Monday, January 26, 2009

New Mom Help: Post #2

So I had a rough couple of weeks and didn't get to my New Mom Help posts ;) but I'm back and I still need your help!

This week's category:
STROLLERS Travel System? Jogger? Lightweight? Umbrella? Where to begin? If I hate running now, am I really going to jog with my jogger stroller... sure I'd feel sporty and athletic and I could pretend like I'm going to shed all that baby-weight right away, but I know the truth. Athletic and Melissa don't belong in the same sentence. :) That being said, perhaps it does come in handy for other terrain. I'm hoping for lots of feedback on this one. I probably could have split it into multiple posts, but give me all your tips on carseat/strollers/brands/etc! :)


Anna Childress said...

When we were shopping for strollers/travel systems/universal frames/umbrellas (it's a daunting question, I know!) our main concern was LIGHTWEIGHT, and easy to fold and stow! You have seen our car, and we didn't want a huge travel system (some of Gracos systems are HUGE) like I had seen my friends lug around. We ended up with the Combi travel system (maybe the "Torino." I just looked it up, and looks like ours and was around the same price), and we were always very happy with it. I plan to use it again with #2, since we bought it in a neutral color, and it's held up great. The infant carrier (also lightweight) easily snapped in/out of the base (the part hooked on to the seat of the car) and in/out of the stroller, and the stroller was very simple and quick to collapse, fold up (it folds into itself and hooks), and I bet weighs less than 10 lbs. (I got lots of compliments on it the many times I flew alone with Anna by airline staff who stowed it for me :-)Once she could fit in the stroller by itself, we always had great success with it and have put many, many miles on it. Some of the downsides are, it doesn't have a lot of storage space for parental gear (which I didn't want anyway), the front wheels are sometimes hard to turn, and I would love a sunshade that completely covers the sitting section (but I've never seen a regular stroller that does this...some joggers do.) The sunshade was important to me b/c I used this stroller on walks before we got the jogger...which brings me to talk about joggers...

I debated on joggers for a while, but then it became evident that my grand plans of having John watch Anna so I could run went out the window. His trip to Afg. solidified that. I purchased a Schwinn (I think the Free Wheeler) on Amazon, for what I thought was a very reasonable price. I want to say it was maybe less than $100. If you don't like jogging now, you probably won't with a baby, but we' ve also been glad to have it for walks on more rough terrain. Make sure you get one that has a front wheel that swivels. This is key. A fixed wheel is just aggravating, and is really just for long runs. I needed a swivel wheel to run/walk around our circuitous neighborhood. It's been a great stroller for us. The sun shade is very generous and will extend all the way down, the seat is comfy (at least she's never complained of a sore butt), and is adjustable so she could even lie down in it, it's also easy to collapse and not too heavy.

If you're not sure about the jogger, it's definitely something you can hold off on, as baby W. won't be able to sit it in for a while anyway. Your decision could also be determined by what sort of every day stroller you get, too.

Reading customer reviews on Amazon has always helped us.

Hope this isn't too many details, but it's fun to share what we've learned and hopefully it helps a little.

Erik Burckart said...

We bought a Chicco Cortina when Anna was born and liked it a lot. We found a couple things we liked about it.
1) It was really easy to tell when it was in place in the car. It had an audible click that was obvious.
2) It was easy to tighten down in the car with latch and get level (with the built in levels). We barely took it in and out, but those few times we did it was easy compared to some others I have helped install.
3) The seat provided various stages of removable padding as our girls grew. First stage we took out the body inserts and then we took out the head inserts. Since they tell you not to add anything after-market in the seat that might change the dynamics of the padding, we have noticed quite a few of our friends kids heads bobbing back and forth OR they put something in aftermarket.
The stroller was nice and confortable to push around.

The major downfall is that it was a bit heavy compared to some of the ultra-light solutions. We have used it for 2 kids though and handed it to family member for use with their kids its great.

As far as jogging strollers, we aren't runners either. But, Heather is a walker. We found our regular stroller vibrated and bounced a lot when walking with it. So, we use a jogger when walking. The first jogging stroller we had was a Jeep with a real problem for walkers, the front wheel didn't pivot. If you plan on walking more than jogging, buy one with a Pivot Wheel. We now have a BOB Revolution Duallie and love it..except for its price. Caution on the BOB though, the car seat adaptor only works for certain versions of the stroller. We ended up buying a Peg Perego car seat (we bought a brand new one that was 2 styles old for a significant discount) as a second seat and to use in the BOB.

We didn't like the Peg Perego at all. However, I realize that most people do and there is a long explanation why. here you can read all about why and see the pictures showing how little baby heads don't always fit in car seats but fit nicely in the Chicco.

Elsie Hall said...

Ditto on the Combi...We didn't use the carseat, but the stroller itself was lightweight and easy to maneuver. The only downside, like Marie said, was a lack of storage space, and maybe the lack of a cupholder. But it wasn't worth it to me to lug around a huge travel system for the sake of a cupholder :-).

This time, since we have a Graco carseat, we're going to get a snap n' go frame so that I can put the carseat into the stroller--just like with a Graco system. I'll only need it for the first 6 months or so though, so it's not worth a whole travel system for that. With Aiden, I had to pull him in and out of the car and that interrupted naps, and really ended up with me not running errands during naptime--and newborns nap a we just were pretty homebound.

Joggers-We have an old jogger that we found for $20 at a yard sale. We ran that thing into the ground, but it's a dinosaur. I don't even know what brand it is it's so old. Joggers are nice though if you plan on taking walks over rough terrain.

Jess said...

I regret having gotten a travel system. I haven't had any problems with it (it's graco), but the stroller is just big, bulky, and takes up too much trunk space. I wish now that I would have gotten a frame/type stroller that the car seat snaps into, and then switched to a small light-weight stroller (the type that's not much bigger than an umbrella).

Infant car seats are nice because you can get an extra base and not need two seats for two cars. Once Eliana out grew her infant seat, we got a convertable one that will take her the rest of the way. Watch the weight limits because you could end up buying three or four seats! You could even skip an infant seat and get a convertable seat that does work for infant through child, but there were lots of times eliana would fall asleep in her infant seat and it was nice to be able to remove it from the car with her still in it.

I found a jogger stroller at a garage sale for about $20. it hasn't gotten much use. :)

Elizabeth said...

we went to and put in what type of car we had before getting a car seat. It tells you what seats best fit your car - we both have very small cars :).

I haven't used any of the stuff yet (11 weeks to go!) but we did decide to go with a stoller that was a bit smaller than the travel systems and get a separate carseat/carrier. Our stroller has bigger wheels and can turn/ride over rougher terrain pretty easily. It is for an infant or toddler.

Hehe. I'll let you know after baby comes how we like our choices :).