I’ve been meaning to do a post on our carriers and strollers and just never got around to it. Andy is now 5 months old, and he has definitely had his share of travelling. He has been on a total of eight planes, about a dozen cars and taxis, two boats, a train, and public transit in three separate cities. My parents keep talking about how they make carting a child around so easy now, and I would have to agree. It’s also a whole lot more comfortable.
Now, Kelvin is a big a researcher. He is the one who combs through reviews and comments before we make any of our big purchases. I am very thankful to him for that, because I am not that diligent. When he strongly recommends something, I know that it’s because he has weighed out endless other options and has decided this was the best one. Before I go on, let me add a disclaimer that this is what works best for us, our body types, and our lifestyle. Others may vehemently oppose.
Carrier – Tula Baby Carrier
Four words. We love the carrier. It’s so great for quick jaunts and Andy loves it. It’s a must when we travel, and we will continue to bring it with us even when we bring our travel stroller. When he was little, he would fall asleep in it in an instant. He still does sleep in it, but now he stays awake much longer in it due to his general curiosity with the world.
The sunshade helps to keep his head in place when he falls asleep, and it also does its intended task of protecting his little face from rays. The pocket in the front is home to his hat and my iPhone.
There was a short time about two months ago where the carrier was a little frustrating, though. He was too big for his little feet to be in the carrier comfortably in the froggy position, but he was too small to be able to comfortably pop his little legs out. I spent more time than I should have looking at proper carrier baby positions, convinced that I was screwing up his feet. Thankfully, we got through it, and now his little feet stick out the sides. It’s super cute.
Upon looking at the Tula website, I think the prices have dropped a little bit since we bought our carrier. Plus they have added some more cute prints. I think one of the biggest reasons Kelvin voted for this carrier over the other one we were trying was for aesthetic reasons.
Also, my parents both like the Tula. When they came to visit last week, they put him in it often and went for strolls around the neighbourhood.
Carseat – Chicco Keyfit 30
I must admit, not as much research and testing went into this purchase, but we are happy with it nonetheless. It is middle of the pack in most areas – price, features, weight. It’s functional, the base is easy to install in the car (ridiculously easy), and Andy falls asleep in it all the time. In fact, he is asleep in it right now. He nodded off in the car, in the 3 minutes it takes to get from the library to our home. Taking him out of the car seat when sleeping often results in him waking up, so I opt to leave him in there and just watch him sleep in the bucket.
His little feet will soon pop over the edge of the bucket, and we removed the bottom infant insert ages ago, but the infant head rest we’ve kept in place. We should probably wash that…
Also, it took me a few months to discover that underneath the canopy is an additional pop-out canopy that provides extra sun protection. For those first few months I looked with envy on other baby seats that had huge, convertible canopies. That was silly of me.
It fits into our stroller well, and I would say a good percentage of our photos from Andy’s first month were taken in this carseat.
Day-to-day Stroller – Bumbleride Indie
So our original intention was to get the Indie 4, but when we got to the store in Ottawa, we both gravitated towards the Indie. The biggest reason was so that I could take it out with me on the trails when I wanted to go for a walk. I continue to be thankful for this decision, because I have seen many a four-wheeled stroller struggle its way through trails and streets, while this bad boy trucks through snow and ice. It is by no means a Maserati-level stroller, but it’s also not a typical travel system that you can get at Walmart. At this point in the game, I have mastered the art of getting it out of our car and ready for Andy with one hand, all while holding him in the other. I cannot, however, fold it down with one hand.
There’s a lot of care put into the simplicity of the design, but also some really thoughtful features. I love that we can recline it all the way (more than once, I have used it as a change table when no such table could be found) and that it has a little peekaboo flap so I can see him when he’s sitting inside. It’s also lighter than some of the jogging strollers I’ve carried, so that was a huge plus for me. The storage underneath is fantastic and we use it mostly for our carrier and library books. The cupholder, though spartan, does its job. Don’t think about putting your phone in there, though. I assure you it will fall out.
When Andy is older and we, God-willing, have another child, our plan is to get the mini board attachment so he can ride along while his little brother/sister sits in the front.
Travel Stroller – Maclaren Mark II
Ah yes, our impulse buy. Our “it is way too hot to have him in the carrier” buy. I gave my two cents about this stroller in this post, and I stand by my opinion that it was the best decision. When you’re buying a travel stroller, you are not necessarily looking for bells and whistles. What you’re looking for is weight and ease of use. The Mark II wins in both of these. Hands down. Sometimes I take Andy out in this stroller just because it’s so easy to. When we head to Europe and Asia later on this year and next year, we will be bringing this with us. Because it would be foolish of us not to.