Stroller Update: 5 months in
I thought it was time for an update on our stroller choice. I knew when I chose our stroller this time around that it would be my everything. We share one car and Trevor needs it for work most days so I am on foot pretty much everyday. I love being able to walk almost everywhere we want to go. One of the reasons we live small is so we can stay in our walkable neighborhood and easily access everything we need on foot, be it parks, groceries, chores, coffee, preschool or art class. This stroller was a big investment and not one that everyone can or will want to make. My justifications for such a spend was that it is much cheaper than a second car, would last us for at least 3 years without the need for a second stroller and have a decent resale value. Here are my thoughts 5 months in:
Ride Along Board - I am loving the Ride Along board and I'm glad I splurged for the Bugaboo version. While I initially thought the seat attachment was silly, it has turned out to be a great feature. Theo loves to sit on it when he is tired. I can also use it as punishment if he is not listening while we are walking.
3 yr old's stroller aversion - While I see many 3 and 4 year olds in strollers, Theo has considered himself too big and fast for strollers since he was about 2.5. He is actually a great little walker and can walk the kilometre to preschool and back quite quickly but there are still times when he is slow, distracted or tired and I'm so glad we have the Ride Along Board (or "Scooter" as he calls it) to get places faster. Knowing my little guy's personality, a double stroller would not have been an option for us. He wouldn't want to be strapped into a stroller or be in the same seat as his baby sister. Though I would say that if by some magic your oldest still likes riding in a stroller or naps in the stroller then I would go for a double stroller. It's all about knowing your kid.
Size and Ease of Use - This stroller is impressively small for all it can do. I often have to fit through small doorways and share busy sidewalks living in the city and I never feel in the way, the way I did with a larger stroller. I also can maneuver it with one hand, even with the "scooter" attached. This is important for me as I often have to take my coffee to go :).
Full Featured - One main reason I chose this stroller is because it was usable right from birth. The seat can face you and almost fully recline so a bassinet is not needed (we don't have space for more gear). I love that a stroller this compact still has all the features of a much larger stroller.
Baby Sleep Problems - Mae is not a great stroller napper. Sometimes I get a half an hour nap out of her and sometimes she cries for half an hour straight until I pick her up. This was very unexpected for me as Theo loved to stroller nap, which kept me very mobile during his first year. With Mae it is always a bit stressful heading out in the stroller so I always pack my Ergobaby carrier with me and resort to carrying her if I can't take the crying anymore.
Weather - It has rained for almost 2 months straight in Vancouver!! Seriously!! It rains a lot in Vancouver but when I thought of my first fall with two kids I wasn't quite ready for packing everyone up in rain gear everyday! Needless to say a rain cover is of vital importance and so is a 100% waterproof coat for me and Theo (Mae's got the best deal of the bunch). I definitely underestimated the effort it takes to get out the door, geared up with 2 kids but I am getting better at it (beyond the proper gear, the biggest issue is convincing a 3 yr old to get dressed).
Storage - A downside of a compact stroller is less storage. Once I put the diaper bag and carrier in the compartment under the seat, there isn't much room left for groceries or other items. While I would love a little more storage, it is easy to throw my diaper bag (ie. backpack) on to make more room. I also think when I can turn the seat to face baby outwards there will be a little more room or at least it will be easier to access.