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.
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.
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.
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.
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!