Entering the world of strollers can be rather daunting to say the least. With so many recommendations from friends plus new models entering the market constantly, how on earth do you know which is the right one for you and which will fit in with your lifestyle? Are you pregnant and looking for a stroller but confused as to which one to buy and not sure what questions to ask? Are you having one or two bundles of joy? If you are having twins are you looking for a side by side stroller or an inline stroller? Do you need wheels that will be suitable for a newborn and for your toddler too?
So many questions, so much jargon and too much choice. Well today mama’s I’m going to try and guide you in the right direction with my personal stroller overview – I mean, I have had 4 kids and bought 3 strollers myself – so I do know a little bit about this form of transportation! Bye bye stroller stress!
The Bugaboo Cameleon was the first stroller I bought when I was expecting my first daughter. The only hard decision I faced was the colour – did I want to go pink and scream that I was having a baby girl or keep the tones neutral? With so many colour options available for boys and girls, I was in “New Mum Stroller heaven”. I finally chose the charcoal stroller with a cream hood and covers. (I even bought the parasol!) I really think the Cameleon is a beautiful looking set of wheels and it can see you from newborn to toddler with no problem, however it did take us a good few months to get the hang of folding it.
My husband and I were that crazed couple in the mall car park trying to stuff the bugaboo frame into the boot of the car. We just couldn’t seem to get the hang of folding it down – now, I have to say it’s obvious and easy, but as we bought it from the UK and had it shipped to Dubai it wasn’t easy to work out. I then searched high and low for the Bugaboo travel bag as it had sold out in Dubai. I finally ordered it in the UK which I collected on a visit home but it was so bulky it wasn’t very practical 1 to travel with and 2, for storage when not in use – except for when I came back to Dubai, I had excess baggage so due to its size I stuffed the travel bag with clothes and shoes in order to escape the excess baggage fine!
I then decided that I NEEDED to buy a stroller that was more practical for traveling: namely, the Mountain Buggy Nano. After researching a travel stroller, the Nano caught my eye as it folds up into a travel bag when not in use. Perfect. It fits in the airplane’s overhead compartment, which means if I’m not using my Boba baby carrier in the airport, I can take the pram right up to the aircraft and then fold it away until we land! Simple and easy. I took the Nano on a beach holiday with me, it sat in a corner of the hotel room neatly packed away in its compact bag and then when I wanted to take my daughter for a walk, I opened the bag and with a click of a button it was up and ready to use. The Nano looked more sturdy and comfortable than other fold up strollers I had seen and it ticked every box for us as a family.
Then Mamas believe it or not – I got pregnant with twins. Now this was a whole new ball game! I now was on the hunt for a double stroller. It had to be easy to push, as remember I have a third child who still uses a pram or who’d be hanging off this one. It also had to be easy and light to lift into my car and the most important point – it needed to not be bulky and fit through shop doors!! Being a rookie when it came to twins, I really had to do my research. I read up about side by side and Inline strollers: the difference is simple – side by side your babies are next to each other and inline means one in front of the other.
I looked at the Bugaboo Donkey as I liked the Bugaboo Cameleon, but I honestly found the frame far too bulky and I struggled to get out of the shop door. I thought about the Phil & Teds Navigator which is an inline stroller perfect for outdoor terrains or city walking and designed for multiples with the age going up to 6 years old in the front seat. Suitable from newborn, this stroller can be easily adapted to take two children by adding a double kit. In addition the stroller will take two infant capsule car seats so it’s super twin-friendly. The price was very affordable, but before I made my decision I wanted to check out another side by side model.
I was able to road test the Mountain Buggy Duet thanks to a VIP Demonstration service on offer in Dubai. This is a side by side stroller – in fact it actually is what it says on the tin: A compact double buggy – the most compact side by side in the world which easily fits through any single door the same size as a single stroller!
It fitted through my front door and my kitchen door with no problem. Impressive! It was easy to fold down – I just needed to make sure the wheels are facing to the front and it folded down with ease. The Duet adapts to be a bassinet style pram with the duet carrycot allowing your baby (or two babies) to lie flat and face you (which I really liked) easily caters for any car seat with adaptors and then the seats clip on nicely and face the world. Did I also mention that the Duet can go from a double to a single pram in pretty much the blink of an eye. And if you want to ensure every inch of the pram is earning its keep – even when in single mode, the Joey accessory is an additional clip-on tote bag, which gives the Duet a heap of storage (perfect for shopping)!
So it was a toss up between the P&T Navigator and the MB Duet – I went with the Duet as I liked the idea of the twins being next to each other. The Duet’s carry cots were compact and cozy too, it did everything I wanted it to do! My twins will be 2 in March and I know I made the right decision as this stroller suits their little strong willed personalities.
While researching strollers be it sporty, side by side, inline, face to face or travel I have to say I also liked the following:
For the Techie Mama
The 4moms Origami – the first power-folding stroller ever – has one of the biggest wow factors. It collapses with a push of a button (kind of reminds us of a Transformer). It also has running lights, and an LCD screen tells you how fast you’re pushing the stroller, how far you’ve walked and the temperature. You can charge your phone with it too!
For the Fashion Conscious Mama
A celebrity favourite stroller, the Mima Kobi is an intelligent push chair that adapts to the natural evolutionary course of your family. Elegant, innovative, scalable and stylish, the Kobi pushchair has been especially made to adapt to urban life. The innovative design and “carrycot inside” feature means that, at first glance, Kobi appears to be a normal pushchair – but it is actually 5 pushchairs in one. The Kobi evolves at the same rate as your family thanks to the intelligent system that allows for a second seat to be added upon the arrival of the second child. Thus, multiple configurations are catered for: carrycot, seat, seat + carrycot, 2 seats or 2 carrycots. This trend-setting, original, elegant pushchair is perfect for the most practical, modern and cosmopolitan parents.
For the Face-to-Face Mama
With seat height adjustability, the Stokke brings your baby closer promoting interaction while you explore the world together. Front or rear facing, Stokke provides an almost infinite choice of seating positions. No other stroller brings child and parent together like the Stokke. However from experience I knew that when my child was comfortable knowing I was pushing the stroller she wanted to look out on the whole wide world instead of looking at mama 24/7!!!!
Bugaboo – Mothercare, Bumblebee
Mountain Buggy Nano– Bumblebee, DbBabies, Babysouk.com
Mountain Buggy Duet – Babysouk.com
Mima – Dbbabies and babysouk.com
Phil & Teds – soon to be at Mamas & Papas in Dubai Mall as well as Phil and Teds
Stokke – Mamas & Papas
4moms Origami – The Baby Boutique
Hey mama, we’ve heard from the ladies over at Babysouk that they’re going to start a Stroller Souk session in February! It’s basically a chance for you all to learn more about what stroller best suits your lifestyle and budget, as well as give it a test run in the real world. There’ll be demonstrations, stroller brand experts and great special offers available only at the event. (We’ve heard you’ll even be able to pre-order some models which haven’t yet officially been released in the UAE…) Their premium stroller brands include: phil&teds, Mountain Buggy, Mima, Baby Home, Baby Jogger, Joie and Baby Zen.
Stroller Souks are held on Monday 9th February 2014 and every Second Monday of the month – from 9am to 11.30am at the babysouk.com warehouse in Al Quoz (coffee and cakes will be on hand to fuel stroller shopping energy!) For more information, call (+971)(0) 4 321 4328.