stroller / car seat dilemma

Monday, August 2, 2010

Now that we know Ella is a girl (oh I just love being able to use a name when I'm talking about her!), and with the realization that I'm past half way through this pregnancy, I'm feeling like I need to get my butt in gear with planning and preparations!

There are SO many things to be done. And SO many decisions to be made. I don't really know where to start! I'm making my lists of course, because that's what I do. But I decided it was best to start with little steps. So I thought picking out a stroller and car seat would be an easy one to start with.

Not so much.

For those who have been there, you know. When it comes to strollers and car seats, there are so many different options and features to think about!

Well I decided to start my search at Target. I didn't really know what I was looking for, so I just started out by looking at size, material and looks. I saw the Baby Trend Expedition jogger stroller and Flex-Loc infant car seat. I loved the heavy fabric, the triangle-shaped carrying handle, the small size of the car seat despite working for a baby up to 30 lbs, and really I loved the sophisticated black/gray color combo. I'm not a jogger, but something about a jogger stroller still appeals to me. It just seems like it may be more maneuverable. The one big downside, that hubby noticed, was the "puzzle piece" buckle. In order to secure baby in, you have to put the two pieces together first, before clicking it in. That may not be a deal-breaker, but it's certainly a big negative in our minds.

Next we looked at the Graco. We really like the SnugRide 35 infant car seat, with the MetroLite stroller. So many car seats only go up to 22 lbs, and we really like the flexibility of this one going to 35 lbs. I wasn't crazy about the patterns I saw at Target or Babies R Us, but found the Laguna Bay pattern online and really liked it! I'm really not looking for something super girly, even though we're having a girl. So I like the neutral-ness of this teal/green combo. I also liked the fabric on this one, the stroller has a much bigger basket below, and the buckle is much easier to manage with a squirmy baby (with each piece going in separately.) Another difference to the Baby Trend car seat, is that this one has the base release lever located at the head of the seat, as apposed to the foot. Hubby liked this one better, I liked the other - I guess it's just a preference thing!

These two were really the best options we could find to actually look at in our town. We live in a decent sized city, but for some reason we don't have a Super Target or a dedicated Babies R Us (just a section in Toys R Us.) So the options are rather limited. But we plan to do some shopping in a bigger city sometime soon (hopefully!)

But since doing our shopping, I've had several people recommend the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat to me. Then the weekend before last, hubby's mom went to buy a stroller for the cabin (for my 2-year old niece), and came home with the matching Cortina stroller. We used it several times for walks over the weekend, and I have to say I'm really falling in love with it! It is SO easy to push! The umbrella comes fully detached from the back, so you can put it in front of baby if you are walking into the sun. The basket is large, the tray comes off completely, the seat back is adjusted by actually hardware rather than just a strap like the others I've seen, and the fabric is great. The only real downfalls I see are the small cup holders (my Camelback water bottle doesn't fit), and there is a plastic window in the umbrella that doesn't have a flap to cover it.

So the hunt continues. We need to do more shopping so we can see them in person, rather than just online. And of course I need to check into Consumer Reports for safty ratings and such. But I think I'm leaning towards the Chicco at this point.

What systems do you use? I'd love to get your thoughts and recommendations! I am sure there are so many factors that I have not thought about! I'd love to hear any input you have to share.


Alysha August 2, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

we have the chicco travel system and we absolutely LOVE it. And now that baby #2 is on the way, we are so glad we still have it while Dawson is in his big boy convertible seat. And the best part, they now have a double chicco travel system which i cannot wait to buy!

Marjan Jeffry August 5, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

I love baby girl! Then everything can be pink :)

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