It’s What Mamas Have to Say Monday! Each Monday, our panel of mommy bloggers weighs in on wacky questions that we – or you – think up. Have a question you want our panel to answer? e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll notify you if your question is selected!
Here’s what mamas are saying today!
Question: What stroller would you recommend and why?
When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with finding the safest carseat. At the time, Consumer Reports was rating the Graco Snugride infant seat as the top pick. So when I was looking for a stroller, I decided to buy the Graco stroller that worked with the Graco carseat — it was called a “travel system.” It seemed like a great idea, I imagined myself popping the carseat in and out of the stroller and in out of the car. I would breeze through stores carrying my carseat and then pop it into the stroller for longer walks. The only problem was that the carseat with my baby inside weighed about a million pounds. It was torture trying to carry that thing. Also, my daughter grew very fast and outgrew the carseat within about three months. Then I was stuck with an extremely heavy and bulky stroller. It was way too big and unwieldy to take into stores. It was almost impossible to fold up. It was OK on walks, but my both of my daughters hated riding in it. I’m not sure if this is a recommendation…
Before my first child was born, I didn’t know anything about strollers (Who does?). I was, however, savvy enough to ask mom friends what kind to get. All of them told me I HAD to get a stroller that could accommodate an infant car seat – at least at the outset. Best. Advice. EVER. My daughter was great at falling asleep in the car, but at transferring anywhere else? Not so much. The stroller we settled on was a Graco travel system of some sort (of course I can’t remember the exact name, and I think I liked it a lot more than Sarah did). Basically, you snapped the car seat in if you wanted to transport your child in the car seat, but it also had a regular stroller seat (a reclining one, which is critical).
We also at one point had a Maclaren Triumph. I really loved this stroller. It was easy to maneuver, had higher handles so I didn’t have to hunch over to push it, and it had a spacious basket in the bottom to put my purchases…like thousands of diapers. These strollers are just under $200 at most places, BUT, check out eBay first. We got ours on eBay for under $100, and it was new. Yes, as in never been used. Again, loved it.
And then I got pregnant with twins. When the realization that I would have to transport three little beings with me everywhere I wanted to go hit me, the race was on for the perfect stroller…on a budget. The winner was the Contours Options Tandem Stroller by Kolcraft. It was absolutely perfect for us. When the twins were infants, we used the attachments for bucket car seats and took them around that way. It was also sturdy enough that when we were out for walks on a nearby trail, shopping at the grocery store, or anywhere else, and my daughter got tired or upset, I could set her on the handle and push her as well (***Disclaimer – I am sure that it was completely unsafe, and I do not recommend doing that with your child….I blame it on the hormones…and my high level of desperation to leave the house). It also had a giant basket underneath for carting around everything you need with multiple kids. Once your kids are out of the infant car seats or are sitting up on their own, you can switch to the regular stroller seat attachments. You can face the kids toward each other, you can face them both forward, etc. We kept the twins facing each other until they discovered they could kick each other…then it was forward facing only. We literally ran that stroller into the ground. I took my kids on trail walks with it. I ran from time to time with them in it (not long runs – just panicked runs when a kid was throwing up or something fun along those lines). Oh right – the absolute best part about the stroller? It’s under $300.
*Shannon Hembree is the co-founder of Mamas Against Drama. She is the mom of a kindergartner and twin toddlers. You can follow her on twitter @shannon1hembree.
Read No Further. The best stroller is the Phil and Ted’s double stroller. You’re welcome.
Why you ask? Well, it’s super compact and incredibly easy to navigate through tight aisles and store displays without sending a 1,000 can pyramid of low sodium black beans plummeting to the floor. (Leave that for your kids to do). It looks like you’re only pushing around one tiny person – until you turn a corner and everyone says “No way! I had no idea you had two kids!” and you can smile pretend to yourself that they’re envious of your sultry bod instead of the Mona Lisa of strollers.
It works on and off road. You can walk or jog with it. The front seat lies completely flat. The back lies almost completely flat as well – which is great when an ornery child (or two) need power naps. It also doubles as a Sherpa during a shopping excursion where you have so many shopping bags the credit card company calls to make sure your AmEx hasn’t been stolen. There’s storage below and still plenty of room for feet as your baby grows. There are tons of fun accessories. It’s easy to fold (once you figure out which of the buttons to push) and you can take the bottom portion for the smaller child off really simply to make it a single stroller. My 5 year old and 2 year old still love to go in it and argue about who gets to sit in the front.
Granted, at the price of $600+ for this stroller, you may have to sell your soul in order to afford one. However, it is totally worth a life of eternal damnation. Plus, you’ll feel so guilty about spending that money on said kick ass stroller that you’ll take many walks just to justify to yourself that you actually needed it. You will be back to your pre-baby shape waaaay before Lucifer comes to cash in his claim check. And, just think about the hot bod you’ll have as you start your future career as a succubus. Really, how could you afford NOT to get this stroller?!?
*Tracy Winslow is married to a ninja and has two ninjettes. When she’s not practicing ancient mind bending techniques, she can be found tee totaling chardonnay out of a sippy cup. Give into her cerebral manipulation and read her blog: www.momaical.com/. Tracy can be followed on FB and Twitter @Momaical. C’mon…you know you wanna….it’ll make you feel good…give in to the mind control…
When people ask me this question- I always say the same thing.
In fact, I really wish I was being paid by Valco Baby since I’ve convinced more than a few people to go out and get one of these babies for themselves.
In my opinion- nothing on the market can top the Valco Baby Twin Trimode Ex for twins +1. Nothing.
If you’re having twins, and have a child under 3- you really need to make an investment into the stroller that will seat them all. It’s the only way that I was able to leave the house those early months- I would have been stranded otherwise. In fact, I was stopped at Target early on by a mom with twins + 1 (who were all grown by that point) and she just oohed and aahed over it- she lamented that if there was one when she had the babies she would have been able to get out of the house more than she did- and I fully agreed.
The Twin Trimode has the most fantastic sunshades of any stroller I have ever seen. It’s a workhorse with some serious rubber tires and maneuverability. You can opt to purchase the Joey seat to make your stroller a stadium seated ‘triple’ and I promise you- you will not go ANYWHERE without at least three people asking you about your stroller.
The biggest downfalls are that it’s a little pricey (but you get what you pay for) and it’s a heavy stroller. However, before you know it you will be lifting that out of the mini van like a pro.
I’ve had mine since 2010 and know I will probably never have a stroller I like as much as this one!
*Farrah finds sporadic moments to jot down her adventures at The Three Under. Her 3 year old and 15 month old twins are all boys. Someday she will own nice furniture again. Catch up with what she’s dealing with on Twitter as @momofthreeunder and Facebook.
My favorite stroller for three kids is the Baby Jogger City Select. It is inline double so that I can get through manhattan’s small grocery stores. We have the glider board on the back for someone to ride on– which of course they all fight over.
We also have the Baby Jogger City Mini Double in the car because it’s easy to fold and travel with.
*Wendy writes truthfully about life in New York City with twins plus one at Mama One to Three. She includes many references to wine and coffee. Find her using bad judgment and even worse language on Twitter, @mamaonetothree, and Facebook.
The best piece of equipment we ever purchased was our “inline” (front/back) double stroller. I had a 3-year-old and a baby. We were living then in an old city where they didn’t have sidewalks big enough to accommodate a doublewide, and I had to be able to get easily in and out of stores, trains, etc. with a stroller.
Also, having tried my friends’ double-joggers around my own neighborhood, I’d realized that my scrawny toothpick arms were no match for those jumbo buggies when turning corners. (It only took a few times nearly dumping my children down a ditch to come to this understanding.)
So anyway. Inline double stroller. Greatest invention ever. It was made by Phil & Ted’s. They make several versions of it now, and it comes in lots of colors. You can pop the extra seat on and off in 2 seconds, and the baby part can be lie-flat or sit-up. Absolute genius. I’d recommend it to anyone.
(Note: Looks like it’s gotten kind of pricey. Bummer. However, I used it as my city-errand stroller, out-for-a-walk-please-fall-asleep stroller, exercise stroller, everything — just one stroller as opposed to multiple ones for different uses. So it can take the place of multiple stroller purchases.)
*ML is a freelance writer and editor whose work appears in print and online regularly, almost always under other people’s names. She is also the creator and author of the humor column, I Miss You When I Blink. Find it on Twitter (@wheniblink) and Facebook.
Laura Bedingfield Herakovich
Ditch the stroller for a good Baby Bjorn carrier. After my first son could walk, I don’t think we used our stroller ever (we had the ginormous Graco one that matched our son’s car seat; it screamed “new parents!”). My in-laws gave us a fancy double stroller as a gift when our second son arrived, and we used it once. Yes, only once. It was such a pain to fold it up, lift it into the car, get it back out, unfold it…yadda yadda…that I gave up on it after my first experience. Instead, I became a master at Bjorn wearing; I could move a sleeping infant from the car seat (the bucket kind) and into the Bjorn without him so much as fluttering an eyelash. I could cook dinner, wipe bommers, walk dogs and fold laundry with a Bjorn on. There’s no way I could have tackled a grocery store with 2–or 3–children without it. The baby loves snuggling up to your chest when he’s tiny and he loves being at eye level with other adults when he gets a bit older. And baby is trapped! There’s no worry of climbing out of the stroller or grocery cart! Added bonus: burning more calories while toting an extra 20 pounds with you. Baby Bjorn all the way.
*Laura Bedingfield Herakovich is the mother of three rambunctious, yet adorable boys. You can read her personal blog at http://www.jtandtheob.com/
Well, first I should say that strollers have probably come a long way since I was using them. But back in the day, I appreciated the Graco 3-in1 system, which included a car seat base and a carrier, which meant occasionally, if the fates were smiling upon you, your baby would fall asleep in the car and stay asleep in the stroller.
*Jennifer Griffin is the mother of two very active and very adorable little boys.
That’s all the mamas have to say this week. Check back next Monday for another wacky (and yet profound and insightful…) round of answers from the mamas!