by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
A double seated stroller is an essential baby item whether you have just one baby, twins, or a toddler and a baby. As a mother of 6 and a nanny and sitter, I have had plenty of experience with strollers of all different sizes and seating options. Some were great and some were absolutely more of a pain than they were a help. Here's ten reasons double strollers are the best bet.
Comfort-Level is Higher in a Double Stroller
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A baby or toddler should feel very comfortable in their stroller. They will usually be in there at least 30 minutes at a time. Even 5 minutes in an uncomfortable position is no good for a developing child's muscles. Baby should not have to get sore every time a stroller ride is necessary. Double strollers usually have larger seats with more than one seating position available, which makes it easier for small babies that need to lie all the way back or even toddlers who sometimes tend to slump over when they fall asleep. In addition to having the option to lie all the way down, the double strollers usually come with a head accessory for infants, much like the ones that come with car seats, for positioning baby's head comfortably. It is possible to buy these at most retailers, but it is best to use one that is customized to your specific product for the safest results.
A Larger Umbrella or Sun Shade is Better for Baby
The sunshade is an important feature on a stroller. It will help keep the sun from getting in baby's eyes or sunburning the skin. Most double strollers tend to have larger sunshades or umbrellas than traditional models. Oftentimes the back seat of a double stroller is especially generous with the sunshade.
Larger Wheels Make an Easy Stroll and a Longer-Lasting Product
Wheels on a stroller are one of the most important features. Without the proper wheels, you aren't going to get much mileage out of your stroller. If you will only use your stroller for 5 minute trips, this won't matter much to you, but if you'd like the stroller to be dependable and long-lasting, take a look at the wheels. Double strollers come with a generous size in wheels, which makes for easier pushing, easier navigating, and a longer-lasting product. Smaller wheels tend to break off or bend, which causes the stroller to not work. Without wheels, you aren't going to get very far.The Graco DuoGlider has the best quality wheels that I have seen. While there are some more expensive models with larger wheels, those wheels also tend to break. The Graco model above had the longest-lasting wheels of any of the strollers I have tested. It's still being used and the others are long gone.
Lots of Cargo Room is a Must
When you have a child, you need things to care for that child with you everywhere you go. Double strollers have a larger basket underneath than traditional models. If you still need extra room and you only have one child who needs to be in the stroller, you can also use the back seat of the stroller for even more room.
Double Strollers are Easier To Push
Pushing strollers can be a real pain if you get the wrong model. Most double strollers have a comfortable handlebar that is also substantially higher from the ground than traditional models, making it almost natural to place your hands on the handlebar. While double strollers are large, they are amazingly easy to push. If you come across a model that isn't, you have chosen the wrong double stroller because it can become heavy quite easily once children and cargo are in it.
Extra Spots are Handy
Sometimes when you go somewhere you might run into someone you know. If that person happens to have a tired baby or toddler, you have an extra spot for that person. Maybe you and a friend want to take a walk together but don't want to push two strollers because you'd like to walk side-by-side. A double stroller can come in handy for both of these situations. Another time an extra spot comes in handy is for those "on-a-whim" shopping sprees. Sometimes when you intend to just walk, you take advantage of baby falling asleep and stop in a local store. You may end up buying things that won't fit in the bottom basket. Just seat baby in the front seat and lay the back seat all the way down. It will hold a good amount of stuff. Just be cautious to watch the weight limitations for your particular stroller. An older child can also grow tired during long shopping trips or walks. Depending on the child's weight, you can also place the older child in the backseat if they grow tired. There are some models that have a step-type seat for older children, but the regular recliner seats are much more comfortable.
Baby can get worn out in the most inconvenient places, but it's up to the parents to prepare for this. With a double stroller, you can just lie the back seat down and bring up the footrest or under-attachment for protecting baby from falling. All four sides will be secure and create a quick napping spot that is also safe and comfortable. It can also act as a bassinet for smaller babies. If you have a particularly fussy baby, this can come in handy. Just pull the stroller back and forth to create motion for a cranky baby. Most double strollers also have a 4-way harness system (much like that of a car seat, but a bit thinner) in the back seat to prevent a small baby from rolling. The footrests usually also will latch upright. Some models may allow two such resting areas.
No Need To Hunt Down a Sanitary Changing Station
Changing a baby when you're on the go can be a challenge. You need a place to do it, which can't always be found and then if you do find a spot, it is rarely clean or sanitary. That's when your back seat in the double stroller comes in handy. Lie it all the way back and strap baby in with the correct buckle (harness or regular), depending on baby's age. Now you have a clean and safe surface for changing baby. This can also be a good spot to change baby's clothing if it gets soiled.
If You Get Pregnant Again, It's One Less Item To Buy
Sometimes a new baby will come right after the first or at least two years apart. The first child is still in the stroller, but now a second child will be in the stroller as well. Well, have no fear. You've already purchased the double stroller, so you're one step ahead in that department.
Most Infant Car Seats Can Attach To Both Seats
Lugging around the car seat of a sleeping baby is not exactly fun, but you don't want to wake baby, either. Most double strollers allow for two infant seats to be attached to the stroller easily. You may only need to attach one, but if so, you'll still have room for another child or some cargo. Cross-branding is okay, too because many models, like the Graco DuoGlider (mentioned above), will give instructions for latching other brands into the stroller properly.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network