Beach Baby Rentals, LLC of Southwest Florida

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  • Keeping Your Toddler Safe

    Every day there are more things your toddler can do by himself, from crawling up the stairs to trying to hopping and climbing on everything. Get some tips on keeping your little mover safe.

    At this age, your child's movements are becoming smoother every day. She can do all sorts of exciting things by herself. She'll need lots of wiggle time each day, so plan regular outings like trips to the park and walks around the block.

    Revel in her independence.  Enjoy the delight and sense of adventure with which your child approaches this new-found physical independence. Remember, however, that it's your responsibility to keep her safe. She can't anticipate danger  at this age, so set very specific, clear rules, such as:

      • "no running in the street"
      • "always hold hands while crossing the street"Vague commands like "Slow down" or "Take it easy" make no sense to your child, so she's likely to ignore them.

    Be as clear and specific as possible when you're giving your toddler commands. She's not good at figuring out what you mean unless you spell it out. For example, "No paint in your brother's hair."

    This post was revised from Pampers.com.  See Pampers.com for other informative posts.

  • Introducing Our New Pampered Baby Beach Bundle!

    At Beach Baby Rentals, we pride ourselves in the high quality of our rental gear, the top brands we carry like BOB strollers and Britax car seats, and the exceptional service we provide. We also take extra steps to ensure that all our customers are happy and their babies are safe and secure in our gear.

    Occasionally, however, we've heard from customers who had a desire to rent brand new gear for extra peace of mind. And in response to those requests, we are happy to announce the launch of our Pampered Baby Beach Bundle that includes a brand new crib with all new organic linens and some extra goodies like organic baby wash as a bonus. In addition to offering the new crib rental package, we will also accommodate other requests for brand new rental gear, like car seats, high chairs, pack and plays, etc..

    Full size white crib The brand new full size white crib as part of the Pampered Baby Beach Bundle!

    While most customers will opt for our less expensive standard rental crib package that also comes with organic linens that have been meticulously cleaned, sanitized, and shrink wrapped to maintain freshness, we believe that this new Pampered Baby Beach Bundle will be a valued option for some of our customers.  Premier rental properties may wish to recommend this option to their guests as an alternative to renting new gear.

    We look forward to serving our customers during the upcoming season in Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral!  Any questions can be directed to beachbabyrentalsfmb.com or by calling 239-765-0032.  We welcome back our returning customers and offer great service to them and to all the new customers planning a visit to Southwest Florida!  The weather is beautiful, the dolphins are in abundance on the beaches, and the sunsets are spectacular!  Sunset FMB

  • The Shrimp Festival in Fort Myers Beach!

    After an intense weekend of Shrimp Festival in Fort Myers Beach and deliveries to our customers, today Beach Baby Rentals is exactly 3 months old!  Our business has grown steadily since the inception date of December 11, 2013.  After a sluggish start over the holidays (and some sleepless nights as I worried about what in the heck we were going to do with all this new baby equipment if we didn't start getting more business), our reservations volume spiked on January 2 and has not subsided since.  We're pleased to be doing business in the Ft. Myers-Sanibel area and love being a small but important part of the lovely community of Ft. Myers Beach!

    20140308_112927Kathryn and I were able to arrange our delivery schedule this past Saturday to make time for the Shrimp Festival Parade.  What a fantastic time that was.  After an amazing breakfast of Shrimp and Grits prepared by Dan and Tree Andre at their lovely Mango Street Inn, we joined friends and strangers along the parade route for a raucous, positive, community-centered event.  As I observed the celebration and felt the warm spirit of this little island town, I thought to myself - this place reminds me of the perfect combination of Mayberry and Key West!  20140308_112217Mayberry for that small town feel, where the locals all know each other and the visitors are embraced with welcoming arms.  And Key West for, well, you know.  This town knows how to throw a party!

    In the meantime, of course, the guests keep arriving and we keep on growing!  We added a new van to our delivery fleet that will be sporting a new wrap later this week that will make our presence on Estero Island much more visible. We also had a very complimentary letter to the editor printed in the Island Sandpaper last week, which of course made us at Beach Baby Rentals very happy.  The letter echoed what we've strived to do with this business - establish it as the premier baby gear rental company in the area that offers an enhanced level of service and quality that will warm the heart of all the parents and grandparents caring for and enjoying the presence of their little beach babies while visiting this great destination!

    We've added a customer review page to our website to capture some of the feedback we get from customers.  We also have a Yelp! page for customers to provide uncensored feedback on our business practices.  Of course it is always risky to solicit feedback from customers but we feel good about how we are building this business and how we are treating our customers.  Most importantly, we feel good about the quality of service and product we are providing, and we hope you do too!

  • The Stork Brought the New Baby!

    Endangered Endangered

    We have been spotting  the Wood Stork as we deliver of our  excellent baby gear.   Many of us grew up hearing that Storks delivered the new baby brother or sister.  We began  wondering how that tale came about? So we googled it ! Here are a few of the  reasons behind the bird-baby mythology according to  Amelia Glynn's blog: 

    In may cultures, storks represent fertility, springtime and good luck. In Roman times, if a stork built a nest on your roof, it was seen as a blessing and a promise of never-ending love from Venus.

    stork___baby_1400x469Aristotle went as far as to make killing storks a crime. Some believed that a stork could cause a woman to become pregnant just by looking at her!  Storks are considered a harbinger of good fortune.  In Germany, they are known as "adebar", meaning "luck-bringer.

    Wood Storks, an endangered bird are nesting  in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for the first time since 2009, the Florida sanctuary they had abandoned several years ago.   Officials say storks have built about 160 nests so far at four locations in the sanctuary. Sanctuary resource manager Mike Knight stated  that the number of nests may double or triple because the birds don't all start nesting at the same time.

    The sanctuary once was the largest wood stork breeding colony in North America. The birds were forced to find other places to nest as their shallow wetland habitat declined.

    Sanctuary officials say heavy rains during Florida's wet season helped improve conditions this year, but one good nesting season doesn't indicate a complete recovery.

    The Storks have a special place in our hearts at Beach Baby Rentals, because we LOVE babies and we love watching the beautiful birds soaring over the Ft. Myers area!  So we will continue to support the efforts to protect the wetlands of Florida and hope you do too.

     

     

  • Beach Baby Rentals Responds to Graco Car Seat Recall

    Statement from Beach Baby Rentals regarding the Graco Car Seat Recall

    Press Release – February 13, 2014

    Beach Baby Rentals, LLC, a Fort Myers Beach business that rents baby gear and other beach equipment to local vacationers, is making a major inventory change in response to the recall of certain car seats manufactured by Graco.  Effective immediately, Beach Baby Rentals will no longer be offering the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Convertible Toddler car seat or the Graco SnugRide 30 Infant car seat as part of its baby and toddler offerings.  Instead, the Britax line of car seats will be offered exclusively to customers of Beach Baby Rentals.

    Britax Marathon Britax Marathon Convertible Toddler Seat

    Graco announced the recall on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  In response, that same night Beach Baby Rentals contacted all current customers who were using our Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Toddler seat and offered to deliver a Britax seat as a replacement.  While these car seat swaps were an expensive undertaking for the business, Beach Baby Rentals felt it important that no customer have a possibly defective car seat in use.  We have procured additional Britax seats in order to ensure that no upcoming customers who had previously reserved a Graco car seat are adversely impacted by this massive recall of Graco seats.  As such, all future reservations of Graco seats will be fulfilled with the Britax models, which are highly rated for comfort and safety.

    Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

    While we consider this recall unfortunate and an unexpected business expense, Graco has committed to replacing the faulty buckles with newly designed buckles.  If Beach Baby Rentals decides to begin renting the Graco seats in the future after this buckle, we will leave it up to our customers to choose which brand of car seat to rent.

    Beach Baby Rentals provides rental with delivery and pickup of a wide range of top-notch baby gear and related equipment to Ft. Myers Beach, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, and Captiva.  If any current or upcoming rental customers have any questions, they should contact Beth Freeman or Kathryn Friedman at 239-765-0032.

  • Beach Baby Sun Safety - Keeping Baby Safe!

    The Sun has returned to the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

    After a very rainy and cool January the sun is back, there are big white clouds and the water is a beautiful blue-green.  When we are driving over the bridges of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel to make deliveries and pick-ups, Beth always says she is surprised there aren't accidents because it so hard not to look at the beauty of the view - an accident waiting to happen. Well with the sunny weather comes the danger of sunburn and we sure don’t want our beach babies to get burned.  Beach baby sun safety is a critical consideration when vacationing with young children!

    Beach Baby Sun Safety Our own Beach Baby Tiguen sporting some cool shades to protect his eyes.

    When is it OK for a baby to use sunscreen?

    If your baby is younger than 6 months don’t use sunscreen. A babies' skin is much thinner than that of adults, and it absorbs the active, chemical ingredients in sunscreen more easily, explain experts. Infants have a high surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children and adults. Both these factors mean that an infant's exposure to the chemicals in sunscreens is much greater, increasing the risk of allergic reaction or inflammation.

    The best protection is to keep your baby out of direct sunlight. Protect your baby from sun exposure by dressing him or her in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If there's no natural shade, create your own with an umbrella, shade tent or the canopy of the stroller or wagon.

    For babies 6 months and older

    Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Cancer Society suggest when choosing baby sunscreen, pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if your baby is spending time in the water or perspiring.

    To avoid irritating your baby's skin and eyes, consider using a sunscreen that contains only inorganic filters, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Avoid using products that combine sunscreen and the insect repellent DEET, since sunscreen must be regularly reapplied and insect repellent typically doesn't need to be reapplied.

    Remember, just a few serious sunburns can increase your baby's risk of skin cancer later in life. Taking simple steps now can go a long way toward protecting your baby from the risks of sun exposure.

    Sun Safety Tips for Infants

    Here are some things to keep in mind when vacationing at the Beaches of Lee County with infants

    • - Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible. If you do use a small amount of sunscreen on your baby, don't assume the child is well protected.
    • - Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin. Use common sense; if you hold the fabric against your hand and it's so sheer that you can see through it, it probably doesn't offer enough protection.
    • - Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade at all times.
    • - Watch your baby carefully to make sure he or she doesn't show warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
    • - Hydrate! Give your baby formula, breast milk, or a small amount of water between feedings if you're out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Don't forget to use a cooler to store the liquids.
    • - Take note of how much your baby is urinating. If it's less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration and more fluids are needed until the flow is back to normal.
    • - Avoid sunscreens containing the insect repellent DEET on infants, particularly on their hands. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths. According to AAP, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old.

     

    Beach Baby Rentals has all the gear you need to keep your baby sun protected on your visit: tents, strollers and wagons with canopies, coolers and we can procure the baby sunscreen you need for your 6 months plus babies.  Oh!  If you forgot to bring Little Swimmers, just let us know!

  • Gender Stereotypes, Baby Rentals, and You

    Beach Baby Rentals is a new business, and as such, we are gradually building our inventory beyond the basics (cribs, strollers, car seats) based on customer requests and needs.  One of our offerings is a bag of indoor toys available for rent.  We ask parents for the age of the child, but very often we are offered the age and sex of the child, with the implication that the toys should be gender specific.  And while we are trying to tailor our offerings to customer desires, the gender-specific toy selection is difficult.

    Gender Stereotypes and Baby Rentals Typical Doll for a 5-7 yr old

    Take a look at the doll on the right.  This is one of the selections that comes up if you search for dolls for 5-7 yr olds on one of the major ecommerce websites. And if you walk through a toy store, you'll see much the same - girls toys are either focused on princesses or hypersexualized dolls that tell our little girls one thing and one thing only - be a princess or be sexy. Continue that walk through the boy's toy section, and you'll find tools, sports gear, trucks, and science kits (and if there are dolls, they are monsters or superheroes).

    So what does all this mean for parents?  Here is a nice article that appeared this morning on CNN.com about this very issue and a new book on the topic that might help parents navigate this very tricky issue.  The author, Melissa Adkins Wardy, also has a website Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies that markets t-shirts with positive messages for boys and girls.

    She notes in the article, "You have to connect the dots," she said. "With princess culture and all these pink toys that are almost always focused on fashion and beauty and how a girl can please somebody else, either by keeping a nice house or looking like a perfect princess, that all segues into the sexualization side of the market."

    "Once you're done with princesses, if you are growing up in that girly-girly culture, the next thing offered to you are these sexualized dolls and you are growing up too fast," she said. "You are being introduced into adult concepts of sexuality that otherwise wouldn't be present in toys and it doesn't allow a girl to develop on her own, and at her own pace."

    And this can adversely impact boys too:  "It teaches children there is only one way to be a girl and one way to be a boy," she said. "When you have a little girl like mine who is obsessed with the ocean and giant squids and insect infestations in homes, she's considered weird or odd or a tomboy when in fact, science and things like that should be considered girly."

    So this morning, I spent a few hours trying to select age appropriate toys that are non-gendered.   Of course, there are a lot of learning toys that meet that characterization.  But beyond that, it is hard to find gender neutral toys, especially as the age category increases.  While infant toys are generally fine, once you get into the 3 year old category, the genderization takes hold very strongly.

    So if you rent toys from us, expect to find a heavy dose of fun toys geared towards learning, coordination, and exercise, and very few gendered toys.  You'll see Sesame Street characters, but not Disney princesses.  As a business, this works for us as our selection of toys can be enjoyed by both boys and girls.  But it also fits in to our view of how little children benefit from play without being loaded down with unhelpful gender stereotypes.

     

  • Thank You Ft. Myers Beach!

    Beach Baby Rentals, LLC opened its virtual doors on December 11, 2013 after we, Kathryn Friedman and Beth Freeman, moved here in June from the north (well, at least this winter DC qualifies as the north!).  In that very short time, we've found Fort Myers Beach (FMB Baby!) to be an incredibly warm, friendly, and embracing place for us to establish our lives and our new business.  We've met so many people on Estero Island and in the broader community that have absolutely welcomed us with grace and an unfailing community spirit.  To say we are happy to be living here and building a business amidst this community and natural beauty is a gross understatement. In short, we are elated.  And to that end, we offer a sincere thank you Ft. Myers Beach!

    We launch this blog as part of our effort to embrace that community in return - to highlight the many wonders of living here, snowbirding here,  or vacationing here, and also to shine a light on our efforts to build Beach Baby Rentals into yet another important piece of the business community that makes this such a great place to vacation.  We'll be updating our readers on happenings in the community, on tips for traveling or vacationing with babies and toddlers, on the wonders of nature we see along the way, on our experiences while building this business, and other random meanderings.

    Our business is off to a very promising start.  We are getting great feedback from our customers, reservations are increasing steadily, and most importantly, we are rapidly learning how to successfully run this, our first entrepreneurial activity.  We're getting referrals from friends, neighbors, property management operations, and many accommodations and local businesses.  Our website is functioning well, and many of our customers appreciate the ease of ordering directly online with no phone call necessary.  Other customers are happy making reservations by calling us directly, and that's just fine with us.  We love talking to folks planning vacations or visits from friends and family.

    But this, our first blog entry, is meant to serve one primary purpose, and that is to thank so many people and organizations that have offered up generous assistance to us and wise advice on how to succeed as a service business in a tourist-centric economy.  While there are too many to name individually here, we'd like to give a shout out to a few of them.

    Perhaps our most important support thus far has come from the folks at the Ft. Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce.  Specifically, Bud Nocera, Katrina Solakar, and Cindy D'Andrea were super helpful to us in helping us become members of the Chamber and to take advantage of the promotional and networking opportunities available to Chamber members.  If you're doing business in Ft. Myers Beach and haven't joined the Chamber, your're missing out on a great experience and entree into the local business community.

    Also on that list of exceptionally valuable assistance is the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and their web presence The Beaches of Ft. Myers-Sanibel.  Executive Director Tamara Pigott and Director of Marketing and Communications Laura Chmielewski and her team have so enthusiastically offered advice, assistance, and opportunities to market Beach Baby Rentals to folks all over the U.S..

    Thank You Ft. Myers Beach You'll see us on the road all over Ft. Myers Beach, Sanibel, and the greater Ft. Myers area!
    Thank You Ft. Myers Beach Our Beach Baby!

    If you see our red truck on the road making deliveries, give us a honk or a wave.  We love seeing friends on the road.   And don't hesitate to contact us with suggestions or questions.  We are still building our inventory in response to customer needs and requests.  We can be reached by email at rentals@beachbabyrentalsfmb.com or by phone at 239-765-0032.

     

     

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