While pushing both my kids through Babies R Us the other day, a very pregnant woman eyed my stroller set up.
Notice I did not say, “admired,” in fact, I think she was horrified.
The baby was in her infant car seat snapped on to the stroller seat and my 3 year old perched precariously on the foot rest of the stroller while the mountain of purchases were balanced on the handle bar.
I’m sure she was either judging my parenting skills or rethinking parenting all together!
She asked me how I liked my stroller and if it was ‘meant’ for two kids (see, judging). So I launched into my stroller dissertation. Picking out the best stroller is a huge decision, right up there with choosing your baby’s name and 529 saving plan.
Through my pre-baby years of working with moms, many of them told me I would need more than one stroller. But that seemed silly to me. With my first, I purchased an expensive, celebrity-worthy stroller, because I was sure that it was going to be the only stroller I needed, therefore justify the cost. But I found those moms before me were right; you really do need more than one stroller.
In my opinion, most parents will need strollers for the following purposes
- A stroller the infant seat* will snap into
- A good everyday stroller with ample storage underneath
- A small, light weight stroller for quick trips and travel
- A jog stroller for actually running or for long walks, hikes, beach etc
- An double stroller or an option for another child if you are planning on one
Now before your husband freaks out, you do not need five strollers. Many strollers will fulfill 2 or 3 of these purposes. But I just don’t think there is a stroller out there that does all of these things, or at least not well.
*When your baby is an infant, they fall asleep a lot in the car. If you choose to get an infant car seat (which I recommend for exactly this reason) you can take the whole car seat out and snap it into your stroller when you get to your destination and the babe can stay asleep.
Below are a few of my favorite strollers and which role above they will fulfill
INFANT CAR SEAT CARRIER- 1,3
Snap-n-Go: Snap-n-go is a name kinda like Kleenex, it is actually the name of the Graco stroller that the infant seat fits into. But many brands make this basic frame, Kidcraft, Babytrend, even McClaren.
Price: Ave Online Price $50. These are relatively inexpensive new, but are also great to find used, because you don’t need it for too long (maybe 6 months), and since most moms only use if for the same time period, its likely to be in good shape. Or ask your circle if anyone has one to borrow.
JOG STROLLER- 1, 4
Bob Revolution 1, 2, 4: I LOVE my bob. Personally, I wish I had started with this one from the beginning. With the optional infant bar, you can snap most infant car seats on to the frame. It has a swivel front wheel to allow for easy maneuvering in stores, the zoo, neighborhood walks, etc. The front wheel also locks making it a true jog stroller, so you can run with it safely as well.
Price: Ave Online Price $450. You can find them used (mine is), but these are incredibly popular strollers that seem to hold their value well, so if you do decide to invest in a new one, you will use it for years, and then can resell it for a large percentage of what you paid for it.
Fixed Wheel Jogger 1, 4: If you are an avid runner, I recommend getting a fixed wheel jogger. They are hard to maneuver (like through a store) but are smooth and fast on the road. You will definitely need an everyday stroller as well as this one is designed just for straight-aways
They are less expensive than the “revolution” style above and can easily be found used. Make sure to check the breaking mechanism and wheel attachment on any used one you purchase. Most bike shops can tune up jog strollers as well.
EVERYDAY STROLLER 1,2, 5:
Travel System Stroller 1,2: If you don’t need a jog style stroller, have a big enough cargo space in your vehicle and don’t need a super small umbrella style stroller for travel, this stroller could be your only stroller.
Each brand makes a version of these. Basically it is a full stroller that the corresponding car seat also fits into. Sometimes, it is sold as a set with the infant seat. I like the Graco travel system (my sister used this one), I also like the Peg Pergo, Chicco and Britex version. My advice would be to make a decision about what car seat you want, then get the corresponding stroller.
Convertible Stroller 1,2,5
Higher end strollers like the Bugaboo, Quinny, Uppa Baby, City Select, Orbit, Phil & Ted have more bells and whistles and will definitely help you keep up with the Jones. They also make a lot of sense depending on what you need in a stroller. Most of them have an infant car seat attachment. Many of them come with a bassinet type option as well as the basic chair. They tend to come in more fabric choices, have smooth rides, adjustable handle bars (for different height parents). One of the biggest feature for me would be the that many of these brands have the option to add a second seat for baby #2 (city select, uppa baby, phil and ted.) If I had of chosen one of these strollers in the beginning (I had a bugaboo for a while which is one of the ones that doesn’t have a second seat), I would have been able to add the second seat when #2 arrived, instead of purchasing a whole new stroller to accommodate 2 kids.
TRAVEL STROLLER: 2,3
Umbrella Stroller 2,3: Umbrella strollers are lightweight, easily fold up compactly, and are perfect for quick trips to the store or for travel. They can range in price from $10 for a super base line, no bells and whistle version to $300 dollars for features like reclining backs, padded seats, sunshades, extending handle bars. Your child has to be able to sit up basically on his own before you can use this type.
Megan’s Personal Stroller History:
- Bugaboo with infant attachment- purchased used before #1 was born, sold after about a year. Loved the stroller, but hated how hard it was to fold for the back of the car.
- McClaren Techno Umbrella stroller- Bought new with #1 was 9 months, great for Disneyland and used it exclusively between year 1-2. In rafters waiting for #2 to fit in it.
- Chicco Umbrella Stroller- Very used hand me down from a friend- Left it at the house for the babysitter to use for walks to the park, so I didn’t have to keep taking the other one in and out of my car.
- Bob Revolution single- purchased used when #1 was about 2 years old, use it on a very regular basis. Added infant bar for #2. This is what both kids were riding on at Babies R Us
- Baby Trend Infant Carrier- Given to me when #1 was born, but never used. NOW use it all the time with #2
- Double Bob Revolution- Purchased last year’s model new, when #2 was born. Use it on trips with both kids places like the zoo, Marine World, or on long walks/jogs, sometimes farmer’s market.
Humm….remember how I started off saying you didn’t need 5 strollers? Well, now that I think about it, I guess I have 5 strollers after all….shoot.