Dec 12, 2010

Baby Gizmo Reviews

If you're in the market for a new stroller but it's one that you can't find locally, I like to rely on Baby's video reviews. They're also running a great 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway contest also. (Today's the last day!)

Dec 1, 2010

Smart Family

In case you missed it, we were recently featured on our local ABC Smart Family show!

And yes, we are expecting baby girl #2 right around New Years!

Aug 8, 2010

Demo Strollers at the AZ Kids Expo

Come by and check out our demo strollers and travel gear at the AZ Kids Expo on Sept 18-19th at University of Phoenix Stadium! On display we'll have the hottest and newest strollers from phil & ted's, BOB, Valco, and Britax. Look for some special show-only deals with rarely offered savings of 10%-15% off on brand new models. We'll also have demos of the Go Go Kidz Travelmate, C.A.R.E.S. child aviation restraint system, and FlyeBaby portable infant seats, all used for air travel with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. We will also be providing a infant and toddler feed, changing, and play area too.

Jul 30, 2010

New phil & ted's Explorer on order!

The newly released phil & ted's Explorer offers some much anticipated upgrades to the popular Sport model. Keeping the same frame, great 12"air tires, and versatile doubles kit, the overall look is sleek and stylish. Here are some of the nice new features coming your way.

1. Seat design - There's now a removable padded insert in red, navy, green, or black. The stroller and frame are all black, with the exception of the all apple green model. The inserts are interchangeable should you wish to change up the color of your buggy. Both the main and doubles kit seats are made with a new design allowing for better air flow and both use a newer quick release harness system like the Smart Buggy. The quick release harness system has two release points on the harness, one for each side, instead of four like the Sport model.

2. Plastic covering in foot well - Similar to the Dash buggy, the Explorer's footwell now has a plastic kick mat instead of all fabric, making it easier to clean.

3. Pedal brake - A new pedal "flip-flop friendly" foot brake is replacing the old wire brake system. From an avid flip-flop wearer, this is a very necessary upgrade. No more bending down to release the brake with your hand.

4.One hand fold - The two release clips on each side have been replaced with one release under the base of the seat, making a one hand fold possible.

5. Sun canopy - Another great upgrade from the Sport is the new follow the sun canopy. The canopy is not attached at the back of the stroller so it can be rotated all the way forward and back to keep the sun out of baby's eyes.

6. Sun canopy for second seat - The doubles kit for the new Explorer now gets a sun canopy as well! The doubles kit attaches the same way that it did in the previous Sport model, to both the front and back of the stroller.

7. Car seat adapter - The car seat adapter can now be used with the main seat in the fully upright position, allowing for a second child to ride in the doubles kit on the rear of the Explorer. Previous models did not allow this function.

The phil & ted's Explorer upgrades do come with a slightly higher price tag of $479.99, about $30 more than the previous Sport model. The doubles kit remains the same at $89.99 even with the new sun canopy. The Explorer is due in stock at the end of August, so preorder now, or reserve one of our new rentals for your test drive on our website at

Jun 18, 2010

New Travel Gear Addition - FlyeBaby

Our newest addition to Sweet Pea Baby Rentals' air travel rental inventory will arrive in just a few days! We're adding the FlyeBaby portable chair to our rental inventory. FlyeBaby provides a hammock style chair for your infant (up to 25 lbs) to rest in while in flight. It attaches to the tray table and has restraint straps to hold your infant safely in place so you have two free hands to play, change diapers, or read a book while she naps. It's a great alternative to holding your baby for an entire flight! It also doubles as a portable restraint that can be attached to a variety of chairs for feeding or playing. Best of all it's lightweight and portable. We are taking orders now and are able to ship rentals nationwide!

Jun 16, 2010

CARES Harness Review

We recently had the good fortune of being able to take a 7 night Alaskan cruise with our extended family including our 3 1/2 year old daughter. I knew I'd be bringing along one of our Child Aviation Restraint Systems (CARES) for the 10 hours of plane rides there and back, but I immediately thought, do I need to bring her car seat just to try to find a place to store it in the tiny cabin? The only time we'd be in vehicles other than a boat was our transfer to the hotel for the first night, our transfer to the port the second day, and one tour we'd booked. Since we were on a one-way cruise, renting in Anchorage was not an option (although visit Northern Lights Traveling Tykes if it is for you), so I started researching. I came across the Ride Safer Vest, which seemed to fit the bill perfectly for us. Since this was my first time personally using both of the CARES and the Ride Safer Vest, I thought I'd share my experiences. First I'll review the CARES harness.

CARES Harness Review
We grabbed the 6" stuff sack, threw it in our backpack, and headed out at 4am for our flight. I was VERY happy I didn't have a car seat to haul when we got held up at security alone (yes, at 4am) for a full backpack, stroller, and carry-on search. My daughter and I then ran to the gate to be the last ones on the plane. I had the CARES out of the bag, slipped over the back of the seat and had her strapped down in less than a minute, never having used it before. Of course, I suppose I had a little advantage having been renting and inspecting them for over a year.

The process is easy:
  1. Lower the tray of the seat behind you
  2. Slip the harness over the back of the seat and tighten
  3. Raise the tray back up
  4. Strap in your child and adjust the shoulder straps as necessary
The Pros:
  • Extremely light weight and small
  • Good for kids 22-44 lbs (has also been approved for special needs children and adults)
  • Easy to install and secure
  • Child can't kick the back of the seat in front
  • Can be used in any seating position (car seats typically can only be installed at the window seat for evacuation purposes)
  • Approved for taxi, take-off, in flight, and landing
  • Used on 4 different flights and 4 different aircraft including a small commuter plane with no problems or questions from the flight attendants.
The Cons:
  • No crotch strap meant my daughter could wiggle down
  • Since the airline seats were curved, the back of the strap holding it on tended to hit her at the back of the head. This didn't seem to bother her though, even when I asked.
  • No head support when she fell asleep. I just unbuckled her and gave her a blanket to lay her head on.
  • This isn't related to the harness but she could unbuckle the airplane seat belt herself, but not the chest clip on the harness.
All in all, I highly recommend this as an alternative to a car seat, especially for older toddlers and preschoolers. If you're flying with a 1-2 year old on a long flight, you may consider the car seat for comfort if you want them to sleep for a long stretch. In those cases, check out the Go Go Kidz Travelmate to turn your car seat into a stroller for the airport.

May 6, 2010

Summer Vacations - Plan Ahead!

If you're busy planning your summer vacation, whether it be to Phoenix or anywhere else, visit our partners at Baby Travel Pros to find a rental company that serves your destination. Many companies sell out during peak travel periods so you may want to book the essentials, like a crib or car seat now to ensure they are reserved for you. Making reservations weeks or months in advance is not uncommon, and the company will appreciate your planning ahead so they can better serve you. Generally additions and changes can be made to your order up to a few days before your scheduled delivery if necessary. Unsure of just what you'll need? Check out the guide to recommended gear by age.

Baby Travel Pros is an association of independently owned and operated baby gear rental companies across the world. The only association of it's kind, members are committed to providing safe and clean baby gear for you and your little traveler.

Mar 24, 2010

New Full Sized Cribs!

We are very excited to report that our brand new full sized, commercially rated and tested wood cribs are here! Why are we so excited? This crib has been manufactured and tested to meet the ASTM Standards for commercial crib rentals. (Our new mini-cribs by LA Baby Company meet this standard as well.) While the adherence to the commercial standard is not a law in Arizona, we are committed to providing a safe environment for your child.

The vast majority of the cribs on the market are only designed and tested for residential use (one child, assembling once, maybe twice), including the popular Delta models that most rental companies use. While they meet residential ASTM and JPMA standards, they are not rated for commercial rentals. Our new Foundations cribs are full sized, folding models featuring hardwood construction and heavy-duty hardware that lessens the amount of wear and tear typically inflicted on a residential use crib when used as a rental. Not only does this make our free set up and removal easier and faster for us, but in the event that you need to move the crib (with our permission of course), it's much easier for you too.

Visit us online today at to view all of our other rental items and let us help you make your family vacation a little easier!

Jan 13, 2010

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

My family and I had the pleasure of taking a day trip to Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, AZ this past weekend. I say pleasure because it was one of the best "zoos" I have ever been to. For me, the zoo typically means pushing around a stroller and holding up a heavy 3 year old to see all the way to the back of the enclosure for about 6 hours. Here, we parked our stroller and our 3 year old actually thought the animals were too close to her!

The photos you see on their website are actually photos that I could have taken myself, and these photos here, I really did take myself with my basic little digital camera, no fancy zoom lens or anything. You are within feet of the animals and they are all very visible thanks to the way the enclosures are set up. The park houses all types of animals from lions, tigers, and other cats, bears, giraffes, zebras, and ostrich, to a rhinoceros named Boom Boom whom we happened across on our way out of the park. There was something strange and funny about rounding a corner to see a rhino sleeping under a desert tree fenced in by nothing more than concrete traffic barricades.

Upon our entrance to the park, we caught the outgoing safari ride and were handed carrot sticks as we got on - then were told not to eat them. Our very first stop down the dirt road was at the giraffe's enclosure where he eagerly awaited the bus and our carrot sticks. The driver gave everyone sufficient time to take photos and feed the giraffe. Some unsuspecting passengers got a friendly lick on the face from the giraffe when we ran out of carrots too! We ventured on into a gated area where zebra, ostrich, more giraffe and lots of other animals roamed free. The tour guide was wonderful at explaining all about the animals and bringing them right up to the bus (with some treats) for some great photos.

At the end of our safari, our driver dropped us off at the top of the hill just in time for the Tiger Splash show. In the show a few brave staff members and two very large tigers jump and play in the water with inflatable pool toys, which the tigers joyously pop. One of the owners of the park narrated the show and stressed that they animals are not trained but that they work on a relationship basis with them. For example, to get a toy from one of the tigers, they offer something else in return. The tiger would give up the toy for, in this case, a piece of meat. There were no signs or spoken commands to any of the animals.

After the show, we grabbed a bite to eat from the burger stand then checked out and pet the boa constrictor during the Giant Snake Show. The handler did not carry around the snake to everyone, for one because it was about 15 feet long, but rather she opened the gate to the show arena and let anyone come in that wanted to check out the snake.

We wandered around and in most cases had the animals all to ourselves since the park was not crowded at all. It was so strange to stand 4 feet from two bears who sat looking straight at you, or a tiger who walked over to see what you were doing. We stayed for the Wonders of Wildlife show which on that day was the grizzly bears. At the end of the show, we happened to see the two founders, Dean and Prayeri, sitting watching the show as well. We stopped to tell them what a fantastic park they had created and ended up talking to them for over an hour. They are wonderful caring people who care about the animals as well as their staff and community.

Where: Out of Africa Park, Camp Verde, AZ (~60 mi north of Scottsdale)
When you get there, turn right before the court building and follow the road until it becomes dirt. We found out they are having a problem with the transportation department allowing them to post permanent signage.

When: Daily 9:30am-5pm

Price: $36 adults, $28 seniors, $20 kids 3-12 (under 3 free)
(Yes, it is a little pricey but worth it. There are reduced AZ resident rates as of right now, and coupons are available on their website, and check entertainment books and brochures for coupons too)