Recommendations About Various Baby Gear Products

Updated on March 23, 2008
C.T. asks from Dallas, TX
27 answers

I'm looking for opinions about best strollers, carriers, car seats. I am pretty much clueless. Light weight seems good to me, but I don't even know if that's an issue these days. I want a jogging stroller & a "regular stroller." What do I look for in a car seat, etc?? Any suggestions/recommendations/opinions are welcome.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone! I really appreciate the feedback.

Wow! You guys really come through! I'll have to come here w/questions more often. I really appreciate everyone's nice words and wonderful suggestions and ideas. It really has helped me to know where to go from here.

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answers from Dallas on

I would recommend going to The Right Start. They have the latest and greatest of all products on the market and they are VERY knowledgeable about everything. I too was clueless...The Right Start truly helped me and I have been happy with all of their suggestions.

I LOVE my jog stroller...I have the B*O*B IronMan single and now double...LOVE both of them! Then I have the Peg Perego regular stroller. I use all three strollers on a regular basis.

Then...I have the Britax carseats for my 2 1/2 year old son and my 1 year old daughter. I have been happy with this carseat and feel safe carrying my precious cargo.

Seriously, go visit The Right Start or look at them online...They are the best!!! Oh, I go to the Lovers Lane location...the manager, Robin, is GREAT!!!



answers from Wichita Falls on

I have found with all 3 of my daughters that Graco is always the best we have a jogging stroller and even when we just go to the store that stroller moves so smoothly hope that helps.




answers from Dallas on

Ok I JUST went through this! I used the Graco car seat and stroller. I also got a "snap and go" a frame stroller that the carrier snaps into, VERY lightweight. That was my favorite!!! Best 50$ ever spent! I liked the larger stroller for big trips when I didn't want her to be stuck in the carseat all day. The big one reclines all they way and that is the good thing about that one. I am selling all of my stuff since we are done with it. It is Graco Devon print, I have a carrier, 2 car bases, the big stroller and the snap and go! Let me know if you are interested before I put it on Craig's List!
If anything I really recommend the snap and go stroller! THE BEST!

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answers from Dallas on

Hi! Congratulations!
The only thing that I would add is to advise you to check for all kinds of great information.
I used Graco and then Britax and had no problems.
I love the Britax Marathon, especially when it comes to how the seat positions the child. Britax also has great safety ratings. We are still using the Britax!

Have fun and get some rest!


answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
Congratulations! Yeah for mommies over 40! :)
I would suggest that you do some looking on the web and find some things that you like. When you do, then check out some reviews on them. There is nothing like getting other people's personal experiences to give you great insight in a product.
For strollers I would recommend the car seat/stroller combo. It helps so much to not have to take the baby out of the car seat each time you get out of the store! Find one that has a great big basket underneath to hold you stuff! As for the jogger, I would suggest one that has a "swivel" wheel in front. They handle much better than the others. Again, look for one that has a good basket and a drink holder.
As for a baby carrier I cannot stress enough that comfort is a must in this department! Trust me, I have tried so many it's kind of sad (baby bjorn, snuggle, slings with and without rings)! I would get a Baby Hawk carrier! The one without any hooks or loops. These are the best in comfort for both you and your child! They are padded and you can carry them on you chest, back or even hip! They do take some practice in using but I found a video on the web and picked it up in no time. The most important thing is that the weight is evenly distributed on you so it's not pounding your back or your neck. I got my on Craig's list and saved some money.
Car seats? We used our combo seat/stroller one for over a year with both boys. Then when it came time to switch them to a forward facing seat I got one that would last me a long time weight wise. And you might get one that can be reclined so naps in the car will be comfortable.
Hope this helps, again congrats!



answers from Lubbock on

For us, we started with a convertable car seat and decided that it is was too big and combersome. So we got a infant seat and ordered another base to fit in my husbands car. That way we didn't have to worry about which vehical we were taking there was a base to latch the carrier in. We also have a jogging stroller which we ordered through REI. We really like it and have used it throughout our daughter's childhood. As for a regular stroller, make sure the front wheels turn and you have a shade to pull over the baby's head. Also, you want storage for you for shopping. The more compact here the better. Makes it easier getting around the mall and such.



answers from Dallas on

OK, Take it from a pro...

You need A Britax Car seat Dont let anyone tell you that anything else is better... Do your research if you want but it is truly the best made car seat that meets and exceeds the US standards.

I used the Britax infant seat from birth to one year then I used the marathon and now I have the Regent its 5 point harness system goes up to 80 pounds!

Or you could skip the infant seat and go straight to the Britax roundabout or Marathon and use a babybjorn front carrier or cheep infant seat to carry them around in when they are not in the car.

Next you need a Combi or Britax Stroller. If you must get the combi stroller then you can get the Combi Car seat as well. or you can buy the britax infant seat and the combi universal car seat stroller that holds any car seat and works great (I LOVED THIS, it folded SO compactly and was easy to use!)

After the infant stage I really LOVE the McClaren umbrella style stroller. it is SOOO solid and is the ONLY stroller you will need as it holds the larger, older preschoolers as well.

If for some reason you have 2 kids then the Combi TWIN stroller is the way to go. it swivels completely with one hand and fits through any door at the mall. its also very light weight and folds down then folds in half and has a shoulder strap that makes it so easy to travel with. LOOK ONLINE AND EBAY is a great source. I have bought all my combi and britax stuff on Ebay new in box and for less and often free shipping.

If you are short on space in your kitchen then get the Graco Space saver high chair seat. it is just like a high chair but attaches easily to your kitchen table chair.

I would not waste your money on a boppy my kids NEVER used these and I am a size 18 and it did not fit around my waist so I could not use it for breast feeding I just used a pillow.

The BEST bottles are the Dr. Browns they are FAR better than the Avent and Really reduce gas. I just wash them in the dishwasher and the parts in one of those dishwasher baskets on the top shelf. I do actually like the Avent sippy cups though I prefer the white spouts.

TRY not to go crazy shopping for baby clothes. remember there are only 7 days in a week and they grow so fast that you will end up with tons of unworn or hardly worn clothing and a pile of credit card debt that you wont be out of until you have to take out more loans for college.

Do your shopping at Resale shops like Kid to Kid, Cutie Patootie and Once upon a Child...

I also like the better Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. I have actually found lots of items new with tags...
Ebay is also a great resource for clothing and Craigslist is also good for the larget items like furniture and toys...

SAVE all your baby food jars in a box in the garage and sell them on Ebay or Craigslist. it is a great recycle project and lots of people are always looking for those things. Also, When your child grows out of the clothes/ toys sell the good stuff on Ebay and the rest in a garage sale what does not sale, give to a charity for a tax write off.

Onsies are great to have. My kids lived in them...Sleepers with feet are hard for them to wear unless they REALY fit well. otherwise the babies feet end up out of the sleeper feet and all tangeled up.

get the swallder blankets that have the velcro I think its called Swaddle Me (target and babies r us have them) those work real well to swaddle them with.

If your baby if fussy, try making a HOT SOCK (take an adult tube sock and fill it with dry white rice then tie the end in a knot. Heat the sock up for about 30 seconds and place on your breast then put the baby, swaddled in his blanket, on top of the hot sock that is on your chest so that the babies stomach is on the hot sock and then pat the baby's back and sway with the baby. this helps colic. It also helps to heat up the place where the baby sleeps with a hot sock or hot wather bottle before you place the baby in bed. this helps the baby to fall asleep.

Mylecon drops for gas work great use them often. (I use the target brand they are less than half the price of the name brand)

If you choose to breast feed but want to pump some then use the Medela Pump in style, it is the best for part time pumping.

If you are going to pump all the time and not feed at the breast then rent (or buy on Ebay) a Medela Lactina hospital grade breast pump. I really like that one the best.

When you start to give baby the baby foods, start with baby cereal first (use baby oatmeal if your baby is constipated because the rice cereal will bind him more). once you baby has mastered cereal go to veggies. Once you start fruits they often wont want veggies as much so wait until he is doing well with veggies to start fruit. (but use prunes or prune juice for constipation if that is a problem)
After I went to the fruits, when one of my sons did not like veggies I would just mix it with fruit and cereal and he would gobble it down...

Well, Good luck, I am sorry I went on and on... holp it helps!



answers from Dallas on

Smart lady to ask for advice on the MANY baby gear items out there! We have a 3-yr-old (in a week) and we've loved the Graco Metro Lite system. We still use the stroller and the baby carrier and base were awesome way back. Make sure, if you have two cars, that you buy an extra base so you'll have easy access in both cars. After the baby reaches 20 lbs or a certain length, you'll need to get a convertible car seat(remember you do not have to turn the baby front-facing just because he's a year old and 20 lbs.). We have the Cosco Alpha Omega Elite (pretentious name, but great car seat!) Consumer Reports does a nice job of comparing these items also. I would agree that the Baby Bjorn carriers are the best. You can find them frequently at Ross, Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory as long as you don't mind last season's style. The mechanics will be the same, but the tiny picture on it might be different. They'll cost about $60 at a discount store and around $100-$120 if you get it new somewhere.



answers from Wichita Falls on

Congrats on your baby boy to-be!! My son and I have an indescribable bond - you are going to have so much fun and be so blessed (ok, and tired)!

Here are some quick picks from someone who obsesses over researching this stuff yet is still searching for the perfect stroller...

infant carrier/car seat - we LOVED our Peg Perego Veragio (sp?) infant carrier/car seat. I think it may be a little heavier than some, but it was so safe and secure. We bought a base that the seat pops in and out of for each car, and it was great and so convenient.

car seat - when they are old enough for a car seat, Britax is the only way to go, imo. I would recommend the Britax Marathon. We have a Marathon and a Decathlon, and the Decathlon is a bit more cumbersome without having all that much added benefit.

jogging stroller - we love our Jeep jogging stroller; we have the Overland Limited. It's perfect.

regular stroller - first bought but don't like the Peg Perego Aria; crappy steering and no cargo room. We probably should have gotten the bigger Peg, but oh well. Tried the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe, and it is great for shopping trips. But I have to admit it's a bit heavy and bulky. If you have a regular sedan, it really takes up the whole trunk. I've heard tons of raves for the MacLaren strollers; we'll probably try one of those if we have another baby. But I'm not going to put any more cash into strollers at this point. Oh, and for when you are still using the infant carrier, you must get a skeleton stroller! It's $50, they are light and easy to pack/carry, and they are very sturdy. We got ours at Target; I think it was Baby Trend.

high chair - when he started eating solids at 4 months, we fed our son in a Bumbo seat. it worked perfectly. when it was time for a high chair (6 months-ish), we got a Peg Perego Prima Pappa Diner...we love it and feel it was worth the money. Also, for travel, Fisher Price makes an excellent travel high chair that's only $25.

Good luck, God bless, and have so much fun with your little man!!



answers from Dallas on

Hi C., Just a quick recommendation. Go to Lonestar Baby & Kids and try the strollers and baby carriers/carseats out. They're in North Richland Hills, Frisco and Dallas. They have just about every brand you can imagine. You'll want to know how the strollers feel when pushing them even without the weight of a baby, how they fold and how carriers connect etc.



answers from Dallas on

We just bought a new light weight stroller for my son. We researched many different brands and discovered that the Peg Perego had exactly what we were looking for. We have had it for about a month now and my husband and I are very happy with it! It is easy to carry and even has a carrying handle on the side for when you fold it. It only weighs 9 lbs. and has a nice size storage basket. It aslo has a parent cup holder and child tray with cup holder. We purchased ours on-line at
For a jogging stroller we have a "Jeep" brand made by Kolcraft. We really like it too, at certain times. It is not easy to manage it in a mall or crowded area. But, we use it when we are doing things the park, zoo, etc.
When my son was first born we had an Evenflo stroller/car seat combo. The carseat was really nice, no complaints and the stroller was big, lots of room for baby, nice size basket, etc. The only down falls is that it was very heavy for me to lift and put in/take out of my trunk. It was also a little tricky,at times, to open it up from the folded position.
I hope this information helps!! Let me know if I can help in any other way! :)



answers from Dallas on

Hello C., I am expecting as well and have my mind set on the same kind of system you are looking for. Go to under the BABY tab select STROLLER then select TRAVEL SYSTEMS it should be on the first page, BABY TREND JOGGER TRAVEL SYSTEM, which is a car seat and jogging stroller, then from that area of the website you can select LIGHTWEIGHT STROLLERS again on the first page find BABY TREND SNAP-N-GO SINGLE STROLLER. This is what I am set on getting it has great reviews and it fits all your needs. You can put your car seat in the car and leave the jogger at home then just keep the lightweight snap in go in the trunk it has lots of basket space as well. Good Luck!



answers from Dallas on

I spent some time learning about car seats. The best advice I can give is have your seat checked after installation or installed by a Child Passenger Safety Technician a month or so BEFORE your baby is born. I know both Baylor and Presby Hospitals have regular car seat checks with CPS Techs and the Dallas Police Department has about 30 on staff. Only 1% of people installing their car seats do it correctly. A stat I found baffling.

If you have your seat checked and it doesn't fit properly because of size, etc. you have time to return it and get another one.

Here is a website we found after we had used our infant carrier, but it was helpful when purchasing our convertible seat, You can check your car/car seat compatibility and compare measurements of car seats side by side.

I can also share with you that we were not happy with our Evenflo Discovery infant carrier. We were, however, extremely pleased with the Graco SnugRide carrier we borrowed for a trip from my sister. We liked that the Graco took up less space and you did not need the base to use it in a car or on a plane.

I hope some of this information helps. Good luck!




answers from Dallas on

I would recommend that you get the latest version of the book "Baby Bargains". We took it with us on all of our shopping trips. Lots of reviews, information, and advice on what not to bother with. For personal recommendations: BOB Revolution jogging stroller (expensive but AWESOME) and the seperate car seat adapter; NOT the Peg Perego Aria stroller (poor quality from a supposedly good brand); a good sling - Hot Slings or Fairy Godmother (both are locally made, Hot Slings are even at some Targets, Fairy Godmother is at Baylor); the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" and some thin flannel receiving blankets for tight swaddles. I'd also recommend attending the new moms group at one of the Presby hospitals - kept me sane! Good luck, mama!



answers from Dallas on

I love Graco. I researched car seats before I had my first, I found they had the lowest recall rate. I think the Baby Bjorn carrier was the best. It felt the most comfortable to me and I was comfortable with the support.

How exciting! Congratulations



answers from Dallas on

In addition to "Baby Bargains" by Denise Feilds, there is a Consumer Reports for Baby stuff too. Both are good resources for narrowing it down.



answers from Dallas on

My experiences with baby gear were pretty good. The bucket type carriers are really only good for the first 6-8 months, because after that, they get to be too heavy and too long for them. I don't just mean according to specs, I mean, it gets to be hard to carry the durn things!

I have a cosco car seat and I really like it. My only complaint about it is that the buckle is two pieces that fit together like a puzzle and then insert into the buckle part. I would make sure that if you buy one, look for one that the two pieces from the strap insert independently into the buckle so that its easier to get the baby strapped in. I also love that there is a strap in the front that allows you to loosen and tighten the straps as needed, so that you always can make sure they are snug no matter how big he is, or what he's wearing. Overall I like this brand and haven't had too many problems. I agree with others here, spend the money for a new one. In Texas at least, they are only legally usable for 5 years, and then they have to be discarded, because the Texas heat can cause the plastic parts to break down.

As for a stroller, I got a Jeep stroller as well and I used it as a regular stroller. The model I had came with the steering wheel toy which he loves, and jogging type wheels. The front wheel could be locked or unlocked to allow it to swivel and it was just as maneuverable as a regular stroller. I got it because I wanted to be able to navigate it over uneven terrain like at festivals and Ren Faires, even though I don't jog. It did that wonderfully yet had all the comfort and safety of a regular full size stroller. I also am able to lift it in and out of the van without much trouble when I'm out and about and it folds pretty well. I would totally get one again if my baby making days weren't over!



answers from Dallas on

I recommend checking out anything your interested in on before purchasing. I didn't go with a lightweight stroller/ carseat combo because the weight limit was lower than the other. We LOVED our Graco stroller/carrier/carseat system. I do recommend getting an infant car seat and then a toddler carseat. The infant seat is better protection for a tiny person.Make sure the stroller and carseat fit in your car if you are in a smaller car.



answers from Dallas on

We purchased the Conumer Products book on baby products and I think that helped us decide a few things. We have twins so there wasn't much on double strollers, but there's a lot on other stuff.



answers from Amarillo on

The stroller/seat combos are great--yes a light weight carrier is nice--it will still be just as safe! The carriers have a base that stays in the car and you just pop it in and out. :)



answers from Dallas on

You need to go buy the book "Baby Bargains." Its awesome! i was clueless too. it rates all items from A+ to F and it also ranks them in order of price. worth a read.



answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I preferred lightweight strollers that were easy to steer and were compact. My favorite stroller, out of several that I owned, was a Chicco Caddy. They have replaced it with a Chico Capri. The steering was great, it was light weight. It had a carry strap and there were times that I would fold it up and carry it. It did not have a basket at all, I just hung our diaper bag from the handles. Or if I was shopping someplace that has those little shopping baskets (like Target), I would hang one of those from the handles. The only real problem was no cup holders, for you or the kiddo. Hope that helps.




answers from Dallas on

My daughter is now 18 mos and I honestly can say I would buy the following again...1) Graco carseat. Recommended by many including books talking about car seats. Also loved how I could place it in the most basic of strollers since I didn't want to lug around the huge travel system. 2) Graco swing. The best since she's still using it. Unlike others this one goes up to 30 lbs. Huge since most stop at 25. Still helps me get her to sleep on weekends:) 3) Many like the Baby Bjorn. I did not since it was too cumbersome for me. I'm petite. What I LOVE and recommend above all (friends not petite love this too)else to girlfriends is a sling. Mine is made by My Fairy Godmother This got her to sleep on trying nights and enabled me to not bring the stroller anywhere her first few weeks. I just put it on, placed her in it and we were off. She slept in it on New years eve, at parades, at the grocery store etc. Loved it too since could breastfeed with it and also did not have to bring a stroller everywhere since it was comfortable. Another great thing is she can still use it. Again, up to 30 lbs!



answers from Dallas on

My son is 3 months old today. Here are the things I would really recommend to get you started. There are SOOOO many baby things out there and we have a ton, but here are my favorites that I use on a daily basis and and can't imagine doing without! :-)

- infant car seat: Graco SafeSeat (up to 30 lbs) and a base for each car he will ride in. When large enough, invest in a Britax because they are THE best convertible care seats. Make sure you get car seat strap covers and something to secure his head when he is tiny.

- a comfortable baby swing: ideally a Nature's Touch Cradle Swing, or something similar. Ours plays music and nature sounds and swings forward and side to side. It has things to look at plus a mirror. It is amazing and our son loves it! I have heard some babies don't like swinging but I personally have never seen one that didn't love it.

- a nursing/feeding pillow: A boppy is WONDERFUL and is designed to fit waists of all sizes. I even used it while 9 months pregnant to hold my friend's baby and it fit fine. My husband also says it is the best thing.

- bottles: Platex disposable nursing system is wonderful....less clean up, always a clean liner and less air goes into baby. I tried Avent and Dr. Brown and quit them both. Playtex are awesome. Buy the Target liners. They work great!

- play gym: Fisher Price Rainforest Playgym. It has interesting toys and lights and music. My son has been laying on it since he was a week old. Now he is big enough to want to see the lights and hear the music and he reaches for the toys and kicks them. When he was a newborn he would stare at the animals and when he was 6 weeks old he started cooing at them. It has been the best toy!

- Swaddler: use the Boppy brand (Target) on a newborn and then order a Miracle Blanket online for an older baby if he still like being swaddled. I cannot live without swaddlers!

- Advice books: Get "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and read them both before your son arrives. They are the best books and something I wish I had read before the birth of my son.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Good luck! :-)



answers from Abilene on

I LOVE my Maclaren stroller (triumph). This stroller is more like an umbrella stroller but it goes up to 55 lbs. It's lightweight and I have been so happy with it! The only drawback is it doesn't have cup holders.

As far as car seats I am an avid supporter of Britax. You can now buy a Britax that you can use from 5lbs to 80lbs. So basically once you buy it, it's the last one you need.

As far as a jogging stroller, I don't know. I had a Jeep All Terrain stroller that was great. However it was bulky and heavy. I've heard a lot about joggers being a pain in the neck. You can go on and read parent's reviews on the strollers. I've found it to be very helpful.

Blessings to your family. Enjoy your pregnancy and your sweet boy.




answers from Dallas on

Congrats! Just remember that parenthood is all trial & error, & what may be good for one mommy may not be good for you. :)

One word of caution that I have is to not buy things used. All those baby "juices" are hard to get out of stuff. Would you want your child to sit in another seat that another baby that you don't know threw up on? Also, never buy a used carseat. Never. Always spend the money on that. Safety is first priority.

Stroller: Infant seat/stroller=great! I had a Graco travel system, & I loved it. Now that our son is older, we have a Maclaren. Expensive, but worth it.

Jogging stroller: We had a Jeep Liberty jogging stroller. It had a toy in the front, & an iPod could be connected to it for music for the baby.

Car seat: We had an Eddie Bauer one at first. I liked it. Then we upgraded to a Britax. If I had known better, I would have bought the Britax first.

My only other suggestion is to buy lots of baby things...swing, playpen, playmat, bouncer, exersaucer, etc. Get lots of toys in order for you & the baby not to get bored.



answers from Dallas on

Congratulations!!!!!!!!! Being a mommy is such a BLESSING!!!!!!! My experience (as a power-walker / light jogger) was I should have NEVER spent the money on a regular baby stroller. I should have just bought a jogger with the adaptation of a baby carrier. My baby stroller just sits there and collects dust!!!! But the jogger I bought from Toys R’ Us, BabyTrends line, is awesome!!!! It is smooth sailing for my little one; we go over cracks in the road, uneven sidewalks, and bumpy gravel very smooth. The BIG wheels cushions a lot of the jarring of the outdoors, hope this helps.

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