town, a few stellar hotels are the Bell Tower and The Graduate.

Insider Tip: A bit further from downtown is the new 242 Community Center with a huge indoor park-like play area, and its free!

Recommended Baby Gear: Add on our stroller or infant carrier covers to keep the little ones warm while you’re out and about.

 

Patricia Stacer – Grand Rapids, Michigan

West Michigan always has so much to see and do, even in the winter!

See: Bring the kids to see dragons, unicorns, and mermaids! Get some hands on learning and take a ride on a 1928 Spillman Carousel that overlooks the Grand River at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Eat: My family’s favorite restaurant happens to be in my hometown, Vault Cafe and Bakery located on Main Street in Caledonia. It’s worth the drive for some fresh baked breakfast treats or some homemade soup and sandwiches for lunch. A great place for kids and parents.

Stay: AirBnb and similar sites offer tons of affordable, fun accomodations for families visiting Grand Rapids.

Insider Tip: Vacationing on a budget? Grab the kids and head to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for Family night every Thursday. Admission is only $1.75 per person from 5pm – 8pm.

 

Caitlin Hankins – Denver, Colorado

Colorado and the Rocky Mountains provide some of the most beautiful winter views, with a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

See: Copper Mountain Resort – Located just over an hour from Denver, Copper Mountain provides everything you’d expect from a ski resort in the Rocky Mountains, plus so much more! Snow tubing, ice skating, a snow-coaster, and a special kids-only zone on the mountain are sure to entertain the entire family!

Eat: Before a day on the slopes or even just a stay in town, locals love to start their day at the Butterhorn Bakery and Cafe. Then for lunch, soak in some Rocky Mountain sunshine at one of Copper Mountain’s many restaurants right at the base of the slopes. We recommend Mahi’s Street Tacos for a quick and delicious meal to refuel the family for some afternoon adventures.

Stay: Frisco offers tons of cabin and home rentals for your stay. Use 5 Diamond Lodging, a local property management company, to find your dream mountain chalet for your stay. Only 7 minutes to Copper Mountain, they offer a free shuttle to the resort and around Frisco as well.

Insider Tip: Even though it won’t be hot during your stay, sunscreen and SPF chapstick are a must when on the mountain! The sun is much stronger at 10,000 feet, even when it is cloudy. Also remember to drink plenty of water so altitude sickness doesn’t ruin your visit!

Recommended Baby Gear: Around town or on a snowshoeing adventure, you and your child will find comfort with this backpack kid carrier, made for longer treks in the great outdoors.

 

Mircedez Falcone – Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham is a typical Pacific Northwest wonderland with great food and even better outdoor opportunities.

See: Go skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing at Mount Baker. Lift tickets are free for kids 6 and under! The third biggest mountain in Washington, Baker always has unforgettable views for its visitors.

Eat: Washington is known for its breweries. At North Fork Brewery parents can enjoy a brew while the kids enjoy the pizza.

Stay: Mt. Baker Vacation Rentals have several cabins perfect for the whole family, all close to the ski area, hiking, and the small town of Glacier, WA.

Recommended Baby Gear: To enjoy some hiking with your little ones be sure to rent the backpack carrier. It’ll keep them nice and warm while you trek through the snow.  

 

Strollers, Car Seats, Cribs, Oh My! Lisa Brown – Kansas City, Kansas

Mom-of-all-trades Lisa Brown is a wife and at-home mom to two (soon to be three!) kiddos. Prior to having children, Lisa worked as a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist serving children in Title 1 multicultural public-school environments. These days she strives to provide a variety of fun and educational experiences for her children, and they can frequently be found at the local children’s museum, the Kansas City zoo, library story times, gymnastics class, or at a local park. Ask you can tell, Lisa always has her hands full, but when she’s not parenting, she works as a Babierge Trusted Partner to provide wonderful vacation experiences to traveling families. Being a Babierge Trusted Partner has fit great in the nooks and crannies of her day, so she can focus on her family and still earn extra side income.

Funniest Delivery Experience: The funniest experience Lisa had was when she had to call a client from the Emergency Room about an order. She had planned to be home to receive a car seat from grandparents who had rented it for the weekend, but she ended up in the ER with a badly dislocated shoulder, and no cell phone reception. She had to use the ER landline to call the grandparents and re-arrange drop off. She wonders to this day what those grandparents were thinking when ER came up on their caller ID!

Biggest Surprise: What I’ve been most surprised to learn is how much time and organization it takes to keep track of the business side of things. Buying, cleaning, and delivering the gear is only one side of the coin. Figuring out taxes, revenue vs. profit, tracking expenses and mileage. My degree is in speech-pathology, not business, but throughout the course of becoming a TP, I’ve discovered that I can run my own business!

Trusted Partner’s Story in Her Own Words: After my oldest daughter (now 3 ½) was born there were a whirlwind of changes for our family in a short amount of time. Within 9 weeks, we had a baby, my husband completed his Master’s degree, I left my full-time job, we moved from the DC area back to my husband’s hometown of Kansas City, and my husband started a new job. Whew!

I quickly went to work finding ways to trim our budget without compromising our priorities-I figured that if I wasn’t making an income, I may as well find ways to save or even create income! One day a friend and fellow at-home mom read an article in Brit+Co and sent me a message “I was reading about side-hustles and thought of you. Have you seen Babierge? Looks like it’s not in KC yet. Such a good idea for a business”. As I read up on the company, I realized she was right, and that this was something I wanted to try out. I love baby gear and everyone knows it!

I love being a Babierge Trusted Partner because I can actually work with my kids! They’re with me all the time, so they’re in on all the Babierge fun, helping to move gear around and meeting wonderful customers. If I have a delivery in a different part of town, I try to make an outing of it! Once we went to the KU Museum of Natural History and saw dinosaur bones since we had a delivery at a hotel just down the street. That was something we wouldn’t have done otherwise since it was about a 40-minute drive. Usually we do something fun after deliveries, like a play date with someone who lives in that part of town, or we go out to Chick-Fil-A for ice cream or drive through Starbucks for a special treat! My kids are growing up so fast so I really enjoy how being a TP allows me to focus on my family while contributing financially to our household. It gives me an outlet for my professional skills without compromising my dedication to my family.

Lisa Brown is the perfect choice to take care of all your baby gear needs during a visit to Kansas City. Check out her gear selection at www.babierge.com/lisa208

Babierge Above and Beyond Trusted Partner Award December, 2017 – A.D. Simmons

Babierge Trusted Partners are the best. Every day they go out of their way to provide not just baby gear, but also extraordinarily caring customer service to traveling families. They save vacations, often taking last-minute calls and running out to provide emergency gear at times other businesses wouldn’t answer the phone.

What most people don’t know is that behind the scenes these Trusted Partners are also remarkable men and women. Highly collaborative and amazingly supportive of each other, they help other Trusted Partners successfully launch and grow their rental businesses, tackle challenges, find great deals on quality gear and much, much more.

Meet A.D. Simmons, a Babierge Trusted Partner in Vancouver, WA and recipient of the Babierge “Above and Beyond” award for December, 2017. A.D. is constantly helping others and going out of her way to make people happy. Her positive energy and enthusiasm is practically contagious in the Babierge community.

A.D.’s customers love her too.

”When I arrived, our lady stepped out of the door, ready with two perfect, clean, unrumpled car seats. They were precisely what I needed. In addition, there was a gift bag of equipment for my grandgirlies, which they loved! I will (and already have) spread the word about Babierge services and would drive a hundred miles to deal with my Lady of Happy Services here in Vancouver...

When not running her Babierge side gig, A.D. is the owner of Aligned Lifestyle Concierge, a company that takes care of clients’ daily responsibilities so they can stress less and better enjoy the beauty of life. A.D. is truly always helping others.

With her fabulous, always-willing-to-help-out, can-do attitude, A.D. was able to help another Babierge Trusted Partner over the recent Thanksgiving holiday by lending her gear, thus saving the day for her colleague and her traveling customers! All of us at Babierge can count on A.D. to introduce helpful topics in our team meetings, share her insights and business strategies so others can benefit, and embrace Babierge’s core values, especially authenticity and collaboration. Thanks so much, A.D. for your selflessness, and for going above and beyond in everything you do for Babierge customers and within our community.

Book gear with A.D. and let her make your trip to Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA go above and beyond at https://www.babierge.com/angela661

How to Find the Right Stay at Home Mom Side Gig

Stay-at-home moms juggle a million things. It can be challenging to be a multi-tasking mom and also carve out some professional “me time,” in a day to continue to develop as business women and earn some extra income too.

Side gigs are growing in popularity with moms, largely because of their availability and schedule flexibility. While driving, childcare and dog sitting are popular side hustles, other gig economy opportunities may offer moms better hourly income and the opportunity to flex, or further develop, their business and entrepreneurial muscle. 

If you’re a SAHM evaluating potential side gigs, here are a few here are a few considerations.

1. Reasonable Compensation – Time is money. Some stay-at-home gigs advertise high earning potentials, but don’t provide details on the amount of work and time required to reach these levels. When researching a possible gig, make sure to look for data about the average hourly compensation.

2. Flexible Schedule – Mom life is unpredictable. The side-gig you choose should work around your schedule and not require you to be available at times when you are usually busy. The best gigs provide freedom to maneuver.

3. Impact and Fulfillment – Ultimately, your side gig should make your heart feel good. If you want to make people happy, there’s a gig for that. If you want to express your creativity, there’s a gig for that too! Find a gig that speaks to you. This makes it a lot easier to show up for work.

4. Supportive Community – A great gig comes with a strong community that elevates its members and provides a support network where they can ask questions, discuss, share, and celebrate.

5. Longevity and Room to Grow – Great side gigs allow you to grow and expand, as a human and as a businessperson. Look for gigs that help you acquire additional skills, socialize with new people and require at least occasional creative or analytical thinking. Make sure your side gig is more than a one-time deal. Ideally look for an opportunity that can grow with you and your family. 

Silent Nights – Help Your Baby Rest Well During Holiday Travel

Does the idea of your baby sleeping smoothly in an unfamiliar place seem like a Christmas miracle? Babierge has some insider tips that will have your baby sound asleep while you relax and enjoy the festivities wherever you travel this holiday.

1) Rent a crib just like at home – Crib rentals are available in travel destinations across the country and make your baby feel safe and secure like at home.

2) Try to keep the same routine as home – If you usually do bath and a story before bedtime, stick to that schedule.

3) Prepare similar meals and avoid new foods after dinner – Last thing you need is an upset tummy. Feed your baby meals like the ones at home and avoid new foods, or holiday sweets, before bedtime.

4) Bring unwashed sheets and some favorite dolls or stuffed animals from home – For toddlers, a favorite stuffed animal or doll feels safe and comfortable. In an unfamiliar environment, sleep comes easier on a sheet that feels and smells like home. 

5) Pack a crib mobile – If your baby is usually lulled into sleep with a mobile, try to bring it along, or rent a similar one at your destination.

6) Adjust for timezone changes – Two schools of thought: One says gradually nudge your baby’s nap and bedtime closer to your destination time zone, starting the week before you travel. Another supports sticking with your home time zone for short trips.

7) Renting? Ask if they have a dark room, or room with shades for naps and earlier bedtimes – You can also bring or rent blackout shades that stick to windows.

8) Sound machine – If you don’t use already use one, start the week before you leave, especially if you’re traveling to a noisy place.

9) Never hurts to pack Tylenol or Motrin, just in case! – Disinfect your way through airports and long flights and wash hands – a lot! Bring your standard meds along too, as kids are exposed to lots of new germs when traveling. Sick littles ones can have long, difficult nights.

10) Rent a cool mist humidifier – The air in arid or elevated destinations can be dry. A cool mist humidifier (never use a warm mist humidifier around little ones) can help babies sleep more comfortably.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a baby was stirring…

All of us at Babierge wish you silent nights and warm, cozy, fun-filled days full of rest and relaxation during your holiday travel.

 

Tips for a Fabulous Holiday Hosting Your Grandbabies

Are your grand-babies visiting for the holidays? Want to show them the time of their young lives? Here are some quick pointers to make sure your grandchildren – and children! – have a wonderful time with you this holiday. When you get it right, they’ll be excited to come around again next year.

Family Fun – Holiday visits offer a moment to slow down, enjoy time with family, and get minds away from work. Here are a few ideas for at-home fun reconnecting with your visiting grandchildren

Board games: Twister and Candyland for everyone. Monopoly, Pictionary, and more complex card games for the older kids.

Ugly Christmas sweater and pajama contests

Decorate christmas tree and hang stockings

Baking: Bake cookies

Home movie night: Pajamas and popcorn family movie night – Classic animated programs like Frosty the Snowman can be understood by your very young grandchildren, but enjoyed by all. For grandchildren over age five, try Home Alone or Elf

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent Entertainment – Of course many of the holiday’s most exciting events are just outside the front door! Here are some great ideas to show your grandkids a special night on the town.

Holiday movies in the theatre

Tree lighting ceremonies and community gatherings

Christmas caroling

Bundle up and visit the local zoo or museums

Host a real life Polar Express ride: Complete with a book reading, tickets to ride, popcorn, hot chocolate and treats, cruise around neighborhoods with amazing Christmas decorations to show your grandchildren an epic light tour!

Happy Bellies – The key to any heart is through the belly, so feed your grandkids some of the dishes they eat at home, but also introduce them to family holiday food traditions, straight from the source!

Ask ahead of time for their favorite meals or allergies

Make cookies and pie

Make sure you have a food blender for smoothies and fruit

Make, decorate, and eat gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers

Outdoor Enjoyment – Here are some ideas for taking the kiddos out for a romp and making sure they are tired when bedtime comes around.

Kelty backpack for hiking

Sleds, toboggans, and sleighs for snowy hills

Snowball fights and snow angel making

Paint the snow – grab some inexpensive spray bottles and fill with them with water and food coloring

Sound Sleep – Making sure sleep comes easy for your grandbabies is less important for their happiness and more important for your own kids’ sanity. These gear tips and ideas will make sure not a creature is stirring, not even a baby!

Full-size crib and baby monitor

Sound machine/humidifier

A quiet sleeping area away from the hustle and bustle of the home. Dark curtains will also keep the room ready for naps during the day.

Ensure your babies a home-like experience during your upcoming family vacation. Babierge is in over 100 locations and delivers sterilized cribs, car seats, strollers, books, toys, and more to any accommodation.