A Look Back at My Baby Registry: The Stroller

I get emails a lot asking me for suggestions on baby products I use.  Sometimes its for baby shower gifts for friends and family.  Sometimes its very pregnant women trying to get last minute purchases made before the Big Arrival.  And sometimes its that one random guy who is trying to surprise his expecting wife.  (That last one is my favorite, by the way…)  After 10 months of this motherhood gig, I think I finally have a good grasp on what baby products I love and use all the time and what products I could live without or would get differently the next time around.

I’ll post several different posts throughout today profiling different baby products that I have used.  Hopefully this will give more detail on things instead of just glazing over registry items.  I know, as a new mom, I need the nitty gritty details instead of just a consumer review I could read on the manufacturers website.

As a general rule when I started my baby registry, I splurged a little on anything that would be used every day.  This included our travel system.  We chose the Chico Cortina Travel System from Babies R Us ($299.99).  I think this might be the best purchase on our registry.  Its on the high end of the price scale, but, in my opinion, totally worth it.  We went back and forth on whether to get the travel system or separate stroller and car seat.  Actually, I remember being huge and seven months pregnant and out with my parents and Chris in Babies R Us.  Chris and I got into a HUGE fight in the stroller aisle because he didn’t like the travel system and I did.  My Mom kept whispering to me, “You’re being a little bitchy, Kate…”  But I didn’t care.  I would primarily be the one using the stroller and car seat.  Not Chris.  Plus, he kept insisting that he didn’t care what we got, but then he’d make crappy little comments about what I picked out.  At six months pregnant, he was very close to death.

In the end, we went with the travel system because I found them easier to maneuver when I was out by myself somewhere.  And I still love that feature. And – for the record – I was totally right.

What I love about this travel system in particular is that it is very streamline and trim.  Its built really slim and narrow, so it fits through racks when I’m shopping and it goes through crowds a little less obtrusively as some of the bigger, wider strollers I’ve seen.  I also like that I can park it in a corner if we’re in a restaurant or a shop or something and I’m carrying Bean.  It doesn’t take up much room because it is so compact.  But at the same time, it also has a lot of storage space in the area under the seat.  I can fit my huge diaper bag, my purse, a friend’s purse, and a couple shopping bags under there when we’re out and about.  I also love that it has two cup holders in the handle so that Chris and I can both put drinks up there.

I love that the system is so easy to use with one hand, too.  I can snap the carrier into the base and fold up the stroller all with one hand.  And when you’ve got a baby on your hip and no extra person there to help you out, that’s a really great feature.  Also, the stroller is really lightweight and I can pick it up and throw it in my trunk without looking like a moron trying to carry something that’s too big in the parking lot.  It literally is stow-and-go and as a mom who loves to be on the go, that’s a great feature to have.

I really like the car seat as well.  The base clips into our safety hooks in both our cars very easily and I can move it between cars myself in no time at all.  The car sear itself is heavy – about 20 pounds – but most of the car seats were about that same weight, so I think that’s pretty standard.  Now that Bean likes to sit up in his stroller without the car seat part, it has become less of a travel system and more like two separate pieces – a car seat and a stroller.  But when he was little bitty and slept most of the time, I really love being able to keep him in his seat and sit him down in the stroller.  He just looked more secure in there and, more importantly, I didn’t have to wake him up every time we got somewhere.  I also liked that when he was in the stroller in his car seat, he sat up really high facing me.  I could reach him easily while walking and he could always see me.

I would definitely recommend a travel system and, if you go with the travel system, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Chico Cortina.

A++ in my book.

Check back throughout the day as I continue to review products from my baby registry.  Next up: Our diaper bags.

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20 Thoughts to “A Look Back at My Baby Registry: The Stroller”

  1. We managed to score a free, practically brand-new (less than a year!) Snap’n’Go stroller and car seat from someone in my neighborhood giving hers away (her son was taller than they expected and outgrew it at 8 months!). I’m excited about having it since I didn’t have a travel system the first time around– we have a Micralite Toro, which I love, and I used my sling a lot in the first six months.

  2. (PS You misspelled Cortina in the post tags.)

    1. Katie

      (Thanks. I’m on it.)

  3. Though I have no children and obviously am not in the market for strollers or car seats I do love product reviews. Why I love them even when focused on products I don’t need, I don’t know.

    I just love them.

    And I’d never heard of a travel system, but it sounds brilliant.

  4. Rebekah M.

    I purchased the Chicco (in the same color) for my son! I loved it in the store & while i love the stroller for its maneuvering skills, i hated that the carrier was so darn heavy! i’m a little girl! (5’2″ and i don’t weigh a lot and well, i’m really not very strong) so i think next time around – like, in 10 years – i want to look into the Graco MetroLite 🙂

    thanks for your reviews, i love reading them!

  5. Great review! When I have a baby, will you remind me of this? LOL

  6. This is so great!! I am due in 6 weeks, this is so exciting to read about fun baby products! Unfortunately, even thought I too was obsessed with the travel systems, I live in a VERY rural era, and most places we would be going for walks will be dirt or through the woods. So we needed a jogging style more all-terrain stroller with real tires. But I kind of made my own travel system, getting an adapter and car seat that snaps right in! I have the Bumbleride Indie, and can’t wait to use it outside of my living room! 🙂

  7. Are you still using this for Bean? I know he’s not big enough yet for a front-facing seat, but I would think he might be growing out of this seat at this point and be in a bigger, rear facing car seat at this point. Just curious.

    My sister is giving me her Graco travel system as a hand-me-down and I’m so psyched. It really is one of the best baby inventions ever.

    1. Katie

      I should have included that info. Bean is still in this and is still rear-facing, though he is almost to the weight limit of being able to be moved over to the front facing. Normally, we might wait a little while longer to keep him rear facing, but as soon as he is the weight limit we’ll be transitioning him into front facing because he absolutely HATES the car and I’m hoping that facing forwards might make a difference.

      1. Thanks for the info. I hope front-facing helps. I have the best picture of my nephew the day my sister turned his car seat to front-facing. He has a huge smile on his face and looks like he won the lottery. He literally squealed with joy the whole ride home. 🙂

      2. Cindy In Owensboro, KY

        I thought that I had replied to this last night but for some reason it didn’t show up. I wanted to make sure that you know that the new recommendations are that children stay facing backwards until age 2. There is a higher incidence of spinal cord injury when you turn them forward before age 2. There are several videos on youtube.com if you want to check it out.

  8. Chanon

    I LOVE my Chicco stroller and seat too! We had to buy ours separate because they KeyFit 30 didn’t come with the stroller/car seat combo at the time. My son is 7 months and we still have one more strap slot for him so we are definately getting use out of it!

  9. This makes me want to buy that whole thing, and we don’t have a baby. Nor are we having any more babies (right, Lord?). A good stroller is worth a million dollars, though. I hated the one we had at first, even though it got high ratings in the consumer arena (whatever I’m trying to say). Then we had a glorified umbrella stroller which was great, because it was small and easy. This sounds like the best of all the different worlds. My stroller now is on the large side, but it’s okay. I say, you are right, paying a little more for a really good product that you will use ALL the time is worth it!!

  10. Yay, I love baby product reviews! And being 7 1/2 months pregnant, this is perfect timing, thanks!

  11. Kelly

    Hooray for the travel system!
    My husband always kinda hated it tho, as he thought it was “too clunky.” Funny enough, he never complained when we were actually *using* it.

    Alas, we had to switch to the non-removable/clip-in-able car seat at something ridiculous like 6 months, as our baby was too long for the car seat part. (tho at 9 months, she’s just now hitting the weight limit. And she’s not an overly long baby) I must say it’s much less convenient to take her along when we go out to eat, etc, because she can’t just fall asleep anywhere. But that’s what babysitters are for, right?

  12. Kara

    The carrier weighs 9 lbs. It only weighs 20 if it has an 11lb baby in it. I love the Chicco Cortina travel system. My baby has traveled all over the country and the neighborhood in this. It’d easy to use and easy to wash. I do wish I could have purchased the 30lb-rated model with the stroller.

  13. I had/have a Cortina Travel system. I used for my first born and LOVED it! I wouldn’t consider doing anything different – I’m definitely planning on using it for #2 who’s arriving in less than 2 months!

  14. Julie

    I’ve been on myregistry.com a million times this week trying to finish up our registry before the shower invitations go out. The one (and biggest) thing we are still missing is the stroller, and I’ve had my eye on the Chicco Cortina. After reading this review, I’m sold! I think I will go ahead and add it today.

  15. Nice choice on the travel system. It’s something that I’d recommend for any mom like you: out and about with the baby. The big plus is the storage space. You can never have enough of that. One thing that you could add is the 5 to 3 point harness. Nobody’s wiggling outta that one 😉
    Thanks for the great read.

    Garry Edwards,
    Publisher, http://www.EveryDayStrollers.com

  16. Jane

    I have to agree, our travel system was the best thing on our registry too. We use it everyday. I don’t know how I would live without it.

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