Sunday, October 12, 2008

How do you get around?

I find myself thinking a lot about how our family will get around when we are six. In some ways, it feels like we'll revert back to how it was with two children. The older two can fend for themselves in ways they couldn't before. They can help a lot. BUT, they're still kids so I can't pretend they're not there. :) They still figure into the equation when I think about outings and how to corral our crew but they don't need their own seats. I just have to remember that whatever we do for the younger two should be as easy as possible since there are still two more. :)

Lately, I've been thinking these things may be helpful:

The ERGO Baby Carrier. I love how it can be used on the front, the hip, or the back. A lot more options than my Baby Bjorn. And a higher weight limit.

Baby Trend's Sit 'N Stand Plus. This stroller rocks! (or at least, it sure looks like it would...) It converts from a double tandem stroller to the sit 'n stand option. I think that could be really valuable since Esther is still only two. The more options, the better - right?

One Step Ahead's Sit 'N Stand Elite. From what I understand, these strollers are actually made by the same company. So it's hard to tell if there are really differences between the two other than color choice. BUT, when we bought our Schwinn jogger, I learned that Schwinn also makes the InSTEP joggers. Similar idea. I found that the Schwinns were nicer and a little bit higher-priced. Maybe it works the same with these strollers. If so, it looks like One Step Ahead comes out on top.

I should also mention (or announce really!), that we are moving to Germany next fall. Yep. It's time. We've been running away from the idea of moving to Europe but the idea keeps catching up to us. Hmm...coincidence? I think not. Anyway, for that reason side-by-side strollers will be out of the question. Except that we'll take our double jogger and still be using that for exercise and outdoor-wide-open-space places like the Schwetzingen Schloss but we'll have to do something else for places like the Fußgängerzone (pronounced foos-ganger-zone) and other tight places.

So all you Moms & Dads (yes dads, you can comment too!) -- how do you get around with your kids? Do you wear your babies in slings? In carriers? In your arms? Do you take a single stroller for the toddler? Does your toddler hold your hand? Do you have a double stroller? Is it side-by-side? Is it tandem? Is it a sit-n-stand?


  1. Erika said...
    Wow, Germany! That's cool. I was born there, but don't remember it.
    We used a Baby Bjorn and single stroller. Then I got a double jogging stroller. I did have a cheaper sit n stand stroller that didn't come with an extra seat but my oldest didn't like not having a seat with a back. And the seat in front wasn't very comfortable and didn't recline very much, and it also was hard to steer with one hand. So we got rid of it. I much prefer my jogging stroller, but since you want one that's not side by side, maybe the nicer sit n stand is the way to go since you can put that extra seat in.
    We also really love our baby Back Pack for hikes and things. Ours is an Evenflo Snugli and is very comfy. :) Hope that helps!
    Liz Johnson said...
    I have heard SO MANY PEOPLE recommend the Ergo. If I am to buy another carrier, that will be it.

    I have a friend who has a sit & stand with her baby & 3 year old. She likes it (for mall shopping and such) but doesn't love it, mostly because her son gets in and out ALL THE TIME.

    I have a umbrella stroller (single) that I use either with a sling (hotsling) or just with Connor (2) walking. I also have a double jogging stroller. It works, but I drool over the Ergo's. Oh man. I have never regretted not having a double stroller, but I might later when Nathan gets heavy to carry in a sling (he's 16ish pounds now).

    GERMANY!! That is SO exciting.
    jjstringham said...
    I love the sit and stand. Actually, I haven't even used one, but my sister-in-law just got one and I'm so envious.
    As for the carrier, I haven't found one yet that's been within my price range (um. . close to nothing) that is actually comfortable. But for my next I definitely want to invest in a nice one. I was thinking more of a sling-type though.
    And congratulations on Germany. That'd be scary for me, but I know with your background it's nothing!
    Liz said...
    Congratulations on going to Germany next fall! Did Eric get an offer?!
    After Andrew was born, when I would pick up Seth from school, I used a bjorn for Drew and put Claire & Josh in the double tandem Graco stroller I have, which I think is similar to one you've had in the past. It's kind of older, but I like that it's narrow. It's not very hard to push, and it's easy to collapse & open. Seth would walk. Now, of course Josh can walk, so I put Claire & Drew in the stroller when we go pick up Seth. There aren't really very many times that I need to get around with all four now, but when I do, the older boys usually walk and I put Claire in the back of a shopping cart with Drew in the front. Not ideal, but if I have to I'll do it. Oh, and my double stroller has a big basket in the bottom that juts out by my legs where I walk, enough that Josh can stand on its edge and hold on to the "handlebars"? in front of me. We only do that to and from the van when I go pick up Seth, but we have done it before at the zoo when he's been really tired.
    I bet Autumn will be a big help for you. . .
    I hadn't seen the sit n stand stroller before; does it mean the child can stand while still strapped in? Or is there a ledge for a third child to stand on? I know those ledges exist, because I have a friend who ordered one and added it onto her existing double stroller. I could ask her about it if you're interested. Let me know.
    I like the look of that Ergo carrier. It would be nice to have a baby on the hip rather than directly in front of you. You may end up with a petite baby, like Esther, that you could carry around for a while that way! I doubt I will buy another carrier. I like the bjorn I have. But if I bought another one, I might try that Ergo one, or I might look into a used one.
    Does Heidi walk pretty well for you?
    I see you're talking to me.
    Love you!
    Wendi said...
    I LOVE my sit n stand stroller. When the baby is tiny, you can attach the car seat (it has an adjustable bar based on which brand of car seat baby carrier you have). Shannon loves being able to hop on or off when she wants to also (but if she is doing too much off and on I just threaten to buckle her in). We actually did fit 3 on there in a pinch (Shannon had been walking and my niece Kimi was riding then Shannon hopped on too. Its not recommended but it worked). Anyways, congratulations on going to Germany! That is really exciting! Mike just got back from a trip to Stuttgart and really enjoyed it (Food=AMAZING!!).
    Lisa said...
    Germany???? Holey moley.

    I have no advice though. My friend has that Sit-n-Stand Plus thing, but I dont' know what she thinks. Ha, I'm a lot of help. I just wanted to say...

    GERMANY??????? :)
    Jennie Z said...
    So it's official huh? Germany, Wow you are brave! Um I am not sure I am full of any wisdom, as I only have 2 kids to keep track of. I loved my double when they were both little because I could snap the car seat in for Kate and put Max in too. I think the sit and stand sounds like a great option.
    Heidi said...
    I never leave the house without another adult. But that's not helpful advice. :)

    The older two are mostly cooperative (6 and 5) and sometimes Emy (2) will tolerate sitting in the stroller. Bennett (3.5) will not sit in the stroller so a double was pointless and we gave it away. But if your child is not Houdini then I imagine a stroller is handy. Joseph we wear in the Ergo, but I also wear Emy in the Ergo sometimes or Kit can wear one child in the Bjorn and I can wear the other in the Ergo and whoever is not wearing the newborn chases Bennett. Or we put Emy in the stroller, convince Bennett to push her, wear Joseph in the Ergo and the older two walk.

    I find a baby in Ergo and a child in stroller (and big kids walking) was much easier than maneuvering the double stroller. In Germany (and flying there) we much preferred wearing one and single, lightweight stroller for any travel.

    I've tried the leash on the wrist idea, my kids can yank those things off so fast it's impressive.

    It's a feat, to get out of the house and not lose a child. Even with two adults. We just took a walk to the neighbors and it was exhausting. I wasn't kidding about I don't leave the house without another adult. Maybe in another year I can do it. I have hope. :) This was not a reassuring comment, I'm sorry. YOU can do it, you'll be great getting around with kids in tow.

    I want to hear more details about Germany, I am so jealous!!!
    Crystal said...
    I'm no help on the transportation issue, but HELLO! Germany! What takes you there? Is is easier for Eric to find work in Europe?
    Rae said...
    One Step Ahead Sit-n-Stand Elite and an Ergo, that's my vote.
    TanuvasaCasa said...
    My kids for some reason never really liked the bjorn, or carriers like that. When Deacon was little, I got a chance to product test a ring sling(that I then got to keep!) and he loves it. Yup, 2 1/2 and he still can go in it! It was great, because I could shop for hours and he would just sleep all hidden away. I can't tell you how many times I have walked around Walmart nursing him in that thing and no body even noticed! There is a long piece of fabric that hangs down and I would just throw it over my shoulder as a cover up. Around here we have a store, baby aWEARness, where you can go and try on different carriers to see what works for you. Maybe there is something in your area like that (but don't buy from the boutiques because they are SO much more expensive there!) or look for your local NINO chapter (Nine in Nine out) they will have all types of carriers there that you can try on and get advice on how to use them. Right now i am thinking about getting a MaiTai for the new baby...but instead of buying them, there are tons of patterns online that you can use to make your own.

    As far a double strollers go, the front/back ones can be tough to steer...but maybe that's only because I've always had the cheaper brands...We are leaning towards getting a phil&ted e3. They are pricey, but a lot of people have them here (including my friend with 2 yr old twins) and they all swear by them.
    Qait said...
    Why didn't I know? Germany... :\
    I would be fine with it if we could all move to Germany. Or all own private jets or something.
    You're already too far away.

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