Monday, May 18, 2015

Momma Mondays: What the F kind of Stroller Should I Buy?


If you're an expecting mom, everything is confusing but maybe the most confusing subject is strollers. There are so many different types, brands and uses that it probably seems overwhelming what kind you should get. Here are some things to think about when you're registering or buying a stroller. I have 5 strollers so I would consider myself pretty well-versed in this arena (much to my husband's dismay).

Your lifestyle
Do you live in the city or suburbs? Are you a runner or walker? Do you have a small or large car? All of these factors are important when you're narrowing down your stroller search. Take a long, hard, honest look at your lifestyle and the decision should be fairly easy.

Your budget
Strollers, like cars, range from inexpensive to exorbitant. You can get an umbrella stroller for $9.99 or a Stokke for over $1,000. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with paying or registering for.

Your home's entrance method
If you live in a walk-up building, you'll want to consider how you will transport the stroller up and down stairs. If you can leave it in a vestibule of some sort, does it fold down out of the way for others to get past it easily? If you live in an elevator building, is it too long or wide to fit comfortably (or at all) in said elevator? If you live in a house with a front stoop, will you be able to bring the stroller up and down stairs easily? Your living situation, if not conventional, will help dictate what kind of stroller you will get. Kristin would like to add if you live in the suburbs, none of these are probably much of an issue because your stroller will probably permanently reside in your trunk!

Versatility
If you'd like to have the option of having baby facing toward you or looking out, you will need to look for stroller that has a seat that can turn around. If you are planning on expanding your family in a short amount of time but don't really want a double stroller from the get-go, there are options that allow you to add extra seating or glider board.

Storage space
If your main method of transportation is walking, once your baby comes, chances are you'll want to walk everywhere as well. Babies come with a lot of crap so if you need to pick up a few groceries, you'll want to make sure that you not only have room for your groceries, but your kid's diaper bag. If you plan on going on a casual walk around your neighborhood every once in a while, basket storage probably won't be a priority.

Here's a rundown of a few different strollers we have that we can speak to from personal experience.

Graco Modes Click Connect 
Pros: Many seating options, can accommodate an infant car seat, parent console accessories included, huge storage basket
Cons: smaller wheels, bulky when folded, wobbly on rough terrain
I registered for this as the travel system, which includes the infant car seat. While I thought this would be my forever stroller, it just didn't work well with my lifestyle. It took up a lot of trunk space in the car and steering it was a nightmare. Needless to say, this is taking up space in my closet because I never use it and can't foresee myself using it anytime soon.

Britax B-Nimble Umbrella Stroller
Pros: lightweight, reclines, great for flights, comes with a raincover, has a shoulder strap
Cons: sunshade is pretty flimsy, basket is extremely small and hard to access, need both hands to steer, included cup holder snaps off when you try folding the stroller
I got this stroller for a trip to Florida. I was traveling alone and needed a stroller that I would be able to gate check and I read that there was a weigh limit for gate checked strollers so got this one. I think it's discontinued now, but if you can find it it's a great umbrella stroller option. It's sturdier than most and has more reclining options (if any) than most out there.

City Mini
Pros: Easy to fold, fully reclines, doesn't take up much trunk space in a car
Cons: hard to steer with one hand, small storage basket, low to ground, straps are hard to adjust
I still love the City Mini but instead of keeping it in our house, it is our car stroller now. It's great because it takes up much less space in our trunk than the Graco but is still great on most terrains.

Uppababy Vista
Pros: multiple seating options, large sunshade, HUMONGOUS storage basket, easy to maneuver with one hand, huge rear wheels (if you need to drag up or down stairs), high seat which is great when you go out to eat
Cons: bulky when folded, wide (if you're in and out of a lot of narrow doorways)
This stroller was never on my radar when I was registering and pregnant because it's on the high end of the price spectrum. I actually got a steal on craigslist on it which is the only reason I have it. I've coveted this stroller for some time and I have to say I really love it and would 100% recommend it to anyone. The ride is really smooth and it comes in really handy when we are out to eat because my son can just sit in it and eat off the tray. The main reason I love this stroller is its storage basket. Since we live in the city, I probably use the stroller more than the car and always have a ton of things with me and usually acquire more on the way. This stroller can handle it all. If you plan on using a stroller everyday, I would say spring for this one and you won't be sorry.

Britax B-Agile
Pros: extremely smooth ride, easy to maneuver with one hand, large rear wheels, oversized sunshade, super easy to fold
Cons: not much storage space underneath, difficult to adjust the recline
Kristin has this stroller and registered for the travel system. This is the only stroller she has other than a cheap umbrella stroller to keep in her husband's car, and it does it all. She likes it so much two of our friends registered for the same travel system. Pretty much the only downside, other than the annoying method of adjusting how far it reclines, is the basket underneath isn't huge. It's big enough to handle day-to-day errands, and if you don't live in the city and walk everywhere, it's not a big deal. The only time it really became annoying was at Disney World, when you want to shove a ton of stuff under there. Another bonus is it's under $300.

The most important thing to remember is that the stroller is for you, not your child. A baby will sleep, lay down or sit just about anywhere you put them (until they have a very vocal opinion) so as long as you are comfortable with the stroller you ultimately choose, you will be ok. Hopefully this gave you some other factors to think about when you finally pick a stroller.

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