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Stroller Talk - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Stroller Talk
Last Summer when it became clear that I could look forward to a second child there were two purchases that I made to deal with transporting two small children. One was the Honda minivan and the other was a stroller. I purchased both in dark blue and grey. That's about it for the similarities.

I really like the minivan, somewhat in spite of myself. I could sing it's praises for paragraphs if I wanted to, but instead I will just sum up and say that it is currently an essential part of my lifestyle and I would not trade it for any other vehicle.

The stroller I am less positive about. I did research the purchase. Actually, I researched the stroller purchase more than the minivan purchase. I asked mothers I saw on the playground with double strollers how they liked there stroller and what they liked about it. Based on this unscientific survey I ended up getting a Phil & Ted's Sport. (I am perhaps showing my age by saying that it took a few tries to quit saying Bill & Ted's Excellent Stroller, and may have taken longer had the stroller actually been excellent.)

I will say that the stroller is nice to drive. It has large bicycle-like wheels that makes for a smooth, easy ride over uneven pavement. It is not too long or too wide, so I can make it through doors and down aisles just as easily as before. It also does fold up into a reasonable size for storage, though you then have it in two pieces because the second seat has to be removed before you fold it. It's the process of folding and unfolding that I really find to be a pain with the stroller, and the reason why I'm not a big fan.

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To start with, you need both hands to unfold it at all. (You need to release a latch while pulling up on the handle.) This is a big change from my old Graco stroller which I could open with one hand, without bending down, while I had a baby in the other arm. In infant-toddler mode you have to then load the infant into the bottom of the stroller before then attaching the second seat on top. With an infant and a toddler, the delay of loading the infant, then fiddling with the stroller more before adding the toddler can lead to minor tantrums, especially when unloading from a car.

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Incidentally, the stroller is OK for an infant, though I would not consider it idea. For a twosome of infant and toddler, it isn't so great to be the infant because the infant all but disappears from view once you install the toddler's seat.

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Can you spot the infant it the above picture? I don't think the infant can see much of anything either. At least as the parent pushing you can see both kids, more or less.

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I am perhaps expecting too much of this stroller, and indeed, it is the only double stroller I've used. I still have the old Graco stroller, though, and for short distances when I've driven somewhere I find in a whole lot easier to simply put Duncan in that stroller carseat and all, and carry 26 pounds of wiggling, sometimes protesting Margaret while pushing the stroller rather than to break out and load the doubles stroller. I think that says something right there.

Any of my engineer friends want to design me a double stroller that I can just unfold and load with one hand and minimal fuss? (And no, I'm not one of those high-powered Mommy bloggers who gets offers of stuff in exchange for reviews, which should be obvious because I just panned a very expensive stroller.)
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Comments
jaedian From: jaedian Date: April 6th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Never had a double stroller for those reasons. The Phil and Ted wasn't available for Alex and Sara. And the double wide strollers seemed to wide to go through doors or aisles in the store. And the ones with two seats one after another were too long. And the double wide had two equal sized seats, which really wasn't useful.

What I did was carry baby in sling/carrier and put toddler in stroller. But then I never used strollers a lot when my guys were small, they always cried and it seemed like I was carrying the baby and putting parcels in the stroller anyway.

When Sara got older, I put Alex in stroller and made her walk, and when she got tired I would put Alex in carrier and carry him for a bit. (because he was lighter than she was.) I would prod Sara to walk as much as I could. I did consider getting a foot board to attach to the back so she could stand and ride.

But I generally found strollers annoying and inconvenient. You had to find elevators in the mall. You can't push a stroller AND a shopping cart, etc. I have back issues, but I still found a good baby carrier much easier. (even when Juliette was 2!)

I will agree that looks a little boring for Duncan. I guess if he is asleep it is no big deal. And it does sound like a pain to open and close. (I am even less likely to use a difficult stroller) Although I usually deploy stroller than remove kids from car.

I don't really have a better suggestion than nice single stroller and baby carrier. (Although I can help with comfy baby carriers) You could look into a double wide jogging stroller. They are easier to push. (my BOB practically pushes itself) But they aren't great for stores. It was handy for Juliette (when I bought a jogging stroller) because we were going to so many fields for practice for the older two. Might be nice since you do a lot of walking around the neighborhood in Somerville. But they are wide.

BTW I would love to meet Duncan at some point!
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