Sunday, January 15, 2012

Renting vs. Buying

No I'm not talking about housing. I'm talking about baby stuff.

One of the things I noticed about parenthood, is that 1) there are always surprises (e.g. you need this, you need that, baby outgrows this, outgrows that) and 2) you're on a never ending quest to buy more and more and more and more stuff . Very soon you'll realize that either you need more room, or to organize your life better.

We're city folks and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment. It's not very big, and yet half of the items in the apartment belong to our son, Calvin. There's the jumper, 2 electronic rockers, one rocker-seat, one walker, one crib, boxes and boxes and boxes of diapers, dividers, and toys toys toys toys toys toys toys and more toys all over the place.

Toys are wonderful. They keep your baby pre-occupied so that you can do what you need to do. For example, a baby squirms and turns while you change the diaper. But with a new toy, they are pre-occupied and it makes diaper changing experience 100x easier. Toys keep them busy while you heat up their meal/milk/bath-water or just going to the restroom. Toys are wonderful. Unfortunately, babies get bored of new toys quickly.

Solution: rent toys. Like media or anything else, there is no reason to buy something you use for only a times and then store them in the box forever. We've been renting our toys from and are loving it. The fees are cheap, the toys are sanitized and well packages, and we get new toys once every 2 months (the cheapest plan) via UPS. Calvin is excited with new toys, and we no longer have to worry about storing old toys in boxes that just take up more space (or that we just end up donating, hence wasting $). We've considered those places that allow parents to trade books and toys with each other, but it's been difficult due to our tight schedules.

So before you go out and buy something that your baby will use only a few times, consider renting. It is better for the environment, it saves you money, and it saves you the headache of having to deal with space and storage.

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