Nov 30, 2009

Book soon for Chirstmas!

As we do most holidays, Sweet Pea Baby Rentals was SOLD OUT of many items over Thanksgiving.  The most popular last minute request? Crib tents for a pack n play (which we unfortunately do not have).  Moms and dads, you might want to pull out that pack n play at home before you leave and give it a whirl for nap time just to make sure that junior can't and won't climb out.  Discovering this on day 1 of Christmas vacation at Grandmas might leave you in a pinch when most rental companies are sold out of full sized cribs and crib tents. 

As an added bonus for December, we're also offering a FREE booster high chair rental with every order booked by December 20th.  Check out our packages and specials for more information.

Nov 15, 2009

My Airport Busy Kit

I ran across a great product a few weeks ago called My Airport Busy Kit.  It's a lunch-box sized kit aimed at keeping preschoolers busy in the airport, on the plane, or during any outing where entertainment is necessary.  The Airport Busy Kit is geared toward ages 3+, and luckily my own product tester is just that age (barely 3 years old).   No sooner did I have the shipping box open did she scoop it up and start sifting through the contents. 

Our kit contained everything pictured here: an activity book, a blank notepad, stickers, washable markers, crayons, plastic kids scissors (that cut paper but not fingers), Wikki Stix, wooden wands to color, a lacing board, a tic tac toe game, a tape measure, and linking figurines.  For some of the games in the activity book, she did need my direction which is understandable as they are also geared toward a slightly older age group, but for the most part, she was able to handle the majority of the items herself.  She happily sat at the kitchen table and played for an hour before dinner, showing off her linked acrobats, measuring things, putting sticker fish into the fishbowl, coloring one of the wands, and cutting paper.  We repacked everything easily into the carrying pouch and first thing the next morning, she went right back to it and played some more. Our conclusion: the kit is a great tool to add to the arsenal of things to keep the 3+ age group busy on a plane or in the airport!

If you're renting cribs, car seats, or other gear from Sweet Pea Baby Rentals while on vacation in the Phoenix-metro area, we offer FREE SHIPPING with your purchase.  If you rent a CARES harness from us, we can add the kit to your shipment too.

Nov 2, 2009

Cost to Rent vs. Cost to Bring

The baggage fees that airlines are charging this holiday season might have you thinking twice about what to bring with you.  Take a look at our comparison chart by Sweet Pea Baby Rentals that shows you the cost to rent versus the cost to bring your gear along. 

Picture yourself standing at the ticket counter, checking in for your flight.  First you get hit with at least $15 for each bag you check, so for mom and dad's two bags, that's $30 on top of the price of your tickets.  If your airline gives your lap child a baggage allowance, that'll be another $15 for his bag.  If they don't, then it will count as a second bag for you and cost at least another $30

So now you're probably up to $60 and haven't gotten to baby's essentials, like the Pack N Play, car seat or stroller.  You're most likely in luck with the car seat and stroller fee-wise.  Typically you are able to check these at no charge but you run the risk of them being smashed, broken, lost, or at least dirtied in the baggage hold with all the other suitcases.  You cannot carry either of them on board unless you have purchased a seat for your child, in which case you can bring an FAA-approved car seat (most car seats are). Another alternative to the car seat is a CARES harness and you can even get a free rental for your flights when you rent a car seat from us while you here.

If you decide to bring along the Pack N Play, now you're up to a 3rd checked item which carry fees up to $130!  At this point, you're already standing there with it in hand, so what else can you do besides take it along.  That's most likely more than a new Pack N Play would cost if you bought one at your destination.

Our best advice is to put smaller babies in a soft front pack carrier or bring a cheap $10 umbrella stroller with you to get through the airport, preferably one that you don't care if it gets smashed along the way.  Save yourself the headache and expense of checking the car seat, pack n play, portable high chair, toys, and other essentials and rent them from us.  We'll have everything waiting at your rental car counter when you arrive, or can deliver to a local residence, resort, condo, or wherever you need the gear.

Oct 25, 2009

New Mini-Crib

We've added a few new items to our inventory recently here at Sweet Pea Baby Rentals. Our newest addition to our rental inventory is the Mini-Crib, just in time for the holidays. The Mini-Crib is smaller than a full sized crib and comes with an upgraded 3" mattress (more plush than the standard 1"). The mini-crib (also known as a compact crib or portable crib) is good for kids up to approximately 2 years old, depending on their height. The length of the mini-crib is 38", so if you're child is close to this height, it might be better to go with a standard full-sized crib or try the phil & ted's Traveller, both 51" in length. The compact mini-crib is perfect for tight spaces where a full sized might not fit, like next to a bed, or in a den / office.

Oct 19, 2009

How To: Part 2 - Bob Strollers

As a follow up to last weeks post about how much we love BOB, I wanted to share some tips on how the stroller actually works. If you've just reserved your first BOB Gear jogging stroller for your Arizona vacation from Sweet Pea Baby Rentals, read on! Maybe you'll be showing your children the beautiful back country of Sedona, taking a walk in the warm desert evening, or just giving a ride to the resort pool. Here's some tips on our BOB jogger rentals that might help get you on the road that much faster. The Bob Revolution Duallie (double) model is show in the photos below but the process is exactly the same for the Revolution single and other models.

1. The fold is very easy.

To fold the stroller, pull up on the red tabs under the handle bar and flip the handlebar forward toward the foot rest.

Pull up on the red cord at the base of the seat to collapse the wheels.

For extra storage space, remove the rear and/or front wheels with the flip of a lever.

To unfold the BOB jogger, swing the back wheels out until they lock, then unfold the handlebar to the upright position.

2. The canopy is great.
Extend the canopy all the way out (shown on the right side). The two stage canopy can be pulled back half way and locked into place by using the draw string on the top of the canopy (shown on the left side). The draw string is only accessible by the parent from the top of the canopy. (A request from us - parents please don't put your drinks or coffee in the folds of the canopy. Thanks!)

3. Lock the front wheel straight for pushing through sand or on rough terrain.
Flip the red button on the front of the wheel, then rotate the wheel around until it locks straight. This helps to keep it from catching when pushing it through the sand or over rocks and rough terrain.

4. Adjust the suspension for older children.
Since the BOB strollers can be used up to 70lbs total(single) or 100lbs total (double/duallie), they have two suspension settings. Our rental strollers are set on the softer setting for younger children, but if you have older toddlers and pre-schoolers riding, adjust the suspension to the stiffer setting to give them a better ride.

5. Recline one or both seats independently.

Shown in the Bob Revolution Duallie here, one seat is upright and the other is fully reclined. The recline is infinitely adjustable to this position.

Try out one of our BOB Revolution strollers for your family today. Our Try & Buy program makes it easy and affordable to test drive one of our rentals risk-free too. If you decide to buy one from us, we'll credit the rental cost toward your purchase.

Oct 15, 2009

Bob Jogging Stroller Review

Here at Sweet Pea Baby Rentals, we carry top of the line Bob jogging strollers in our rental inventory. After reviewing tons of models on the market, we chose to carry them for several reasons: they are durable and the fabric cleans easily, they have a high 70 lb weight limit (100lb for double), built in adjustable suspension, and a great canopy to keep our Arizona sunshine off your little one. And the best feature of all? The swivel front wheel of the popular Revolution line.

The swivel front wheel makes the stroller a dream to push, even in the Duallie (double) model. I've loaded the Duallie with 100lbs of kids (or other rental gear) and have never had a problem pushing and turning it with one hand. This includes wheeling it through airport elevators and doorways, and up and down curbs, with no problem. The air-filled tires make for a great ride combined with the suspension system. I have had a few flats on our fleet, including one from a very large cactus thorn, but it's nothing the local bike shop can't repair in a matter of 5 minutes. (A recommendation, buy a tube of Slime and fill the tires to prevent punctures.)

We've personally used the Revolution for jogging, walking on the beach in the sand, on desert hiking trails, and in the mall. The swivel wheel is able to be locked into a straight position for added stability when jogging too. It's a great all-purpose stroller and the rear wheels slide off with just a flip of a lever for easier loading into the car. If you'd prefer a smaller set of wheels for storage purposes, try the 12AW model (12" aluminum rear wheels versus standard 16" plastic).

Many accessories are available and I'd recommend the handlebar console, which give the parent two cup holders and a zippered pouch for extra storage. An infant car seat adapter is also available and it comes with a tray attachment to add on when baby gets older. We prefer not to have the tray attachment so our toddler can climb in and out on her own though.

If you've been thinking about buying one but aren't sure, check out our Try & Buy program. You can test drive one of our rental models and if it works for you, we'll credit your entire rental fee toward your purchase.

Sep 8, 2009

Random interesting things found on Twitter today

I try to be up on the latest tech crazes...try is the key word. I wanted to share some interesting links I found while reading through my Twitter posts this morning.

1. Museum Day - 9/26 FREE Museum admission to hundreds of venues sponsored by the Smithsonian. Check your state or vacation destination for some place fun and interesting.

2. Flye Baby - An air travel baby hammock that attaches to the seatback tray infront of you, allowing your baby to lay and stay in your seat without you having to hold them the entire flight.

3. A one-week packing list for traveling with kids. Assuming you can do some laundry while you're gone, this will cut down on the amount of stuff you need to take. Also visit one of our Baby Travel Pros partners to rent kids gear at your destination.

4. How to spot fake reviews of travel destinations, hotels, restaurants, etc. If you think it's fake, it probably is. Trust your gut!

Aug 21, 2009

How To: Part 1 - Set Up a Pack N Play

It looks easy enough, right? After a long day of traveling with an overtired crying baby, popping up that Pack n Play doesn't always go so smoothly. Maybe the last time you did it was months ago when you set yours up in your living room for baby to play in. If we aren't there to set it up for you, here's a video we found on exactly how to get it up in about 30 seconds.

The basic steps:
1. Remove carrying bag
2. Un-velcro the straps holding the mattress pad around the pack n play and set it aside

Now, the important part and in this order:
3. Pull up all four side rails until they audibly lock
4. Push down center floor support until it audibly locks
(if you push down the center BEFORE locking the rails, they WILL NOT LOCK)

5. Position mattress pad in bottom of Pack N Play, securing it underneath by passing the velcro straps through the slits in the floor fabric to the underneath side of the pack n play.

Our rental Graco Pack N Play's are all of the same basic design. The accessories and the way they attach to the Pack N Play do vary from model to model, but instructions are provided with all of our rentals.

Aug 14, 2009

Payson, AZ - Photo Friday

Last weekend we escaped to Payson, just a short 90 minute drive northeast of Phoenix, to visit some family. I say "some family" because I honestly couldn't tell you how we were related. We took my parents ATV's up to the Mogollon Rim in cool country to enjoy the view and give our 3 year old her first potty-in-the-woods expierence. It was a beautiful view and we were almost cold in the 70-degree weather. It was wonderful!

We also took a nice long drive down a very winding dirt road on the edge of a cliff to find Fossil Creek, out of Strawberry, AZ. It had some great swimming areas and a small campground too. Here's Cameron and grandpa enjoying the scenery and tossing sticks into the creek.

Want to see more family travel photos? Find out more about Photo Friday at Delicous Baby!

Aug 1, 2009

Heat Wave

To escape the recent record setting heat in Phoenix (and across the northwest too!) we took a nice 5 1/2 hour drive over to Orange County for another little weekend break. We hit the highest average temperature and the highest average lows ever recorded for July. Many, many days of temps over 110 degress also gave us our highest a/c bill ever recorded too!

We stopped by the San Juan Capistrano Mission, pictured below, had lunch at the old train depot then headed down to San Clemente to the beach and watched the passenger trains go by as we played in the waves.

We used the Phil and Ted's Traveller for our almost 3 year old daughter that we just added to our rental inventory at Sweet Pea Baby Rentals. It worked out great and was a good follow up test to our review a few weeks ago. I popped it up in a few minutes and packed it neatly into it's tiny carrying bag when we were all done. I do wish they'd designed some way to put a sheet in the bottom though. Sleeping on the nylon bottom doesn't seem to bother our daughter but it does seem to make her a little hotter than normal. Another good option is the Kidco Pea Pod that we just reviewed too. It is smaller but also does not have a sheet like the Traveller.

Check out more travel pics at Photo Friday over at

Jul 27, 2009

Kidco Pea Pod Review

Another one of our unique travel gear rentals is the Kidco Pea Pod. It's about the length of a Pack N Play but no where near the 30 lb weight or odd bulky shape. At just 5 lbs and folded in it's slim round carrying case, it's about the size of a spring-type sunshade for your car (those of us in Phoenix are VERY familiar with them!) It springs open right out of it's case and is ready to use, no assembly required. Blow up the air mattress insert with a provided hand pump, and you're ready to go.

The Pea Pod is a great option for motorhomes and RV's, trailers, or outdoor camping. It zips shut with a mesh flap or can be left open and folded back. The fabric of the Pea Pod is UV protective too. We used one on a camping trip with our then 2 year old and it worked very well. We were able to pop it open when she was ready for bed and still able to maneuver around it inside the RV. It was a fun play tent for her during the day too. We had previously tried using a Pack N Play and it was too big to fit in any of the open floor spaces in the trailer. The narrowness and flexiblity of the Pea Pod made it a much better option for us. She's almost too big for it now so we've moved up to the Phil and Ted's Traveller but Kidco does make a PeaPod Plus that's bigger too.

Jul 15, 2009

Phil and Ted's Traveller Review

I just picked up a couple Phil and Ted's Traveller beds today and tested them out with my official product tester, my (almost) 3 year old daughter. I was interested in these for her height, although they do officially say to discontinue use at 35 inches tall. She's been able to climb out of a Pack N Play since she was less than 2 and has been too long to fit in one for some time. The situation was tough because she wasn't ready to move into a toddler bed (ie. not be confined), but when we travelled, she was too big for anything else.

Here's a few snapshots I took of her in it for a size comparison. She is almost 3 years old and is 38.5" tall. It doesn't appear that she can crawl over the top of the railings and the side does zipper open if we wanted her to have free reign to get in and out. She can lay comfortably, completely stretched out with a few inches to spare (and I actually think she is napping in it while I type this!) The side and top panels zipper open/off for easy access for babies or smaller children and there is a self-inflating mattress that goes in a zippered pocket in the bottom.

The specs:
Lightweight travel crib - 5.6 lbs (without mattress)
Open: 51" x 24.8" x 31"
Folded: 24.8" x 8.6" x 8.6"
Lightweight aluminium frame/fabric is washable & waterproof
Self inflating mattress (cushion & insulation)
Not too difficult to put together after you've done it wrong the first time

Jul 10, 2009

CARES for Special Needs Children

I've talked a lot about how easy and safe the Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) is and I've come across another wonderful use for it. I was recently contacted by a mom of a special needs 15 year old to rent a CARES after she read about another family who used a CARES harness on their flight for an older child. I was unsure of the process to actually be allowed to use it outside of it's pre-approved 44lb weight, so I contacted Louise Stoll, creator of the CARES and owner of Kids Fly Safe. She graciously explained the entire process of obtaining an FAA Exemption to use the system for a special needs child or adult who does not fit within the pre-approved weight. If your child is already in the 22-44lb weight range, no exemption is needed.

Below is what you can do to ensure your special needs child remains safe and secure on your flight and can use the CARES harness:

1 .Discuss with your caregiver (doctor, physical therapist etc) whether the CARES will provide sufficient upper body support for your child

2. Contact the FAA and request what is called an Exemption (meaning an exemption from the regulations governing the weight and height of CARES users) for your child. The person to contact in the FAA is Ms. Nancy Claussen

3. Explain in the email to Ms. Claussen why your child needs the extra support beyond a seat belt, and state that you and their caregiver believe CARES is appropriate for your child to use. Include your child's height and weight, and ask permission to use the CARES. Be sure your contact information is clear, as the FAA will no doubt call to be certain that they understand the situation.

4. The letter should indicate that you are aware that exemptions have been made in the past, and that they understand your will need to seat your child in a seat where no one is behind them who might push against her seat back. (This means the last row of any section of the plane.)

5. Allow at least 4 weeks prior to your trip, but the earilier the better, to receive the exemption.

Jul 9, 2009

Beach Vacation

Here's a photo of us on our last San Diego beach trip. We make these frequently to get out of the AZ summer heat! We took one of Sweet Pea Baby Rental's BOB's along for the journey and pushed it loaded with our 2.75 year old and beach gear through the sands of Pacific Beach with no problem. I can't say enough how much I love these strollers! Rent one from us today for your next summer escape.
Want to see more travel pics? Check out Photo Friday at Delicous Baby!

May 28, 2009

Money Saving Tips on Car Rentals

Watch out for those taxes and fees when booking your rental car. The Phoenix airport car rental locations have one of the highest tax rates in the nation -upwards of nearly 30% plus surcharges, facility fees, and anything else that they can sneak in!

Here's some tips on how to save on your rental car and avoid these hidden fees:

1. Rent your car from an off-airport location

If you have a rental of more than a few days, it will probably be worth it for you to take the SuperShuttle or a cab to a nearby off-airport rental location. You can return the car at the airport location at no additional cost. Send one adult to get the car while the kids play at one of the airport's play centers or have a snack at one of the restaurants.

Here's a map of the closest off-airport locations for Enterprise, Budget, Avis, and Hertz.

I checked rates for comparable cars at on- and off-airport locations of a few companies. The car itself is approximately the same cost, but a week-long rental racked up 15% more in taxes ($50-$75 depending on what you rent) PLUS various facility fees and surcharges to the tune of another $20. You'd probably rather spend your vacation money on actual fun instead of taxes and fees. (One person could take the SuperShuttle for $13-$17 to one of these off-airport locations.)

2. Rent car seats from Sweet Pea Baby Rentals instead of the car rental agencies

Most car rental agencies charge $9-$12/day for child seats. On a week long rental, that could cost you upwards of $90 per seat including the airport tax, and who knows what the condition will be. I can almost guarantee you that seat isn't even worth $90 brand new.

With us it's $55/wk plus 6.3% tax on a premium Britax car seat, and only $30-$38/wk on booster and infant seats. It's guaranteed to be clean, sanitized, safe, and include all instructions for installation. We also give a 10% discount on the second or more of the same item. We can deliver all your rental items wherever you rent your car, or can deliver to multiple locations like your car rental location for your car seats, and your accomodations with everything else.

3. Take the hotel shuttle from the airport and rent your car there

Most of our hotels and resorts offer a free airport shuttle and an on-site car rental service at their location. If they don't have an on site rental counter, most of the off-airport rental car locations will pick you up free at your hotel and take you to their facility. Again, you can return the car to the airport facility at no additional charge. So, if you don't need the car right away, this is a great option and can even cut days off your rental.

4. Use coupon codes or bid on

Here's a pretty good compilation of coupon codes for rental cars. You can also make a confirmed reservation in advance, then a few days before you trip, bid for something less than the rate you booked on Then, just cancel your other reservation if you get a better deal. If you're not picky about what company you get, this can be a good option. You can only bid for cars at the airport locations though.

Apr 24, 2009

Thanks Mom!

Just a little "thank you" to all the moms and Mr. Moms out there -

Visit us over Mother's Day and enjoy the great Phoenix weather with a FREE rental of any of our "Outdoor" items with orders of $100 or more. Choose from a hiking backpack, wagon, tricycle, picnic table, pool float, or a swim vest for a free rental up to 1 week long. As long as any portion of your rental covers Mother's Day, May 10th, you can save up to $30! Subject to availiblity.

Visit us online to book your reservation today!

Apr 8, 2009

More on Rental Car Company Seats

I was hunting down my own rental car seats at the Phoenix Rental Car center a few days ago and was led to the room where all the company's seats were stored. Let me reiterate once again what poor condition these seats are in! (Read here if you want more details.) Some were in plastic bags, although I don't think that meant they were necessarily clean, most had covers that were coming off, infant seats had no bases and looked to be of the absolute cheapest quality they could find. I didn't see any brand names on them so I'm not sure what they actually were, but I know it's nothing I've seen in stores in the last 5 years, which is when most car seats expire.

Most car rental companies charge $10/day for a car seat. Compare this with our rental rate of $11/day or $55/week for a top of the line Britax Marathon or Graco Nautilus, and you're not only guaranteed clean and sanitized seat, but a much better and safer one at that. Plus you're saving money if you're renting for more than 5 days! Our Graco Snugride infant seats are an even better deal at $8/day or $38/week.

AAP Recommends Rear Facing Seats for 2 years

A recent release by the American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends children ride rear-facing in their car seats until the age of 2, not 1 yr and 20 lbs as previously recommended. Read the AAP press release.
Rest assured that your little ones will be safe in our Britax Marathon car seats that we carry in our rental inventory. They can accomodate a rear-facing position up to 35 lbs, typically around the age of 2, and a forward facing positon up to 65 lbs and 49" in height.

Apr 5, 2009

Phoenix Children's Museum

My 2 1/2 year old daughter and I visited the Phoenix Children's Museum today. I was really impressed by it and it definitely exceeded my expectations (and wasn't crowded at all, even for a Sunday). At $9 each, I didn't think it was too expensive and we even ended up buying a year membership at the end of our visit ($75 for 1 child and 1 adult). Infants under 1 are free but that's not to say there's nothing for them there.

The three-story museum is divided up into large themed play areas and smaller rooms each with a divided area especially for infants under 1. She especially liked the Market, complete with pint-sized carts, aisles of real looking groceries, two check out counters, and a stock room. This was right next door to the Kitchen, where stoves, pizza ovens, microwaves, and a stock of "food", aprons, and cooking utensils were plentiful. Moms, dads, and grandparents all sat in the surrounding restaurant while the kids prepared delicious meals. The Ball Room, art room, play area, and library all were great too. There's a lot to do for toddlers, preschoolers, and grade school aged children. Kids from 1-10 were all playing together and not toppling eachother over.

Parents are encouraged to leave the strollers in the car and there's really not a need for them inside. Sitting areas for parents are provided in most rooms and you are allowed to bring your own food in for a picnic outside or in the multi-use room. A small cafe is available to purchase drinks, snacks, and pre-packaged sandwiches.

If you happen to be in town on First Friday, admission to the museum is free! Read more about First Friday, the largest monthly art walk in the US! Our downtown streets are shut down, art galleries open up, and street vendors and performers are out from 6-10pm.
The museum is located on 215 N. 7th St (approx 7th St. and Van Buren, in the historic Monroe School building).

Mar 27, 2009

Double and Triple your Buggy Free!!

Phil and Ted's has some great new sales going on right now. Take advantage of these offers to get even more out your Phil and Ted's stroller.

Purchase a Classic, Dash, or ultra-sleek Vibe buggy and get the doubles kit absolutely free!

Purchase a Graffiti Sport Buggy and get a doubles kit and a Lazy Ted adapter to turn your doubles kit into a bouncer all for only $480!

Both specials are only valid while supplies last so order today to get in on these great deals!

Mar 19, 2009

Graco Blossom high chair - New!

Check out Graco's new Blossom high chair. It looks pretty cool and will be usable well beyond the typical high chair years with it's 4-in-1 options. Usable as a standard high chair, an infant booster high chair, a toddler booster, and a youth chair, it's longevity will be appreciated by many. Apparently you can use the high chair and toddler booster at the same time too. I'll be trying one out when they hit stores any day now. Now the real questions for me - how does it fold up for storage and transportation? many nooks and crannies are there to clean?...

Update: I checked this out in person and it doesn't fold up at all. It looks like a pretty cool chair and it's longevity seems great, as long as you have the space to keep it out all the time.

Mar 16, 2009

Spring Training in AZ Deals

Check out the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale for a spring training deal. Get one free day of Camp Kachina kids camp for each child in your family!

Peoria Sports Complex (home of the Padres and Mariners) offers a deal on Monday night games for families. For $30 you'll get 4 tickets to the game, hotdogs, and drinks. Check the Cactus League website for game times and locations.

Feb 25, 2009

Rental Car Company Car Seats

Courtesy of Las Vegas Baby Equipment Rentals, here's another reason why you should consider renting a car seat from a dedicated baby equipment rental company or bring your own. This was taken at a Fox rental car location yesterday in Vegas. Hanging from the fence by their tether straps are their rental car seats that have just been pressure washed with the car washing equipment. Well, at least they've been hosed down which is more than most other places do. If you missed the story about Advantage, take a look at this older post. It's scary at what is rented out and is clearly unsafe.

Feb 22, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

If you're visiting Phoenix or Scottsdale this spring, check out a spring training game. The valley is home to 12 of the 14 teams in the Cactus League for spring training. Games have already started and we have quite a few brand new stadiums to check out too! Use their handy trip planner to find out when your favorite teams are playing. Is your home team on the list?

  • Cubs

  • White Sox

  • Indians

  • Royals

  • Angels

  • Dodgers

  • Brewers

  • Athletics

  • Padres

  • Giants

  • Mariners

  • Rangers

And just a day trip away in Tucson

  • Diamondbacks

  • Rockies

Visit the Cactus League for more information.

Feb 7, 2009

Baby Travel Pros

I wanted to tell you all about a brand new association my colleagues and I started for our industry! Baby Travel Pros is a not-for-profit association if independent baby equipment rental companies across the US and Canada. Myself, along with Raquel Quaid of Las Vegas Baby Equipment Rentals, and Sarah Wyles of Toddler's Travels in San Diego, began the framework of the association late last year, and launched the association in January. The association is working for our industry to establish best cleaning and maintenance practices, and is helping spread the word that family travel doesn't have to be stressful and cumbersome. Rest assured knowing member companies pride themselves in providing safe, clean and ideal equipment for your baby or toddler.

With the airline's new baggage fees and tighter limits on acceptable carry-on items, bringing gear with you has not only become less attractive, but almost impractical. Not to mention- what would happen if the airlines lost the suitcase that contained all of your precious gear or damaged your car seat or stroller? No longer do you have to lug all of the gear with you, now you can rent it from a reputable company and have it waiting for you at the airport, car rental agency, hotel or relative’s house when you arrive. With a focus on customer service and satisfaction, most members of Baby Travel Pros rent cribs, pack-n-plays, high chairs, booster chairs, car seats, strollers, toys, wagons, beach gear and more. Rentals are available for daily, weekly or long-term rates.

The services of affiliated members of Baby Travel Pros are helpful not only to the families that are traveling, but also to friends and relatives who are expecting visits from baby and toddler children. Grandparents are an ideal fit for our services by reducing the stress and expense of providing an infant nursery one year, and a toddler's essentials the following year. Baby Travel Pro's members will deliver and set up the crib or toddler bed for you or provide an infant swing to lull your grandchild to sleep. Most members services include delivery, assembly, and removal of all gear.

Now where ever baby goes, call in the pros!

Jan 6, 2009

Car Seat Safety and Rental Car Companies

I ran across this story by Delicious Baby from a few months ago regarding rental car companies providing unsafe car seat rentals. If you plan on getting your car seat from a rental car company, be sure to call ahead to ensure that they have one available and verify models they provide if possible. In most cases, they can't or won't tell you and you never know what may or may not be waiting when you get there. These are some photos they complied of the selection they were given.

In summary, the story is regarding Advantage Rent A Car's LA location and is appalling. They were (and still may be) providing dilapidated car seats estimated to be up to 22 years old, horribly dirty, missing parts, and far out of current safety standards. Why I say they still may be is here in a follow up story after Advantage had supposedly "fixed" the problem. Both accounts involve parents unable to find a seat with enough parts to even install it correctly, let alone be safe for their child to ride in. Although I haven't relied on a car rental agency for a car seat, I would have expected something dirty but at least within current safety standards. But I certainly never would have expected expired car seats, ones smelling of vomit, infant carriers missing the bases, or ones so outdated that they didn't have 5-point harnesses.

In general, manufacturers recommend car seats are replaced every 5 to 8 years depending on the model, except some intended for longer term use like the new Graco Nautilus (available in our car seat rental inventory). Think about bringing your child's seat with you or save the hassle and rent one from a dedicated baby equipment rental agency at your destination. Many companies, including Sweet Pea Baby Rentals, will deliver your car seat to your rental car counter and can ensure and safe, sanitzed, like new car seat. Even if you are at the center in a last minute bind for a safe car seat, call a baby equipment rental company. Most were born out of mom's and dad's having these same experiences and try to accomodate emergency situations.

Jan 2, 2009

Vacationing to Phoenix or Scottsdale? Rent baby gear here!

Renting baby gear at your destination can save you time, space, and stress. Let Sweet Pea Baby Rentals provide all the necessities delivered and set up at your location of choice anywhere in the Phoenix or Scottsdale metro areas.

We carry top of the line baby equipment for rent, all in new condition including:
  • Britax Marathon and Graco Nautilus car seats
  • Strollers by Bob, Phil & Ted's, Joovy, and Maclaren
  • Chicco high chairs
  • Kelty Kids hiking backpacks
  • Toddler Aero beds
  • Delta full sized cribs
  • Toys, infant items, supplies, and much more

Check out our ongoing package deals and current specials. Right now you can get a FREE CARES harness rental for your flight when you rent from us! The CARES (child aviation restraint system) is a revolutionary new product for air travel designed for children 22-44lbs who are able to sit forward facing in their own car seats. No longer do you have to lug your car seat onboard to ensure your child's safety. Read Travels with Baby's review of the system too. Shelly and her two young daughters borrowed two of our harnesses for a recent flight. She wrote up a great review, both pros and cons, of the system from the standpoint of a first time user and frequent flyer with her children.