Friday, January 30, 2009

All You Need Is Love (and a new stroller)

This will be baby #4 for us. So one would assume we have everything we need. For the most part, we do. I'm a big advocate of the concept, "All you need are boobs and a bed." Got those covered. Now, however, we need recommendations for a stroller and a bouncy seat.

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?


Stesha said...

I don't think I will be much help with the stoller, because the twins are getting the bumbleride.

As for as the bouncy, I will check around for you because I am also looking for one.

Hugs and Mocha,

Phyllis Sommer said...

i am of no help because i just tend to beg, borrow and reuse other people's stuff. then we complain and struggle with it but never really end up buying "the right" stuff.... it is such a dilemma.

sometimes, tho, when i did plunk down the big bucks for things, i was really really happy with the product and therefore it was worth the money. so maybe it doesn't matter about it being the last baby? some of this stuff (like the stokke seats, for example) really do hold their resale value.

okay, i think i'm no help. LOL! good luck!

Nancy said...

When my youngest was born, his older brother was just 2 1/2. So we bought the I think it's called Sit and Stand. It worked out well for us and it had a cup holder! :)

I think we got our at Target.

TheFeministBreeder said...

I have the DuoGlide, and you CAN access it with the rear seat reclined... most moms just don't realize it. There's a little red release handled that drops the back of the basket down so you can stuff things into it, even if your tike is sleeping. I do it all the time.

It's not lightweight, but I've never seen a double stroller that is. I do love it though. I can steer it one-handed, and it really does "glide." I'd buy it again.

Reiza said...

What year is your Duoglider from? Ours was from 2001 and didn't have a latch for the basket. I know they made improvements after that (including CUP HOLDERS).

I'm definitely not doing a double stroller this time around. I do so adore small, easy to maneuver, light single strollers. The Duoglider, however, was my favorite of the double strollers.

collyn23 said...

i know the technology has changed all the baby stuff with my first 10 years ago i had the wind up swing haha hated it with my 10 month old so much has changed. The stroller i have i love it is the and I love it ya alitlle bigger than you want but i love that the car seat fits, it has cup holders and big storage and easily folds up and fits in the back of my mini van plus i love that you can take the back seat off for bigger kids to stand and ride and for the bouncer here is the one i love it is cheap like 27 bucks i think and it is cute and vibrates and gets the job done i love it I hope this helps thanks for checking out my blog and for the awesome comments and yes skr is pretty standard shoes size i always buy a size bigger and they are about right one thanks again

TheFeministBreeder said...

We bought our DuoGlide last summer. We got the cheaper version (around $130) as opposed to the nicer $200 version. I dig it.