Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For a family who originally didn't want a stroller, we sure have gone through them! When we were expecting Zachary we noticed many, many cases where the child was being carried or walking and the stroller was a glorified shopping cart, so we decided to only use a carrier and not get a stroller. We have a Snugli that we enjoyed using and still have in the back of car. (I use it mainly for going to the library these days).
Here's Curtis carrying newborn Zachary into Babies R Us to purchase his crib (Sept. 07, Nashville)
Here's Curtis holding 11 month old Zachary while preparing dinner (August 08, Nashville) We now know, however, that to think we didn't need a stroller and could get by with just the carrier was silly! We are now on our fourth stroller in two years. Not because we wear them out, but we just can't seem to make up our minds.

This was our first stroller. A blue Graco LiteRider. (Picture taken on Balboa Island, July 2008). My mom picked it up at a second-hand store in California. We used the stroller so often during that trip to California that Curtis and I took it back to Nashville with us when it was time to go home. We used it several times and I have many pictures of Zachary in it at various events.

Stroller #2: a green Graco stroller, slightly newer than the blue one, it included such features as a one-hand fold and drink/snack holder for the parent. (Picture taken in State College, PA, July 4th, 2009). We flew back to CA at Christmas and my mom had picked up another second-hand stroller so that she'd have one when we visited. We had flown the blue one out so as to use it throughout our trip (our trips to CA always involve traveling to more than one location), but the green one was nicer, so we left the blue one (but WHERE did we leave it??) and took the green one back with us. Again, we found ourselves using it quite a bit, even after Zachary started walking.

Stroller #3: a blue Sit-n-Stand stroller by Swan. One child sits in the seat in the front and the older child has a place to sit or stand behind. When we were expecting Daniel, we picked up this Sit-n-Stand stroller on Craigslist (in Nashville). It was great: Daniel's car seat fit on the front and Zachary had a nice little spot in the back. Sometimes he liked to sit and sometimes he liked to stand. The stroller wasn't the newest version of the Sit-n-Stand, and I definitely missed the drink/snack tray on the handle. Also, the basket was impossible to get into, because of Z's seat, so I used a hook to hang my bag from the handle. It was also very long and barely fit in my Escape. But it worked great and pushed easily. However, on the trip to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens where I took the picture to the right (June 2010), I put Daniel in the stroller seat (instead of in his carseat) and discovered the rest of the stroller's shortcomings: the stroller requires a small but tedious modification to go from holding a carseat to holding a child; the seat only has a three-point harness (no shoulder straps); and the seat only reclines so far (because of the seat behind it). I also didn't really like that both children couldn't snooze at the same time. So I jumped on craigslist again...

Stroller #4: a gray and turquoise Graco DuoGlider stroller. What I like about this stroller: both boys have five-point harnesses; the rear seat fully reclines (read: baby lies flat); both boys have sun shades; the basket is accessible (and it's very large); one-hand fold; parent drink/snack tray. However, the reviews I found online said that it was a very heavy stroller and when it has two kids in it, can be very difficult to turn and nearly impossible to push on anything but flat, smooth concrete. I was a little worried about all that, until the first time I took it out. Even with both kids and a huge diaper bag, I had no trouble with pushing or turning, even on a grassy incline, and lifting it into my Escape was no more difficult than any of the other strollers we've had. So, verdict? I'm very happy with this stroller, if only it didn't smell like the inside of someone's storage unit.

The below picture was taken at Sam's Club (with my iPhone, which is why it's a little fuzzy). Zachary had fallen asleep in the car and did not want to wake up, so we pulled out the double stroller, fully reclined the rear seat for the sleeping child and put the wide-awake child in the front. It worked great! Of course, it only worked because Curtis and I were shopping together, so one of us pushed the cart and one pushed the stroller.
No telling if we'll be sticking with this one for a while or not, but the great thing about strollers is that Craigslist is littered with them and it's pretty easy to get a nice one for less than $100. (We didn't pay more than $60 for any of these.) Although it does sometimes happen that Z is walking, I'm holding Daniel, and the stroller is nothing more than a glorified shopping cart, I almost always pull it out of the car when we go somewhere. Having it allows the boys the option of riding, it's extremely convenient if they fall asleep, it's great for feeding them, and it allows me to bring my diaper bag in its entirety which I could not do otherwise as it's too heavy for me to carry for any length of time. So I've found I love having a stroller, I'm particularly pleased to have a double stroller for my boys (despite the two year age difference), and I don't care if you are laughing at me for thinking I would never need one :-)

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1 comment:

ehart said...

Looks like fun. We had one stroller and rarely used it. There weren't a lot of options back then--just the single reclining stroller and the umbrella stroller. We had the single recliner. The basket came off, the brakes locked themselves...but it did what we needed it to do.

If I had the options available today, I'd buy a walking stroller. I love to walk and I couldn't take our stroller out on our gravel road.