January 18, 2011

Single or Double?

Just so we're clear, the title is NOT referring to hamburgers, sorry.

Despite the fact that we had our first four kids in four years, we have never owned a double stroller.

Or a triple stroller.

Or a quad stroller.

Although I did find one once that I coveted... a lot.

But no, we just had our one, single stroller and it worked like this.

Alayna sat in the stroller.

Jacob sat on top of the handle.

Joseph lounged in the basket underneath.

Savannah stood on the front foot rest... thingy.

That poor stroller took a lot of abuse. Even with its wheels bent out at an unsightly angle while hauling all four little toddler bodies, it held on for quite a while.
Till out of pure exhaustion, it bit the dust, and broke a wheel.

I mourned the loss of our ever-faithful stroller, and we have been stroller-less ever since.

Oh, and our baby car seat expired.

And our baby walker broke.

And our baby chair for the table broke.

Thankfully, we got our crib already broken so we don't need to worry about that changing!

But the point of all this is, someone gave us a really, really, really, really ugly single stroller. But hey, it was free and I could try and find a way to re-cover it or something.

But I don't sew.

Or, should we finally give in and go for a double instead?

Part of me is thinking that a double would be pointless since the little monster-child Alayna, who hates being restrained in any way, would most likely refuse to sit in it.

But at the same time, it's like herding sheep trying to get that girl to keep up and follow you anywhere.

Not that I've had experience with herding sheep, just sayin'.

Plus, deep down, I think I just really, really want a double, even if I don't need it, simply to feel the luxury of it beneath my fingertips.

And practically speaking, we'll eventually have another kid.

But do you really think I should spend the extra money and go for a double, or stick with the single since we still have to get a new car seat. And high chair. And all that. Because I also think in dollars and cents.

Astound me with your advise, oh wise readers!

Single or double?

40 super cool people speak:

Angel said...

I think you should go for a double. Because if Alayna doesn't sit in it I'm sure one of the others ones will take her spot. AND you will be having another one....if you don't use it for two then you can use the other seat for the diaper bag, jackets, shoes, shopping bags, or whatever. I'm sure you will find something to use that other seat for if no one wants to sit in it...which I highly doubt. :)

Neisha said...

you could try one of those Sit 'N Stand strollers. where one kid sits in front and there's a spot in back for kid #2 to either sit or stand

Amanda said...

I say single. I got a double thinking I'd use it all the time. Not so much. It was just big and clunky. And the kid in the front always whined about getting kicked.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Double. And don't hesitate for a moment. You deserve it. I had one for my three and it was awesome.

Impulsive Addict said...

I can't answer this one for sure since I'm only a mother of one but my gut says go for the double. This probably doesn't help much. I hate visiting without leaving a comment. It's just the way I roll.

GOOD LUCK!

Patty Ann said...

Oh yeah, I never bought a double stroller. We put the money into a garden wagon at Costco. It was green and fit all three girls, plus whatever else we needed to carry. We still have that wagon, and it gets used when the grandkids come to visit. Best investment we ever made, and we have never regretted it.

Amanda Joy said...

We bought a double jogging stroller since we had two surprise pregnancies close together. I bought the store warranty that covered it for an additional 18 months. When you jog with the stroller it tips over... nice, eh. We told the store and got reimbursed to buy another one. I like both of them for different reasons, but my favorite purchase was with tax returns last year. We got a nice double seat bike trailer that can work as a functioning jogging stroller as well. Having a double is so nice because of the extra space, and the ability to strap two ragamuffins in. My advice... shop around. Babies r us ended up being the best for us, I tried to price match at cheaper stores, but they didn't have what I wanted.

Good luck

Marcie said...

I say double. You're like me and know what you want. You're really careful with your purchases and think things through before buying them. So I trust that you know what you want and if you want a double, get one.
For me, I got a double when I was pregnant with #1. People thought I was weird when I wasn't expecting twins, but I just knew we'd always have kids close together and after the first kid, we'd always have 2 that could sit in it. It's been the best. (Buy Graco!!) We've had it for 10 years and still works wonderfully and I've always loved it. We've taken it everywhere. After we had a stillborn in 2009 I realized we'd be having a "big gap" for us of 2 1/2 years before the next baby and since Thomas could ride a bike really well, I would only be taking one child in the stroller. So I really pined for a single stroller when I had Kaitlyn. I thought it was silly since I could obviously use a double with just one child in it. But I really wanted a small, single stroller for once. Especially since I wanted to take the baby on walks alone, without the older kids. Last February they had "The Great Trade-in Event" at Toys R Us. Maybe you've heard of it. You trade in a used item of yours and get 20% off a new item. So I took in our expired carseat and got a new stroller system. I also had another coupon for 15% off so I got a really good deal. I loved the pattern and was so happy about it, even though I did feel it was a bit of a splurge for me. But I've never regretted my decision. I LOVE it. I use it all the time. I knew I wanted it and I'm so glad I bought it. So buy what you want because you'll love it. (If you can think of anyway to get my double I would give it to you. Are you coming out to visit Caleb anytime soon, or him visiting you? We're not too far from him.) Also, double strollers come with carseats, so they're really not that much extra to get a double than a single. Just do the research and shop around. Good luck! I can't wait to see pictures of it!

Jess said...

If you chuck baby #5 in a moby wrap thing, then by the time baby is too big to haul comfortably in those things, then Terror #4 will most likely be even less overjoyed to sit in said stroller and you'll have room in the stroller for #5. I'd go with a hand me down single, but that's just me. (And please, what do I know about more than one kid?) And woman, why all the broken stuff? Do you not have stake swaps, or craigslist, or freecycle or garage sales? Just sayin, you can score some nice stuff. Might have to pay 5 dollars instead of 4 sometimes, but you can't be savin' money on the wrong ends. Just sayin. Good luck strollering. I'm sure you'll make a great choice.

kelly said...

Ok, here's my 2 cents, take it for what it's worth :)

I love that I have a double stroller. My kids are 2.5 and 14 months and I still use it all the time. But I also use my cheapy $15 umbrella stroller regularly too. About 50/50. I wish, though, now that my first is 2.5 rather than 16 months, like she was when I had my 2nd, that I had a sit & stand stroller (such as this: http://www.joovy.com/pages/pd_cabooseultralight.php)because my 2 year old could sit safely or stand and then get off (sadly, sometimes) whenever. This would be, in retrospect, my number one choice. It's kind of the best of both worlds as far as transporting two (of different ages).

HOWEVER! If you must have a double stroller, I can recommend mine minimally. Weird statement, I know. I have the Contours Tandem stroller by Kolcraft, in Ruby Red (because the grey is hard to get your hands on). I like that it's not side by side because I think as the kids get older those foster bickering if the inclination exists and they are not easy to use indoors - they don't fit through all doors and they're hard to maneuver in between racks and the like in stores such as Target or Walmart. (Although, who needs THAT when you have a cart train? Ü) This stroller has a HUGE cargo area that my 2.5 year old rides in regularly. 4 kids could hang on this. Also, the seats can face each other, you, or away, or any combination thereof. However, it's kind of bulky even when flattened and it's not superior quality. As long as you care for it, it should last a long time but ours was in the carport for a while (several months) when not in use and took some beating.

So, I'd recommend a sit & stand but if you MUST have a double, mine would be OK. Great for the cost, for sure! (I did a blog post about it about a year and a half ago for more info haha)

Lyns said...

Go for the double. I love mine. You could look at something like a Phil and Ted's. It's a little pricey but it goes back and forth between a single and double effortlessly. Good luck!

Gina said...

I bought a sit n stand on Craigs List for $40 and it was the best $40 I ever spent in my life. I have three kids and the oldest is 4 and they all ride in the sit n stand.

The baby sits in the seat, the two year old sits on the "optional" seat with his feet under the baby (where your stuff is supposed to go) and the four year old stands on the stand in the back. It manuvers likes a single, but fits three kids. And since it's designed for toddlers (not babies) the weight limit is like 200 pounds, so you don't need to sweat about breaking it!

Michelle from Fun On A Dime said...

I'm not quite sure what to tell you about the single vs. double. Since you have 4 kids already, a single or the sit/stand may be more convenient. With our double it was great for 2 kids when I want to exercise, but when we have cousins in town (who are the same age as my two kiddos) there is a constant fight for the seat that the baby is not in (the baby always wins!), which is what I imagine is going to happen all the time once we add more kids to our family.

THe problem I'm running into now with the double is that it has a 100 lb weight limit and with both kids in the stroller we are almost reaching it (and I can feel it).

As for all your other needs, seriously give Freecycle a try. There are a lot of really nice people who are waiting to give their no longer needed items to someone else who needs them. People are always offering car seats here and I would totally snag one if I knew we were going to need it anytime soon.

The Bagley Family said...

I had a double and HATED it The thing was SOOOO heavy! There are a ton of hills around our house, going up any incline with a double sucked the big one...
Also, when folding the thing we learned the hardway it was TOO large for our vehicle..wider.
I ended up giving it away to someone who needed it more then me.
I have been using one of those $15 umbrella strollers for years!

M-Cat said...

Double

But then that's just our motto at our house. Go big or go home.

Momza said...

Double. No contest. It will prove itself worth the cost immediately...
you can go out with the youngest kids strapped in and secure. And even if you just go with the baby, you have a place to put your packages.
As a Mom of 7--I say, DOUBLE!

Wonder Woman said...

SIT N STAND. No question. I wish I would've bought it when #2 came. I got one this time and love it.

Jamison Family said...

NEITHER! Sling that baby and threaten the others within an inch of their life if they dare to run away :) We've never had a stroller (I make AWESOME slings) and even for the twins I have found ways to double sling.

Amber said...

All I've got to say is...I love our double stroller. I use it for everything! (Especially since we have one car and my husband uses that for work.) But, you have to find one that doesn't take up much space when you fold it AND folds easily. I'll look at my stroller and tell you what the brand is if you'd like. (OF course, we got ours for free and I have never used something so much.)

Cherie said...

I had a double stroller once upon a time and I loved it! It had a HUGE basket underneath and cup holders for a Big Gulp which we all know you need daily if you have at least 3 preschoolers! (It's either that or Vodka - ha ha J/K)
Anywhooooo - Just make sure if you get a double it is not a side by side because Holy Cow those go no where in the stores get one where the second seat is behind the first!
Go For It!

Polly Blevins said...

We have a double and I usually take the single and they ride just like you said your kids do. They call the basket on the bottom the "dog house". So now we have a double with a double basket so two get the "dog house" and the other two will have seats. I recommend them but I might just be saying that because mine was free. hmmmm

Whitney said...

I love my sit-n-stand. I HIGHLY reccomend it. Three kids later it is still going strong. Also, it came with an attachment thingy so that the baby car seat could strap in. (you'll still have to buy a car seat though....)
But yes- The sit-n-stand is the way to go.

Tarmy said...

As long as you can actually push and maneuver the double where you might actually use it (park, zoo, library,etc.) a double is great because you have a place to stow all your gear and/or the child that refuses to walk but should be able to. If the double is too much work to put in the van and take out you'll skip using it so you might be better off with a single or the wagon that someone else mentioned.

Kirk and Cami Hull said...

Loved my Sit-N-Stand. You may even find enough nooks and crannys for all five kids. :-)

The Martos Fudge said...

Hey girl... I was so lucky to find a double stroller in a garage sale for 35 bucks about 15 months ago. I bought it even though I was not even preggers. It's the kind that the toddler sits in front and the baby carrier goes behind. You are over there in Mormon Land aren't you? I am sure you can fin a good double and all the other things at a yard sale. I took mine apart, and washed it. It's as good as new. I also use my stroller to pieces. So I am still wondering how you did with 4 kids. But now I am going to have to check on the expiration date on that carrier... Hope you find what you want.

Nikki said...

Double! Get it. Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem. LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOVE it (I'm singing that to you). To make things fun...you can switch the seats around in 7 different ways (face to face, both facing you, both facing out, one in, one out, all out to carry groceries, etc) so that might make it a little more fun for A. It's been worth every penny and I beat the crap out of my strollers and so do my 2 boys..they would get along famously with A! Check it out, go give it a test spin.

Stef said...

Oh, sister. A double stroller for you isn't a luxury. It is a necesity. If you only had one kid and got a double stroller, that would just be selfish. But you have 4 kids...in 4 years. Give yourself a break. Go big!

Mama Smith said...

I think everyone said it all...I don't even think they had DOUBLES when I was having kids...or I would have had one...! Actually, I needed a QUAD.........

T said...

for the record - I had a really long, really witty and informative comment in this space earlier -

it was eaten by the blogger monster.

and that is all you will ever know.

to sum up: double jogging strollers that require hours to transform to bike trailers don't fit through door frames - and discussing ANOTHER kid already puts you in my "lay down honey and get a nap real quick because you're either a saint - or belong in the loony-bin" category.

crap - I just couldn't let it go, could I?

Emily C said...

Sounds like that kid needs a harness :-) That's what I've used with littles who won't sit but I can't really chase into traffic when massively pregnant.

I like my side-by-side Jeep double umbrella stroller---it's not too bad, but it will only fit two you can't put anybody on top. I had a sit-n-stand that I liked, but it was heavy and maneuvering it wasn't that easy.

I don't have any good answers. Most doubles are just too bulky in my opinion.

Jackie said...

She's going to cry if you put her in a double. She's going to cry if you put the baby in a single and not her. Let's be honest, either way you can't win :)

double. Someone will always fill the extra seat.

Charlotte said...

When I was pregnant with my first- MY FIRST- I bought a double stroller. I didn't have a single on for several children. I did manage to go through at least 3 doubles, though.

So I guess we are on opposite extremes. I would go double for sure.

My last double had an option to use with a car seat. (BTW-I didn't know those things expire and used the same infant car seat for all 6 of my kids.)

Kelly said...

Ok you KNOW where I stand on this! I say DOUBLE all the way. I've even upgraded to a jogging double and I use it ALL the time. But I go running with the two boys- even if they cry when I strap them in. And on outings they have to sit in there if they don't stay right with me. Until they earn another chance to walk :)

Sue said...

I'm no help to you on this one....

Back in the day, all I had was an umbrella stroller. I made the next two youngest hold on to each side and let the oldest one walk along next to us.

One thing that I liked about this technique was that I never had to maneuver a big stroller through narrow aisles in a store.

=)

PS. That double one does sound awfully nice, though. And I like the idea of a sit and stand, too. Never heard of that before!

Garden of Egan said...

Well, go for a double.
Unless you can hire someone to watch the kids so you can sneak out by yourself.

You'll get a lot of use out of a double anyway.

Wow, that is a lot of stuff to have to get. OUCH!

Nicole said...

Do it! We have two double's, a jogger and a regular combi. I love them both and am so glad we have them!!

Larsen said...

Two singles, duck tape them together when you need the double.

hatesocks said...

Mom of 5 here. Double definitely. However, I disagree with most people about them hating a side by side. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my side by side. They really aren't that much wider than a normal stroller. They DO fit through normal doorways. The front doubles are difficult to push and force a catch 22. Heavy child in front seat allows them to see but makes for heavy turns. But the front seat doesn't recline all the way for the baby and induces big sibling to kick the baby every five flippin' minutes.
Everyone has the own opinions but I still love my double. When one won't ride, their stuff does. Wasn't much more than a single either really.

Jodi said...

I know a ton of people have already spoken, but I say double. I have a side by side and love it. I bought it second-hand and we love it. Both of my kids love looking out, and when my daughter wants to walk, there is always stuff to fill her seat! You can sometimes find good deals! You could also search Craiglist in places where you have family and have them look for good deals for you. Good luck!

TEAM LINDSAY said...

We don't use our double often, but when we do, I'm so glad we have it. We just got a side-by-side umbrella though (with 5-point harnesses so it fits the little one safely).

I know a mom of Irish twins that got a folding wagon once the little one was big enough to sit up. Her photos of them in it are so cute, and she loves that she can store the diaper bag between them, tuck blankets in, and throw in some toys too. Makes me wish I'd known about them before we got our stroller!

http://www.amazon.com/Get-Organized-RED-FOLDING-WAGON/dp/B002MVQE9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1295559810&sr=8-2

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