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stroller talk: finding the right ride for baby

Wondering how Eleanor gets around town? Looking to buy your first (or second) stroller? Here are some stroller savvy tips to help you find the perfect fit!

finding the right stroller for baby
When I was pregnant with Eleanor, I did a ton of research on baby gear to find out exactly what was going to work best for us. There are a lot of BIG one time purchases associated with a baby, and I wanted to spend our money wisely. I’ve been extremely pleased with all of our final decisions, and today I thought I’d share two of my greatest loves – our everyday stroller and our jogging stroller. Yes, I am a believer in two strollers… I’ll let ya know why ;)

The Everyday Convertible Stroller: 

stroller buying tips
I knew from talking to my sister that I didn’t want a travel system. Those things are often big, bulky, and full of plastic (ready to break). A friend of mine from high school recommended the Mamas and Papas brand, and I immediately fell in love with the Sola stroller. It was sleek, simple, lightweight, and had ample storage. It also happened to have adapters to work with the infant carseat I wanted.

We used this stroller exclusively for Eleanor’s first 9 months of life. She sat in her infant carseat until she was strong enough to support herself in the traditional stroller seat. It was SO easy to snap the carseat in and out, and it folded up into our car with one snap. Trust me, when it comes to everyday strollers, if you can’t do it with one hand, you don’t want it!

stroller buying tips
Now that Eleanor’s in the toddler seat, I love it even more. The sun canopy has two different settings, so our little diva never has the sun in her eyes. And the seat FULLY reclines – I’ve used this feature on several occasions to change diapers when there wasn’t a restroom in sight. Just trust me on this one ;)

The one thing I miss is the lack of “snack tray” for Eleanor. I’d love to have a place for her to keep her water bottle and a cup of Cheerios. It does have an optional accessory for a cup holder for mama though – definitely worth buying!

This stroller is used ALL the time and doesn’t show any signs of wear. The toddler seat snaps in and out, so I can easily dump out Eleanor’s Cheerio crumbs and wipe it down as needed.

The Jogging Stroller:

stroller buying tips
We didn’t make this purchase until April of this year when Eleanor was about nine months old. The weather was getting nice and Jeff and I started taking runs on the trail near our house. Instead of taking turns, we wanted to go as a family and investing in a jogging stroller was a must. Being budget conscious, I decided to stalk Craigslist for a used BOB stroller. As luck would have it, within a week there was a stroller for sale just a few blocks away from us. It was in great condition, so we snatched it up!

stroller buying tips
This stroller is obviously great for runs, but we also use it for neighborhood walks and the stroller fitness classes we took this summer. The ride is much smoother and it’s easier to steer.

I invested in a handlebar organizer for the BOB, and it’s totally worth it. Two spots for water bottles plus a zippered pouch for keys and wallet!

Why I think 2 strollers are beneficial:
Are two strollers essential? No. Do I love having two? Yes!

The everyday stroller is great for days at the zoo, walking through farmers markets, browsing the mall, and road trips. It’s smaller than the jogging stroller and that means it’s much easier to maneuver in crowds and pack up in the car.

The jogging stroller is the ONLY way to go if you want to have any speed. Don’t try to run with a regular stroller (trust me, I’ve tried). I just find the BOB to be too heavy and bulky to be used on regular outings.

finding the right stroller for baby
Let’s talk about cost:

My dad likes to remind me that my parents spent a whopping $20 on the umbrella stroller used exclusively for BOTH of their kids. Well, as you can imagine, we spent more (yes, way more) than that.

The Mamas & Papas Sola stroller was $399 at Babies ‘R Us. Through savvy couponing, generous gift cards from friends and family, and requesting every deal imaginable from the cashier, we paid less that half of that price.

The BOB Revolution stroller was obviously used, so again, we paid less than half of the normal $370 price tag.

Strollers are a big purchase and definitely not one size fits all. I’m really happy that the choices we made have worked for our family, and hopefully this post gave you some insight into what might work for you!

National Stroller Running Day!
And since we’re talking running strollers, I have some exciting news to share! Thanks to the hard work of my friend Katie at Mom’s Little Running Buddy, National Stroller Running Day is officially coming!

StrollerRunningDay_Final
On November 8th, people all over the country are invited to celebrate National Stroller Running Day! Head over to Katie’s blog to see how you can get involved and WIN some fantastic prizes from BOB Strollers, Fit4Mom, New Balance and more!

Your turn:

What were/are your biggest considerations when shopping for a stroller?
Would you be a 2 stroller family, or would you rather find 1 that did everything?

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