When I had the twins, we researched double strollers like crazy and settled on a Graco DuoGlider. It was reasonably priced, held two car seats, worked well and survived through their toddlerhood. Although, I will never stop cursing the fact that the models in the early 2000's had no cup holders for the parents. If I have to deal with twins, then I sure as hell need a drink of somesort. There was no storage at all on the top for parents. Today, you'll find holders for Ipods, sunglasses, and drinks galore. Not so in my time. (in my best creaky bubbe voice, "Back in my day, we had to walk to school uphill both ways 10 miles in the snow while pushing a double stroller with one hand and clutching deseperately to our drinks with the other hand.")
We bought a single Graco travel system for TheBoy ( just found out that stroller has been recalled and I had no idea). Oh holy day! It had TWO cupholders for me AND a box inbetween the holders with a lid that latched and everything. Of course, the latch broke relatively quickly, but damn it, I had cupholders. All was right with the world. Once TheBoy learned to walk (at 18 months after freaking everyone else out thereby making them insist there must be something wrong with him, when I knew full-well there wasn't), the stroller was folded up and "temporarily" left alongside the shed. My son is 3 now. The stroller rests in the exact same place and has held that location through two ice storms. Yeah, that's not gonna work for the new kid.
So now we need a new stroller, or at least new to us. I looked at some of the ones with the option for a bigger kid to sit/stand, but they just seem cumbersome. I would prefer something light and easy to open/close, but I need more than an umbrella stroller. We bought a used Maclaren from a friend last time, but I just wasn't impressed and we sold it. I'm not a slave to fancy names. I also refuse to pay a fortune for a stroller, particularly since this is our last baby.
Here's what I want from a stroller:
- light weight
- easy open/close
- small enough when folded (doesn't have to fit in my pocket, but must not be so big it has to be strapped down to the top of the van).
- easy enough to manuver
- cup holders
- good size storage basket underneath that you can access even with the seat down (that was a problem with the Duo Glider)
- extra storage is a huge plus (side of the basket, behind the seat, etc)
- If it fits a Graco snugride infant carseat, even better, but not a requirement
- Visor cover for baby
- seat that reclines completely
We haven't been big fans of jogging strollers. We've tried a few, but they seem so cumbersome and they can be a pest to manuver.
We'd love suggestions for a new stroller. And hey, if you run a review blog, feel free to talk to any companies you may work with and suggest they send us one to review. :-)
We're also in the market for a bouncy seat. Ours is broken. The vibrate feature stopped working when TheBoy was tiny. The seat doesn't work nearly as well when it doesn't shake the kid. When we bought ours, we had two tiny colicky twins. We sat a crying Girl2 in each of the bouncy seats on display at Babies R Us. She continued crying in every one until we got to the one we eventually bought. To make sure it wasn't a fluke, we ran her through them all again and yet again, she screamed in them all until she got to that same one. We threw it in the cart and thanked G-d. It was then that we heard a father-to-be turn to his very pregnant wife and say, "Now THAT'S the one we're getting." Our twins still hated sleep, but at least we got some relief with that seat.
So I'd love to have that option for this baby, but which one? There are far more advanced features now. Do we really need them? Are they any good? Is there anywhere where we can find a simple bouncy seat that just bounces and vibrates without all the bells and whistles?
Honestly, I'd prefer to borrow one, but many of my friends have either already given theirs away, have pre-teens so their bouncy seats are long out of comission, or are firm believers in baby wearing and therefore never had swings, bouncy seats, or bumper jumpers (I believe in baby wearing, but my first kids came as a matched set which created a need for something in addition to slings).
Once again, if any of you out there in Review Land would like to offer us a stroller and/or bouncy, please feel free. I've been entering all the contests I can to try to win them, but so far, no luck. If you're having a contest for either of these, feel free to post a link in my comments.
To all you parents, I ask, what stroller/bouncy would you recomend? Are there any you think we shoud avoid? What has your experience been?