How to Pamper Mom on Family Vacations

We set the bar rather high in terms of our family vacation expectations. Must-haves commonly include easy travel to a warm, welcoming location; lovely, uncrowded beaches or picturesque pools; a packed itinerary that keeps the family entertained and engaged; scrumptious food and serious family bonding time as we turn off our devices and reconnect with our tribe.

High expectations for our children are fine, but family vacations should also provide an opportunity for parents to rest, recharge, and let out a grateful “ahhh” as we dig our toes into warm sand and pick up the hot-read of fiction. Some moms, especially stay-at-home moms who are accustomed to parenting on an almost 24/7 schedule, might need a little nudge, or loving reminder, that it’s OK to slip away for a little mommy down time. Spouses and partners (and kids!) will reap the rewards of a well-rested, pampered mom for the rest of the vacation.

Here are four easy ways to pamper mom on your next family vacation.

Massage Magic – Let mom start her day with a quiet breakfast followed by a deep tissue massage that works out all the physical and emotional kinks of parenting. Soft lights, even softer music, and a little time to drift where her unencumbered thoughts take her as tight muscles are coaxed into relaxation. Total bliss and luxury!

Afternoon at the Museum – Although it’s likely you’ve already explored some of the kid-friendly museums at your vacation destination, mom might have a museum in mind that has zero kid appeal. Give her the afternoon off to explore her own interests. Oh happy mom!

Solo Dinner and a Movie – Take the kids out for a night on the town, or hunker down in the hotel for a movie marathon, while mom gets to dine at the restaurant of her choice, perhaps lingering over a fine wine, or a luscious desert, before dashing off to see her #1 movie choice.

In-Room Pampering – It may not take much more than thirty minutes in a warm, aromatic bath, a dimmer switch, a candle and a locked bathroom door for mom to unwind. If you’re renting baby equipment for your family vacation, be sure to ask about a Mommy Pamper Package.

No matter where you’re traveling, Babierge has baby gear and rental packages that will pamper your entire family – because you deserve it!

Spring Travel Sleep Saver Guide

We know when it comes to family vacations there’s one common denominator to coming home with happy memories: sleep.

These tips will have you spending more time sleeping soundly and less time rocking a restless baby to sleep this Spring:

1) Embrace Routine – If you usually do bath and a story before bedtime, stick to that schedule.

2) No Tummy Surprises – Last thing you need is an upset tummy. Feed your baby meals like the ones at home and avoid new foods and sweets before bedtime.

3) Bring a Piece of Home – For infants in an unfamiliar environment, sleep comes easier with a sheet that feels and smells like home.

4) Beat the Jet Lag – Gradually nudge your baby’s nap and bedtimes closer to your destination time zone the week before you travel. Alternatively, stick with your home time zone for short trips.

5) Extend Your Night – If you don’t have a dark room or a room with shades, bring or rent blackout shades that stick to windows.

Traveling around North America this Spring? We’d love to ensure your family sleeps smoothly throughout your travels. Reserve sleep packages and other gear in your upcoming vacation destination when you click below. 

CEO Fran Maier Announces Babierge Funding!

I’m thrilled to share this VentureBeat article out today announcing that we have closed a $1.3M Seed Investment funding round. The new investors were impressed with how Babierge has emerged as the only national brand in this space as evidenced by the rapid growth of our Trusted Partner community to 220 and our expansion to nearly every state and over 170 markets. And we did this before our 2nd birthday!

I have always been super impressed with how hard our Trusted Partners work to serve our customers and their dedication to delivering clean and safe gear on time and with a smile. I’d like to give a special call out to Trusted Partners that have been with us from that first summer: Kathleen Chaput and Meredith MacNeill, Laura Espino, Blair Gross, Laura Herndon, Joe and Debra Moreno, and Lindsey Meyer and Sarah Huff. Thanks to all of the other Trusted Partners too: You have made a difference to our company, community, and to our customers’ lives.

I also want to recognize the HQ staff, starting with Trish McDermott, VP Communications, and Andreas Stenzel, VP Demand Generation and Business Development. I invited them to join Babierge in that first summer and for many months they worked for only equity or a pittance of a salary as we pursued funding. I’m so pleased that they are now applying their talents to Babierge full time. More recent hires, such as Joe Maier and Nicole Kitzman, as well as Adam Heymann and Ana Vela, have really immersed themselves into the nuts and bolts (or digits!) of this business and I look forward to continued contributions!

We have big plans for the funding:

  • Open new markets and recruit more Trusted Partners
  • Support current and new markets with unsurpassed marketing and lead generation
  • Improve our technology platform and enhance our mobile experience
  • Train and develop our Trusted Partners for increased impact
  • Pursue new distribution and other partnerships
  • Add needed expertise to our team (some of whom who are already from our TP Community!)

We are also super excited about owning the two leading baby equipment rental directories, now with Rent-Baby-Gear.com. This will support both lead generation for our Trusted Partner community and help us recruit more Trusted Partners and expand into additional markets.

The market for baby gear rental is massive and heretofore underserved. We know that parents and grandparents alike are looking for a relaxing vacation with their friends and families and that Babierge is allowing them to “Pack Light and Travel Far.” The reviews and ratings that our Trusted Partners receive, with so many saying that Babierge “Saved the Vacation,” or “Came to the Rescue,” are testaments to the quality service and gear we are providing.

We also know that many of our Trusted Partners are enjoying gratifying work and bringing home income that makes a difference to them and their families. We are proud to be part of their lives and hope to continue helping them succeed as they become entrepreneurs in their own right.

Spring Cleaning Baby Gear Storage Tips – Earth Day Baby Blog #3

Are you constantly assaulted by toy mines waiting to attack your feet at any moment as you meander through your own home?

Veteran TP Bethany Baker has a patented storage system that will both protect your soles, and teach your children about organization and tidiness.

  1. Yes Pile, No Pile – First minimize by getting rid of anything you or your children don’t use or doesn’t bring you joy.
    • *Protip: If you are struggling to get rid of something for sentimental reasons take a picture of it. That way you can save it without it taking up any space.
  2. Sort it Out – Sort the stuff you’re keeping by item size so you know how much of each category and you can get the right sized container.
  3. Store it Well – Store smaller things in containers that stack securely on top of each other, or the green option: diaper boxes. They’re free and the boxes are smaller and easier to move around in storage.
  4. Clean it – It’s important to make sure everything is clean before you store it. We like Babyganics brand or similar organic cleaners for sanitizing toys and soft items.
  5. Have a System – Clear tubs you can see into without opening are great, but color coordinating categories with colored tubs is preferable for others.
  6. Document it – Label the tubs with a general category and then list the contents. For example, “Craft Supplies: paper, cutting utensils, adhesives, ribbon, stickers, popsicle sticks.”

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’s Spring Cleaning Fun – Earth Day Tips and Activities

In honor of our beautiful planet and the wonderful experiences and people it provides us, here are 5 blogs that offer some great ways to lend a hand in keeping the Earth healthy, all while having fun with your kiddos improving your home.

From Babierge to you, have a wonderful Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Spring 2018!

Ingenious Ways to Reuse Baby Gear

Baby clothes, blankets, toys, potty trainers, cribs – parents can extend the shelf lives of all these items by creatively repurposing them into all kinds of things: book shelves, porch benches, plant feeders, and new stuffed animals. These projects will have your old baby gear working for you instead of sitting in a dumpster.

  • Clothes into Companions – There are so many different items you can make with your baby’s old clothes and blankets. Rather than donating them, you can always consider creating a new stuffed animal, quilt, pillow, or headband for your baby.
  • Cribs into Porch Benches – Got an old or broken crib? You can turn that into a beautiful porch bench, with very little work or skill required.
  • Toys into Treasure – Reusing toys is just a matter of imagination and creativity. Have extra trucks lying around? They can be used as planters for flowers and succulents in your garden. Or, grab a 2×4 piece of wood and superglue toy figures on to create a coat hanger your kids will love.
  • Gear into Cash – If you have extra quality baby gear in excellent condition lying around and want to make some extra income, Babierge awaits. Babierge helps you start your own baby gear rental business renting out cribs, car seats, highchairs, toys and more to traveling families.
  • Make it a Contribution – Watch what gets played with and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t get played with then it becomes donation material.

Organic and Green Products for Baby

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 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.

Spring Cleaning Baby Gear Storage Tips

Are you constantly assaulted by toy mines waiting to attack your feet at any moment as you meander through your own home? Veteran TP Bethany Baker has a patented organization system that will both protect your soles, and teach your children about organization and tidiness.

  1. Yes Pile, No Pile – First minimize by getting rid of anything you or your children don’t use or doesn’t bring you joy.
    • *Protip: If you are struggling to get rid of something for sentimental reasons take a picture of it. That way you can save it without it taking up any space.
  2. Sort it Out – Sort the stuff you’re keeping by item size so you know how much of each category and you can get the right sized container.
  3. Store it Well – Store smaller things in containers that stack securely on top of each other, or the green option: diaper boxes. It’s free and the boxes are smaller and easier to move around.
  4. Clean it – It’s important to make sure everything is clean before you store it. We like Babyganics brand or similar organic cleaners for sanitizing toys and soft items.
  5. Have a System – Clear tubs you can see into without opening are great, but color coordinating categories with colored tubs is preferable for others.
  6. Document it – Label the tubs with a general category and then list the contents. For example, “Craft Supplies: paper, cutting utensils, adhesives, ribbon, stickers, popsicle sticks.”

Join the Green Rental Movement

Aside from offering cash saving solutions to classic consumer issues, the emerging sharing economy is also quite green in nature. Owning less stuff = less garbage later. Below are some great ways to leverage the sharing economy to save some money and reduce your family’s environmental footprint.

  • Easy One-Offs – Need a jogging stroller for a mommy & baby run? Taking the family on a hike? Don’t buy gear that will spend of its time on a shelf. Save money, and the planet, by renting gear you will seldom use.
  • Upgrade Your Celebration – If you’re hosting fifteen or twenty children for a birthday party and need extra trains, toys, games or even a complete soft play zone, stay green and reduce your carbon footprint by renting gear instead of purchasing new.
  • Try Before You Buy – Before you purchase that expensive jogging stroller, only to find it’s a challenge to get it in and out of your car and, as a result, doesn’t get much use, rent it for a few days to make sure it’s right for you.
  • Use it or Lose it – Babies age out of some gear rather quickly. Consider renting equipment, like infant swings, that have a short shelf life but a high sticker price.

Earth Day Garden Projects With Children

Earth day is all about enjoying the world we inhabit and showing it our love and respect. What better way to honor the world than to contribute to it with the ones you love and show them how wonderfully beautiful it is? Here are some great garden projects to share your appreciation of the earth with your children.

  • Start from Scratch – A superb way to introduce gardening to your children is the bucket garden experiment. Just give each child three things: A big bucket, lots of happy soil, and seeds from their favorite plants and flowers. Put it all together and add water!
  • From Plaything to Flower Pot – Old RC cars, stacking toys, aquariums, and whatever else the imagination comes up with can become a plant feeder. Why buy another flower pot when you have an old potty chair?
  • Plant a Pizza Garden – Create some excitement with a garden that comes with a pizza guarantee – kids are more willing to plant tomatoes, onions, peppers, and other veggies they love on their ‘zza.
  • Use it then Reuse it – There’s great lesson in conservation and creativity in saving all the water bottles you produce this month and turning them into nifty hanging tomato planters.
  • Bring in the Butterflies – If your children enjoy butterflies, hummingbirds, or ladybugs, you can plant plants that entice these beautiful creatures.

Spring Wedding Babies!

As a celebration of love, happiness, family, and life itself, it’s only natural for babies and infants to partake in the whirlwind excitement of a wedding. There’s just one catch: sometimes little ones can’t wait to celebrate until after the ceremony.

Here are some tips to keep children calm and content during the gorgeous wedding ceremonies you attend together this Spring, and happy and engaged during jubilant receptions:

For the Ceremony:

Early Risers – Some morning play time will help put your little one in a calm mood during the ceremony and celebrations. They may even fall asleep!

Have a Snack – Tasty, low-sugar snacks your baby loves are great for the ceremony. A happy belly means a quiet baby!

Quiet Entertainment – Colorful board books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, But Not The Hippopotamus, and Zoom, Zoom Baby! or other activities like soft block toys, stacking rings, playdough, and coloring books are quiet and engaging.

Bring a Babysitter – If you don’t want to risk a disruption, consider having a babysitter or family friend walk your baby around the halls or outside during the ceremony. Check with the wedding planner to make sure this is appropriate.

For the Reception – Ideas for hosts and guests

Check In Beforehand – Call the wedding hosts or location to see what gear, toys, and play area options they may have.

Safe Shade – Many weddings happen during the Spring when weather is nice enough for an outdoor reception. Make sure to have a canopy for your little ones to play under.

Bring the Party – Bring pack ‘n plays, exersaucers, and jumperoos to keep the little ones safely entertained while guests have fun.

Satisfied Stomachs – Bring baby foods and snacks that your baby prefers. It’s unwise to expect the wedding reception to have appropriate food for a baby.

Soft Play PartiesIf it’s your wedding, consider teaming with a baby gear rental company to set up a kids zone like a soft play area or quiet room where kids can nap.

Hope you and your baby enjoy many unforgettable Spring weddings!

Easter Sunday Egg Hunt Tips

Whether you’re keeping it local, or hitting the road this Easter holiday, chances are visions of goodie-packed Easter eggs are already dancing around in your little ones’ heads. Here are a few quick tips for maximizing the fun (and minimizing the sugar) at any egg hunt.

  1. Tidy Smiles – Taking family photos? Schedule your shoot before the egg hunt and big meal so your kids look adorable for pictures.
  2. Avoid Sugar Highs – Fill some eggs with stickers, bunny crackers, finger puppets, stamp rings, bouncy balls, erasers, and our favorite – mini sticky hands! Hatchimal eggs are a great outside-the-box option that kids always enjoy.
  3. Keep it Fair – If there are lots of littles, give each one a specific color of egg to look for so everyone gets about the same amount of treats.
  4. Organize by Age Group – Let the youngest go first and pick up the closest eggs. Leave the hardest to find eggs, and the ones placed at the greatest distance, for the older kids.
  5. Bounce like a Bunny – If you have a large family, consider renting an Easter bouncy house for post-hunt fun. They’ll bounce for hours and have a blast!
  6. Cottontail Trail – For especially tricky to find eggs, use bunny footprints as a hint. You can make them out of cardboard paper and press them into the ground before the hunt.
  7. Easy Peasy – Attend a community egg hunt and let the hosting organization do all the work so you can join your child for the fun.

Traveling this Easter? Contact a Babierge Trusted Partner at your destination for information about local egg hunts around the community. Have a great Sunday!

Grand-Gigs: Retired Folks in the Gig Economy

Newsflash: The gig economy isn’t just a club for hip millennials and slick gen x’ers. According to GoDaddy’s recent research, a quarter of Baby Boomers have a side hustle and it’s really not surprising. Retired folks are ideal candidates for the gig economy. They’re creative, warm, social, flexible, and of course, wise!

Need more convincing? Check out these surprising perks of joining the gig economy.

1) Make Extra Money – You may not need it, but the gig economy provides fun, social jobs helping other people… for money! Drive people around, help with odd jobs, walk dogs, deliver baby gear to traveling families – there are new, ingenius gigs emerging constantly.

2) Stay Busy With a Flexible Schedule – Work in retirement shouldn’t feel like a “job.” Gigs are more flexible than part-time jobs, letting you work when you want while still having time for play, rest and personal hobbies.

3) Be Your Own Boss – Speaks for itself. Most working Americans have a boss. When it come to the gig economy, you are the boss! Feeling lazy today? Don’t work! Want to hustle hard and make some money? It’s in your hands.

4) Unleash Your Inner Creativity – Some entrepreneurial gigs provide great room for creativity. The right marketing idea, a flyer on your local recreational center bulletin board, or networking at a local meet-up or Chamber of Commerce l event can lead to more customers than you ever dreamed of.

5) Develop Skills and Learn About Yourself – One of the best parts about a gig in retirement is that it provides an avenue to learn more. Whether you worked in construction, education, tech, or business, running your own gig business provides many chances to learn new skills.

6) Keep Young – Recent research indicates that working into late life is good for health and longevity. This isn’t a surprise considering gigs and their supportive communities engage you mentally, provide purpose, and keep you on your feet.

7) Tell Friends About Your Job in the New, Hip Gig Economy – Tired of having your kids tell you you’re behind the times? The gig economy is the perfect solution! People will see you in a new light when they tlearn you’ve got a side hustle.

8) Make a Difference – Many gigs are ingenious solutions to age-old problems – no dog walker, no lift to the gym, no way to find a helping hand, the impossibility of lugging babies and baby gear through the airport. Joining the gig economy often means solving real, everyday problems for people in your community. 

Here at Babierge our Trusted Partners range from age 25 – 75, including a constantly growing number of retired folks and couples. If you’re retired and looking for a side-gig that offers better-than-average gig economy earnings, helps you acquire news skills and make new friends, we invite you to sign up and join the Babierge community.

Outdoor Adventure Tips for Spring Vacations

Glimmering lakes, lush forests, cool blue beaches, and snow tipped mountains are just a few unbeatable outdoor offerings to experience in vacation destinations all over North America.

As proponents of exercise and enjoying free, fresh air, we want to make your outdoor adventures as smooth and stress-free as possible. Here are some hiking hacks to help you best enjoy nature this Spring. 

Keep it Moving – A frame backpack carrier like the Kelty Kid Carrier (there are other brands too) allows kids to run around and enjoy the world so that once they are tired, mommy and daddy can carry them comfortably.

Hold Off the Hunger – You won’t get far without some water and snacks! Hunger sets in quickly on an outdoor adventure, so have plenty of liquids, fruit, and non-sugary snacks.

Beat the Elements – Be it sunny or rainy, don’t get caught without protection – sunscreen, hats, and umbrellas!

Take a Pic – Beautiful scenes and fun times are abound in the outdoors – bring a camera so you can hang on to those moments!

Sturdy Sneaks – If your kiddo likes to run around, make sure they have strong shoes like Stride Right or Teva, or water shoes that are easy to wash and dry overnight. 

Play Safe – At the beach, forest, or elsewhere, grab a queen or king sized fitted sheet and place anchors like backpacks or coolers at the corners to create a safe play area.

Sweeten the Pot – Planning a hike with a fun activity at the end such as a waterfall, a beach, a view, or a play area will keep the whining and calls of “are we there yet??” at bay. 

Wishing you unforgettable, magical, stress-free Spring adventures – Bon Voyage!