Well isn't that title a mouthful? So back to my desire to share random mommy advice! When I was pregnant I did no research, none. It was silly I know, but there is just so much "crap" to look at, look over, which one yadda yadda. When I did my registry I did it with my sister (no kids) and my step daughter. It was like the blind leading the blind. So I am going to share what I know now that I wish I knew then.
First let's talk travel system. A travel system is what they call a infant car seat and stroller combo usually with one car base for the car seat. You don't have to have a 2nd base just FYI to use the car seat. It can be installed without. While a pain it will save you around 40 dollars. My travel system was picked out by my sister. The requirement was it was CUTE! Oh dumb dumb dumb me LOL.
We got the Baby Trend Expedition series plus one extra base.
Cute, I mean it is pink right? Well here is where I should have done some research. The car seat it self was fine. It holds up to 50lb baby (LOLOL) The jogger as well was fine. It was great to shop with. Held tons and you can steer with one hand. It also had a iphone plug and speakers for your music when you did jog. I don't jog btw.
So this is what I wish I knew then about car seats. You don't have to have a infant car seat. Its like a rip off. Most convertible car seats start at 5lbs and go up to basically when your kid goes into a booster. They recline and everything. The only convenience to the infant seat is having somewhere to put your baby. We only used our infant seat until Parker was 3 months old. I have a freak of nature and she could sit up at 3 months. She wanted to see and she was just too damn heavy to be honest. At around 15lbs plus the weight of the car seat I was done. If there were to be a next time I would forgo the infant seat and spend it on a nice baby carrier and wear the baby out instead.
What I wish I knew then about strollers. So while this stroller is nice and all and of course CUTE. It didn't fit in my car. You heard me. It didn't dawn on me that it wouldn't fold up all nice and fit in my car (ford fusion) So anytime I wanted to use it I had to take the wheels off. If it was in my trunk nothing else could really be in there. It pretty much sucked. So while I didn't want to hurt my sisters feelings I ended up selling it. Along with the infant carseat and both bases.
So what I ended up buying instead is a light weight stroller. An umbrella stroller on steroids. A Zooper Waltz. The cheapest place to find them btw is on Amazon. I did my research this time and had my check list of must haves for hopefully the only stroller I will own again.
- Must me lightweight and compact
-Must fully recline
-Must have a full canopy
-Must have a food tray with cup holder
-Must have better storage
-Must be able to steer with one hand
So yes I got my wishes with this one. A couple other things too that I didn't even know I wanted. The best feature is the storage basket. It has zippers on both sides so if your kiddo is fully reclined you can still get into your stash! SCORE! It also came with a foot muff, sun shade, extended canopy, arm rest that can be instead of the food tray and some infant accessories. It was WELL worth the money. We took it to the zoo this weekend and Parker was a big fan.
So back to car seats. As I said before Parker was out of her infant seat really quick. I had registered for 2 convertible car seats and got them both. The one above is by Safety 1st. Again my research on these was zero. I went by price and picked one that seemed not too expensive not too cheap. The 2nd one is by Cosco and is no frills. It was for my husbands car that she isn't in very often, so we didn't want to splurge on something not used a lot. I will say that seat works fine and fits in his car. Well I wish I had gotten 2 of those seats ( discontinued btw) because you wouldn't believe it that this seat didn't fit in my car. I am not kidding. My husband pretty much wanted to strangle me. I cried. So what to do what to do. I got on google and starting searching car seats for compact cars. There aren't many out there with that kind of information.
We settled on a Britax Boulevard. All Britax seats are highly rated and have all kinds of features. The main one for us was would it fit. You may or may not know this, but Babies R US will let you try it out! I had no idea! My store took our license and we took their floor model out and put it in the car. SWEET. So when in doubt try it out. Learn from my dummy mistake.
So what I wish I knew then that I know now. Save your boxes and receipts. Yep I didn't with the car seat. Do some research! Go to the store and try it out first. Also price doesn't always determine the quality. I still wish I had another $80 car seat like my husbands.
So wow this was a huge mouthful. Hope someone gets some good use out of my unsolicatied advice!