When borrowing makes sense
Too often in parenting we immediately seek to met our needs by buying new. We can view something online and at the click of a button, buy it and have it delivered within a few days. However, if we pause before making that purchase you may find there's a way to reduce waste and help your wallet too!
A unique part of the Live Love Lend marketplace is the peer to peer rentals. Tess and I borrowed baby gear off each other many times and it was this borrowing that generated the idea for Live Love Lend. We wanted our resources put to better use and to give everyone the access and ability to borrow items off others.
While buying an item may sometimes make sense there are many cases borrowing or renting may actually work out cheaper or more convenient.
If you've ever travelled with kids, you'll know how much stuff you end up trying to cram in your car or suitcases. Travelling through an airport with a portacot, stroller and carseat as well as your luggage is not much fun. If you don't have room or just want to make your trip through the airport a little easier then renting items at your destination might save you a lot of stress. There are a number of companies in New Zealand that offer the items you're likely to need and most will arrange delivery or can be picked up at the airport.
There are also items that make travelling a lot easier which are expensive to buy for one trip. One of our most popular rental items on Live Love Lend is the mountain buggy suitcase. These have been a life saver for Tess with her twins.
Baby items can be bulky and take a lot of space. If you live in an apartment, or just don't want the unnecessary clutter in your house then renting items saves you having to store them between children.
Try before you buy
Sometimes it is overwhelming with the number of options of a product that you can choose. For example how do you know which carrier will suit you and your baby before you buy? There are many great baby wearing groups and met ups out there that can help you decide on the right option. If you don't have access to a baby wearing group or just want to try one for a short period then renting can work out well.
If you have a baby with reflux or they're just unsettled it can be hard to know what items might actually hep them. Renting enables you to try items like a baby swing to see if it helps your baby without a large cost.
Short term use
Often babies go through a stage that scares us as parents and we look immediately for a solution to solve the problem. This can result in panic purchases that we find don't work or we only need for a really short time. Babies rolling or standing in the cot is one such issue that often only lasts a matter of weeks. Borrowing a SafeTsleep or Babe sleeper for a month or two will save you a lot of money.
There are many other items that are only used for a short period of time. Sometimes the equation on whether to rent vs buy comes down to how many children you plan to have. If you only want 1-2 children then renting can work out cheaper, especially for those short term items.
Once you have kids it's easy to have your home taken over by child paraphernalia. Once you put away the bouncer and play-gyms these are often replaced by masses of toys. One of the best resources I've discovered is the toy library (www.toylibrary.co.nz). It's an amazing way to give your kids a variety of toys without having to buy the items and clutter up your home. It's frustrating to see new toys cast aside or barely played with after the initial excitement wears off. A membership to the toy library is the gift that keeps on giving.
Everytime we borrow or buy second-hand instead of buying new, we save packing ending up in a landfill and it can save a lot of money. If you're lucky enough to have family or friends to borrow off then this should be your first port of call. If you don't then hopefully Live Love Lend can help fill a gap. If you need something in particular and can't see it listed on our site please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll reach out to our Facebook community and see if we can track down the item you need.
Let's work together to help each other out and make this parenting journey a little easier.