When did strollers become the new accessory? Apparently who you're strolling (and I don't mean your child) has become the new "it" thing.
We've all seen proud new parents strolling their new little bundles around in that beautifully bulky, unable-to-make-a turn, thin piece of metal their parents, and theirs before them, called a stroller. Times they are a chaging and lately it seems that picking out your stroller has become as serious a job as picking out your fine china. And I'm pretty sure that like tankinis, this trend is here to stay.
Chic moms want to stroll around chic strollers and thats all there is to it. Strollers can get pretty pricey, but with new models coming out all the time, lower-end competitors are showcasing updated strollers with more modern designs.
I was researching different strollers when I was four months pregnant. And when I say "researching" I mean looking at all the colors and designs and seeing which would be the most practical and versatile.....to match the gorgeous chocolate brown floral diaper bag I just had to have from Nordstroms (and no I didn't keep it, but we'll get into diaper bags another time!) Well I found one: The Bumble Ride Flyer. I saw it in a coffee shop in the summer and fell in love with it. My husband, the more practical one, insisted I check out all the details to make sure I liked it. Okay, pretty qoa color: check. Giant basket underneath: check! You see where I'm going with this....I convinced myself that it would make a GREAT all around stroller because it was substantial enough to take long walks in AND work well with on-the-go errands. I was wrong. Here's a list of what I love and what I wish I'd thought about a little more:
- the color and design - it's definitely an eye catcher and comes in bright, lovely colors!
- the seat adjusted to 5 positions which came in handy as my baby got older. When the sun was in her eyes this stroller was the way to go!
- the handles turn around in less than 5 seconds! it was great when she was a newborn and great now - she can face the world or take a nap completely lying down - it's one simple step!
- canopy is HUGE and has a zipper in the back for ultimate sun coverage!
- giant basket
- UNBELIEVABLE customer service - I am never on hold and all problems get resolved, no if, ands, or buts!
- handlebar is adjustable to up/down motion only (convenient when parking it in tight space)
Things to consider:
- heavier than I thought - the idea of transporting the 19 lb stroller (the lightest of all the models) actually tires me and makes me grateful I borrowed my sisters umbrella stroller!
- the wheels tend to squeak and they require cleaning (but customer service sent me 4 more! score!)
- the handlebar doesn't adjust in height, so it works for me (5'3"), but my husband trips over the wheels
- it's bulky, nuf said
- when facing baby, feet touch wheels
Overall - the stroller works for me. Would I get it again if I could? not sure. You have to try all your stroller options out and see which one will work for you...there are pros and cons to all strollers (which is why MOST people will tell you that they have more than one) - so it's up to you to decide which pros you love, and which cons you can live with...
Here is a breakdown of some of the higher-end strollers that have caught everyone's attention (including the celebs)!
The Bugaboo Strollers -
The Cameleon, priced the highest of the three models, is priced around $900-950. It comes fully equipped with everything Bugaboo has to offer. I recently went to Buy Buy Baby (www.buybuybaby.com) to get a good look and feel for them. They were great - and the staff there does tons of demonstrations on all the great features the Bugaboo has in store!
The Frog, priced around $750-$770 has all the great features as the comeleon WITH THE EXCEPTION OF: the Aerosleep mattress, adjustable handlebars (which makes a difference with taller parents), and adjustable swivel wheel suspension - it weighs one pound less than the Cameleon (19 lbs.) and can hold four more pounds of baby love (up to 44 lbs.)
The Bee, the newest model, resembles nothing like the other two. It's priced at $530. It has different wheels making it unable to trek through sand and snow. Although it's very light, a mere 17 lbs., it doesn't come with the bassinet as the others do (a bassinet with a stroller comes in handy for travel!) If you are looking for something with clean lines and pretty reliable, this may be for you.
Quite a few of my friends have the bugaboo Cameleon or the Frog and they all love them. But they all need an umbrella stroller for those in-and-out errands. The all ride beautifully and definitely feel high-line. Just make sure it can fit in your trunk!
You may not think you've seen one, but I'm sure you have. The modern, astronaut-esque, highchair-on-wheels is the Stokke. Priced around $1,000 this is a great stroller. Their idea behind the design is to have your baby/child at your reach to better bond with him. It's great for restaurants because the seat can adjust to the height of the table so your baby can actually feel included. Handle bar resembles a half moon shape and is easily adjusted for your comfort as well. The bottom storage does not look very big - so The Mommy Clip is a must! The Stokke comes with a bassinet making this a great stroller from birth+. If you have a large budget for a stroller, the Stokke should be taken into consideration.
Sleek, and very user-friendly, the Quinny is a great find. Priced around $500, I was able to find it cheaper on quite a few websites in various colors (at least $100 less). The Quinny has an exceptionally cushy seat and faces to and away from parent. With just a touch the Quinny opens and closes - a truly convenient feature for the mom who's always looking for an extra hand. The handles are adjustable! The basket is extremely small, so clips would be necessary.
The Orbit's ultra-sleek 360 degree design allows your child to sit in virtually every direction (comes in handy for restaurants). Priced around $900, the Orbit design makes it really simple to transfer your baby from the stroller, to car , to rocker. Take a look at the demonstration on their website; www.orbitbaby.com. It shows the installation of the car-seat base and it truly looks effortless and extremely secure. The Orbit was also designed to grow with your baby. Here's the deal: their products looks great, but most of their items are sold-separately - which could make things a little pricey. Their bassinet actually turns into a rocker, IF you PURCHASE the base. But, in way you are actually saving from buying a bouncy chair. The Orbit is an investment, wait - no, no, it doesn't make money and depreciates as time goes on...hmmm, okay, the Orbit is expensive but could be used over and over again. My advice would be to speak with someone who has purchased it and get their opinion on it.
Here are some strollers I would recommend:
If you are looking for a smooth ride but don't want to spend $$$$ check out www.babyjogger.com. They have quite a few strollers (I recommend the City Series)- lightweight, fold with one hand, great colors and style selection - they are truly a great buy and everyone I know who has one really loves them!
Maclaren is a name you can really rely on. They have a huge array of strollers, from simple umbrella strollers to more pricey adjustable strollers. I have found very few negative reviews from them - with reason! Their products are built to last and have a great warranty policy!
Here are some questions to think about while you shop:
1. are you a walker? If you are a city person you may want to consider air tires!
2. how much weight can you carry? maybe 19 lbs is a breeze for you!
3. do you need an easy-folding stroller? one you can close with one hand?
4. what's your price range? are you planning on having more than one stroller?
Hope this helps...please feel free to share your opinions!