By Jen Garcin
When expecting families start planning for their tiny new addition, one of the first items on their must-have list is a stroller. Being mobile with a baby is key, and having the right stroller for your lifestyle is crucial. This is especially true if you need to navigate city sidewalks and storefronts. The moms and nannies over at Guidepost at Home highly recommend going for a convertible single to double stroller right off the bat. If you are at all planning on a second child some day, having twins, or considering a nanny share (two families sharing a nanny with both children cared for together), having a double stroller is an absolute must.
There are a lot of good double strollers on the market. You can check out our specific brand recommendations here.
Tandem Double: Our favorite doubles are tandem, meaning the two seats are stacked one on top of the other, rather than being side-by-side. This makes it easier to fit through doorways, navigate narrow city sidewalks, and store more compactly.
Flexible Configurations: An important thing to look for in a great double stroller is flexible configurations. Double strollers have two seats, but where these two seats are placed on the frame depends on the different possible configurations of your stroller. Side-by-side double strollers do not have different configurations. The two seats are next to each other and can’t be moved. A good tandem stroller will have flexible configurations. For instance, seats could be placed facing toward or away from you, you can mix and match different seat types such as bassinets, car seats, and toddler seats, and seats can be placed in various locations on the frame (i.e. toddler seat on top, car seat on bottom). Watch out for a double stroller that doesn’t have multiple configurations—oftentimes one of the children is stuffed into the basket with no view.
Collapsibility: When you’ve got two babies in tow, being able to easily collapse and store your stroller is key. Whether you are throwing it into the trunk, or hanging it in your closet, an easy fold mechanism is a must. Watch out for strollers that require more than one or two steps to fold or take an enormous amount of effort to collapse.
Pushability: With two babies or toddlers on board, a good double stroller should still have a light and smooth ride. Look for a double stroller with large rear tires and good treads. Scour the reviews for keywords like “light push” and “smooth ride”. Avoid doubles that feel clunky, unstable, or tough to push.
Convertible Single to Double: Convertible single to double tandem strollers are an excellent option for a first child or a nanny share.They are typically lighter weight and easy to maneuver with either one or two little ones.
Creative Storage Hacks:
Storing a double stroller can be quite an undertaking. There is a building in NYC that offers free stroller storage with building employees available to park your stroller when you return home, and valet it back to you when you are heading out. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these buildings, then you can skip over the following hacks! If you are city living, short on space, and a personal stroller valet isn’t in your home’s amenity list, here are some helpful storage hacks:
1. Stroller Hanger
A stroller hanger is a great solution if you do not have floor space, closet or otherwise, for your stroller. This over the door hanger has a large weight capacity and holds all of the double strollers that we recommend. This is a great tidy and space-saving solution for your front door or inside a closet door!
2. Designated Stroller Parking
Moms in cities get creative. Finding a spot to fold your stroller and hide it away can be tricky. We have seen moms tuck strollers under staircases or even desks. Some moms find that parking the stroller in a hallway or foyer is a perfect solution—it is out of sight and out of the way of any living spaces.
3. When All Else Fails
If you are like me and live in a small, closet-lacking, open-concept apartment in the city, you may need to park your stroller in the living room. My building does not allow hallway storage, so I bought my double stroller with this in mind. I needed something that both looked nice, and also took up the least amount of space when fully configured. The benefit here, is that I never need to unpack or repack my stroller’s basket—major timesaver.
Pro Tips For When All Else Fails:
Keep your floors tidy when it rains or snows by buying tire covers, a stroller bag, or a water-proof table cloth from the dollar-store. Lay the table-cloth down in your entryway, roll your stroller directly onto the table cloth, tuck in the edges, and drag your stroller anywhere you want to park it in your living room.
Do you have closets, but with limited space? Look for a stroller that stands up when folded, or invest in some bungee cords and tie the stroller upright in your closet (or trunk!).
Jen Garcin is a proud mom of a human baby and two kittens. She had an exciting and fulfilling career in criminal justice reform before transitioning to her favorite job ever, being a stay-at-home mom to her daughter & boss, Eloise. Jen is passionate about all issues related to motherhood, social justice, and dabbles in freelance writing and marketing consulting. She is super active in her local community, and hosts a monthly cookbook club.
Jen + Eloise