Gabe and I have a small apartment and an allergy to plastic, so we kept our picks simple and purchasing low. Over the next few days – I’ll roll out a few of the essentials we selected to get us through until we move to LA in the summer. Of course, we will start with every expectant mother’s favorite pre-baby purchase.
No. 1: The Stroller
Somewhere after twelve weeks I began stalking strollers. I used to stalk dogs at the park, find a cute one and chase it down so I could pet it. Now, I stalk strollers. I eye them coming into Rittenhouse Park and I follow them, until I can casually lean into the mother and ask, “How do you like your Bugaboo?” You can get all kinds of useful information this way. I found out the important features of a new stroller when I discovered what new moms dislike about their choice.
“I wish I had thought more about getting it up and down the stairs. It’s a lovely stroller and it was crazy expensive, but it’s so heavy I can’t get it up the stoop of my apartment. And I don’t even want to tell you about getting it in the back of the car.”
“You can only buy this model with the pram attachment, and I only used the pram for about three months. It was a total waste of money.”
“My husband is so tall that he has to lean over to push the stroller, and I’m so short that I’m reaching for the bar. He is constantly kicking the back bar with his stride. We should have bought something more adaptable.”
When it was time to register for our very own stroller, we were armed with all sorts of advice and opinions on the best fit. We had both done our research on safety and style, but none of that seemed to make sense when we found ourselves in the stroller aisle at Babies R’Us. Row up on row of large plastic strollers and we had absolutely no idea what distinguished one from the other.
“How about this one?” Gabe grabbed a $15 umbrella stroller off the rack.
“Honey, that’s for a toddler. The baby has to be facing us and she won’t even be able to hold up her head for the first few weeks.”
“We can just stuff a bunch of blankets around her. This one is fine. Let’s just zap it and go.”
“Gabriel, we can’t just ‘stuff a bunch of blankets around her’.”
“I guess duct taping her head upright is out of the question.”
The choices were overwhelming and there was no one there to guide us. I picked up my phone and dialed the number for BuyBuyBaby down the street. They were open and had a specialist on hand, so we headed over for a little lesson on what is important when it comes to your stroller purchase.
Baby Gearologist Matt told us all about the Graco and Chicco travel sets, the Bugaboo, the UppaBaby, the Quinny and the Orbitz – but Gabe fell in love with the City Mini in orange and grey and that was the end of our search.
This stroller folds up to carry up the stairs with one easy movement. You just grab a handle in the center of the stroller and pull up. The stroller weighs a light weight seventeen pounds and fits easily into the back of a car or behind a door in your house.
The stroller has a feature that lets you lay your child back into a recline. So technically you can start using this stroller as early as three months. It has two peep windows and a super cool canopy that folds over the baby like a little cocoon. You can turn the stroller with one hand and adjust the handle up or down for height. The back bar sits up far enough to avoid kicking when you walk. We registered for the cup holder and the child activity bar.
For the first few months of our babies precious life, we decided to use our infant car seat and a simple snap’n’go frame we were able to find on craigslist for $30. Most hospitals require you to have an infant car seat before they will allow you to leave. We don’t own a car and are pure city mice, so we decided to get the best use out of our car seat by making it into our infant stroller. It beats buying an expensive pram and I’m sure we will get a lot of use out of this combo when we travel.
A few weeks after we registered for the stroller it arrived in the mail. Gabe was so excited. He set it up in the bedroom and raced it around the house. For at least a week, his favorite thing to do when he got home from work was to push the stroller around the apartment and talk to his future baby.
"Okay little lady, keep your fingers inside the stroller at all times."