Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Logistics: Strollers

So, transportation is definitely going to be one of our logistical issues.  Whether by car, foot, or kayak, moving three kids in an 18-month-span, plus a 5-year-old brother, seems like it will take some planning.  Definitely expect a post on the car coming up, but first off I thought I’d tackle the stroller question.  Hoping for some thoughts based on the experiences of others!

We will hopefully in July have an almost-5-year-old, an 18-month-old and two newborns.  We will also hopefully already have a nanny in place who will ideally be keeping the three little ones during the day.  Needs that I’ve identified relative to strollers include the need to be able to take the two little ones to the doctor, ability for the nanny to get outside with the three little ones, trips to big brothers events/parties/playground/etc. and just attending to the day-to-day necessities of life.

Previous Approach:
With the two boys, we have never been stroller people.  Both boys have been tucked into pocket slings (love the hot sling as at least the old model without the buckle folds up tiny) when out and about from birth as well as a ring sling around the house some and then promoted into the Ergo as they got larger.  Trajan can still go in the Ergo on my back, which is awesome.

We bought a stroller, I think it's a Bugaboo Cameleon, before Trajan was born and other than for walking the dogs, have probably used it less than a dozen times between the two boys.  Those dozen times have been useful, zoo trips, festivals/fairs, etc., but definitely not a lot of use.

When I was pregnant last time, I realized that carrying two on one body, while possible, would probably not be ideal.  I have learned how to work a Mobey Wrap so could wear one on the front with that and the Ergo on the back, but yeah, not ideal.  I looked into the Bob Double Jogging stroller, the Indie Twin, and the StrollAir Myduo, but hadn't reached a point of really making a decision or taking action when Aurelia died making the decision unnecessary.

My Current Thinking:
I actually saw a set of twins in the Baby Jogger City Select double this Christmas at a model train show and this struck me as an actually reasonable stroller.  It is about the size of a normal stroller, goes through doors and aisles well as a result and seems to steer very well.  And with adaptor bars, it will take TWO Chicco Keyfit 30s at the SAME TIME which is a feature that is lacking in most strollers other than the dual snap 'n go.  And the snap 'n go seems to handle horribly. 

The BJCS also can take a boogie board thing, so as Chiron got closer to two, it might make a way to transport all three for short distances at the same time.  Not sure how reasonable this is, but the possibility intrigues me.

The space between the seats is pretty tight, but the kids I saw in it were three and seemed comfy.  I don't think it would be a great option to put Trajan in, but both seats do have a 45-pound capacity, so it would be an option (he's around 38 now).  He's not much of a stroller rider, so I don't anticipate him using it much, but knowing I could let him get into it if he wanted to is a plus.

I also see the possibility of still wearing one baby on our body like we traditionally have and putting the other baby and Chiron in the stroller (or both babies in stroller and Chiron in Ergo) as a way for one parent to handle all three with just this stroller.

Remaining Questions:
1. So, I think the BJCS is a great option to handle transporting them both to doctors appointments when still in infant carriers as well as one parent handling all three of the younger kids while out and about at an event, but I'm not sure it presents a great option for giving a nanny an option to get out of the house.  Any thoughts on what would a good option for this? 

We live on a dual-cul-de-sac street that has no reason to get traffic other than those who live on it, but the street that it opens onto is reasonable volume (two lane, but people going 45 is not atypical) that is one of the main running/biking streets in the area as well with large bike lanes on each side.  The majority of this street has side walks, but there is a short one-block area just past our street that does not.  We also have the option of a back gate which opens onto another cul-de-sac and all residential streets including about a 3/4-mile walk to the swim/tennis club we are members of which has a playground.

I am kind of thinking starting with getting the BJCS and then talking with the nanny we have in place about what would make her most comfortable would work?  We could look into getting a 3 or 4 seater then?  It looks like the three across ones are very wide and would necessitate being in the street for sure while the three in a row are so long that I worry they would be hard to steer, so I thought maybe a 2x2 quad stroller would actually make sense.  But put this off for now?

2. Is the boogie or glider board thing worth getting?

3. Am I reasonable in my thought that the tandem stroller would be easier to manage in most situations?

4. Anyone have any particular feedback on the BJCS or really any of the strollers and why we should look into buying one or the other?

5. I'm also aware that a cheap umbrella might make sense for quick trips once they are pretty stable in their sitting and heads.  Anyone have any thoughts on this idea or a particular one you recommend?

6. The BJCS has a lot of configurations, but I am thinking we would just get the adaptor bars for the car seats and not the bassinet kits. Our Bugaboo has the bassinet configuration and it seems like it overlaps at the same time as the car seat stage and unless we are planning on taking them on long walks during naps, the car seats would actually be more convenient because wouldn't have to transfer and handle all the buckles?

So, if we do go with the BJCS, does it seem reasonable to just get the second seat kit as well as two adaptor bars?

7. When I was looking last time, I learned about the fact that strollers have model years as the version of the Indie Twin that was coming out was going to take two car seats while the then existing one did not.  Is this something I should worry about in deciding how to time when to buy the stroller? And related, particularly if we are going to use it as a frame for two car seats, should I plan on buying it around the time we expect them to be born/come home?
I may not have made it clear exactly how inexperienced with strollers I am, but I really know almost nothing.  But it seems that factors like ability to fold it up easily, or steer with one hand or adjust the kids' buckles could make the difference between a happy adventure and frustrated, agitated people all-around, so I'd really appreciate ANY thoughts or feedback you might have. 

Any of the main strollers (BJCS, indie twin, myduo, etc.) are going to end up closer to a grand than $500 once we get adaptor bars or whatever, so I definitely want to make this decision with as much feedback as I can.  If we need to buy a second stroller to address a different purpose (such as a triple/quad or an umbrella), I will be fine with that, but purchasing a replacement primary stroller will make me grumble.

So, serious bonus points to the person who will just tell me what to do ;-). Help!


  1. Ok, so I've had the front to back double the umbrella side by side double and the quad ie the beast.
    Of all of them that I've pushed and tried....the best and most affordable option is the side by side umbrella. LOVE it ! Syd sat in it at Disney World this last time and was fine for a quick rest on her feet. She's going to be 8.
    I think that strapping one and pushing 2 is a great idea.
    I've also put the littles in the stroller and the bigs stand on the backs and hang on.
    The umbrella fits through most doors and if you release the foot locks and barely allow it to fold up a little can fit through ANY door.
    It's light which is SOOO important when dealing with 3 little people and having to lug around a stroller. It's compact. Again. HUGE deal.
    AND it's cheap.
    Buy 3.

    1. Any particular umbrella? And any memory of how young kids can sit in a stroller that's not a bassinet or car seat like an umbrella?

  2. you definitely don't want a triple-wide jogger. we had one, and it was a behemoth. takes up the entire sidewalk, and you can't get it through any doorways. which might not be an issue, but once, we had to get it into an elevator. that was *comic*.

    a lot of 1+twins mamas use the valco twin + the joey seat up top. but it's pretty pricey, if you're getting the city select too. i think wearing one baby + pushing chiron and the other baby in the stroller will be a good way to go. i used our double stroller a LOT, and just wore the third kid. not as easy when they get bigger (i only had a bjorn) but you seem more experienced with the whole baby wearing thing. :)

  3. Stroller selections for multiples is not something I can help with. I do identify strongly with your ability to think way ahead and weigh the options and generally think the heck out of something. I tend not to write my similar thoughts out long hand, but I must say that I am drawn to reading yours.

    1. One thing I do like about the BJCS is that the tiny babies will face the pusher which is something I disliked about a lot of strollers when we were looking for Tot's.

    2. And how about I highjack your comments? One handed folding is a huge plus; I would imagine even moreso for you since there will be 3+ small people.

    3. Stroller folding tends to confuse me, and I think one-handed implies easy, so hoping that helps!

      I did play with one in person last weekend and it seems pretty reasonable...

  4. When I had my twins, I also had an 18 month old, 3 year old ad 4 year old. I bought one of the travel systems where the infant car seats clipped into the stroller. It was a double (front to back) so it was narrow to fit through door ways et. I wore my 18 month old on my back in an ergo and the older two walked. If a baby was fussy I had the option of carrying him in a carrier/sling and putting the 18 month old in the stroller. I used a variety of methods depending on the situation but I definitely could not have done it without the travel system

  5. When I was expecting twins with the Babby set to be only two when I delivered, our plan was to buy the Valco double that can convert into a triple (

  6. Cough.. Bugaboo donkey. ;o)
    And it has a boogie board attachment.. and the twin adaptor for the Chicco keyfit will be released in June. Can you tell where my mind has been for the last few weeks!? lol...

  7. Mountain Buggy strollers may be worth checking. They have 2 twin versions including a new one that is quite compact. They have been rated highly by various consumer organisations too.

  8. I think the one you posted looks awesome - but we didn't want to spend that much.

    So, we got this one My oldest was 17 months old when I had the twins.

    When the twins were about 18 months we sold the big one and got one similar to this one, which we still use and the twins are 3.5 and the oldest is 4.5

  9. I like the one you posted pictures of. I have seen that one out and about and it does look like it would grow with the kids. I am also pro-sling and pro-boogie board. With our twins I did a UBW (Ultimate Baby Wrap) and hitched it over to one hip, then used my 2 hands to hold the other baby on the other hip. That was the only way to get them in and out of the car at our townhouse during that period of time when they were too old for bucket car seats and too young to walk to the front door themselves.

    I also had a Lasko boogie board for Pookie when Giggles was born. I found it very confusing to decide which board to buy and whether or not they would fit my stroller at all. I called the company and a the US sales rep totally walked me through it and sold me one directly. Great company, made it seem like I was calling the local Mom & Pop hardware store. Very personal service.

    My only other advice would be maybe to look into some kind of "handle" on the stroller for your then 2 year old to hang on to. Just a length of Link-a-doos hung on the side of the stroller would work. It would ground him and let him know how to stay with the stroller when you are crossing parking lots and such.

    good luck!

  10. we love love love our Baby Jogger City Mini. And Chris is picky about anything with wheels. We came close to requesting the City Select instead. I have a friend who loves the boogie board thing for her 4-ish year old who doesn't always want to walk and enjoys the ride-along.

  11. I don't know how close Dallas is to you, but this weekend is the DFW Baby Expo. I think it would be helpful in this area.

    Let me know if you go! I wish I could attend!