Friday, March 9, 2018

Or Car Seats and Strollers

I have encountered many moms asking about good car seats and strollers. While I am not an expert at baby gear, I am quite happy with the car seats and strollers we used and are still using and would be happy to share about them.

I didn’t know much about baby stuff when I got pregnant but I was incredibly lucky to have a sister-in-law who gave birth 10 months before I did, who did extensive research on the most recommended versatile baby gear. Baby stuff are most definitely NOT cheap. So when my niece had outgrown anything, I welcomed them with open arms.

We went through the first few months of my little girl’s life with the Britax B-Agile stroller and B-Safe car seat (which we used until she turned 14 months) travel system. This was a pretty smart invention. The Britax B-Agile stroller on its own was actually made for babies five months old and up. However, since it was designed to be a complete travel system, the car seat can be detached from its base and attached to the stroller. That way, it served as a way for us to stroll our newborn around without having to purchase a separate newborn stroller.

Britax B-Agile and B-Safe Travel System
We were quite happy with that setup. It was convenient and cost effective, as well as heavy duty and sturdy. My only concern was that the stroller was heavy and not quite easy to fold up. We were going on a trip to Bangkok when our little girl turned seven months and we were worried that taking the Britax B-Agile stroller would be difficult and too big to take around.

We kept the car seat and didn’t replace it until she turned 14 months. However, we decided to invest in a more lightweight stroller. After exploring our options, we ended up with the Recaro Easylife stroller, which we are still using to date (our little girl is now two years and five months).

Recaro Easylife Stroller
Here’s a stroller we are extremely happy about. I love how light it is, both to push and carry around. It’s very easy to fold it up and out, in fact, I can do it with just one hand (while carrying the baby) and it is no feat. When folded up, it is very compact and easy to carry at only 5 kilograms. Given that this stroller is very light, it can carry children up to 23 kilograms so we still have a while to use this one.

Joie Stages car seat
Meanwhile, our little girl was outgrowing her car seat and was getting bored facing the rear. There weren’t many to choose from (not many reviews for the other unknown brands either) when we were doing our shopping, so we opted for the Joie Stages car seat. This one is very versatile because it can be used from newborn up to seven years. It can be installed rear facing and comes with an insert so that you can safely put a newborn on it without worrying that she may fall off. For parents who prefer to keep their child rear facing even when they are older, this one can carry up to 18 kgs at that setup.

However, my little girl had become so fascinated with the things she sees outside the window so we indulged her by installing it front facing. With that setup, it can carry a child of up to 25 kgs. The head rest and harness are easily adjustable so it can be customised to grow with the child. This car seat feels very sturdy, is very easy to install, has handles at the sides so it is easy to carry in and out of the car, and can fit in any vehicle (even a small sedan).
There are many car seats and strollers out there that work just as well so I encourage every mom to do your research and see which features will work for you and your child. While they can be very expensive, borrowing or hand me downs are just as fine.

Note: Do not use a baby car seat that has already been in an accident because parts may have been compromised, rendering the car seat unsafe for the baby.

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