So I’ve been asked about what items to register for. So I’ll try to start a series of registry items that I endorse and tips on how to choose the right item for you. And we shall start with probably one of the biggest items new parents dwell on–the stroller!
There are so many freaking strollers on the market with varying price ranges and accessories. You can easily suffer from buyer’s remorse with all the choices out there. Here are a few tips to help you find the right stroller.
1. Figure out how often you are going to use your stroller.
Evaluate what uses you are going to use the stroller and how often you expect to use it. Are you going to be a stay at home parent who will be out and about without a car most times? Perhaps a standard stroller is right for you. Do you plan to do a lot of running with your baby or go “off-roading” more often than strolls in the park? Maybe you should consider a jogging stroller. Are you going to be a weekend warrior stroller type because you’ll be working and the baby will be in daycare most days of the week? You might be able to get away with a light weight umbrella stroller. Do you plan on having your baby in their car seat as you stroll around? Then you might be interested in a travel system or snap-and-go stroller. The point is, figure out how you will be using a stroller in your baby’s life. You don’t want to invest $200 on a standard stroller when it is just going to sit in the closet save for your occasional trip to the zoo in the summer. And you also don’t want to buy a $75 umbrella stroller than you’ll run into the ground after a year. Once you figure out how you’ll use your stroller, then you can finally focus on a few strollers you’ll get good use out of.
2. Test, test, test!
Registering is so easy since you can do everything online. But if there’s one thing you need to physically go to a store for, it’s to test out strollers!!! Going to Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby are good starts–and yes, you should go to both stores because not all stores carry all the strollers you can try. The most important thing is to see how easy it is to fold and unfold strollers that interest you; no website can tell you how easy it is for you personally. If you can borrow a friend’s baby, do it! Can you fold and unfold a stroller while holding a baby? Eliminate any stroller you think is heavy, especially ones that are heavy with a baby in the other hand. Try to stuff things in the stroller basket underneath. Do you think it’s adequate enough? Is it easy to get your baby bag in and out? You can read so many reviews, but you won’t know a thing unless you thoroughly try out every stroller on your short list. And I’m dead serious about having a kid on hand; it totally makes a world of difference.
3. The “perks”.
Now that you have narrowed down your stroller list to 2 or 3, figure out the “perks”. Does it come with an adult cup holder for your water (technically you shouldn’t have coffee there since it could spill on your baby)? Does it come with a baby tray? Can the baby lie completely flat for naps? Can you snap in a car seat or do you need to buy the attachment? There are so many things to consider, and many of the high end strollers don’t come with these “perks”. Figure out your budget and what perks you can live and live without.
It sounds like a headache, and honestly it is. But if you follow these tips, hopefully you can avoid buyer’s remorse and you’ll be happy with your stroller purchase for a long time.
And for those of you who are interested, we are a Baby Jogger family. We started off with a travel system because it seemed sensible at the time. But after a month of using it, I hated and really dreaded going out with the stroller. We have two Baby Jogger strollers (which I know seems a bit excessive).
Our first one is the City Mini. It lives in our car trunk (which you can see below). Once a week my son and I would go to the zoo, museum, Golden Gate Park, etc. It’s compact and great to keep in our car trunk since it folds up flat. We’ve also taken it with us around the world. It fits easily through the x-ray machine at airports, and is a snap to fold up when you have baby and a carry on to juggle when you drop off the stroller at the gate. It serves us well, and we are very happy with it.
Our other stroller is the Summit. It’s definitely heavier and bulkier to the City Mini, but we use this when we are going to walk to our destination from home (at least 2 miles worth of walking each trip). With the steep hills of SF, it’s nice to have a hand break and the stroller doesn’t go on it’s back wheels because it is heavier. We’ve also taken it off-roading and I’ve jogged with it a few times. It’s really nice and smooth.
Baby Jogger is a bit pricey, but we are happy with them. We also get really good use out of them too. I also like how the accessories we’ve bought work for both strollers (we have the child’s tray and car seat attachment). And with baby #2 on its way, I’ll probably end up getting the roller board that also works with both strollers.
Definitely don’t enter your stroller decision lightly. It’s one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make or register for, so make sure you pick out something you’ll love!!!