Friday, July 23, 2010


Okay, so it is time to start your registry. Which is pretty overwhelming. The first time you walk into a store like Babies R Us, you almost run to the gun you are so excited. By the time you leave, someone might have to put YOU in a stroller and wheel your exhausted butt out to the car.

We are hoping that a little info on the different styles of strollers might ease your pain a little :) A lot of your which-stroller-do-I-need decision will be made by your lifestyle.

1. Travel Systems: these consist of a matching carseat and stroller. The selling point is that when baby is in the infant stage you can pop him out of the car, set him on top of the stroller and never have to take him out of his buckles. These are great when baby is really little and sleeps a lot and doesn't weigh a lot yet either. Those car seats get really heavy after a while! The travel system stroller is a little bulky. They don't scream sleek and modern, but they do serve their purpose. And newer models are getting less and less chunky. There is a decent amount of storage space underneath so this kind is good if you shop a lot or are taking baby somewhere and you need a place to stash your stuff.When baby is done with the car seat you can still use the stroller for years because it has a high weight capacity.

2. Frames: Instead of an actual stroller, a frame is a lighter weight way to transport the carseat and you still get storage beneath. A Frame costs about half of a stroller (or even more savings depending on which model you get). So some parents will get a frame for when baby is little and then go straight to a real stroller once baby is about 5-6 months and can sit up. Some babies are content in the frame/carseat set up until 1 year! The plus here is saving money and not having a bulky stroller to drag all over the place. These fold up pretty tight so they take up less trunk/storage space than the travel system sized stroller. The Orbit brand allows baby to rotate. Sometimes you might want to be able to watch baby. Other times baby might like to be turned around to see what is going on. With a traditional frame baby can only be backwards. When baby gets to be about 4 months, he might be entertained checking out the scenery so the Orbit version is cool.

3. Joggers: A jogging stroller is great for moms who like to run or walk. Their design allows them to move faster and steer easier than a traditional stroller. These are good for city babies, too, because of their maneuverability.You cannot put the carseat on top every jogging stroller so you would either use a frame for the first 3-4 months or just plan to unbuckle baby from the carseat and transfer to the jogger depending on the model. Baby will be facing outward and probably enjoy the scenery. You may need a newborn cushion for a bit until baby has strong head and back control around 5-6 months. They look like this and cost around $20:

4. Umbrellas: An umbrella stroller is pretty basic. They fold up pretty small and are easy for quick trips or when you don't feel like pushing a heavy stroller around. They usually do not have a ton of storage space. Umbrella are the least bulky so if you are shopping and don't want to take up half the aisle, opt for this version. If you are flying, this is the kind to pack typically because it is lightweight and compact. They offer little support for a newborn, so add an insert like above or wait until baby can sit up well before busting out the umbrella stroller.

5. Double or more Strollers: having multiples? then you might need a double (or triple...) stroller. The debate here is whether to get a side by side or a front to back model. Honestly, they both have pro and cons. The side-by-side allow the babies to interact when they are a little older and both can see the action. However they are wider and can make shopping and manuvering a little tough. The front to back takes up less aisle room, but can be a little tricker to turn because of the way the weight is distributed. So just go to a baby store and take as much time as you need test driving both options and see which one feels better. They each have their advantages (and disadvantages) but neither are really that big of a deal.

A few questions to ask yourself when stroller shopping:
How easy is it to steer with one hand?
How long can I use this stroller? (is there a weight limit)
Does it have a canopy for rain, snow, heat ,etc?
Does it have the storage I need? (you can also hang storage bags off the handles if not)
How easily does it collapse? (try the City Mini... SOOOOO easy to collapse)
Will it store easily in my car, house, etc?
Oh yeah, and how much does it cost?

The City Mini (great all around stroller)

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