Perfect Stroller? HA!

As a mother of “two under two,” I’ve come to realize that there’s no such thing as the perfect stroller. There are many great options out there - and I own several of them - but I think it’s hard to find everything you need in a single stroller. So much about the “ideal” stroller depends on one’s individual lifestyle. For example, if your child is at home most days with a parent, grandparent or other caregiver, you will likely use your stroller a lot more compared to a child who goes to daycare. If you have two kids close together, that might also influence your decision. That said, here’s what I’ve learned:


Neighborhood

For us, the neighborhood was a major factor when deciding which stroller to purchase. We live in a walkable area, but the sidewalks are very uneven, so the BOB was the right stroller for us. Its heavy-duty wheels can handle the rough terrain and it’s great for jogging, which was important to us. It’s a big stroller, so it wouldn’t be ideal if we were going to pop it in and out of the car often. Instead, it lives in our garage and we use it almost every day. We got the carseat adapter for it, so it’s easy to use with either one of our kids.


Lifestyle

Do you and/ or your partner like to go for long walks? Do you envision yourself doing errands with a stroller? Are you a jogger? Do you travel a lot? Thinking about your lifestyle will help you decide what kind of stroller you’ll want. If you will do a lot of errands in your car and have an infant, I’d recommend getting a simple frame that the car seat snaps into. Many car seat brands have an option like this. Most kiddos outgrow the infant car seat by about age 1, so this is only something you will use until then. This is just another reason to buy it used and sell it when you’re done! After your little one outgrows this option, I would recommend replacing it with a lightweight umbrella stroller. For us, this lives in our car so that if I drive to a farmer’s market or the mall with my toddler, I have something lightweight that I can pop her in. It’s helpful to talk to other friends or parents with similar lifestyles and think about what will work for you and your family. What works perfectly for another mom might not be what’s best for you!


Product Details

If you’re going to buy a stroller used, which I do recommend as a way to save money, it’s helpful to check out the product details on the company’s websites. Strollers are often updated yearly. Some of these changes are minor and might not be important to you, but some might be appealing. For example, since I am only 5 feet tall and my husband is almost a foot taller, we really wanted our BOB to have adjustable handlebars, and only some do. The company’s website offers a comparison of all the strollers and specifies which models have this feature. After figuring out exactly which models would suit our lifestyle, we were then able to sort through all the secondhand options and look for the specific model we wanted.


Multiple Strollers

I admit that we own what might seem to be an excessive number of strollers, but we use them all! Our BOB is our go-to stroller when we are heading out for a neighborhood walk or jog. Sometimes, if we’re not going too far, I’ll wear our 3-month-old and we’ll push our toddler in the BOB. If we’re going on a longer walk, like to the farmer’s market, we’ll pull out our Baby Jogger City Select, which can be used as a single or double. We use it as a double for now since we have two young kids, but it’s nice to have the one child option too. There are lots of double options, and like anything else, the best one depends on your specific needs. Even though we have a double, we still use our singles a lot. If I’m out doing errands with just our baby, I’ll use the car seat frame, and if I’m out with just our toddler, I’ll use the umbrella stroller. Each of the strollers is unique and serves a purpose, and since we bought them all used, they were cheaper and we are able to justify owning multiple ones. Happy secondhand stroller shopping!  

Special thanks to our guest blogger and fantastic customer, Vanessa Santiago Schwarz. Vanessa is a mother of two young daughters, Isabella and Juliet. She met her husband, Gabriel, in Costa Rica when she was hired by his company to work as a travel guide on a community service and language immersion program for high schoolers. Vanessa is a former 4th grade teacher and a current doctoral candidate in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity. She loves being a mom, teaching, traveling, hiking and yoga. Vanessa is passionate about creating loving and warm environments in which all children can thrive.  

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