Something like 90% of people install the car seat incorrectly or secure the child in the car seat incorrectly. It’s definitely worth making an appointment (before the baby arrives) to get the installed car seat inspected. Make sure the person is a certified car seat technician. While you are there, talk to the technician about how to properly secure the baby in the seat. It’s free!
You do not HAVE to get an infant car seat. Many convertible car seats with work for infants. But, many people choose to get an infant one for convenience. If you have two cars, get one infant car seat and one extra base (they come with one base and you can buy a separate one). There are new infant car seats that have load legs shown to greatly reduce impact on the baby’s head in an accident. I haven’t looked into these in great detail since they came out after we got our car seat, but it is something to note.
·What will be the primary purpose of your stroller? – Will it serve as your car? Meaning, do you live in an urban area and plan to use it to run errands, get to restaurants, go get coffee, walk to grocery store, etc.? Or will it mostly be used for walks around the neighborhood? Will this primarily be kept in the car for when you go to a mall or the zoo?
·What is your budget?
·What is your access to the street? – Stroller weight is an important factor if you live in a walk-up apartment.
·How much space to you have to store your stroller? – Stroller size and/or collapsibility is a key factor if you live in small space, or if you will often have it in the car.
·Are you hoping/planning for a second baby close in age? – Single vs Convertible stroller; If you are going to pay for a nice stroller and you plan on having another baby in the next 3-ish years, it may be worth spending the extra money getting one that converts to a double. However, there are a few things to consider before you jump into that. For example, if you live in a walk-up, you probably don’t want the weight of a convertible when you don’t need it.
·What type of terrain will you primarily be walking on? – You’ll want to think about this to help you determine what kind of stroller wheels you want. Will you be going up and down bumps of curbs and in and out of small stores running errands, or will you walk on nice suburban sidewalks and inside spacious malls? If you want to jog with your main stroller, you need to get a stroller specifically for jogging.
·How big of a storage basket do you need? – if you walk to do your grocery shopping like I did the first 3 years, you’ll want a big basket.
·Do you want the option for baby to forward-face or to parent-face? – If so, you want to look at modular strollers.
Note: If I had a lot of money and a house with a lot of storage, I could make a great argument for having a: single stroller, double stroller, jogging stroller, umbrella stroller AND infant car seat stroller frame. BUT, that isn’t the case. Assuming that also isn’t your situation, you have to decide what makes the most sense for you. I do believe you should wait and get an umbrella stroller when your baby if a few months old if you decide you need that – since most aren’t recommended for newborns.
Babywearing will allow you to live like a normal person with the use of both arms! Having a specific infant carrier, like a cloth wrap or sling, is really nice in those early months. Most newborns love to be held, so this keeps your hands free while enjoying the close snuggle with your baby. A soft structured carrier offers more support and is best for long walks and hikes. They can be used into toddlerhood. Most require you purchase a newborn adaptor, so it’s nice to have a separate infant carrier (cloth or sling type). I’m so glad I have one of each kind. I recommend testing some different ones out before you decide to register for, or purchase a particular one.