Advice on Baby #2 and Must-haves for the Second Time Around

Updated on September 04, 2008
S.G. asks from Denver, CO
37 answers

I am curious to find out what products work best for mother's of 2+ kids! I am pregnant with my second kiddo and I have a two year old at home. He will be 2 1/2 when this one is born and I am debating on the double stroller (tandem vs. side-by-side). I know this may seem trivial, however strollers can be pricey and I want to be sure I make the right purchase. Any thoughts on which is better? Pros vs Cons? Thanks for your help!

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A.T.

answers from Great Falls on

if you ahvent found a stroller yet, i recommend the new Graco Quattro Dou models. i just got one and i really like it. the front seat holds a toddler to 50 lbs! and it is verstaile, so that you cant put the newborn in front facing backwards and put toddler in back seat facing baby. mine loves that and i can see the baby. it can also ride with toddler in front and baby seat in back (graco seat). back seat has almost full recline. it is relatively affordable (can find them around $200) and folds up really complactly for a double.

http://www.gracobaby.com/catalog/product.aspx?modelNumber...

have fun with those babies!

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

I debated about the stroller thing also. I bought the tandem double stroller-the sit and stand stroller. I have a 4 year old and an 8 month old. It is wonderful because my oldest daughter can pop in and out of there whenever she wants. She gets some exercise and then can take a break and I can go for longer walks this way. I do have a single jogger stroller that I absolutely love. The double stroller is a little more difficult to push and I think the side by side would be easier to push. I was worried my oldest would be too big. You would probably be fine with the side by side stroller. The tandem stroller folds down pretty flat so that is also a plus. The other reason I got the tandem stroller was because I could put the car seat on when my second was born. Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Denver on

Congrats on Baby #2 mine are 19 months apart. I would get a Sit-n-Stand Stroller, where the older one can ride on the back. They are not as bulky as the tandem stroller. Or go with a side by side. I actually have both and only use the tandem to go walking in the neighborhood when my youngest could sit up. But with the Sit n Stand, you can put the carrier on it while the baby is an infant and when they are bigger, they can sit in the seat. Target sells one online. My side by side is a Kolcraft, cheapest one I could find, works great. Keep an eye out at Once Upon a Child, I found my tandem there for $40! Good luck.

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A.D.

answers from Great Falls on

Hi. I have three kids under 3. Oldest is 3, 2, and 3 1/2 mo.
I have the combi double stroller. I love it!!! It fits anywhere is light if im without help and we have used it for two years and it is still my fav. I would look around online and google, usually you can find free shipping or google it and get a discount. Hope this helps:)

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S.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I could not have gone anywhere or done anything when my second baby came without a baby sling. I love my Maya Wrap brand ring sling, but I now have a collection of slings in various colors and styles. Honestly, it's like having a third arm! I went to some La Leche League meetings and the moms I met there (now good friends) helped me get good at wearing my baby in a sling. Best time and money I ever spent for mom stuff. I never did get a double stroller because my oldest could ride in the strroller and the baby rode in the sling. By the time the baby was too heavy for me to sling for a long time, the older child was ready to walk a lot more.
A close second for me in the sanity-saving department is the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper. I found mine on eBay as they can be spendy, but I value my sleep and it has been wonderful to be able to just roll over and nurse the baby without really getting up. We've used it for three babies now--worth every penny!
I also recommend Jeanne Ashbe's wonderful picture books "What's Inside?" and "What Happens Next?" for discussing the upcoming baby's arrival with your two-year-old. We've just loved those books--gently funny, reassurring, great illustrations. The books "What Baby Needs" and "Baby on the Way" by Dr William and Martha Sears are also excellent, although with more text for multiple discussions over more than one sitting with a toddler.
Congrats and best of luck! It really is true your heart grows bigger for another child.

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A.P.

answers from Denver on

I had a In-step side-by-side double stroller handed down to me. I liked the front swivel wheel and that's about it. It is so bulky I couldn't take it anywhere. It was only good for our neighborhood. Also, since my boys were side-by-side they fought a lot. Similar to fighting in the car. "He's touching me!" "He's sitting on my side!" Etc. I ended up selling it at a garage sale. I also sold my single stroller. I had posted a similar question to this group and got lots of great feedback. I would recommend a tandem. I didn't get one because I couldn't afford it. Plus, my 5-year-old doesn't really ride in a stroller anymore --- only my 1-year-old. So, I just got a different single stroller. I would recommend shopping for 2nd hand strollers. Look at ebay, Craig's list, classifieds, garage sales, thrift stores, etc.

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J.C.

answers from Casper on

For me a double stroller was a life-saver. When I needed it I had a 4 children at the time they were 9, 3, 14 months and then the newborn. I was given one by my mother and it is one that has the children in front of each other. I didn't realize how much freedom of going places that I had lost until after I got that. Then I could go anywhere that I wanted without having to ask for help from a friend or wait until DH got home from work. With the 6th child I realized that the first few months the kind of diaper you get (especially if breastfeeding) makes a huge difference. I really recommend using the pampers swaddlers because they just seem to suck in the wet poopies of a breastfed baby better than any other. The other things that I have realized is that it doesn't matter what clothes the child is wearing as long as they are clean and that hand-me-downs are wonderful. Good luck and congrats.
J.

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A.N.

answers from Denver on

Hi S.. I had my second 6 months ago, with about the same age spread. I inherited both a side by side jogger and a tandem Graco. The jogger is bulky, hard to transport, and just not as user friendly as I'd thought it would be, but it is still far preferable to the Graco, which I'd only use if I had two smaller babies. If I were you, I'd search around for a used version of one of the super expensive doubles that are more single-sized. I have friends who use them, and frankly, will admit to coveting. Since I already have two, I can't justify buying another. Good luck!

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M.R.

answers from Boise on

To be honest, I would invest in a really good baby pack or sling. By the time the baby outgrows it your 2 year old will be the never wants to sit in the stroller 3 year old.

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J.A.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi S.,
The best thing that I found for myself for the second kid was a Moby Wrap. Then I was able to have both hands free to chase my 2 year old while my baby was wrapped closely to me.

At the store, I would put my toddler in the cart with my baby in the wrap and it worked perfectly.

At the zoo, my toddler would run around and my baby would be wrapped, but I could also put my toddler in a stroller if I wanted to. We still have a single seat stroller. My second uses the stroller and my 3 year old walks.

I would put the wrap on at home before I got in the car. Then, when we arrived to our destination, I would just put my baby in the wrap and hold my toddler's hand.

Moby wraps are about $40 and can be found at www.thegoodmama.com. It was the best thing that I ever invested in for the second kid.

Good luck!

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D.W.

answers from Boise on

When your 2 1/2 gets a little older he won't fit in a tandem stroller, so it depends on how long you want to use it for. I personally love the more expensive jogger strollers with the swivel wheel because you can just use it for everything and it holds more weight. I don't go to the mall very often to make it worth buying a seperate stroller for. I just push it to the beginning of the clothes isles, and out of the main walk ways while I look in that area. I think it's just a personal opinion, and that is mine.

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A.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have two kids 13 months apart. I would definetly recommend the sit and stand stroller deluxe by baby trend. Shopko has the best deals. The great part of the deluxe is that the back seat is an actual seat but when your two year old gets older you can transform it into the small seat/ stand feature. The front has an attachment for the carseat then when he gets older he can go into the other seat. My freind has the side by side stroller and hates it because it is so wide. The only con I have found on my stroller and it really wansn't an issue for me was some people complain of the storage baket underneath that it isn't large enough. I can put my diaper bag a quilt for the park lunches for the picnic and my purse so I don't see the complaint. Good Luck!!

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S.H.

answers from Denver on

I highly recomend the Baby Trend Single Sit N Stand stroller (found at Babies R Us for about $130). The tandem double stroller is too big to manuver comfortably around anywhere (think of driving a semi down a residental suburb street) and a side by side double is too wide to manuver anywhere and with my side by side I couldn't put the infant carrier on it (think of those giant farm equipments that take up the whole road so you can't pass). The baby trend is a good price and it isn't too much biger than a standard travel system stroller and you can clip an infant carrier to the front seat.

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3096361

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B.

answers from Boise on

Tandem stroller is heavy, but nice when you have to haul kids and a little stuff over grass or bumpy terrain. Side-by-side stroller is lightweight, and the kids can see each other which CAN be a good thing (entertainment), easier to manipulate I think. We had both. My first 2 are 18 months apart. Don't use either with #3 who came along 3 years later. Handy I think until the youngest is about 3.

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S.P.

answers from Great Falls on

I find that the side by side stoller has more trouble getting through the isles of some stores and that the kids have more opportunity to fight. I like Craco. They have one with everything. Good luck!!!

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W.N.

answers from Denver on

First of all, congratulations! Secondly, my biggest suggestion is go to Babie's R Us and try out different strollers in the store with your son. My 2 year old was afraid to ride on the sit and stand, I wish I would have known that before I bought it! I did try folding and unfolding them though, it's important to be easy when you have two little ones! Another suggestion I would make is to get a doula, not only do they help your pregnancy and birth, but can help with product suggestions and shopping! I'm in Denver, www.birthfirstdoula.vpweb.com. Good Luck!

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H.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

double stroller (type dependent on lifestyle)
a good front carrier
lots of new books to read to #1
a back pack diaper bag (2 hands loose!)
patience

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K.M.

answers from Denver on

I absolutely would not get a side-by-side. Trying to get through the aisles in the mall is impossible. We love our Graco Duo Glide.

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S.L.

answers from Fort Collins on

S.,

If you want to make your life easier, especially as the parent of more than one baby, GET A SLING!!! I don't mean a Bjorn-style carrier. Watchdog groups are now warning parents that they may affect the development of baby's spine and increase incidents of hip dysplasia. Find a high-quality sling that has fabric supporting all the way around baby's butt and back, and is comfortable for you to wear as well. My favorite baby carrier is a mei tai. It is an asian-style baby carrier that has two sets of straps. You wrap the straps around your waist and back, tie a knot and go. My 16 month old baby, who now weighs 22lb, still rides often in hers on my back, She didn't really come out of it, except to sleep at night, until she was about 5 months old! It was awesome, because it freed up my hands to deal with my toddler or get housework done. I could even go to the bathroom when she was tied in! It was also really easy to nurse in. As far as the stroller goes, I almost never used our double. I just put the baby in the sling, and pushed my toddler in the single stroller. I could easily have put off the purchase of our double stroller until my younger was a year old. Even now, I only use our double for day-long trips. My 3 1/2 year old usually walks and the 1 year old rides, or I put the baby up on my back in the mei tai and let my toddler ride when she gets tired.

http://www.thebabywearer.com/ has some great info and links about carrying your baby in a sling. It also has information about each type of sling. It's a big site, so it can be a little overwhelming, but it has a lot of good information in it. They have a great intro to babywearing basics at http://tinyurl.com/3kfxcm. Dr. Sears' website has excellent information about carrying your baby in a sling - the benefits, how to do it, how wearing your baby can reduce the chances of SIDS. You can find his babywearing page at http://tinyurl.com/2ealca. I love his definition of "babywearing."

"Babywearing means changing your mindset of what babies are really like. New parents often envision babies as lying quietly in a crib, gazing passively at dangling mobiles and picked up and carried only to be fed and played with and then put down. You may think that "up" periods are just dutiful intervals to quiet you baby long enough to put him down again. Babywearing reverses this view. Carry your baby in a sling many hours a day, and then put her down for sleep times and tend to your personal needs." (Although I found that I could tend to my personal needs much more easily with two free hands while my baby was in the sling, rather than while trying to juggle a baby in my arms.)

HotSlings is a very popular brand of pouch sling. Maya makes a popular ring sling. Moby makes lovely stretchy jersey wraps that are wonderful for carrying a newborn. They just cuddle down in, and it's like carrying them in the womb again, without the heartburn and backache! There are many slings online, but if you have a local specialty baby shop, you can probably find a couple different carriers. We had a new Super Target open, and they now sell Hotslings and Moby wraps! If you would like more information about slings, feel free to contact me. I make pouch slings, wraps and mei tai's, and I love to talk baby wearing with anyone who want to, customer or not!

Best of luck,
S. L
Little Roo
[email protected]____.com

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S.L.

answers from Boise on

I loved my double stroller. It's an Evenflo Take Me Too. But my older son outgrew the 40 lb weight limit when he was 3 1/2. So now it sits in the garage. I don't know if I'll get to use it again because the "baby" (he's 2 now) already weighs 33 lbs.
I think I wish I'd gotten one of those sit 'n stand strollers instead. I think my oldest might still be able to ride on one of those. He's only 4, and still gets tired and appreciates a ride sometimes.
I watched my friend with her side-by-side stroller and thought it was the dumbest idea ever. I had an extra-wide front door, but the stroller wouldn't fit through. I had to get out a hammer to open the other door (it was a double door, and it was very hard to open) to let her come in. It was fine for walks, but not for stores. She ended up buying one just like mine later.
Another feature we both LOVED about the Take Me Too is that there's a step for the back seat. That means that the older child can get into both seats by him/herself. I always look at Graco DuoGlides and think "how do you get your kid into the back seat over all those bars?" I was told not to get the deluxe version of the Take Me Too, though. It has extra ruffles and pockets and things (which I didn't like anyway) but it has problems locking open. That's what the salesman said. He also said that he couldn't keep the Take Me Too in stock because they are such a great price that they're constantly sold out. So I bought mine from Walmart.com.
The best advice I got was to go test-drive strollers with your toddler in the FRONT seat. Most models hold an infant seat in the back, so your older child will have to sit in front for a while. And the strollers become harder to steer with weight in the front. I was SUPER surprised to find that several major brands' strollers would NOT turn at all when my son was in the front. He was only 2, and probably weighed 27 pounds or so. I had to lift the stroller to turn it to take it back to the stroller section. Not how you want to turn every time!
Also, fold the strollers and lift them. Some are super heavy. Mine was not, and it steers great. The only problem we've had is that one back wheel is cock-eyed now. We still used it like that and never had a problem.
You'll also need to make sure that the stroller accepts your infant car seat. Graco's wouldn't take my Evenflo infant seat, but Evenflo's stroller was wide enough to accept any brand of infant seat.
I went to Burlington Coat Factory to test strollers. They have a big selection of strollers out on the floor, assembled and ready to test out! Target and Walmart don't let you do that.
Hope that helps!

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K.M.

answers from Boise on

I just had baby #3 and needed a double stroller for the baby and her 2 year old brother (the oldest is 13). I did a lot of reseach and went with the One Step Ahead Double Elite Sit & Stand. It has 2 seats and the back can be converted into the platform for the toddler. It's nice looking, easy to use and maneuvers very nicely. Only con is that it's heavy at 45 pounds. So when we go for walks, it's about 90 pounds of pushing!!!

Other gotta-have-it items: a sling and carrier for the baby, a small diaper bag with essentials-only (packing around a suitcase is simply not an option anymore); I know that a backpack was mentioned in an earlier post, but you can't loop it around the stroller handles, so perhaps a messenger bag would be more practical, and a housekeeper that comes every two weeks (who has time to clean anymore???)

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S.S.

answers from Denver on

My boys are the same spread and the Sit N Stand stroller by Joovy has been great!!

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S.C.

answers from Denver on

Hey there. I only have one kiddo - 1yr - at this time, but hopefully more on the way soon. I actually talked with the stroller thing a while back with a friend w/ 2 little ones and she had some sage advice 9based on experience).

While the side-by-side is nice, it doesn't fit through store aisles in anything except a grocery store. Imagine shopping in a mountain town gift shop or getting through the doors at the post office w/a double wide stroller.

Kudos on going to school FT AND taking care of the little ones!

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J.K.

answers from Denver on

I have two girls that are almost exactly 2 years apart. I asked the same questions before my 2nd was born 4 months ago. We ended up buying a Kolkraft tandem stroller. Its huge, but they all are. We liked this one because you can arrange the seats to both face forward, both face backward or face each other. We decided against the side by side because it was too wide and allowed the 2-year-old too much access to the baby. She has a hard enough time keeping her hands off of her as it is. For short trips, the 2-year-old wants to walk and we just use our single stroller. The tandem has been good for outings when we will be walking for a while and works out well. Good luck and congratulations!

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K.F.

answers from Boise on

Check out BOB double-strollers. They are amazing! The one I have is made especially for jogging and/or hiking and it has full suspension. We adore it!

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L.R.

answers from Denver on

The Joovy worked great for me and it still does. My son will be 4 in Oct. double stroller and daughter will be 2 in Dec.

There are better colors and prices online, although you can check it out at Babies R Us.

Good Luck!

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R.C.

answers from Boise on

As far as strollers I would recommend the BOB double stroller. It is a jogger and the kids sit side by side. I like having the two side by side because I am able to reach over from the back and get to both of them, whereas with my Graco duoglide tandem stroller I had to walk around to the front to get to the child in front. Also, with the BOB joggers they are meant to fit through a standard door and the do!!! This would be the biggest draw back that I could see if you were to get a different side by side stroller, most don't fit through a door (even a lot of the umbrella side by side strollers). One other feature that we like about the BOB are the shocks, it sounds silly but when we are at a stand still we can "bounce" our stroller up and down by pulsing the shocks and the movement calms our kids down. I also like that there won't be any fighting down the road with who gets to sit in front. Lastly :) the BOB is such that the kids have fabric in between them so no arms are touching and they also are such that each child has their own shade canopy. Anyways, my book, but the BOB has been our best investment yet in a stroller!

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J.W.

answers from Pueblo on

We have a double stroller. It is great for us (kids are 21 mos apart). I guess my advice would be to see what would fit into your trunk. We take ours to BBQ contests, the park, farmers market and to walk at the high school track, so ours has to be mobile. I don't know how a side by side folds, so don't know if it would fit in my car.
Good luck!

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M.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I had such a hard time choosing a double stroller. I researched alot! I purchased a Phil and Teds double. It was $400 which was way out of our price range, but I wouldn't trade it for another! My daughter was the same age as yours will be when my second was born. I just have one piece of advice for any stroller that you buy and that is make sure you know how much it weighs before you purchase it. Mine weighs 20 lbs and that is not heavy for a double stroller!

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J.C.

answers from Boise on

Hi , I bought a sit and stand when my oldest was 2 1/2 He kept falling off the seat sitting or standing My Son was 3 1/2 before I could use it . I tried a side by side the little wheels always stick and go sideways ANNNOYING!!!!!! would never buy another!! Same with the jogging type!!!! They are both too big to get through door ways and elevators at the mall Also embarassing when you have 2 children and people are behind you in a hurry!!! I bought a Graco duo glider very light and easy to use even lifing into a suv .I had another front and back double stolller It was HEAVY post pardum and hurt my back used it twice the sold it. I would recomend trying the out at the store with your kid
it. Also fold it up and it it like you would if you were using it. Mabe put something heavy to the weight of a infant on the other seat. Try it out first .That will save you a lot of time and money .Every stroller is different. I like a light easy to manuver stroller. I have had my graco for 29 mo. and I love it. I am wearing it out!! I have 29mo.old twins and a 4 year old. Hope this helps.J.

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A.B.

answers from Provo on

I own both a side by side and a front and back. I love the side by side most of the time for running around. It is a Macclarens and so it is slim enough to fit through a door without having to sqeeze and mostly I don't have any troubles in stores. I use the double for things like trips to the zoo or when I want to use my infant car seat carrier in addition to my older child. Side by sides usually don't allow you that luxury. The front and back has trays for treats that the kids can access.
On a different note...my 1st 2 are 20 months apart and we did a lot of prep work on my older daughter before my younger one was born. We spent alot of time telling the older that the younger loved her specially while she was in my tummy. And then the new baby brought my oldest a present. Then when people came we asked them to ask Eva to show them the baby. That way it was her baby to be proud of and she was still getting attention. It really made a difference for Eva. We are expecting #3 next month and planning on doing the same things for the girls when the baby comes. Just some extra unasked for advice :)
Hope this helps
A.

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A.A.

answers from Pueblo on

I have 4 daughter. My two middle children are 2 yrs. apart. I had a tandem twin stroller. It is easier you can put the baby in the back and the 2 year old in the front. Plus it lays down side by side stroller normaly don't lay back. So for baby and the older child it would be better. So if the older child falls asleep you can also lay him back. Good Luck. Also you can usally get a carrier same brand as stroller to fit the stroller until baby gets oldr

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J.M.

answers from Denver on

My first and second were exactly 2 years apart and I decided to go with the Sit-N-Stand stroller. That was 5 years ago so I'm not sure they still make them, but if not, I've seend used one's on craigslist.com for sale. The sit-n-stand is great because it can be used as a tandem double stroller or the back seat can be removed and there is a platform for the older child to stand up since at that age they don't always want to be strapped into a stroller seat. In addition, I think the front seat came with the removable tray so the infant seat bar could be used when the little one is still small.

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M.S.

answers from Denver on

Mine are 25 months apart. I had a tandem stroller and NEVER used it. It was just too bulky and heavy to deal with - it was an older model from a friend, so that may have influenced my thoughts. My preferred mode was to put the oldest child in a single stroller and the baby was in a front carrier, and then later a backpack carrier. If we had two adults (i.e., my husband or a grandparent) then we just took two strollers. On occasion, the older one was in the backpack and the baby in the stroller. I have lightweight kids though! Neither one hit 20 pounds until 18 months and my 7 year old still only weighs 43 pounds! By 3, both of mine wanted to walk as much as ride and I often just took the baby in the backpack and the older one walked. So, I don't know if you're going to ge many months of use out of a tandem.

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S.J.

answers from Denver on

I had my second child two days after my oldest turned 2 so I had the tandem stroller. I liked it but it was HUGE! It was hard to fit in the trunk of some of our vehicles! It was great when we went to the zoo or mall or just for a walk tho! HTH.
S.

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R.S.

answers from Provo on

I absolutely love the Jeep side-by-side stroller. You can get it at Babies R Us or Toys R us. It's like a double umbrella stroller and is only $80. I have yet to find a door it doesn't fit through, including all over Greece and Italy! We have traveled all over with it and it's been fantastic. The seats can sit up or recline so I put my son in it when he was only a few months old and he was fine. They like being able to see each other and I like that they can interract while we're out and about. It fits just fine in the back of our cars and is easy to maneuver. I am really surprised how much I like it because it is probably the cheepest double stroller out there. :) I figured buying two or three of them was cheaper than a huge, heavy jogging stroller but so far it is lasting great (even with all the airlanes, trips, etc.) I like that the sunshades are independent of each other and that they can slide all the way down so the sun is almost never in my kids' faces. You can buy a rain cover that works quite well with it which is nice. I like that the back has mesh with a cover that folds up or down so if it's hot they don't get sweaty but if it's cold they stay warm. Anyway, yeah. I love it and highly recommend it.

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D.O.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have a tandem double for my two. I couldn't live without it really! I prefer it to a side-by-side just because its easier when I take it shopping and stuff to get it through door ways. I think a side-by-side would be easier just for walks around the neighborhood and stuff, but for out and about I prefer the tandem. So I guess it comes down to what you plan to use it for more. They both can be beasts to push around once you get two heavy kids in them, but its still worth it to me!

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