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Our adorable and fun-loving Baby S just turned 9 months old, and while we are beyond thrilled with all the fun things she is learning and exploring at this great age, we are less than thrilled that her sleep schedule is still as choppy (bad/horrible/borderline intolerable) as a newborn. I mean, it is really, really bad despite all of our best efforts.

It is so bad that we have earned quite a few miles and points hiring a sleep specialist and paying her with our rewards earning credit card. You can think we are nuts/lame-o parents for hiring a sleep pro for a baby, but if you think that I invite you over to spend a night or two at our house. In fact, please come over. I’ll go out back and take a turn sleeping in the shed.

Time will tell how well spent that money was when we start seriously implementing a new sleep plan after we get back from a trip in a week or so, but I have already learned something very helpful from this sleep pro that I wanted to share.

In discussing our upcoming trips with Baby S, she asked about the sleeping arrangements for the baby while on the road. While several of the things she recommended for Baby S to get as much sleep as possible away from home we already do such as having her in her own space, if possible, and utilizing white noise (yay white noise app!), there is one obvious thing I have missed.

While I always request a crib from the hotel we are visiting so the baby has her own sleeping space, their version of crib and mine are often a little different. For example, on our last trip the “crib” the hotel provided was a pack-and-play. We used the bathroom as a “nursery” and played a white noise app, but our sleep was still pretty terrible.

Makeshift nursery in the bathroom
Makeshift nursery in the bathroom

This is a pretty common occurrence on my travels with a baby. If the crib the hotel provides isn’t a pack-and-play it is often a “mini crib” that is much smaller (and I assume less comfortable) than a standard crib. I have also seen hotels use sheets for “cribs” that are not anything close to fitted crib sheets, thus making it more dangerous for safe sleeping, especially for young babies. However, since I can’t exactly pack our crib from home when we leave the house (though I bring darn near everything else), I have always chalked it up to “as good as it gets”.

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Hotel mini crib

While I knew you can rent baby gear in some family centric locations like Orlando, I don’t think I ever realized you can rent FULL SIZE CRIBS and more in so many cities across the United States. Our sleep pro correctly identified that a baby has a much better shot at a good night’s sleep in a comfortable full sized crib with fitted sheets than in a pack-and-play or similar, especially if they aren’t used to sleeping in a pack-and-play.

She recommended the website BabysAway.com as they rent full sized cribs as well as basically every other piece of baby gear you could imagine including: exersausers, swings, playmats, car seats, various types of strollers, high chairs, bouncy seats, baby monitors, safety gates, and tons more. They also steralize the gear between rentals, which I highly doubt happens for most hotel cribs or similar.

Baby Gear Rentals.jpg

Our next two trips are sadly both to locations they don’t serve, but I price checked Miami out of curiosity since it is one our list of likely destinations for the year, and the prices were pretty reasonable at $12/day for a full sized crib, $7/day for a full sized stroller, $6/day for an exersauser, $5.50/day for a video monitor, etc (minimum rental of $40). Of course those prices can add up quickly for a longer trip, but if it improves sleep or otherwise makes the trip with your baby easier or safer then I say it is money very well spent.

I absolutely plan to try out the service when we have the chance on a future trip and I’m curious to know if some of you already have experience with the site or another one like it. I’m all for anything to improve our away-from-home-sleep with our not-so-good sleeper including shelling out $12/day for a full sized crib to keep her environment as close as possible to her nursery at home!

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