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.