I wish I had never purchased my travel system with the big stroller. I babywore DS when he was small enough to use the car seat that came with it and never used the stroller.<br><br>
My umbrella stroller is fantastically compact and practical... and they are CHEAP!<br><br>
I like 'em! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
You need a good one, especially if you are in the city or at a zoo or in a shopping mall. There are times when the baby carrier is just not working and it is nice to have an alternative. I keep mine in the car for emergencies. Do go ahead and buy a nice one. The really cheap ones don't work as well, the handles are too short and the wheels make it really difficult to steer. I like Mcclaren, they can be pricey, but the least expensive model is worth it, very comfortable to push and you can steer it one handled. It also works on pretty rough terrain. They have a very fun Lacoste one with green alligators all over it that just came out (for those with disposable income <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> the rest of us can buy the cute pink or orange one at Toys R Us (You can always return all of the insane plastic baby crap people insist on giving you and put it towards a new stroller....
Right now we're using the Graco stroller frame that holds our carseat, and it is so fantastic. She loves it. She rides along and smiles and coos. We babywear as well, but for a walk at the mall it saves the back to use the stroller. And it's small and light (10 pounds for the frame), unlike the behemoth travel system (30 pounds for the stroller!). Love it.<br><br>
The most consistent recommendation we've gotten for an umbrella stroller is the Maclaren Volo, $100 at Target and also very light. We tested it out and liked it, though the baby is a bit too small for one yet. We've been told you can use it when the baby is sitting up supported pretty well and doesn't slump or tip over - five or six months or so.
I have just a little cheapy one from Zellers and I never found that I used it. I used the regular sized stroller that was part of our travel system a lot more. I think that the smaller one might get used more when our toddler is a bit older and out infant is a bit bigger.
UppaBaby G-Lite = <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Has a great strap for carrying. I put DD in it around 6 mos, when she was sitting up well.
My dd absolutely will not be carried in her babyhawk (I still take it with us...ya know just in case ;-)) I love our babyplant solo deluxe. AND you can recycle the stroller when you are done with it. Great company...
I really like my umbrella strollers. I use them when my children are older, like 10 months and up when they are harder to hold in a sling. They tend to like the stroller better than slinging when they aren't sleepy and don't feel like walking (or can't walk yet). I like the ones that have a shade thing the best so they get some coverage from the sun and ones that have a basket are nice for shopping or just carrying stuff. Mine still holds my 6 year old, but it's a lot harder to push her around in it. . .she's so heavy (but it's good when she gets tired and DS wants to walk). I think I got mine on sale at Babies R Us for around $30 last summer.
Another vote for Maclaren! At only 5'7" I was too tall for a cheapy umbrella stroller. After a few months of killing my back from being hunched over and kicking the wheels I finally caved and bought a Maclaren, it was a world of difference. The nice thing is that it has a 55lb weight limit so kids can fit into for awhile. DD just turned 4 and weighs 38lbs and it's easier to push her in it than it is to push DS (23lbs) in the cheapy one.
i have a cheap $10 (thats one zero folks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) umbrella that i use. i like it just fine but i don't actually use a stroller very often.