Double Strollers: What Do You Really Need?
A double stroller is a necessity if you have twins or two young children of similar ages. By quickly answering eight important questions that help you determine the needs of your particular lifestyle, you will save yourself time and effort in your search for the best double stroller for your family.
Is baby number two on the way or are you expecting twins? Then you definitely need a double stroller. Before you begin your search among the countless models that are available, you need to determine what your stroller needs are for your particular lifestyle. For example, it doesn't make sense to purchase the same double stroller your best friend raves about if you're an avid jogger and her favorite hobby is shopping. To help you narrow down the possibilities, answer the eight following questions.
1. What activities do you need a double stroller for?
Do you do most of your shopping in malls? Do you like to jog or take long walks around the neighborhood in all types of weather? Are you a freqyuent traveler? The activities you do most often will decide what type of double stroller you should choose, whether it be a regular double mall stroller, a lightweight (ex. umbrella) double stroller, a double jogging stroller or a double all-terrain stroller.
2. Which seating design would best suit your needs?
Double strollers come in two seating designs: tandem (one seat in front of the other) or side-by-side. Both designs have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's important for you to think carefully about what your lifestyle will be like with twins or two children of different ages (although this is not easy to do before actually living through it!).
3. What are the ages and temperaments of your children?
Your double stroller needs will be slightly different if you're the parents of twins than if you have a baby and an older child. Some double strollers are true twin strollers, meaning they have features that are meant to accommodate two children of the same age, such as the ability to clip in two infant car seats. There are also double strollers that are designed so that a toddler can sit in the front seat where he can have a better view and more legroom while baby brother or sister sleeps comfortably in the fully reclining rear seat.
Many parents find that side-by-side double strollers help keep the peace between children because they prevent arguments about who gets to sit in the front seat. On the other hand, being side-by-side can also create other problems with the two children sitting in such close proximity.
4. How often are you going to use the double stroller?
If you're only planning on using a stroller for quick errands to the mall a couple times a week, you don't need to purchase a heavy-duty, high-end double stroller with all the bells and whistles. However, if you like going for walks or runs on a daily basis, or if you go out with your children often and for long periods of time, you should consider getting something that is comfortable and durable, since double strollers take twice the abuse of single strollers.
5. Who will be using the stroller?
Keep in mind the height and stride of the person or persons who will be using the double stroller the most, as well as their physical strength. It's no fun pushing a stroller with a handle that is too low or too high for comfort and neither is folding and picking up one that is cumbersome. It's true that double strollers are heavier and bulkier than single strollers due to their very nature, but there are models on the market that are easier to handle than others.
6. What features are you looking for?
Do you want a simple, no frills double stroller, or something with lots of comfort, durability and storage space? This brings us back to the types of activities you do most often. It's very disappointing to purchase a stroller and then realize that its features don't meet your needs as well as they could have.
7. How much space do you have for transporting and storing it?
With a few exceptions, double strollers take up a lot of room. The size of your vehicle may be a big deciding factor when choosing a double model. Make sure it fits! Also, take into account where you will store the stroller at home.
8. What can you afford?
This is probably the most important question of all. Think carefully of your present and future stroller needs with your two children. What is the minimum you are willing to live with? Can you afford to pay for a higher quality double stroller that will make your life easier in the long run, or are you willing to take your chances with a budget stroller that may break down before you're done using it? For twins, a double universal car seat carrier (stroller frame) is an inexpensive alternative to buying an actual stroller during the infant stage if you're yet not sure what you'll need later on.
Once you've determined what you really need, then you can begin researching the various brands and models that are on the market. You will be able to quickly eliminate double strollers that don't fit your criteria, making the whole process a lot easier and less time-consuming.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anik Gigučre-Biollo is the mother of a three year-old girl and one year-old twin boys and has owned a total of eight baby strollers of different types. She offers a great deal of detailed information about choosing and purchasing double strollers and twin strollers (see http://www.stroller-advisor.com/double-strollers.html), as well as all other types of strollers, on her website. You can visit her site by going to http://www.Stroller-Advisor.com.