I had my heart set on the Baby Jogger City Select convertible stroller. This baby can be used as a single or tandem double, weighs 36 pounds fully loaded (most tandems are 40-50 pounds), and has all the marvelous features we mommies love: lots of storage, car seat and bassinet adapters, adjustable seats with big canopies, and a spiffy look.
It also has a big ole price tag of about $700 for the full two seat plus car seat adapter package. Bassinets are extra.
I was shocked when I first heard about high end strollers, which start around $400 and go up from there. I about had a stroke when I heard about luxury strollers, which start at $900 and keep climbing. But after raising the first huge baby with no travel system, I began thinking that the money might be well spent. Especially considering that I plan on having four or five kids back to back, so I figured a high end double stroller may be the life saving tool I needed to survive the next ten years of my life.
I read hundreds of reviews and watched dozens of videos. My husband is now completely sick of strollers, having never really cared to begin with, and bluntly requests a change in topic if I bring them up. But I was enamored. I had an online love affair with the City Select and I thought it was THE ONE.
You can imagine my excitement when I found a store about an hour and fifteen minutes drive from home which stocked high end strollers. I was finally going to meet my love in person! So I made the trek–sans husband, for which he is supremely gratefuly–to check it out.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you the Baby Jogger City Select is not the magical device of infant transportation that I previously believed it to be. Don’t get me wrong–it had a nice push and looked very comfy for the kiddies, but it has one huge design flaw: you can’t face the front seat forwards if you use a Graco car seat in the back unless it’s in the lowest position. Why such a problem? Because my older son would have to ride there and he’s already a tall kid.
The salesman pointed this out to me. “The cage of the adapter is too wide and the seat back is too tall. You can face the front seat either way with the Maxi Cosi, since the cage isn’t required, but not with the Graco.” I was crushed. My darling, my sweet, sweet City select and I had unreconcilable religious differences.
“But the Maxi Cosi has a 22 pound limit.” I said.
“Studies show most women don’t use the infant carrier when the combined weight reaches 30–22 pounds plus an 8 pound carrier.” The know-it-all said.
“My first son was 22 pounds at 6 months. Graco goes to 35 pounds and 32 inches so that’s the one I’ll be using.” My Southern raising kept me from adding…I want a car seat adapter and stroller so I don’t have to carry it, doofus. But I really wanted to. Pretentious people have that effect on me.
I browsed around the store while I considered my options: convert to the Maxi Cosi with its very short lifespan, force my toddler to ride backwards staring at a car seat, or find another stoller. Although my heart was broken with this rude awakening, I had to concede that the City Select and I were not meant to be. We’re still friends, though.
If you’ve yet to have your first child, or if you’ve had sweet little petite babies, you might not get what I’m talking about. Let me break it down: there is one all important thing to mothers and that’s called sleep. Babies 0-12 months do a lot of it but only when left undisturbed. Most wake up if you get them out of a car seat and will not go back to sleep–even if it’s their nap time and they’ve only been out five minutes–once they are woken. This means, tender mother, you have to do all of your everyday activities nap time normally allows, including regaining your sanity, with a tired, cranky baby who wants to be held.
I know you attachment parents are standing on your head right now about slings, wraps, and soft carriers. I love them too, but this is when we get into my big baby dilemma. My back hurts. Yes ma’am, I’m selfish enough to want it to work for the rest of my life, so I’m not willing to sacrifice my back to an 11 month old who isn’t quite walking yet that weighs 30 pounds.That is how much weight my first son gained in five months: he was 22 pounds at six months and 30 at 11 months. With the use of a carrier and a carseat adaptable stroller, my next baby will continue to sleep, I will complete my chores in peace and quiet, and I won’t have an aching back that night when I go to bed.
My search for the perfect partner continues. Up next: my surprise rendevous with the Baby Jogger City Select’s cousin–the Mini Double.