April 12, 2014

FIAO 1.2 - Transporting the Twins

We finally decided on a stroller and car seat combo! We even went to Babies R Us last weekend and tried it all out!

Ultimately the decision came down to three things:

1) Ease of use - We really wanted a side-by-side stroller from the start. I know it may be difficult to fit through door ways and the kids might fight with each other but that happens no matter what right? I have pushed both types of doubles over long periods of time and have always found the side-by-side to be easier on walks, in the mall, at family gatherings, etc. It doesn't have to be perfect it just has to fit both of my kids from birth. We always knew we really wanted a light-weight car seat that is easy to carry and fits in my car.

2) Cost over time - The stroller had to be less than $300 and compatible with infant seats (ultimately we decided to just get two of these for ultimate ease of transport of the twins in the early months, especially in the winter when they'll be 4-9 months old). The snap-n-go option is great but can only be realistically used until the babies are around a year at most and then we would be responsible for buying a real stroller ourselves as well as convertible car seats soon too. Not worth it.

3) Good (enough) online ratings and reviews - I've learned that reading online reviews for baby gear is precarious territory. First, all those "sanctimommies" out there seem to think nothing is good enough (and if it is it costs about a bajillion dollars) and then there are others who are nowhere near helpful in their reviews (seriously though  "my baby loves it" is not an informative review for a car seat)! As a result I now look for only a few specific things when shopping online for baby stuff: is it ridiculously expensive? did it kill anyone? is it a pain in the ass to use? will I regret buying it? If the answer is no to all of these then it's going on my list!

So here are our winning choices!

Stroller: Graco FastAction Fold Duo Click Connect Travel System

This stroller is cute, easy to push and fold and is the cheapest/only side-by-side that accepts car seats that I've found!  It is about double the cost of what we wanted to spend on a stroller but the specs and reviews have us thinking we will get at least 3 if not 4 years out of it. We took it for a spin around the aisles at BRU last weekend and I really liked the way it handles and turns. It felt comfortable to push and although I can't imagine pushing two babies or kids with one hand, I don't consider that a deal-breaker. I'm not planning on grocery shopping with it often and if I really need to use one hand for something I probably shouldn't be pushing my kids in a large stroller at the same time right?

Car Seats: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30

We chose these mainly because they are lightweight (7.5 lbs) and are compatible with the stroller. They are a different color and neither the stroller nor the car seats are "girl" colors but that was honestly the least of my concerns. These car seats are currently $10 off at BRU so that's where we registered for them but even if they go to full price before the shower they will be just as much at Walmart. Having tried out the 35 and feeling like it might be a little too cumbersome to manage I'm hoping the 30 is at least a little easier to carry. Even if it's not though I won't go any lower as I am hoping to get at least 18 months if not 2 years out of these seats assuming our girls aren't extremely fast growers!

I am so happy this decision has finally been made and we can cross it off our list!


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