Traveling with an infant or toddler is pretty much the worst. Once you've survived the mad dash for the airport, the temper tantrum while in the airport security line, and the desperate effort to calm a hungry, cranky child while in-flight, you arrive at your destination only to haul a massive stroller through the airport while simultaneously lugging suitcases and baby carriers. But this new baby equipment rental app just might change all that, or at least make it more manageable.
The new app, goBaby, allows local caregivers to offer baby gear rentals to traveling caregivers. It's sort of like the Airbnb of baby gear. If a local mom, for example, has a great stroller that's been sitting in the garage unused, she can post the stroller on goBaby, along with the price for a daily rental. If a potential renter is interested in that stroller, they submit a booking request. From there, the renter can either pick the stroller up from the owner, or the owner delivers the stroller to the renter.
It's a win-win situation: Renters can travel without their gear, and owners can make cash off their unused baby gear. GoBaby, which launched last month and is available for free download on an iPhone, describes itself as "a community rental marketplace for local parents."
Currently, rentals are available only in New York City, but goBaby founder Natalie Kaminski told Romper that the goal is to expand "as soon as possible" to other cities, with plans for Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, and San Francisco to launch first.
Kaminski, who is 36 and lives in Brooklyn, knows well the perils of traveling with children. She has a 10-year-old and a 2-year-old, and goBaby was inspired by a family vacation to Chicago in 2015. At that time, Kaminski's younger daughter was under two, so her family "decided to travel light and not bring a carseat, thinking that we would rent a car and a carseat from a rental service," Kaminski said. However, upon arriving in Chicago, Kaminski was surprised to learn that the limited baby gear rental services required an advanced reservation.
"This made me wonder why there were no better options, especially now that we have all these other on-demand apps and services, such as Uber and Airbnb," she said. And with that, the idea for goBaby was born: an on-demand rental service for baby gear of all stripes, from strollers to car sets to high chairs.
While there are physical store locations that rent out baby equipment, in addition to numerous online baby rental services, these tend to be web-based rather than apps. Unlike web reservations that require advance planning, apps open up the possibility of last-minute, on-the-go rentals. Kamiski says that goBaby is the first "mobile peer-to-peer marketplace for baby gear rentals."
This new service will surely be welcomed with open arms by parents who could always use a little less stress while traveling.