Monday, November 7, 2016

Best Baby Travel Systems and What to Avoid

You are expecting, maybe getting ready to adopt, and you're staying up way too late reading online reviews and going absolutely crazy looking for the perfect (and best) travel system for your new bundle of joy. Here's the deal. There's isn't a perfect travel system. And how do you know if you even really want an entire travel system?

So sit back for a minute, and evaluate:

1: Where will you be spending most of your time?
2: When it is time to travel with baby, will you be alone or have an extra set of hands to help?
3: Do you have physical limitations?
4: How much space do you have in your vehicle?
5: What is your budget?

This list could continue forever. The important part is that you step back for a moment and decipher between wants and needs, and make the purchase that best fits your needs.

If you're not a fan of the travel system, there are great options for a simple frame stroller that holds a carseat, and brands have been good to make these stroller frames as universal as possible. There are exceptions, however, so make sure you do the research to make sure that the carseat you have is compatible with the stroller frame you want, or if you need a conversion kit. The frame stroller option is simple and allows you to quickly snap the carseat on top and go for 'buggy' type traveling. It's also a great option for infants since you can leave the sleeping babes in the carseat and transition to a lightweight, easy-to-lift and store stroller frame. Weight and trunk space can be a huge issue for new mamas.

Here are some options if you want to try a stroller frame:

Baby Trend Universal Snap-n-Go

Chicco Key Fit Caddy

Britax B-Agile 3

Graco Snugrider Elite

Things to Avoid:
When you are buying for baby, it's easy to go a bit, ummm, crazy. You see the fabulous Instagram mom who has a crazy expensive stroller and the cutest pictures of her daily strolls. That's great, and maybe you want that. If so, then go for it. But don't get caught in the pit of buying crazy pricey baby products if they 1) don't fit your needs, and 2) don't fit your budget. Take a moment to decide how long you want a specific stroller or travel system, and buy accordingly. How long will your baby be in a rear-facing infant carrier? Do you want a frame stroller but only plan on using it for the first six months? If so, maybe you will want to transition to a jogging stroller for when baby is bigger--either to exercise or for the ease of more rough road travel/walks. Have you tried pushing a regular 4-wheel stroller through grass or over rocks? No bueno. So think beyond what you want right now, and determine what you NEED now, and if those needs will morph as your baby grows, and buy accordingly.

As with all baby products, the first priority is the safety of your precious little bundle, so make sure that your child correctly fits in the carseat, and that your carseat is compatible with any travel system or stroller frame, that it latches in correctly and is secure. Take some time and do your research, and decide what works best for you and yours.

Happy Hunting!!