Stroller Dilemma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-23-2010, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, friends, I have a dilemma. It is a pretty silly dilemma in the big scheme of things, very much an upper middle class sort of dilemma. But since I trust you all, and so many of you already have kids and have probably been through the stroller research process, I'm going to go ahead and ask. I need a distraction from the pain of SPD anyway.

After much deliberation my SO and I decided to put the Joovy Kooper stroller on our registry. It's affordable (about $150 on Amazon), easily available, and gets really good reviews. We were quite satisfied with that choice.

Then I heard the Urbo (Mamas & Papas brand, from the UK) was going to be sold in the US for the first time, starting last month, through Babies'R'Us. It's a beautiful stroller, I'd seen it around when I lived in London. But it's $499 which is way (way!) beyond our price range. Nevertheless, just for the hell of it, I figured I'd throw it on the registry. Who knows, right? It can't hurt.

My FIL and step-MIL, who had originally said they'd get us a carseat, were quite disappointed to find they'd been beaten to carseat-buying by my grandma, and decided that in cooperation with my BIL they wanted to get us the Urbo instead. Amazing! Right?

Okay, well, it is sold out EVERYWHERE. I live in Kansas City, but seriously, I have called BRUs in Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, just trying to find it (the generous family members were confused about what to do upon finding it was out of stock, so enlisted me to do the legwork). Apparently it is considered "high-end" (no sh!t) and is therefore only sold online with the exception of the Union Square store in Manhattan (for those stylish New Yorkers!). I talked to the Union Square store today and they said they have 15 Urbos pending arrival at their warehouse, but they don't know when they'll make it to the store (could be a week, could be a month, since they're coming from the UK and have to clear customs). Problem is, even when the strollers arrive, the store won't ship out of state, and I don't know that I have a close enough friend in NYC to beg to buy it and ship it to me (nor whether I want to lower myself to that, all for a stroller).

The aforementioned generous family members desperately wanted it to be here for my shower (October 2nd) which is seeming VERY unlikely. So, what to do?

1) Wait, and hope that it comes back in stock online sometime before my due date? I think it is reasonably likely that it will, and I'm not myself terribly desperate to have it before I will need it anyway...

2) Pick out a different Mamas & Papas stroller, for instance the Sola? Or the Luna Mix? Anyone have any experience with these? (Both available online at BRU)

3) Pick out a different "high-end" stroller altogether? In which case, any suggestions? We definitely can't break the $500 mark, as my FIL/sMIL are contributing $250, BIL offered $100, and my SO agreed to cover the rest.

4) Just go back to the trusty Joovy Kooper, because the amount of time spent on hunting down a $500 stroller is kind of ridiculous anyway?

Help me with my painfully bourgeois crisis, please!

mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)

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#2 of 12 Old 09-23-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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Well, I'm seriously out of the stroller loop, I don't know any of the brands you mention off-hand, but I DO know about obsession about particular baby products and if it were me, I would probably get obsessed about having the stroller you're into and wanting it, especially since it seems so hard to get (I get a little crazed when people say "oh no you can't get that here") but I also know I wouldn't need a stroller right away, since I liked transporting my really little babe in a baby carrier, I didn't even think about strollers til waaaay later in the game. So, if you think you could wait it out, I would wait for it to come back in stock to get one. As for the price, people spend all kinds of money on the things they want, which is different for everyone, so no shame in that, esp since it's a gift. I got a great crib from my mother for DD and she wasn't even mad that DD never slept in it til it was converted to a toddler bed And even then....

...Now I have to go find this stroller and see what all the fuss is about...

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#3 of 12 Old 09-23-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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our stroller was the dumbest purchase we made and the #1 thing i would give back and get cash for if I could!

First of all dd NEVER went in the stroller. She had bad reflux and needed to be upright all the time, she even slept on my chest upright or in a swing with the back up all the way...

We got the bugaboo with all the bells and whistles, the denim one i dont remember exactly the cost but over 1000, I think its a great stroller and it worked really well when dd got older like after a year and would actually sit in, then she quickly figured out how to unbuckle herself and now has outgrown strollers all together so we really got so little use from it!

Now i have it set up as a bassinet on wheels for this baby, hoping MAYBE he will be able to lay flat in it and it will be somewhere to put him down and maybe take out on walks but I assume, jus tlike with dd that he will spend 90% of our day in a sling...

my point is I would have just got a 100$ mclaren or whatever fold up stroller instead and I'd love to have the 1000$ to buy something else, but thats just my 2 cents... I dont really think a stroller is such an important buy until you really need it, maybe even a bob or jogger would be better? or a bike trailer that doubles as a stroller or something like that?
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#4 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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i really wanted the chariot stroller with my first baby, and my mother in law threw us a cocktail party-baby shower where everyone contributed $25, and we had enough to buy the $700+ stroller. it is awesome-because we live out in the country with no sidewalks, this stroller has worked well for us and it doubles as a bike carriage, a sled, jogger, and you can attach it to your back for hiking. however, even broken down, it takes up our entire trunk so its really not for traveling. we used a cheaper graco model that came with the infant car seat for that. and that thing is still working just fine for our 2+ year old for when we go places.

i don't regret the expensive chariot stroller, but now that i am pregnant with #2 i wish i had the double version, which is over $1000 brand new. i am thinking about maybe trying to trade or get a used one, if possible.

if you really want the expensive one and you know it will meet your needs, go for it. i wouldn't worry about not having it before the birth. it was a couple months before my first baby was happy in a stroller.

Mama to two girls, born 5/08 and 11/10.

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#5 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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I like what summersmama said about the double stroller, I really want a Phil and Ted because it's sleek and it's the only double stroller that does not weigh 40+ lbs. If you look at the reviews on Amazon, everyone wishes they would've bought it when they were having their first kid as it's the 'only stroller you'll ever need'.

The other thing is you can hold off, you might have plans to wear your newborn up until they can sit up on their own. Imagine how boring it is to lie down in a stroller and have only one perspective/view the whole time. I LOVED wearing DD. So the whole out of stock at the moment crisis is really not an issue.

Finally, in terms of cost, the Phil and Ted fits within $500 with the infant attachment, I've seen it for that price on Amazon and Allbee Baby (great site for bigger baby purchases: strollers/furniture/car seats). Also, if you need to spend over 500, you can pitch in the difference!

-Vanessa
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#6 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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My dad actually just bought us the Mamas and Papas Sola stroller the other day. It's $400, so it's still pretty high-end, but it looks to me like it's well worth it. (Take my opinion with a grain of salt, of course, since I have not yet used the stroller with an actual baby.)

So, my impressions:
1. It' very lightweight for being a full-size stroller. It folds easily, but it's not a one-handed fold. The fold is also very compact; the stroller fits in the trunk of my Corolla no problem.
2. The seat is reversible, so baby can face out or face the parent. That feature was super-important for me.
3. The ride seems very smooth and the wheels swivel easily. (They can be set not to swivel too, I guess in case you wanted to go jogging with it or something.)
4. It has several recline positions. In fact, the seat can be put pretty much horizontal. However, the seat wouldn't work for a newborn (I don't think), because the lowest strap height is still way too high. The stroller body can be used with Graco or Maxi Cosi car seats if you buy the adapter set (not sure how much the adapters cost, but I think they're at Babies R Us.)
5. The handle is adjustable, which is good if the parents are very different heights.
6. It's really nice-looking. I know that's probably not your primary concern or anything, but still...

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#7 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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I plenty understand from where you came from, but after two kiddos, I can said the timeI spend and the money looking for nice stroller was a waste of time for us. If I can go back on time, I'll spend the 1/2 of that money in a nice and fancy sling, a mei tai or SSC (Boba or Ergo) and maybe in dreamed German Wrap (indio) and I will take a Babywearing classes. Neither or my kids like to lay down in a stroller, I like to babywearing for multiple reasons, and the stroller end up carrier shopping bags...

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#8 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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here's my advice. I am an avid runner and hiker and wanted a really good stroller at a reasonable price. Having been burned by paying way too much for a stroller I thought was "all that".(several times, actually)... try it out before purchasing!!!!!

Does it fit easily in your car? Does it fall on it's side every time you turn a corner? Can you lift it without popping out a hernia? Even super expensive strollers can have these issues. I bought a $400 stroller for $125 from someone who didn't know any better and loved it until I tried my sister's costco $100 stroller of the same brand but a year later model. I wish I had just bought that one to start with. the newer bells and whistles were perfect for me except that I already had a stroller.

If you can make it to the higher end stores and test the heck out of it, all the better.
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#9 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I would definitely try them out before buying. The one I loved online was not at all what I wanted when I saw it in store.

I've seen the Sola and the Luna Mix in the flesh and prefer the Sola as it's parent facing or outward facing. I think though that they're only really suitable from birth if you attach the carrycot or car seat as they don't lie 100% flat.

I haven't seen the Urbo yet but from the pics on the website I prefer the Sola on appearance alone.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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If it's something you really, truly want, and know you'll get a lot of use out of, I say stick with it and just get it after the shower.

That said, the only time I ever felt the need for a "good" stroller was when my girls (13 months apart) were babies, and I truly needed a sturdy double stroller. Even then, I got one for under $200, and it served its purpose well.

The rest of the time, it's been easier (for us) to use a sling until the kids were big enough for a cheap umbrella stroller. I mean, we've had regular ones, and we've used them now and then, but we never got our (small amount of) money's worth out of them.

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#11 of 12 Old 09-26-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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i enjoy running after the baby is born to help get my body back and it's sort of my meditation time and we ADORE our bob double jogger!! I recommend the BOB to EVERYONE and we've talked two of our friends into buying one! Even if you aren't a runner, maybe you will become one just my opinion! Now, we are working on baby 3 and I'm glad that we didn't sell our single jogger once we were given the double jogger. I guess the hubby can push the BOB and I'll push the single jogger (TREK brand) which isn't as great, but still a decent jogger.

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#12 of 12 Old 09-27-2010, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@QBear'sMama
Yes, I'm planning on mostly using the Moby as well, and I'm increasingly thinking that a stroller won't be terribly useful in those first winter months anyway, with all that snow on the ground.

@carolina~mom2be
I was once a runner, but no longer. That said, I've noticed that jogging strollers are just about the easiest thing in the world to find on CraigsList as it seems everyone hopes they will run with baby and few actually do. So if I revert to my old running self I can find a cheap used one pretty easily. (And will keep an eye out for the BOB!)

@tessie
Unfortunately none of the Mamas & Papas strollers are sold in stores, they're all online only products. Except for the Union Square BRU store in NYC, but I don't think I can afford to make a trip halfway across the country just to try out a stroller... The Urbo is parent/outward-facing interchangeable just like the Sola, which I definitely think is one of the key features.

@shellnurse
I know exactly what you mean, it makes worlds of sense to really be able to try these things out. Unfortunately they're only available online, so I basically have to go by reviews and YouTube videos on questions like foldability and ease of use...

@isabchi
I wish I could get them to spend the money on a Didymos or some other super-luxurious wrap/sling instead! Or just a stash of GoodMamas! But slings and cloth diapers are the two things on our registry no one has touched, I think people are either baffled or scared of them, I don't know. It's a good thing I've been slowly building up a stash of used CDs so I'll be okay regardless.

@raspberry.swirl
I've looked at the Phil & Ted, and it looks great. If the Urbo doesn't work out it's definitely on my list.

@NoraFlood
Thank you! That review was SUPER useful.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I'm just going to relax and wait and see what happens. I'm in no hurry to have the stroller (any stroller) right this minute and it really wouldn't be the end of the world to not get this particular one either (even though it's super sleek and pretty). I think I get caught up in the thrill of the chase of something seemingly unattainable, more than anything.

That said, my FIL/sMIL get sort of weirdly fixated on the "one thing" they decide they want to get us, and in this case it's the Urbo. So I will let them be fixated, since it is easier than trying to rationalize cloth diapers or babywearing to them. (They stopped by over the weekend and saw me sewing up cloth wipes, and I couldn't exactly read the look my sMIL gave me, but it was somewhere between "Oh, you're one of those crunchy granola freaks" and "Oh, you poor naive child, just wait and see what it's like to have an infant and then you won't be thinking about whether your diapering practices are sustainable." Ah, well!)

mama to jasper (12-17-10) and theodora (11-13-12)

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