Giant Stroller Alternatives?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Giant Stroller Alternatives?
20
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 5:10pm

We went to Babies R Us today to start scoping out things we'll need. One thing I have no idea what to do with is the stroller. I *really* don't want one of those monstrous ones where the car seat sits in it. There are some smaller, light-weight ones that I liked, but they're only meant for 6 months+.

My question is - is it possible/reasonable to get away without using a stroller for the first 6 months (i.e., using a carrier/wrap instead)? Or are we just going to have to bite the bullet and get a "travel system"?

Any tips would be much appreciated!





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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 8:21pm
We did not have a stroller when James was born. We got one when he was about 4 or 5 months old and it was one of the snap-n-go strollers that is just a frame for the carseat. I liked having it once we got it. The nice thing about a stroller your carseat can snap into is you don't have to wake baby up when they're sleeping. When they are really tiny it doesn't matter as much, (James would just go back to sleep in the wrap or whatever) but when they get bigger it's nice to be able to transport sleeping baby, and the carrier gets really heavy. So I guess my advice would be to get one of those types of stroller for early on unless you plan to leave the house very little, they are lightweight and pretty small, and you could probably get one really cheap off of craigslist. I would not recommend getting a travel system.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 10:00pm

Yeah, as Grace said, just get the Graco stroller frame (http://www.amazon.com/Graco-SnugRider-Infant-Stroller-Frame/dp/B0007KMUH4) - I found the Graco brand one better than the snap-n-go generic one. I love, love, love that thing. No idea why people get the huge strollers just to put the car seat on top of.

Now we have a Maclaren Quest. It's rated 4+ months and we started using it occasionally then and transitioned to it fulltime around 6-8 months. We've been very happy with just those and the various slings/wraps/Ergo.

~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 10:47pm

Wait, I thought what you are describing here (frame that car-seat snaps into) IS a travel system! Someone enlighten us pregnant ladies further!!

I also am a little stumped about what to do about the stroller situation. Especially because I might NOT leave my house that much. Kim recommended a Phil and Ted's--and I'm kind of leaning in that direction--and they claim that you can fit a car-seat into it like it was one of those frames. Does that sound reasonable to people?

(Sorry to steal your thread, Alyssa) But can I also say how WEIRD it is that we ACTUALLY have to think soon about registering and picking out these things? I'm still in freaking disbelief, it all seems too soon! LOL!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 11:03pm

I have the Uno travel system by Peg Perego because of the size of the stroller...its not overly huge to me, the handle transitions it from a baby facing mom to baby facing away which I LOVE, big all-terrain wheels, easy to push and I do not intend to put the carseat on the stroller because I dont want a HUGE contraption to push. So you can get a travel system and not use it really. I didnt buy the system with the intention of using it that way...I bought it because I liked the stroller and car seat as separate units.

One thing I would say for you is that its quite likely you could get away without a stroller for the first 6 months considering you will be delivering your babe in the winter. It depends on how active you plan to be in the winter but Ontario winters, as we know and love so well, arent that conducive to taking daily stroller walks. You may get some warmer days to take the baby for a walk but not many. So a sling or carrier may be all you need for the winter months which would be cozy if you wanted to go outside for short periods of time and then you can invest in a smaller stroller for the summer. Just a thought

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Avatar for berry81
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2008
Sat, 05-22-2010 - 11:19pm

Ah yes, the huge annoying stroller decision!

I would definitely agree that the Snap-n-Go is a nice small and light alternative to the travel system (Adrienne - a travel system both allows for a car seat to be snapped into it AND it becomes a standard stroller later on when baby can sit up at around 4/5/6 months or so - most models are really bulky and heavy). BUT, in our case we didn't get more than literally one hour total use out of ours because our dear sweet Eliza H.A.T.E.D. her car seat with such a freaking passion that we literally ripped her out of the darn thing as soon as we pulled into a parking spot and into the sling she went. Poor child. Anyway, I know it's really rare that a baby hates the car seat as much as Eliza did, so chances are you won't have this problem...

I would have really loved to use our SNG more. Wish we lived nearby one another, I have a basically brand new one sitting in my basement that you could have!! :)


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 12:54am

Adrienne- A travel system is a giant matching carseat-stroller combo like this:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3914650

The snap in stroller I have is this one:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266236

Personally I probably wouldn't have bought a stroller at all to use with the carseat, but my cousin gave me that one, and I did end up using it quite a bit. I would go for mall walks once a week during the winter and found the stroller to be really nice even if you have the baby in a carrier because it gives you a place to store all your stuff.

In light of what ella said though, and the fact that some babies do hate carseats, you would maybe want to wait to get a stroller. You certainly don't need one right away in my opinion...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 2:28am

I think lots depends on your circumstances. I have a dog and walk twice a day, so I wanted a buggy that you can use "off road" as well as snap a car seat in. I got a Quinny Buzz travel system, which for the first few months I used with either car seat (when out and about) or with the bassinet for regular walks.


I did have a baby carrier too but found it very hard on my back (it was one of those baby bjorn things) and especially in the early weeks I felt very weak after the c-section and pushing a buggy was much easier for me.


When Teddy was about 4 months I used the pushchair bit for the Quinny Buzz (the upright sitting insert) and later also bought a Quinny Zapp, which is the lightweight, extremely smallfolding stroller version that I now permanently have in the car. I still use the big one for our regular, twice daily walks.


One word re: double strollers (like Phil & Teds) - I've never quite seen the point of those, unless you space your babies very close together. Teddy is already at the point where he wants to walk by himself rather than being pushed around, so why people insist on sticking their 2-3 year olds in a buggy is beyond me. I think I'll get one of those buggy boards should I ever have a second baby, so Teddy could ride on it if he wanted to.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2008
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 3:46am

We've got a monster Graco travel system (just put it together a few days ago).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 7:06am

Thanks everyone – this has been great! I wish there was a manual with what all you’re supposed to buy, when, and a comparison between all the options! Who am I kidding – there probably is somewhere.

Those Snap-N-Go’s look much more reasonable than the GIANT monstrosities I was looking at. I realize they are probably great for some things, but I just can’t picture myself pushing such a huge contraption around. (Adrienne, I was also confused between this and a travel system, but luckily other ladies jumped in to describe the difference – there’s a lot us 1st time PG ladies need to learn, eh?).

I got to admit, I like the price-point of the SNG too – I was really surprised at how expensive some of the travel systems cost! I guess this might be something I will just have to get used to though.

Ruby – good point about the baby being born in the winter. I was also thinking about that. If the winter is mild (like last year) then I can see myself going for walks. But, if it’s anything like the other 4 years I’ve been here, there’s no way! Just the amount of snow is enough to keep me from leaving the house! LOL!

Ella – want to ship me yours? LOL! It would probably cost more to do that than to just buy a new one. Could you sell it on Craigslist or something?

A few of you mentioned buying it later so I can take it back if it doesn’t work out. When is a good time to buy these things? A couple weeks before the baby is born? Or should we wait until after?

I also noticed a few of you had issues with carriers in the beginning due to pain from the birth, etc. I can definitely see that happening with me too (especially since my back is already starting to hurt when just standing for long-ish periods of time!). How long did it take for you to get your strength back?

Also – are those carriers/slings/etc. designed for DH to use as well? He really wants to be able to use them if we buy them.

Thanks so much for the advice so far! I’m so glad I have you ladies, because I’d have no idea about this kind of stuff! I’m sure I’ll be asking a lot more (like how the whole bedding thing is so confusing!).





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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Sun, 05-23-2010 - 11:39am

If your not going to buy a travel system, I think it would be fine to wait until after the baby is here to buy the stroller. (unless you have to travel some great inconvenient distance to get it) We waited until after the baby was born to buy the swing, the stroller, and a number of other things.

I was able to take James on a short walk in the moby wrap 7 days postpartum. I didn't have a c-section, so that makes a difference, but they are much lighter once they are out, so I found it to be easier than being pregnant. Also, when James was so tiny like that I was so enamored with him, I didn't want anyone else to carry him, and I wanted him to be close and snuggly to me. That might just be me though...

As far as carriers go, there are a ton of different sorts to choose from. In my experience DH did not really like to wear James in the sling or the moby, but that was just his preference, he felt like they were "girly". Early on I absolutely loved the moby, it supports baby well, distributes the weight fairly well, and they're close and snuggly. The biggest drawback to the moby is that it takes a while to put it on, but once you get the hang of it, it's not difficult. I probably only used it until James was about 4 months, but that was partly because I had so many carriers to choose from, my friend still uses her moby and her baby is 9 months.

I also have a ring sling which I really liked for when James was a little older (I also used it when he was tiny, but it wasn't as easy to use) Once he was 3 or 4 months though I could wear him on my hip in it and I really liked that for doing chores etc. It's also nice for being out and about because it's so easy to use. I also had pouch sling which are about the same.(not as adjustable, but maybe slightly more comfortable) In general I wouldn't use a sling for a long walk because I don't find them to be as comfortable, but for errands, or chores, I really like them.

My favorite carrier right now is the ergo. You can wear it on the front or the back and it's not so girly so DH can wear it as well (he can technically wear any of them, and I know of other DH's that are not as paranoid as mine...) I never used the ergo with the infant insert, but I have some friends who liked it quite a bit. I you buy the insert I believe you can use it from birth. It's super comfy and distributes the weight over your shoulders and your hips, so I really like it. Also you can use it for quite a long time, my friend still carries her 2 year old in it.

There are also the baby bjorn type carriers. I never had one of these, but all my friends had them. The general consensus I hear is that they're nice for when baby is small, but as they get heavier too much weight is on your shoulders, and their legs start to dangle down really far and they constantly kicking you in the thighs. If you only plan to do baby wearing for the first 4 months or so, this is probably a good carrier for you. They are nice and neutral looking so Dh's tend to like them. All my friends who had baby bjorns have now (babies are 6-10 months) bought ergo carriers. Mei tei carriers are similar to the ergo, but they have to be tied on instead of buckled.

There are other kinds, but these are all the ones I have experience with. If I had to pick only two I would get the moby and the ergo. If I could only have one I would get an ergo with an infant insert. So there you go, I'm sure that's more confusing than helpful, but there's just so much personal preference and baby preference that goes into all of this as well. These might be things that you want to buy late in the game or after baby comes so you have the option of returning them if you want to. HTH!

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