No need to buy, buy, buy for your new baby in Bucharest
Does this sound familiar?
“The baby is coming! Quick, buy everything we might need!”
“We’re moving to Bucharest! Quick, pack everything we might need!”
But there is no need to rush out and buy everything these days as there are some great new options in Bucharest for renting high quality baby equipment and for buying second hand.
As a new parent we always want the best for our kids, but it is hard sometimes to try and balance this with being careful not to spend money (and space!) on toys, equipment and other things that you don’t need, or only need for a short time! The baby swing, breast pump, bottles and sterilizers, baby carriers, video monitors, play pen, toys and more toys!
Baby equipment renting centers are quite common in other countries, especially in tourist cities, allowing tourists to avoid carrying many bulky items – strollers, car seats, table chairs, cribs – and also other very useful things that take precious space in the baggage – sterilizers, monitors, toys and so on. But until recently in Bucharest rental options were very limited (either they were not functioning and only for niche rental like breast pumps or baby carriers). Now Bucharest has Rent4Baby which offers families a complete rental center for baby equipment and toys.
Advantages of renting: The biggest advantage of renting is the possibility to test things before buying, so that acquisition are truly useful, the ability to use things needed for a short period of time without much expense, and use the money difference for other things useful for the children etc. Renting also contributes to good financial management. Renting helps eliminate worries about baby equipment if you are only staying in Bucharest for a short period or you cannot afford to have all your items sent from your previous country. Renting also helps avoid crowding the house with all sorts of stuff stored everywhere and promotes a friendly and responsible attitude towards the environment – the use of things during their entire life cycle, not on limited periods as needed by one toddler .
Second-hand sales. Many people also take the opportunity to purchase items second-hand that are lightly used already. The advantages of second-hand items are much the same as renting and you can save a lot of money with this option. You may have some concerns about safety or cleanliness items, but this is up to the individual to decide on the specific item and their personal situation.
Many items are sold second-hand on Facebook in dedicated groups such as Stuff for Sale Expats. BucaKids is a charitable organisation that has a second-hand book scheme (mainly French titles) as well as second-hand kids clothes, toys and equipment all at very reasonable prices. You will also find opportunities to buy second hand items throughout the year at Garage Sales or Flea Markets that are privately organised in expat communities. Check Bucharest with Kids for details.
What about when I go on holiday?
Do you find yourself playing a game of 3D Tetris when you try to pack everything into the car just to go away for a few days with your baby or kids? Our top tip is to contact Rent4Baby about short-term rental options, they can rent you items for a trip to Bucharest, or if you are travelling within Romania you could also rent an item from them to make the trip easier such as a travel cot, rather than buying the item just for one trip.
If you are travelling to a hotel or pension then it is worth asking them if they have a baby crib (and bedding) even if they do not advertise this as many can provide one. Another good question is about a high chair for meal times at the hotel – again many restaurants might have a high chair available if you ask them, but another safe option is to bring your own portable high chair if you wish (available from Rent4Baby).
I wish I had read this article before, as I have lots of things for babies and kids I no longer want or need! What can I do?
Well you can sell them in one of the Facebook groups, or at one of the yard sales during the year. Or you can give them away to friends with children younger than yours – many families will welcome this and will pass on their second-hand items in return! Another option of course if to donate your items to charities who will gladly accept toys, clothes and baby equipment, as well as larger items like fridges and computers even.
Thank you to Ioana Ciumara from Rent4Baby for the idea of this article and for writing about the advantages of renting in Bucharest.