KathyBou’s Blog

A sampling of things that are going on and around.

Car seat and stroller

with 3 comments

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

Gah.

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:
Getting Around:
x Car Seat
x Stroller
_ Travel crib

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Written by Kat

September 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Posted in bebe baby, germany, newborn, shopping

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Absolutely dead on. Picking out the right stroller probably is worse than buying a new car.The proper research is critical if your planning to do more than just push the stroller through the grocery store. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Bill

    September 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  2. […] on Auschwitzjoedresch on Auschwitzsandrar on Robert Jordan’s unfinish…Bill on Car seat and strollerKat on Pour […]

  3. Love the maxi cosi also, the base was fantastic, and you can still use it with the seatbelt if traveling and you don’t want to bring the base with you. We did that on a trip to the US and it was so easy.

    baroquebabies

    October 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm


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