Car Seats & Strollers


Car Seats & Strollers Recommendations

There are tons of carseats and strollers out there, and honestly there is no “best” for either category. Parents are looking for different things depending on their needs and their family size.

I can’t tell you which double stroller is the best out there, for example, because I haven’t taken my kids out in all of them but I can recommend the one I have and the same goes for our car seats. I could add the carrier I used with my children but I will omit that since I did not love it for more than 6 months and I know there are better ones out there that we never tried.

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As a “first time parent” I was overwhelmed with shopping for car seats and strollers and begged my husband for help. He did some online searching one night and picked out what we would get. For carseats I haven’t had any issues whatsoever but for strollers, I’ll be honest, I didn’t like our original stroller and ended up selling it. We had a BOB stroller, a bulky jogging stroller with great shock absorption, with no intention of running with it in South Florida where the terrain is totally flat. It wasn’t my husband’s fault either, the stroller is very good and comes highly recommended, it just wasn’t right for us. For the first six or so months of our child’s life we used it just to hold our child in the carseat and rock him with one hand while eating dinner. It was also his napping place before we got him into his crib. We eventually got a much lighter stroller that folds up pretty easy but isn’t too small that you can’t store anything. And when we were expecting baby #2 only 15 months later we knew we had to get a great double stroller, I did some research this time. Online I saw the prices and features of many strollers and personally tested out some strollers in-store for things like overall weight (I’d be alone with two kids and having to carry that thing into the car regularly) and easy folding as well as size once folded (trunk space was huge for me at the time since I was still in a lease for a compact car.

Car Seats

Again as a “first time parent” I didn’t know the different kinds of car seats and how they would be used. I literally knew nothing about children or how they would grow or how much they’d weigh. So here’s my breakdown, there are a few kinds of car seats but mainly you have infant and convertible. Infant Car Seats are rear facing seats that can be attached by a base that will stay in your car and the carseat can be removed and carried. This carseat can be attached to a stroller, or stroller frame, and will likely be where your infant will sit at a restaurant before they can sit properly in what I call a “public highchair.” Your highchair at home has full back support for your child so even when they’re a little wobbly when finally able to sit up they’re safe but public high chairs don’t have this and are a bit bigger because they’re intended for toddlers and small children. Convertible Car Seats can “convert” from rear facing to forward facing. They can sit newborns up to young children and some continue the “conversion” process into booster seats. Booster Seats are another category which honestly I have no experience with because my children are 3 and younger, however, they are intended to raise your child to a safe height after they outgrow their carseat (usually around age 4 or 5) in the case that an air bag inflates.

I recommend going with the Infant Car Seat for the first year and then upgrading to a convertible car seat. It may seem like a waste of money since the convertible carseats can fit newborns but for about 8-10 months (depending on your child of course) it’ll make your life easier for outings. It will be easier for stroller use because some strollers are made for infants only while others are meant for 6 months and up. And it will be easier to buy groceries or go out to a restaurant because you can’t sit your infant in the shopping cart or public high chair but you can place the car seat inside the shopping cart or a booth/chair at a restaurant, or even most high chairs upside down (which isn’t “recommended” because they can “easily” topple). Some brands will also offer what they call “systems,”  which include a stroller and car seat which are compatible so that you can use their stroller with the car seat and once they fit the size/weight requirements they can use the stroller without the car seat.

So here are the carseats we’ve had. The infant car seat we got to use for each child and now they both use their convertible car seats. All seats come in multiple color options.

Chicco KeyFit30 Infant Car Seat

Strollers

Like I said, we’ve tried a few strollers. For those of you who are active or do have any interest in a jogging stroller, the BOB was great for that, despite my lack of physical exercise. My brother has one and him and his wife are often doing marathons even before they had their daughter and they love it. If you have multiple kids you’ll likely need a stroller to fit multiple kids. Its also a good idea to have a somewhat compact single stroller that you can easily fold up for travel. My husband is always asking me, do we really need two strollers? Uh YES! Sorry babe! The truth is there are times when I need to keep my youngest in the stroller but my oldest can walk freely so why lug around a double stroller? But there are other times, like when I go to the mall that I can’t keep track of my oldest or we are out for the entire day that my oldest will be tired of walking, where I definitely need the double stroller. I keep both in the garage just behind my car so when I go out if I need a stroller I pack it as we head out.

B.O.B. Revolution SE

This is my single stroller that I really like. I can open and close it with just one hand to a compact size and its lightweight but not uncomfortable and has some storage. Unfortunately it seems it might have been discontinued so check out some similar ones like the Mountain Buggy Nano or the Besrey Airplane Stroller which both fold up pretty similarly and look just as cozy if not more.

Contours Options Elite Tandem Double Stroller

I did the most research for this stroller because its a big purchase. I’m not a fan of side by side strollers simple because of the width, I can’t imagine getting through doorways or being on sidewalks (3 ft wide- architecture buff here!). For the tandem strollers I researched this one was one of the best in price with the most features and one that I could actually carry and fold up on my own- which I tested out in my last trimester. Its not a “lightweight” stroller because its actually comfortable and has good storage as well as good shade covering for the kids. Some tandem strollers don’t even come with both seats but this one does and they can easily be removed and reassembled into different positions. I removed one of the seats to attach my infant car seat for the first 5 (ish) months.

Trike: Joovy Tricycoo 4.1

Where did this come from? This isn’t a stroller but I sometimes use it as one, and it can be converted into a training bike later. Honestly there’s a ton out there, different brands, sizes, storage capabilities, and stage options, but they all seem to be pretty great. We used this for trick or treating last year.

Oh and if you’re looking for a clip on fan I recently purchased a really great one since our foam one broke, its got amazing power, is very adjustable and has been amazing on our days at the zoo!

Here’s a bunch of pictures I collected of our past 3 years using our carseats and strollers between our 2 kiddos.

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