When I was pregnant, registering for baby gear darn near gave me a panic attack. And of all the areas of Buy Buy Baby that really made my head spin with what-the-heck-am-I-doing panic was the stroller and carseat area. Um, why are there SO MANY choices? And how do you know what the heck is right for you and your fit family? After chatting with lots of mom friends, doing loads of online research and simply just having some experience now as a new mom, here are seven things fit moms need to know when buying a stroller!
1. Get a light-weight convenience stroller. Babies come with a lot of stuff — and a lot of it isn’t light. Not to mention the fact that your little bundle of joy gets heavier by the day (and sometimes by the hour, it feels like!). So go ahead and invest in a light-weight umbrella-type stroller. Cheaper, lighter and easy to take on the go, they’re basic, but that’s pretty much all you need for a quick run to Target or the grocery store. The one we love is this new Summer Infant 3Dflip Convenience Stroller ($130) that lets you face baby out or towards you. Love that feature — and it’s super light! Plus, Gwen loves it. Just look at her.
2. Also, get a good quality running stroller. If you plan to run or work out with your baby at all (and I highly recommend it — stroller workouts are the best!), do not skimp on a running stroller. I know they’re hella expensive, but they’re also hella worth it. I can’t imagine my life without my BOB. I take it to the gym, the running trail and around the neighborhood, and it works so well. Worth every single penny.
3. Go for the carseat adapter. We got a special adapter that allowed us to secure Gwen’s carseat into the BOB so that I could run with her pretty much as soon as my body was ready to go. It’s a great way to get active once you get the doctor’s a-okay — and it makes your running stroller usable for even longer!
4. You don’t need all the bells and whistles — but you’ll want some. When registering, my husband and I were all like “there’s no way we’ll need all that storage and a cup holder and all that jazz.” Um, wrong. You surely don’t need every bell and whistle available, but you’ll want storage and a place to put a bottle of water. We added this Diono Buggy Buddy (only $8) to our BOB and it’s been so great! Totally righted our buying mistake — and it can easily move to any other stroller down the road.
5. Practice, practice, practice. Sometimes I can be a bit, er, directionally challenged. So the thought of busting out a new stroller on my own, especially in, say a crowded parking lot, is kind of my worst nightmare. That’s why I took time to practice getting the stroller folded and unfolded over and over again in the privacy of my own home (where I can curse and sweat as much as I want) until I felt confident to do it out in the real world. Consider it strength training.
6. Ask the experts. There are new strollers on the market all the time. If you’re not sure which one is right for you or even how the carseat fits into them (or doesn’t), just go to one of the big box baby stores and ask for someone who works in the stroller department. Most of the time, those peeps know their stuff. I would have never found the correct BOB infant carseat adapter if it hadn’t been for the nice guy working at Buy Buy Baby the day we registered!
7. Register those products. I know that filling in those little product cards or getting online and registering all of your baby stuff is a pain the arse and that you don’t have a lot of time, but safety first! You never know when something might get recalled — and there’s always something being recalled it seems. Fill out the card and make sure they know how to get hold of you so that you don’t miss a recall and put your little one at risk. It’s worth it.
Other new parents, do you have a fave stroller? Have any other buying-a-stroller tips you’d add? —Jenn