The Giant Stroller Dilemma
With twins, you know you’re going to need a double stroller. When you have a singleton, you don’t have to move to that step until you have a second child, but with twins, like so many things, you are thrust into second child status right away. Double strollers are pretty much all huge. Giant, really.
I researched and researched looking for a stroller while I was pregnant. I watched all of the families in our neighborhood like a hawk, following them down the street to figure out what model of stroller they had. There are a lot of twins or two children families in my neighborhood, so I thought I had a good idea of what to look for. I was wrong.
Here are four factors to consider:
1. Price. This is a big one obviously, a stroller can be a hefty investment. You likely want to register for it, to help defray the cost. Strollers have a wide range from $50 to easily $800 or $900. They have a lot of options within that range, but what do you choose. I noticed that in Park Slope, there are a lot of expensive strollers. But is the expense worth it, especially when you’ll be buying a whole lot of other baby stuff if you have twins?
We first went with a stroller in the $300 range. Not cheap, but not the City Select Double that I see so many families with which will set you back about $800 new with two seats. Then you have to get the rain cover, the carseat adapters (or bassinets)… the list goes on and on.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy new. We got our second stroller used, and I’m so glad we did. It was gently loved, but each bit of food dropped on it, or scratch on the frame doesn’t worry me a bit. This also gives you the opportunity to buy a more expensive stroller without as much pain in your wallet. This of course means that you’ll likely be buying it out of pocket, but there are so many other things that other people can get you.
2. Size & Layout: I was adamant before having the twins that I didn’t want a side by side stroller, that I wanted a tandem configuration. I hate pushing my granny cart for shopping occasionally along the stroller and didn’t want something 30+ inches wide that I had to take out all the time. Error number two. Narrow doesn’t mean compact. In our case, our stroller was like driving a semi truck. It made me nervous when we got to intersections (in the road or stores) because I’d poke it out and hope I wasn’t going to run into someone.
3. Weight: Strollers are heavy. We live on the second floor of our building, so each time we go out, we have to take the stroller up and down the stairs. Not only the weight is important to consider with this, but also how you carry it. Our first stroller I hoisted over my shoulder and rested on my head. Our second stroller folds more compactly and has a handle which makes it easier to carry. Which brings me to my last point.
4. Folded size. This may not be as important if you have more space, but whether it’s in an apartment hallway or in your trunk, the size to which the stroller folds is critical. Our first stroller required the removal of one of the seats to fold, which meant that it was resting on top of the stroller. Our second stroller is all self contained and folds to a much more reasonable size.
So what would I buy now knowing what I do? Here are my top picks:
(Full disclosure, the links below are amazon affiliate links.)
This is a great stroller (this is what we ultimately bought used and love) It’s narrow for a side by side stroller, I can fit through most doors without someone holding them for me, or through the aisles in the grocery store. (Remember, things are more compact in Brooklyn). Its manageable to carry up and down the stairs, and the gentle recline is comfortable for napping on the go.
I wanted one of these really badly and they were out of stock. (And I was too impatient to wait.) I love the compact design which takes tandem and makes it super compact. I see a lot of these in the neighborhood, and hear wonderful things from moms with them. It does seem like it might not be great for longer walks in terms of comfort, but the thought of going shopping without feeling like a whale seems pretty darn alluring.
This is a workhorse of a stroller. The seats recline all the way down, so babies don’t need to sit up to use the seats. It’s a little wider than I like, but easy to fold, durable, and easy to maneuver. My nanny’s other family has one of these, and she says she loves it (They also have a City Select Double, and this is her preference between the two.)
If I were to do this again, I would have started with this while the babies were in carseats. It’s super lightweight, and while not extra compact, it’s not too bad. These are almost available used from my twin group in Brooklyn, and I suspect it’s the same nearly everywhere. They have a short use cycle of only the first couple of months, so it seems they’re passed around frequently. I’d use this time to get a better idea of what you like in a stroller and what you don’t. You really can’t know until you’ve walked down the street pushing your babies in your neighborhood of what your needs are, as much as you think you can visualize it.