One of a multiple birth families most important pieces of equipment is a stroller to fit, two, three or more babies, and sometimes toddlers as well. It is also one of the most expensive items you will need. Investing in a good stroller is essential for several reasons:
- multiple births families tend to use their strollers longer, i.e. not unheard of for the kids to be at least 4-years old. It can be because the babies were premature and therefore smaller at birth or because a parent has better control over where the toddlers might wander. If they can be securely fastened into a stroller this stimplifies the outing.
- it is impossible to carry two or more tired toddlers, so having the stroller available ensures that all tired kids can be transported with a minimum of fuss;
- a twin or triplet stroller gets A LOT of use and therefore needs to be of a good quality to withstand a lot of handling in and out of vehicles, and the bouncing of two or more active toddlers.
- it is tempting to buy the cheaper stroller but keep in mind that your stroller will have to earn its keep transporting two, three or more infants and then toddlers.
- Buying cheaper may find you 18 or so months later buying another one as the first one gave up the ghost.
When considering a stroller, here are some important tips to consider prior to purchasing:
- Before making a decision, set it up and down in the store. The salesperson can assist in clarifying the oddiities of collapsing and setting up the stroler. Make sure that you can do it quickly and easily.
- Talk a walk in the store using your regular stride. Taller parents have been known to knock their skins on one which does not work well with their stride. Is the handle is too short? Hunching over while pushing a stroller will soon become a pain in the shoulders and back!
- Ask what is included in the stroller’s price. Not all strollers come with a rain cover, basket or sun roofs. Sometimes these cost extra.
- Double wheels can trap ice or rocks or swivel in opposite directions, making pushing it challenging. Larger, single wheels are an asset in Canadian Winters as they move more easily through snow and slush. It is helpful to know if wheels can be easily replaced if necessary. Ask how they clip on and off and how/where to purchase replacement wheels.
- Ask which parts, including frame, may have a replacement guarantee.
- A full handle length gives the pusher an advantage in controlling the stroller. The umbrella-style handles are sometimes set too far apart and making pushing them when the kiddies are on board a challenge, especially for shorter parents.
- Will it fit into the car? More than one family has pushed their new purchase to their car, a nd….it won’t fit in!
- There are pros and cons to each seating style of stroller:
- Side by side: Pros: allows you easy access to each baby/toddler when needed. The babies can easily interact with each other and most will fit through store doorways.
- Cons: The babies can easily interact with each other and as a certain stage, biting can be an issue or clunking of the other with a toy.
- Tandem (front and back seated): Pros: fits nicely through doorways and store isles.
- Cons: As the babies grow, it can be difficult to lift up over curbs and it may necessitate a trip around the front of the stroller to lift over a curb. It is impossible to quickly reach the baby fartherst from you in time of need. It is helpful to have the farthest seat positioned facing you in order to be aware of what that child is doing. When facing away from you, the child in front may constantly try to stand up to turn around in order to see what s/he might be missing.
- Some strollers are called “twin strollers” but in reality they are for a toddler and a newborn. The area for a newborn does not have adequate space for the legs of a toddler and the toddler area may not fully recline to accommodate newborns.
- There are wonderful joggers available for twins, triplets and more. If you like to jog, this may be the best stroller for your needs.
- Graduated seat heights make it easier to see each baby in the stroller.
Now that you have made your decision, here are a few more handy hints from parents:
- If your babies are weight discrepant, rotate them with each stroller use so that the stroller wears evenly.
- Your stroller is an expensive item. By taking care of it properly, you can ensure that it’s resale value is high. Protect it against the elements and wipe it down if caught in the rain. If you bought your stroller new, it is well looked after (no rust or rips) and it is clean when offered for sale, you might expect to recoup one-half to three-quarters of your original purchase price, depnding on the make of stroller. Advertising through your local Twin and Triplet support chapter (here is a captive audience) will ensure a good resale price.
- As noted, expect to use your stroller for up to 4 years, especially if your babies were premature. When the children are older and get tired while on an outing, you will need a place to safely carry them, and the stroller is the perfect place. When they both (all) want to walk, it is a great place to put the diaper bag and/or purchases.
- A stroller is expensive but it does make a great collective gift for a Babies Shower or for relatives to get together to make the purchase. They are also available secondhand through local Twin and Triplet support chapters. Sometimes eBay has them for sale as well.
- If you need a quick repair for your stroller, check out the local bicycle repair shop. They are usually able to help out.
Places to look for twin, triplet and quadruplet strollers. These are some of the best Canadian Sites I could find. Please note that some sites come and go quite quickly. Happy shopping!
….and don’t forget to check eBay and Kijiji. There are some amazing bargains!