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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Thursday, November 23, 2006

I think my head is going to explode. I've been spending this Thanksgiving morning researching strollers. Our adoption referral is getting closer and closer, so we need to start making whatever decisions we can make not knowing our child's age, gender, or size. I remember doing this months ago before throwing my hands in the air. It's just way too confusing.

As I was viewing all the conflicting reviews and wildly varying prices, from $89-$699, I was wishing there was someone who would just tell me which one was best. I decided to ask you!

Please share with me your advice on a stroller. I'll even tell you what I think I'm looking for. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm insane. I'm also starting to think that it's impossible to buy just one stroller, but would prefer to do so.

Here's what we're trying to find:

adjustable handles - I'm 5'6"; Jim is 6'4". We would like a stroller that we can both push. I have found in the past, from pushing family and friend's strollers, that I usually ended up kicking the back or having to slightly stoop in an uncomfortable position.

canopy - We'd want something to protect our child from the sun (we head south often) or inclement weather.

recline - If we're out at the mall, zoo, etc... and pipsqueak needs a nap, then pipsqueak should be able to nap.

basket - We need some way to stash a diaper bag.

tray or bar - Somewhere to attach or place a toy or sippy cup.

parent cup holder - Odds are good that at said zoo or mall trip we'd want to have a drink, too.

removable cover - To make cleaning the inevitable mess easier.

5-point harness - Maybe this isn't necessary, but it seems safer. What do you think?

lightweight - Of course, who wants to pick up a heavy stroller?

foldable - I like the one-hand fold options. I have visions of trying to hold pipsqueak mid-meltdown while trying to collapse a stroller and get in the car.

one-hand steering - See nightmare above, but start earlier and have to get to car.

practical - We're not starting with a newborn child. We won't need a huge travel system. We will most likely be matched to a child around a year old and 20 pounds.

affordable - I'd like to pay less then our next car. In fact, I'd like to pay less then my first car!

Yes, you could call this shameless begging for comments, but I need help!


Anonymous chicagomama said...

Ok, the stroller which gives the most of the options that you requested (and that I love the most out of all the ones I have ever had)is this one:


If that link doesn't work - go the costco.com and look for the Compass Stroller in Charcoal Plaid. It is only 89.99 (which includes shipping). And it really does rock. If you aren't a costco member - I would highly recommend becoming one just to get the stroller. And if you don't like it - they have an incredibly good return policy. Good luck!

Blogger Kate said...

Both of the strollers I've used with my kids - big strollers, but we'll get to that in a second - are Evenflo's. My daughter is 6, so hers is long-since off the market, and my son is 2 and even his has been ousted by the newer models. But I've found them to have all the little bells and whistles I liked, and to be easily operable, and was satisfied both times.

Now, the "big stroller" thing... yeah. You're also going to need at least one really cheap ($10) umbrella stroller for certain occasions, like something just tossed in the trunk of the car when you make an unplanned trip to the mall, or any airport travel, or whatever. You may also want an even BIGGER stroller for outdoor walks... I've found that the Evenflo ones are fine for walks, but only up to a certain speed, and if you're trying to keep up with, say, a 3-year-old on a tricycle, or just keeping a certain heartrate or whatever (or rushing home to deal with the diaper before it overflows), then one of the big jogging strollers is a wonderful thing. They can very often be purchased very reasonably through a children's consignment store or on craigslist.com.

And make consignment stores your friend... there's an urge to buy all-new, but they just grow so FAST... and besides, you get such a great variety of styles and brands and so on. Plus consignment stores often have really unique, unusual toys.

Okay, soapbox over. For now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the opinions on having a small, super-duper lightweight stroller and a larger, more serious stroller, commonly referred to in our house as 'The Cadillac'. I LOVE our Graco Duoglider and IF you think for any reason you will be adding another child to the family in the forseeable future, I recommend a double stroller for sure! BRU is a great place to go and try them all out and see what you like/dislike then hit those consignment stores for sure!! Good luck!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS -- A seat belt of some sort does come in handy as well as many of the little niceties...drinnk holder for mommy, drink holder for baby, etc. Decide what is MOST important then give it a go!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With 3 kids now and 1 on the way, I second the double stroller (however this made a great gift from grandma when #2 came along). Double-check your priorities then list them in order. Not very many strollers have an adjustable height for handles, you will probably pay more just for this feature. One-hand steering is very nice but we've never had this and done okay. 5-point harness is crucial in a car seat but not necessary in a stroller, it's a nice safety feature but could be more complicated to undo when child is sleeping and you're trying to transfer them to a car seat or vice versa. Almost all strollers have canopy, basket, recline, and removable cover (I think they're removable anyway). Set a budget limit and set your priorities, include purchasing another stroller such as an umbrella and/or jogging stroller if you think you'll need those. I do highly recommend the umbrella stroller, I didn't have one until #3 and it has been very handy. Explore all the deals you can, with #1 I had a 25% off JCP coupon that we used to bring our "dream" travel system down to a reasonable price. Good luck! We've had Cosco Eddie Bauer and Graco strollers, our umbrella stroller is Winnie the Pooh bought at Big Lots very cheap. If you can, ask to try out your friends' strollers to see what kinds you like.

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