I am dedicating a post to this because even though I’ve mentioned it here and there, it’s still one of my most frequently asked questions. I want this to live in one place!
When I was pregnant, I had no interest in buying or registering for baby things for a while. I think it was a combination of being very sick and very overwhelmed with a book deadline. I had no room for anything else in my brain! I actually moved into a hotel for a few nights to finish a chunk of my book and, naturally, that’s when my panic about not having a single baby thing set in. The first thing I focused in on was the car seat and stroller. I was up almost all night researching and falling in and out of rabbit holes.
IT IS REALLY CONFUSING. Let me just say, if you haven’t had a baby yet, it sounds like an actual foreign language. Even when friends are describing things, I would sit there and think, “I’m sorry, what? You have four strollers?”
I will say, after that one night of watching Youtube videos, I started to get a grasp of what the whole car seat and stroller market was like. And the “language” around it. If you’re still in the “I’m so confused” stage, just stick with it. Keep watching videos, keep reading blog posts, keep scrolling through manufacturer websites. There will be a point where it doesn’t seem as daunting. I went from being completely overwhelmed by everything to being so enthusiastic about strollers and car seats. I could talk about it for days I find it so fun! (If you need a place to start, Magic Beans’ Youtube channel is amazing!)
My biggest takeaways:
1. Every. Single. Family. Is. Different. What works for me, might not work for you. What works for you, might not work for me. There are so many factors that come into play. What kind of lifestyle do you live? What is your car size? Do you even have a car? Do you live in a city where you do a lot of walking? Do you have a mudroom where you can store your stroller or do you have a small apartment where it needs to squeeze in? Do you have multiples or are you “one and done”? What is the size of your backseat and which car seats will fit? Etc. Etc. Etc. The good news is that there is a stroller for pretty much any circumstance.
2. Every car seat and stroller on the market has passed safety guidelines, so you don’t really need to worry about that. If you’re buying a new car seat or new stroller, you can rest assured it’s up to snuff. With that said, you do have to use the car seat and strollers correctly. HIGHLY recommend signing up for a course through Safe in the Seat. I did and it made me feel so much more comfortable strapping in my precious cargo!
So here is where we landed:
MAIN CAR SEAT: Nuna Pipa RX
I decided on the car seat first and went from there. After reading up on all sorts of car seats, I ultimately felt like the Nuna Pipa RX was the best choice for us. We have been incredibly pleased with it. I thought some of the features might have been a little gimmicky and targeting clueless first time moms like myself, but that’s not the case at all. Everything is so well-thought out clearly with parents’ ease and baby’s comfort in mind. From the little slots to slip the car seat buckles into when they’re not in use (genuinely very useful) to the hidden away dream drape (we use it all the time).
Pros: I like the car seat base with the stabilizing leg. It can be used with or without a base though so it’s great if you’re going to be getting into an Uber or baby is heading off in Grandma’s car. The dream drape is so nice when baby is sleeping and you want to cocoon him a bit. It’s easy to install. And, the best part, it’s VERY easy to adjust the straps and hooks as baby grows.
Cons: It’s not the lightest car seat and gets heavy, especially as baby gets heavier!
MAIN STROLLER: Uppababy Vista V2
This is one of the most popular strollers– you’ve probably seen it everywhere. Ultimately, I went to a bunch of stores and pushed around different strollers and nothing beat the Uppababy Vista. It pushes like a dream and has suited our family’s needs perfectly. It comes with a bassinet and a rumble seat for toddlers.
Pros: It moves great and there’s plenty of storage on the bottom. The bassinet is amazing and is actually approved for safe sleep so you can use it as your newborn’s main bassinet. Great for traveling and small spaces or just having a second bassinet if you want one in another room. It folds up very easily, too. Can be configured for multiple children down the road.
Cons: It’s heavy and slightly bulky. While there are plenty of accessories, many are sold separately and the already expensive stroller becomes a much more expensive stroller.
(Since the car seat and stroller are different brands, you need an adaptor to make them work together. Thought this would be annoying, but it’s a breeze and everything works seamlessly. I got the ring adaptor.)
TRAVEL STROLLER: Nuna TRVL
I thought we were going to be able to get away with just the Uppababy Vista because we hadn’t really gone anywhere where we’d need a travel stroller. It’s very common to have a second stroller that’s lighter and easier to manage for traveling or city-walking. I had been searching high and low for a travel stroller that would work for us because we have an upcoming trip to Florida. Full disclosure, we haven’t used this yet but I’m confident it’s going to be a winner for our family. (I filmed a video explaining why I chose it here.)
Pros: It is compatible with our Nuna infant car seat and doesn’t need any additional adapters. It closes hands-free at the click of a button. Can carry children up to 50 pounds so it has a longer lifespan.
Cons: Don’t know of any yet!