No one in NYC would judge you if, aside from “Yay!”, the first thing you thought when you found out you were expecting was, “Where am I going to put all that baby stuff?” Baby Grow, a new subscription-based service currently serving Brooklyn, feels your pain, and wants to help you source and swap out all the gear you need to raise a kid in the city, while still maintaining some sanity and living space. (Plus: It’s just launched an in-home carrier trial service!)

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photo: Judy Bornebusch

 

Born Out of Experience
Surprise: Baby Grow was inspired by Brooklyn mom Judy Bornebusch’s experience following the birth of her daughter. She had acquired no fewer than five carriers during her pregnancy  — through gifts, hand-me-downs, etc. — and none of them fit or felt quite right. (It wasn’t until after her baby Charlotte arrived that she was able to find a carrier that worked for all involved.)

But as any parent will tell you, carriers are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to baby gear, and Baby Grow provides members access to everything from bouncers and rockers to jumperoos, playards and more. (Yes, you can get — and unload — tons of great stuff through your local parenting community, but if you just want what you need when you need it — and then just want it to go away — Baby Grow could be the solution.) The service currently only available in Brooklyn, but there are plans to expand to other boroughs in the future; sign up for the company’s newsletter to be the first to know where it’s headed next.

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photo: via Nuna USA Facebook page

Get Your Gear Share On
Baby Grow offers two levels of membership: one for $29 a month, which allows users to rent one item at a time, or $79 a month, which gives members access to three items at a time. Members can use an item for as long as they want, and then swap out for another as their child grows. Case in point: lose the rocker and corral the now more active and alert child in a jumperoo. There’s no commitment; you can cancel any time.

All requests are processed online, and gear is delivered right to your door, usually within two business days. All items are thoroughly cleaned with organic, eco-and baby-friendly cleansers and inspected for safety issues and damage after each use — and then sealed in plastic to ensure they remain sanitized when delivered. (But don’t worry, normal wear and tear is expected; a cosmetic scratch is not going to result in a penalty fee for you.)

Of course, safety is a big concern. All products offered by Baby Grow are certified to meet the standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and when possible, the service reviews the actual testing certification documents of an item.

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photo: Nelson Kwok via Flickr

The Gear
The Baby Grow inventory is compact and curated; you won’t find everything you need here, but you will find many of the essentials, especially the ones that aren’t cheap when you buy them retail and have limited use. The service stocks carriers from makers such as Ergo, Boba, and Beco; bouncers from Baby Bjorn and 4Moms, Evenflo Exersaucers and Rainforest Jumperoos, as well as Nuna playards/travel cribs and swings and more.

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photo: via Ergobaby Facebook page 

Just launched: In-home Carrier Trial
In  February, Baby Gear introduced its in-home carrier service. Members can now book an appointment for a Baby Grow gear expert to come to their house with the full selection of carriers offered and try them on privately.

The Gift of Gear
Not sure what to get your expecting friends? Good news: you can gift a membership to Baby Grow. Gift Cards for both basic and premium memberships are available in three-month increments, starting at $87.

Online: http://www.babygrowgear.com

How did you handle the challenge of getting (and getting rid of) baby gear in NYC? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Mimi O’Connor