Baby Transportation, Round 2

Came back, did you?  Yesterday I overviewed the intense, stressful, and expensive process of purchasing a stroller for our first child.  Not once. NOT ONCE did it occur to us to consider the likely possibility of us having another kid in the not too distant future.  So when young Miss Vivian was exactly one year and twenty-two days old when we found out we were expecting again, my mind almost immediately turned to MORE THINGS THAT WE NEED!

Viv is still very much a stroller user. While she loves to walk anywhere and everywhere, she is pretty agreeable to rides in the stroller for walks and at the mall.  Since she would be about 21 months (that’s 1 year 3/4 in non-parent speak) when Baby Lafe #2 arrived, we knew we would be looking at a stroller built for two.

Thankfully, the universe for double strollers is much more limited than that for single strollers, so our options were narrowed.
side by side or tandem
First step was to decide which version of the double stroller we wanted.  The Side-by-Side is pretty self-explanatory: Two seats sitting side by side.  Some SxS have attachments for car seats, but most are focused towards what I think of as the twin set: two kids about the same age/weight sitting side by side.  I was a little concerned about weight distribution in the SxS strollers – would one side be harder to steer with a heavy car seat attached? Would it tip over if I let go?  Mind you, I have no real basis for thinking this way (I never took physics), but the thought enough left me dismissing the SxS for now.  The other major downside I saw for SxS was the width.  As I said yesterday, we use the stroller mainly for mall trips and walking on sidewalks.  Our sidewalks are narrow enough, and forget trying to navigate the mall with a stroller that’s twice the size of what you’re used to.  It may be something we’ll consider for the future, but for now, no Side by Side.
The Tandem was the other option, which allows for front and back seating.  The major downside is that the kid in the back doesn’t get a great view of what’s going on.  Not a major issue when the baby is in an attached carseat, but as the kids get older, both will want a view.
Sit and Stand or Convertible

After narrowing it down to a Tandem stroller, we started looking at different versions.  One of the more popular types (from what I can tell) is the Sit and Stand.  The idea is fairly straight forward: one kid is strapped in the front, and the other (older) child has a little ledge seat where they can sit unrestrained (or stand, if they want). Joovy makes a great version which allows you to buy a second detachable seat to limit the “I have an unrestrained toddler on my hands” anxiety.  I have a friend who owned Graco Room to Grow version.  Fair to say that most of the major brands have their own version of the sit n stand.

The other option for us was a convertible double stroller, which tend to run on the pricer side. The idea is that you buy one stroller that can later be converted to a double (or triple) stroller. UM HI THIS IS THE KIND OF STROLLER I IGNORED THE FIRST TIME BECAUSE TOO MUCH FOCUS ON ONE CHILD!   Britax has a nice one called the B-Ready, and ………..
But my heart had been won.  I saw a family in L.L. Bean one night- they had a young toddler around Viv’s age and a brand new baby in a beautiful double stroller. and Low and Behold, it was made by Baby Jogger, the same brand of the Jogger we use and love!  We test drove it at Buy Buy Baby soon after and were sold.

The City Select is a single stroller, with all of these options available.  First is the attachment for the car seat (which we had for our Jogger).  Second is the adaptor to make it into a double stroller.  And Third was a second seat for when both kids are out of car seats.  You can also buy a glider board that attaches to the back for that “Stand” feature for older (or a third) kid!  Yes, it’s pricey.  But we were able to find a set which included the single stroller (mrsp $499.99), the double adapter ($19.99), and the second seat ($169.99), for the price of just the single stroller at Buy Buy Baby!  Viv and I have test driven it at the mall as a single, and when my cousin came to visit a few weeks back, we had success with it as a double seater at the museum!

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Best part so far: the storage! There was limited storage in the jogger (obviously), and it is great to be able to stuff all of our gear and jackets in the bottom. I imagine it will be tighter with two kids’ gear, but I’ll take what I can get!

Stat tuned to see how we do when baby Lafe arrives next month!!

Baby Transportation, Round 1.

One of the most stressful part of shopping for Viv (when she was just a wee Baby Lafe herself) was choosing a stroller.  Travel System or stand-alone? Snap and Go or Attachment? Jogging Stroller or Not? The Man and I test drove a hundred* strollers, narrowing down features we loved and those we could do without.

Stroller Shopping

*slight exaggeration.

 

The first category we had to narrow was whether to get a travel system or a stand-alone stroller. We decided against a Travel System simply because we already had a infant car seat. Travel Systems, for those of you who don’t know (and I didn’t), are a stroller with corresponding infant car seat.  The car seat snaps quickly and easily into the stroller and also into a base you install in the car. perfect for infants that nap wherever you go.  And since wherever baby goes, the car seat goes, it didn’t make sense to us to get a Travel System with ANOTHER car seat.

Snap N Go or Attachment

 

The next question we had was whether to get a simple snap and go stroller frame that holds only an infant car seat, then upgrade to a larger stroller when baby got bigger.  The other option would be to purchase a larger stroller that includes an attachment to hold the infant car seat.  At first, i was all about the snap and go, but we had limited storage in our house, and wanted to cut down on superfluous baby gear.  So out went the snap and go.*

*I will mention that everyone I know RAVES about the snap and go.  Hands down, if we had more storage in our house, we would have purchased one.

 

Jogging Strollers

Let’s make this very very clear. I am not a runner. I have tried to be in the past and am most successful on the treadmill in my parents’ basement with The Patriot, Gladiator, Braveheart, or episodes of Arrested Development cheering me on.  I have run exactly two 5K races and threw up after both of them. The Man is not a runner either, but is much more fitness inclined than I am.  So when he started eyeing the jogging strollers, I wasn’t totally opposed. He liked the suspension on them and figured it would be great for off-roading and/or our city’s uneven sidewalks.  I was initially concerned that they would seem too big, but found them to be even more maneuverable than some of the traditional strollers.

We narrowed our choices down to a BOB jogger and a Baby Jogger Summit XC.  The Man preferred the feel of the BOB, but I won out in the end.  The Baby Jogger has an easy one-handed pull closure, making it super easy for me to collapse the Baby Jogger with one hand and plop it into our trunk.  Once we knew there was a car seat adapter available for purchase separately, we were sold.

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Moral of the Story? First, you can research online and read recommendations over and over, but you have to choose what is right for you and your lifestyle.  What works for others (travel systems and snap and gos) would not work for us.  We LOVE our baby jogger, and though it’s been used for jogging a few times, it’s served us just as well as a mall-excursion and long walk stroller.

Second, it really doesn’t matter, because if you have a second kid within a few years, you will need to do this process over again!  Tune back tomorrow (or sometime soonish?) for a (much less involved) decision making process for the double stroller!

Visit from Harper

Remember about this time last year when my cousin Betsy came to visit with her new baby Harper?

Well, they came back this weekend! Betsy is pregnant with her second and due only 7 weeks after Baby Lafe is due.

We had a busy busy day. And naturally viv didn’t have a good nap after swim lessons. She held her own and was as active as ever!

We headed to the NYS Museum, where they have a ton of great exhibits on animals (which of course the kids love) and a toddler hands-on playroom. You may recall that we’ve been there before….

But by far the hit of the Museum is the antique carousel. Harper had never been on a carousel before and LOVED it! We were even able to try out our new double stroller!

As soon as we got back to my parents’ house, Viv and Harper both took solid naps. A perfect refresher for a delicious dinner!

Here is a photo dump for you

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Now off to bed to get plenty of rest to do it again tomorrow!