How to Use the Car Seat Harness Correctly

Dallas Robinson

Did you know that one of the most common car seat-related mistakes parents make involves incorrect use of the harness? The following information will explain how to use your car seat harness correctly.

 

1. Inspect and Evaluate

The first step is selecting the right car seat, followed by proper installation inside a vehicle. If you are unsure whether this has been done correctly or not, have your work checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. These are essentially car seat experts who have passed a 40-hour course devised by NHTSA, the National CPS Board, and Safe Kids Worldwide. They understand the fundamentals of car seat installation, including placement within different types of vehicles as well as different harnessing approaches. In order to keep their certification, child passenger safety technicians must continue taking courses, demonstrate involvement in helping new trainees, and have their work reviewed by an instructor every two years.

 

2. The Seat Itself

The most commonly used car seat has a 5-point harness, meaning the harness touches the strongest points on the body: the shoulders, hips, and crotch. Before doing anything further, take note of the direction the child is facing. If they are in a rear-facing seat, make sure the harness is directly at or just below their shoulders. Conversely, if the seat faces forward make sure that the straps are right on or just above the shoulders. You will also want to check and see whether any of the straps have any kinks in them and be sure to straighten them out if they do. Additionally, ensure that the straps are stranded through the cover and shell of the car seat.

 

3. Make Sure the Straps are Snug

After completing the above steps, pull the harness over and buckle it. After, carefully pull the straps and make sure they are reasonably snug. One way to test this is by performing a “pinch test”. Simply press tightly in a horizontal direction and if you can’t pinch the straps together you’re in business.

 

4. The Perils of a Loose Harness

Despite thinking you’ve done everything correctly, it is important to keep in mind that mistakes are prevalent. One of the most common is not tightening the strap enough. Many opt to leave the harness loose out of fear of causing discomfort. Just keep in mind that there should not be any slack. Instead, aim for a tight straight line. Additionally, take care that the harness isn’t pressing against the flesh in a painful manner. All of this is particularly important because loose straps mean that the child is not adequately secured, which could result in severe injury in the event of a crash.

 

5. Placement of the Center Chest Clip

Another all-too-common mistake involves the placement of the center chest clip, which should be at armpit level. This is particularly imperative because the clip is designed to break if there is a crash. While it seems trivial, if the straps are too loose the child’s shoulders will not be secure enough, while tight straps could choke them.

 

6. Positioning the Straps If the seat you are using faces the rear of the vehicle make sure that the straps are routed through the slot parallel to or just below the shoulders. If the strap is above the shoulders at all, it should be promptly repositioned before the vehicle is on the road. In the event of a forward crash, the child seat will likely fall towards the floor of the vehicle. If it is a high speed crash, the child will be thrown towards the top of the seat. If the straps are not close enough to the shoulder the child could slide further up and stop erratically, or fly out of the seat entirely. Conversely, if the seat you are using is forward facing, make sure that the straps pass through the seat either at or just above the shoulder. Consider the way an adult wears a seatbelt: it should be positioned just above the shoulder so one can fall into it in the event of a forward-facing crash.

 

While the harness is a crucial part of keeping a child safe during a crash, it is by no means the only pertinent safety risk. Check out this blog post for a comprehensive list of common car seat safety questions.

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Hot Car Dangers and Your Baby

Dallas Robinson

Compared to adults, children are at a much higher risk of overheating in a hot car. One reason for this is that their skin is very thin and as a result their sweat cannot adequately regulate their body temperature. Another is the fact that breathing produces humidity, which can further impede their ability to naturally cool themselves. As one would think, these factors form a lethal cocktail that can claim a baby’s life in a relatively short amount of time. The following information will expound on some of the dangers your baby could face in a hot car.

 

Cars Heat Up Faster Than You’d Think

Many people think that leaving their baby in the car while they run quick errand is no big deal only to come back and find that tragedy has struck. What they fail to realize is that a car parked in the shade on even a moderately hot day can easily reach temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Think you’ll be in and out before that could happen? Think again. Even leaving a baby in a hot car for a short time can be dangerous. This is because the components inside the vehicle—including the dashboard, seats, and steering wheel—heat up quickly and eventually contribute to the overall temperature.

 

Think of it this way: if your car is parked in the shade and the temperature outside is 100 degrees, the dashboard can easily reach 115 degrees or more while the steering wheel and seats each reach around 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Even worse, it only takes a mere ten minutes for the temperature in a hot car to rise as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to organ failure and those above 107 degrees Fahrenheit ensure death, it seems extremely shortsighted for a baby—attended or unattended—to remain in a car for that long.

 

The Dangers of Heatstroke and How to Avoid Them

When a baby is in a hot car they are a prime candidate for heatstroke, a form of hypothermia that occurs whenever one’s body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above. The type of heatstroke babies are prone to is a life-threatening medical emergency referred to as EHS, or extensional heatstroke. Unlike CHS (classical heatstroke), which takes a few days to build up and typically afflicts the elderly, EHS is characterized by a quick onset, often offering no preemptive indication. With EHS, the longer the child is in the car the greater the chance of heatstroke. According to a recent study, more than 800 children have died in hot cars as a result of EHS since 1990.

 

As mentioned earlier, the reason heatstroke sets in much quicker for infants than it does for adults is due to their age and specific developmental properties. Recent studies demonstrate that EHS can occur in as little as one hour if the car the child is occupying is parked in a particularly sunny area and double that time if they are in the shade. But seeing as the overall length of time depends on the specifics of each person’s biological makeup, which are fundamentally variable factors, why risk it at all?

 

Solution: Go Mobile

Rather than waiting in the car, why not take your baby with you? Achieving mobility is as simple as purchasing a lightweight stroller. Worried about the affects of the sun? Fear not, Stroller Haus stocks several strollers with retractable sun canopies that add some much-needed UV protection. Some of the strollers they offer can even be converted into car seats for extra tactility, so in addition to saving some space and warding off harmful UV rays, you’ll never have to worry about the perils your baby will face in a hot car.

 

Consider the Cool-down

While keeping your baby out of the heat should always be the first priority, it’s also important to consider the cool-down. After you and your baby arrive back home, giving them a cool bath is a great way to reduce their core body temperature and get them to relax. For added bathing efficiency, consider purchasing a spout cover with digital temperature indicator to ensure that the temperature is just right.

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The most common car seat safety questions answered

Dallas Robinson

While there are a lot of tough decisions to make for your child, choosing a car seat can be one of the most difficult because of the additional safety and functionality concerns. To put your mind at ease, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about car seats.

 

How Can I Be Sure That My Child Is Secure?

After you have purchased and successfully installed your car seat, before strapping your child in, it is always a good idea to have a professional check the security of the seat. You can get a safety seat inspection by finding a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) at a police or fire station, or by going to seatcheck.org to find an inspector in your area.

 

Once you have had your seat inspected, it is important to follow safety practices when using the seat. Before each car trip, make sure the harness is snug on your child by using the “2 finger test.” Put two fingers against your child's chest and pull the harness tight until it is firm against your fingers. Remember, no matter how confident you are with your seat, following the manufacturer’s instructions is key!

 

What About Air Bags?

Airbags are possibly the greatest uncertainty when it comes to car seats, but the answers are pretty straight-forward. Before anything, read the owners manual for your car to check for specific instructions about both front and side airbags.

 

Because of the front airbag, children in rear-facing seats must always be in the back seat. If your pediatrician recommends constant supervision due to a special health-care need, determine whether your car has an off switch for your airbags. This is a very special scenario and should be used with extreme caution.

 

Side airbags can also be challenging for children in the back seat. Typically, the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat.

 

What’s The Difference Between Rear and Forward-Facing Seats?

Deciding whether your child should be rear or forward facing depends on their age. A child should be in the rear-facing position until they are 2 years old unless they reach the height and weight of a toddler sooner. Most rear-facing seats will include height and weight limitations in their instructions. To be safe, it is probably best to leave them in the rear-facing seat until they are of age.

 

Once your child is over the age of 2, they are ready for a forward-facing seat. Not all seats allow both functions, and it can be a burden to have to purchase an additional car seat. Convertible seats, like the best-selling Nuna RAVA Convertible Car Seat, allow parents the option to transition when they feel comfortable, without having to worry about a new seat.

 

Do Car Seats Expire?

You may not realize that a car seat has a shelf life. Often, manufacturers stamp the expiration date on the label located on the sides or the base of the car seat. While it might

seem like a ploy to sell more seats, there are very important safety reasons for placing an expiration date on a seat.

 

A car seat often expires 6-10 years after the day it was made. Like anything manufactured, technology improves and standards change. In addition to wear and tear, car seats are often exposed to extreme temperatures, causing the seat materials to break down and belts to lose their elasticity. In addition to expiration dates, remember to keep your eye out for product recalls.

 

What Do We Do When We Travel?

Deciding on the logistics of traveling with a car seat can be daunting. You can always rent a car seat when you arrive at your destination, but it can be hard to ensure the quality and safety of the seat you will receive. Also, many parents don’t realize that it is recommended that children ride in a car seat while on an airplane.

 

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking your car seat from home is often the best option, whether you take your everyday seat or invest in a back-up or travel seat. Additionally, you can get a travel bag, like the Peg-Perego Car Seat Travel Bag, for your seat to keep your investment safe from any unexpected damage.

 

Whether you are just starting your research or have additional questions, it is always a good time to chat with a professional. Stroller Haus offers online consultations to help you every step of the way.

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Renting a car seat for rental cars: the pros and cons

Dallas Robinson

There are a lot of tough choices to make when traveling with a little one, deciding whether to bring your car seat should not be one of them. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide between traveling with your car seat and renting one on your trip.

 

Pros of Bringing Your Car Seat:

 

Your Seat is Safer

You probably comparison shopped for hours trying to find the perfect car seat for your little one. After all that work, it seems silly to gamble on whatever flimsy car seat the car rental company offers you.

 

Additionally, what many parents do not realize is that it is recommended that children ride in a car seat while on an airplane. Since airlines do not usually rent safety seats, having your car seat on the flight will ensure your child's safety the entirety of your trip.

 

Bring Your Seat Is Cost-Effective

Saving money is probably the number one reason families consider renting a car seat versus paying to travel with one from home. While most people worry about having to pay to check their car seat, taking your car seat onboard spares you any additional charges. Also, once you reach your destination, having packed your car seat, you will not have to pay for any rentals.

 

Your Child Is Familiar With Your Car Seat

Parents know that getting a child to sleep on a plane is a best-case scenario. Having your seat along for the ride sets you up for success before you even take off. Whether you are in your rental car or on your flight, the chances of your little one remaining calm are significantly higher if he or she is in a seat that they recognize from home.

 

You Are Familiar With Your Car Seat

One of the biggest issues when renting a car seat is not understanding how it works. Nothing makes for a more stressful trip than having to relearn how to use your car seat. Not only are you already familiar with the safety features and quality of your seat, you can easily slip your child in and be on your way.

 

Benefits of Renting A Car Seat:

 

Renting Is Convenient

The number one reason to leave a car seat at home is to avoid having to lug it through the airport. If you want to breeze through the check-in process and avoid checking a car seat, renting might be your best option. Remember, it might be in your best interest to bring your seat onboard.

 

Your Seat Is Not Allowed Onboard

While it is a good idea to keep your child safely in a car seat on your flight, there is a chance your airline will not allow your seat onboard. If you planned on carrying your car seat on,

first check the dimensions of your car seat and give the airline a call ahead of time. If it is not allowed or your car seat cannot fit comfortably on the plane, chances are you will have to rent one once you arrive.

 

Your Seat Could Become Lost or Damaged

After investing in a quality car seat, you want to keep it safe. Renting might seem like the best option to avoid loss or damage to the seat during baggage handling at the airport. A great compromise here is to get a travel bag like the Peg-Perego Car Seat Travel Bag to keep your seat safe.

 

The Car Seat May Not Be Compatible

There are a lot of considerations when using your own car seat, one of which is compatibility of the seat in your rental car. It is more certain that the rental seat with fit the rental car, having the appropriate seat base. To avoid this issue, try investing in a base-less travel seat like the Baby Jogger City Go Car Seat.

 

If you do not want to leave your little one's car seat up to chance, it might be best to bring your trusted seat with you. There are a number of seats and solutions that make traveling with your car seat easier. Stroller Haus has a lot of great options to choose from, both for home or when you travel.

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How to Choose the Right Travel System for Your Baby's Needs

Dallas Robinson

There’s no denying the convenience of a travel system when going on trips, short or long, with your baby. These multifunctional systems feature a car seat that clips into (and out of) a stroller base, which means you can transfer your child without waking him/her. This is not only useful on car trips, but also when you’re in the airport and you have to gate-check your stroller and transfer your baby to the plane.

 

It saves you the hassle of carting around a stroller and a separate car seat. It’s basically two useful products in one convenient package. The only problem you’re likely to face is choosing among the many options available to you. How can you select the right travel system for your baby’s needs? Here are a few things to consider.

 

The Age of Your Child

This is extremely important because infants under about six months will not be able to travel in a lightweight or upright stroller as they’re unable to support the weight of their heads. In addition, the average stroller frame won’t support an infant over about the age of one, whereas most travel systems, like the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System, are rated for children up to about 35 pounds, or sometimes more.

 

The point is that the age or size of your child are important factors when choosing the right travel system for your baby’s needs. Solutions exist for infants and toddlers at every stage, so you can definitely find the perfect product for your child when you’re ready to travel, whether you start with a traditional model like the Stokke Trailz Stroller before upgrading to the luxe Nuna MIXX2 Travel System, or you simply cut to the chase and go straight for the multifunctional product.

 

A good place to start is by finding the car seat you like, since this will provide the main safety and support for your child. With options like the Nuna TAVO Travel System that feature a top-rated car seat, you won’t have to look far. From there you should be able to find a variety of options for bases that meet your needs, from full-size and lightweight options to joggers.

 

Form of Travel

Are you planning to travel by car, plane, or another mode of transportation? Why is this important? If you’re traveling by car, you may have more space for storage, which means you could bring along a heavy-duty travel system. If you’re traveling by plane, you might prefer a more lightweight option like the Baby Jogger City Mini Travel System that is portable and easy to collapse and stow.

 

Activities at Your Destination

When planning for travel, you’re likely to have some activities in mind at your destination. If you’re going to be in a city, where most surfaces are smooth thanks to paving, both lightweight and heavy strollers should suffice, although the heavier stroller is obviously better for longer outings.

 

If, on the other hand, your next adventure with baby will be an outdoorsy one, an all-terrain travel system like the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System is bound to better serve your needs. It’s designed to handle rougher terrain thanks to robust rubber tires that absorb shock better than, say, the plastic tires on a lightweight model.

 

Added Features

Traveling means meeting your baby’s needs on the fly, which can prompt new parents to pack the whole kit and caboodle. A larger travel system not only offers more storage space, but allows for the use of accessories like the Baby Jogger Cup Holder, the Bugaboo Organizer, the Valco Baby Universal Stroller Caddy, and other add-ons that will only help to make your life easier when you’re on vacation.

 

Although you can always purchase necessities like diapers and formula at your destination, having essentials on hand when you travel can reduce stress and help to keep your baby comfy and content. The right travel stroller can accommodate all your gear.

 

Strollers vs. Slings

Depending on your travel plans, you may prefer to carry your baby in a backpack or sling at certain junctures. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to do this for the duration of your trip. Plus, you’ll probably want to bring a car seat along, as well.

 

A travel stroller may be bulkier than your average lightweight stroller, but it includes a car seat, providing 2-in-1 appeal, and it’s certain to be more comfortable and versatile throughout your trip. Considering the conveniences you’ll enjoy with your travel system, there’s really no denying the benefits of having it when you road trip or fly the friendly skies with your baby in tow.

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Flying with a Stroller: What You Need to Know

Dallas Robinson

Flying, in general, can be a complicated and frustrating activity, especially with so many TSA guidelines to follow and long lines to get through before you can even board your plane. When traveling with an infant or toddler, every difficulty can be heightened.

Not only do you have to pack a lot more essentials (from diapers and formula, to favorite toys, to half the medicine cabinet), but you also have to worry about feeding schedules coinciding with takeoff and/or landing, as well as simply getting through security checkpoints while juggling luggage and a child.

Then there is your stroller to consider. This convenient transportation for you baby, your diaper bag, snacks, and more is essential to any trip. However, it could trip you up at the airport if you fail to plan accordingly. Before you fly with a stroller, there are a few things you need to know.

Size Restrictions

In truth, you can take a stroller of any size, weight, and configuration to the airport with you. However, these specifications will determine how you can use your stroller once you get there. If you’re planning to check your stroller at the ticket counter, you can pretty much bring any model you like, from the full size Baby Jogger City Select LUX, to the lightweight Nuna Pepp Stroller, to the comprehensive Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System. The vast majority of airlines will check it at no cost, although it may count toward your checked bag limit.

Of course, this leaves you to make your way to the gate with your baby in your arms or in a carrier or sling of some sort, which can be a lot to manage if you’re also hauling other children, luggage, and so on. If you want to take your stroller with you to the plane, it should be a small, lightweight, collapsible model, like the versatile, all-terrain Bumbleride Indie.

Imaging it going through a TSA screening process – the agents want you to collapse it and put it on the belt. If this is not possible, they’ll find another way to screen it, but you could end up waiting as a result, and this is not ideal when you’re in a hurry to reach your gate.

Then there is the question of what to do with it when you reach the plane. Most airlines will gate check any folding stroller for you free of charge, but this means you have to get it back when your flight lands, and this could be problematic if you have a short layover before a connecting flight. If a flight isn’t very full, the crew may allow you to bring a small stroller on board and stow it overhead, but you should never count on this outcome, especially not on a full flight.

 

It’s always best to check with your airline on rules pertaining to strollers as they may vary from one airline to the next. You need to know which sizes/weights of strollers you must check at the ticket counter and which you can check at the gate so you can plan accordingly.

Convenience

When deciding which stroller to bring on your trip, you need to consider several factors, such as where you are going and what activities you have planned. If you’re planning a lot of walking and hiking, for example, you might really want the heavier, more comfortable and supportive stroller for your child, like the Mamas & Papas Urbo2 or the Bugaboo Donkey2 Mono Complete. On the other hand, convenience may be more important to you, and a lightweight stroller that is easy to open and close, lift, and stow might serve you better when traveling.

As a side note on convenience, make sure to show up early enough to take advantage of pre-boarding procedures, where families with children are allowed to board early. This gives you time to gate check or stow your stroller and get your family situated before the flight is packed with people.

Oversized Luggage

If your stroller isn’t collapsible or it’s particularly bulky and you have to check it at the ticket counter, you may be surprised when it doesn’t come out on the conveyor belt at the baggage claim with the rest of your luggage. Don’t fret – it may be considered an oversized item that is too large to place on the conveyor. You simply have to go to the oversized luggage area to claim it.

Liability Issues

Most airlines explicitly state that they accept no liability for damaged strollers, whether you check them at the ticket counter or the gate. However, they may provide you with a protective plastic bag for your stroller, possibly for a small fee, at your request.

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5 Jogging Stroller Safety Tips that You Should Know

Dallas Robinson

New moms can start to go a little stir crazy after a few weeks or months at home. Even when your every waking hour is consumed with caring for your newborn, it’s easy to start feeling a bit antsy, especially if you were an avid exerciser before you found yourself in the family way.

 

If you’re ready to get back out on the trail, breathe the fresh air, and reboot your jogging routine, it’s time to start looking at jogging strollers that allow you to take your little one along for the ride. Before you get started, there are a few important safety tips you’ll want to observe.

 

1. Wait eight months

Like most new moms, you’re probably itching to get back to your exercise routine, shed the remainder of your baby weight, and start to feel toned and fit again. This process is made a lot easier with equipment that allows you to take your infant jogging with you. Unfortunately, most manufacturers of jogging strollers recommend that you wait until your baby is eight months old and has sufficient neck strength.

 

That said, every child develops differently and the right jogging stroller will provide the support and recline features needed to keep your baby’s head comfortably cradled while you jog. The best thing to do before strapping your infant into your Baby Jogger X3 Jogging Stroller is speak with your pediatrician. He/she can advise you on your baby’s development and make suggestions about when it’s safe to bring your bundle of joy along on your runs.

 

2. Lock the front wheel

The reason front wheels on a stroller rotate is to make it easier to maneuver your rig when you want to take a turn. This is fine if you’re walking at a sedate pace, but when you’re running, a freely swiveling front wheel could be a recipe for disaster, especially when operating on uneven terrain or going downhill.

 

If you want to avoid a tipping incident, simply toggle the remote lock feature on the handlebar of your Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double to ensure smooth sailing when you start running. When you’re ready for your cool-down, you can toggle it off to regain front wheel swivel functionality for easier maneuvering.

 

3. Double check the safety harness

The five-point safety harness in your jogging stroller is designed for the comfort and safety of your infant, but it only works if you make sure to properly fasten and adjust it. Straps should lay flat over the shoulders, across the torso, and between the legs and should be snugly secured for safety, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable for your child.

 

Double check that the safety harness is securely fastened before you start jogging. It’s a good idea to check the straps every time you put your baby in – they may need frequent adjustment as your baby grows.

 

4. Watch the weight

It’s always a good idea to know the weight restrictions on your jogging stroller so you make sure not to overload it. You’ll need to consider both the weight of your child and the added weight of any cargo you plan to bring along. If you have a base that works with other seats (like a third-party car seat), you should calculate weight difference so you make sure not to overload.

 

When jogging, specifically, you’ll want to avoid adding unnecessary weight. The cause of many tipping incidents is the inclusion of bulky bags on handlebars that cause the entire kit and caboodle to become unbalanced. If you want to include basics like a water bottle and a small diaper bag, secure them in the bottom cargo area of your Bugaboo Runner Base instead of hanging them on the handlebars.

 

5. Use the parking break

This tip isn’t just for jogging strollers. Any time you stop to grab a sip of water, do a few push-ups, or talk to a friend, you need to put stroller wheels on lockdown with the parking brake, even on level ground. Remember, these strollers are made to move, and the slightest incline or stiff breeze could set the wheels to rolling, taking your baby right along with the rig. Adopt a “safety first” mentality and use the parking break every time you come to a stop.

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Must-Have Stroller Accessories for Moms on the Go

Dallas Robinson

Being a mom is a full-time job, and then some. For moms that are afforded the luxury of staying home to raise a family, there is plenty to be done, and if you work outside the home, you have to squeeze even more into 24 hours. Either way, you may find yourself constantly playing catch-up, and you need the tools that are going to make your job easier.

 

This starts with finding the right stroller for your needs, whether you opt for a lightweight model with quick-fold and easy-carry features or you go with a more robust and versatile product. Probably it’s best to have both on hand for different situations. A lightweight stroller that’s great for quick errands might not provide the same level of comfort as a heavier model when it comes to hours-long outings.

 

In addition, you’ll want to add the accessories that turn your standard stroller into an extremely convenient mode of conveyance for your little one. There are so many accessories to choose from. Which ones offer the greatest use-value? Here are a few must-haves you can’t live without.

 

Cup Holder

Getting in your eight glasses of water each day is made a lot easier with a handy cup caddy that fits on the handlebar of your stroller and accommodates your water bottle. Some, like the UPPAbaby cup holder, are strong, sturdy, easy to attach to the stroller frame, and won’t impede folding.

Then there are models like the Baby Jogger Cup Holder that offer a swivel design so your water bottle can sway with the motion of your rig while you jog, reducing the risk that your bottle will be jostle out of its holster. With plenty of cup holders to choose from, you’ll want to compare features to find the one that’s perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle.

 

Parent Console

When you’re running through the mall or the pharmacy on errands, you might need to cart all kinds of items, from a beverage and purse to your phone and keys. Instead of juggling all these items while trying to push a stroller, attach a handy console to the handlebars for supreme convenience and easy access to essentials.

The minimalist UPPAbaby Parent Organizer easily straps to your stroller handles with Velcro and features a soft and accommodating cup holder, as well as zippered pockets for valuables. The Baby Jogger Universal Parent Console has even more storage capacity with an insulated drink holder, an open pouch (for keys or more cups), and a large, covered storage pouch with interior pockets for everything else. It, too, offers easy-to-use handlebar straps.

 

Shopping Tote

You can’t really push a stroller and a grocery cart, but your baby might not yet have the strength to sit upright in the cart. This leaves you caught between the safety concerns of placing a car seat in the shopping cart or the hassle of carrying a basket while you push a stroller around the store. Any mom frequently caught in this predicament will love the Baby Jogger City Select LUX Shopping Tote, which easily attaches to connection points on the front of the stroller and holds up to 10 pounds of groceries.

 

Baby Tray

Not all accessories are made for parents – some are designed to add functionality for your precious cargo. Moms on the go know that errands and feeding times can often overlap. What are you to do when you’re out with your tot and he starts to fuss for food? Extras like the UPPAbaby Snack Tray are easy to attach, BPA-free, and dishwasher safe. This particular model offers a compartment for sippy cups or juice boxes, as well as a recessed bowl for Cheerios or other snacks.

 

Infant Sling

Getting the padding in your stroller just right to keep a small infant secure can be frustrating, which is why new parents will definitely want the Thule Chariot Infant Sling, designed to provide lateral support and maximum stability for infants age 1-10 months.

 

Air Pump

As with any wheeled vehicle, the tires on your stroller can lose air pressure over time, and you might not notice a flat until you’ve reached your destination. Instead of risking damage to your tire by continuing to bump your baby around on a flat, use the handy Baby Jogger Air Pump to re-inflate tires on the go. The telescoping design means this accessory is lightweight, portable, and compact when not in use.

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6 Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Double Stroller

Jessica Robinson

Having babies changes your outlook on life. Suddenly you’re responsible for taking care of helpless infants that rely on you for everything, and if you make mistakes, they’re the ones that suffer. As a result, you’re going to start paying a lot more attention to the products you buy, especially for your children. When it comes to items like strollers, safety will be your paramount concern.

 

However, you also need to consider comfort, utility, durability, and several other factors when choosing a stroller, and this becomes doubly true when you have two young kids, whether they’re twins or a toddler and an infant. How do you go about picking a double stroller that meets your high standards and strict criteria? Here are a few factors to consider.

 

1. Safety ratings

This is priority number one. Before you choose any vehicle to transport your kids, you want to make sure it meets the highest standards for safety and testing. Although your stroller doesn’t speed along at the same pace as your automobile, it also features a lot less protection, so you need to spend just as much time (if not more) researching stroller safety before you make your purchase.

 

2. Durability

Your kids won’t need a stroller for more than a few years, but there’s a good chance you’ll get a lot of use out of it during that time, and you need it to hold up to the abuse of not one, but two kids (unless you have more kids, in which case you’ll want it to last even longer). You don’t want to have to pay for a new product in just a couple of years or a few months, so sturdy construction and robust materials are a must.

 

3. Side-by-side vs. tandem

When it comes to double strollers, you have two main design choices: side-by-side or tandem (front and back) seating. Aside from the obvious difference in configuration, what separates these two styles?

 

The biggest difference is that side-by-side models are wider while the tandem configuration is no wider than a single stroller. The result is that the latter can more easily fit through narrow spaces like doorways or crowded park paths.

 

You might assume that tandem strollers are longer, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Many set one seat above the other at an angle instead of directly behind it, so there isn’t a lot of extra, unwieldy length to cope with. Of course, this could compromise stability somewhat, potentially making a side-by-side stroller less likely to tip if kids get rambunctious.

 

Some parents like the idea of side-by-side so kids can more easily connect with a sibling, unlike a tandem stroller, where it’s more likely the foot of the kid in back will connect with the head of the kid in front. These are all things to consider when choosing the best double stroller.

 

4. Performance factors

Performance is important for both you and your children. You need to choose features like number and type of wheels that will get where you want to go (in the city or off the road), and kids require comfort. With a side-by-side stroller, both kids get the same features in terms of recline, leg rests, and so on, but a tandem stroller may only offer a foot rest to the kid in front and recline to the kid in back. Make sure to ask about functional performance so you can make an informed decision that works for you and your kids.

 

5. Convenient extras

Does the stroller you’re looking at come with enough storage for double the diapers, toys, and snacks? Do hoods adequately cover both kids to stop exposure to the elements? Are brakes easy to set? Are straps easy to fasten and unfasten? Convenience and efficiency are essential for parents with multiples.

 

6. Consumer reviews

It really doesn’t matter how great a product looks on paper if customers hate it. You could have all the bells and whistles in the world, but if your kids find your double stroller uncomfortable, it doesn’t meet your functional needs, or it suffers from common failures or safety concerns, it’s definitely not the right product for your family.

 

Comparison shopping on your own to narrow down your options is wise, but don’t discount the advice of your peers. Other parents are happy to laud the products they love and pan the ones that fail to deliver, so don’t hesitate to seek their advice by reading consumer reviews.

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Why It Pays to Invest in a Lightweight Stroller

Dallas Robinson

Life with an infant comes with a learning curve. No matter how many tutorials you read, you still have to go through some guesswork to figure out how tight to strap on a diaper or how to get a bottle to the perfect temperature for your baby’s preference.

 

You’ll also go through a lot of turmoil trying to choose the best products for your baby, from cribs and changing tables, to bottles and pacifiers, to car seats and strollers. When it comes to choosing a stroller, you’ll naturally focus on safety, but you also need to consider utility, and this often means comparing heavy-duty and lightweight models.

 

Why would you choose a lightweight stroller for your infant? You’re likely to give up some extras like sturdier wheels and storage space in the process. What benefits will you gain along the way? Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in a lightweight stroller.

 

Versatility

While there are going to be dedicated individuals that want to take baby for frequent jogs or long outings at the park, many busy parents don’t need a heavy stroller for daily use, such as short jaunts to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the mall. Lightweight strollers are much better suited to quick trips.

 

For example, some lightweight strollers feature an easy and convenient one-hand solution for folding, so you can do it with a baby in your arms instead of leaving the stroller by the trunk to put your baby in a car seat, and then leaving your baby unattended while you return to the rear of the car to muscle your stroller into a folded position for storage in the trunk.

 

Easy Transport

Lightweight strollers are just easier to transport. In addition to features like one-hand folding, lightweight strollers are designed for easy storage. Not only are they smaller and more compact when folded, but they are much easier to lift into and out of your trunk or cargo space.

 

Whereas a heavy-duty stroller might weigh anywhere from 20-35 pounds or more, most lightweight strollers come in at 10-15 pounds, which is significantly more manageable, especially with a baby in your arms. They’re also easier to store on airplanes and in other scenarios where you might need to check them or tuck them away.

 

Easy Maneuvering

Lightweight strollers are naturally easier to push around. Because they are more compact, they can move through narrow spaces like doorways and crowds with greater ease than their bulkier, heavy-duty counterparts. In addition, they don’t require the same physical effort to move.

 

When you’re in a hurry, with a busy day of errands ahead of you, a lightweight stroller helps you to save time and conserve energy. As a parent who starts every day at least a little bit sleep deprived, this added convenience can be a godsend.

 

Lower Cost

When you give up some of the bells and whistles inherent to heavy-duty strollers, you’ll enjoy reduced cost as a result. Of course, you also have to consider that you simply won’t get the same use out of a lightweight stroller.

 

While heavy-duty options are designed to stay with you from infancy through toddlerhood, most lightweight strollers are only good for up to about a year (after which the stroller may not comfortably and safely support the weight of your growing child). The good news is that even lightweight strollers are designed to be durable, which means you can fold them up for convenient storage until you have your next child.

 

Safety Features

You might be understandably concerned that a bare-bones, lightweight stroller will skimp on safety, but this just isn’t true. Safety is a paramount concern with strollers of every stripe, so whether you’re purchasing a heavy-duty or lightweight model, you can expect to find measures like a 5-point harness and durable materials and construction.

 

What you might not find is the added comforts and conveniences that can be tacked on to heavier strollers, such as additional padding, ample storage, heavier wheels, and support for more weight as infants grow into toddlers. However, when you want a stroller for life on the go with an infant, a lightweight model is going to offer the efficiency and ease you need.

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