Archive for September 2009
This post is overdue! Her pictures and news has already been uploaded and bragged about but actually sitting down to write about it has been hard to do. Wow, pregnancy is rather calm in comparison to having a newborn around. Don’t get me wrong, (I think, so far) we have an easy baby, but it’s still a huge adjustment.
We love her more and more every day, and I’m still amazed at the whole process.
It’s Monday, three days past the estimated due date. Friday was, for those believers, a full moon, but unfortunately, no waters were broken around here. I can’t say I really thought the due date would come and I’d just pop out the baby like clockwork.
The weekend was really great anyway. It was D’s birthday, and weekend birthdays are always the best. I thought we made a big cake but it was all gone by yesterday evening.
We picked up the changing table this morning, finally. And we’ve rearranged the room (again) so it fits nicely. I spent most of the rest of the day at doctor appointments – fun!
Where to start on this topic. Things like strollers and car seats were WAY off my radar at this time last year. And I would never have imagined that picking out a stroller is akin to picking out a new car, only maybe worse. I mean really, how much could be involved? Let me answer it this way – after many months of looking, we still aren’t sure what we want, or, more importantly, what we actually need. Hahaha. Yes, this after reading countless reviews, watching youtube videos, talking to friends with younger children, etc, etc..
Maybe starting with the car seat is easier. We ended up picking a Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix car seat/infant carrier, which is good from birth to 13 kgs (~28 lbs).
Why? Because it is popular here in Germany (Europe), known for being safe, and fits into a Maxi-Cosi Easy Fix base, which we also bought. Funny aside, we bought the car seat BEFORE we bought the car.
This Maxi-Cosi Easy Fix base, in turn, locks into the seat of the car via the ISOFIX latches which almost all cars have now. These attachments go by the name LATCH in the US. With this base and attachments, the car seat is more securely attached to the car’s frame. The other big advantage is that it makes taking the carrier in and out of the car super convenient. No need for strapping the seat belt each time, or worrying if you did it right, the carrier clicks into place and can removed with a pull on the release handle while lifting. We installed the base and car seat last weekend and it really couldn’t be easier to use.
Back to the stroller business. And yes, it is really a business. There are sites devoted to nothing but reporting stroller news and reviews. At one site I found useful, BabyGizmo, they have no less than 7 different categories of ‘single strollers’, i.e. strollers for one child:
- Standard Strollers
- Lightweight Strollers
- Travel Systems
- Lightweight Plus Strollers
- Luxury Strollers
- All-Terrain Strollers
- Jogging Strollers
Before you even contemplate if you are going to actually run with a stroller, or go off-roading with baby, there are a list of things to consider:
- Is this stroller suitable for a newborn? Alternately, when will the baby/toddler outgrow said stroller? Many don’t do both extremes very well.
- Is it tall enough for you and your mate? Usually a test drive is needed to verify this. Do you kick the back of the stroller when you are making a normal stride?
- Is it maneuverable / easy to turn?
- Is it stable, do you want to hang a diaper bag over the handles? Any storage areas?
- How heavy is it? Is it easy to fold? Will it fit in your trunk? Will it fit in your trunk with other things – like groceries or suitcases?
- Does it recline? Can the baby lie flat for naps?
- Is the sun canopy big enough?
- Is the stroller sturdy enough for the everyday terrain where you live?
All of this probably seems like overkill right?
And it could be if your lifestyle is stroller optional. When I think of some places I’ve lived, I never saw that many strollers actually being strolled outdoors on a daily basis. Florida is hot most of the year and cities are sprawled out, so the only times I really remember seeing strollers was at theme parks and zoos, and inside shopping malls. I didn’t have baby on the brain then so I could be wrong here. But if you only need a stroller for the zoo and the mall, and you have plenty of trunk space, you can pick one of the most popular travel systems (car seat/stroller combo) at Babies R Us and be just fine. Really.
Budget wise, the range is wide – from hundreds to thousands. The Dwight-Orbit scene from The Office comes to mind.
Where we are now, I walk all the time. With groceries. And there are cobblestone streets and trains and buses to get on and off. Cobblestone and shopping bag space would refer me to a standard, luxury or all-terrain category stroller. Public transportation and our European-sized car trunk, to a lightweight or lightweight plus category stroller. Ay carumba.
So we don’t have our everyday stroller purchased yet. We did buy our lightweight travel stroller. The Quinny Zapp:
It’s light, compact (can fit in airline overhead bin, though we’ll probably gate-side check it), good for taller parents, and the Maxi-Cosi infant carrier can be attached to the frame for use during the first 6 months. We’ve seen this combo around town, and though I have major doubts about it for prolonged use on cobblestone streets, I think it will be great on trips and short outings.
From the Checklist:
x Car Seat
_ Travel crib
Today is the day.
So far, the waiting continues. And from now on the number of doctor appointments ramp up. I am thinking, or hoping, it will be soon because I literally feel like I’m wearing a baby these last few days. The discomfort comes and goes. I’ve had bursts of energy over the last week and times where I didn’t think walking to the mailbox was a worthy enough cause. The doctor and midwife say the signs are here, we just don’t know when the party will get started. Whee!