Didn’t Buy It: A Double Stroller

Here’s an admission from a car-free family: our three year-old prefers the bus, or a car, to walking.

I thought that not having a car would turn our oldest into a fantastic walker. Alas, this is not so.

Taxi rides are met with delight. There are tears when we have to get off of a bus. He loves vehicles and any mode of transportation that is built with metal. Bikes! Diggers! Cars! Bus! Truck! Train!

The only exception to his apathy towards travel on foot: he’ll walk and wander for miles on a beach or through a forest.

As a car-free family we rely on walking to get us around most of the time.

I had some concerns that not owning a double stroller would make it untenable for me to get out with the two boys this winter. Of course, I took my own advice and waited to see if we could get by using our single stroller and letting the older child sit in the foot well when needed. Note: the BOB single strollers are not meant to have two children in them. Use this method at your own risk.

Happy to report we made it. The baby spent most of the winter in a carrier and I often got around by bus and on foot with no stroller at all. Spring is slowly showing her face here in the Isle of Man and our oldest child is now starting to use his scooter as transportation.

So glad I waited to see if I really needed something before buying it. A simple thing but so often in the past I would buy something before the need actually arose. I would buy things not because I needed them at that moment but because I was scared I would need them in the near future.

And then I would buy them, not really use them, but be too scared to part with them because there was still a chance, a small chance, I might use it some day.

Not surprising that it took me three months of intense work to pare down our possessions.

Anyone else have a successful “glad I didn’t buy it” moment recently?

P.S. THANK YOU for the comments and thoughts on my post on Tuesday. We’ve raised over $200 for Feeding America and there is still time to raise more. I will leave the comments open through Sunday evening and close them in the wee hours of Monday morning.

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  • I am glad that I didn’t fall for the double stroller as well! One more expensive item that doesn’t need to take up space in our shed :)

  • Yes! I was told that we’d definitely need a double buggy for the baby and the two year old. I’m glad I held back though because the toddler now refuses to even sit in one. We bought a buggy board instead which he loves because he thinks it’s a skateboard like the ‘big boys’ have. Money well saved.

    • Wow, I had to do a search to figure out what a buggy board was, but that is so cool! Does it make it harder to push the stroller, since it limits where your feet can move?

      • I won’t lie. Yes, it is a little bit harder. You either have to walk a little step further back than normal or slightly to the side. However, I haven’t found this to be a problem and I’m quite short. We use the board for a couple of hours a day too so have really put it to the test.

  • I appreciate your sentiment ~ waiting to see if you need it. But I definitely needed it! Baby#2 was born just before the worst of winter hit, and Baby#1 was significantly less than 2 years old. It was worth it for my sanity, and it would rank up there as some of the best money I ever spent ~ and I got almost 70% back when I resold it!

  • I’m debating right now what to do about the double stroller. My children will be closer in age than yours; I wonder if that will make a difference. Baby is due in September, a few weeks after the older child turns two. I did take my daughter to the zoo last week and she walked by herself for more than 45 minutes straight, so perhaps she’ll be fine.

    Right now the plan is to have the baby in a carrier the first few months and see how things go. I do have my eye on a small sit and stand style of stroller, but an infant has to be sitting up to fit in there anyway. My carrier doesn’t work well past about 20 pounds, which my daughter hit fairly quickly.

    Thank you for the post. I am trying to wait and see.

    • I ran across this post linked from another. I never bought a double stroller. I carried the baby, and then I made big sister walk. It worked great.

  • I have to confess that I don’t think I could have lived without our double stroller.

    My children were so much closer in age, though: Julia was only 14 months old when Asher was born. I tried having Asher in the carrier and Julia in the single stroller, but Julia was still so small & needed to be lifted, helped, etc. more than I was able to do with an infant in a carrier. My parents & siblings ended up chipping in and buying the double stroller for us.

  • I just recently found out that we’re expecting baby #2 and our son will be 14 months old when his sibling will be born. Luckily, it is garage sale season here in the Midwest and my mom already scored a double stroller for me at a yard sale. She also has a great relationship with a local consignment shop, so if I find one that’s better (also checking yard sales and talking to friends who might have one to loan), she’ll be able to resell it.

    While I am thrilled with how many items we’ve been able to score through yard sales and hand-me-downs from friends – I have to be honest. I cannot wait to start paring down some of the various possessions we’ve acquired since becoming a parent! And I feel like we’re taking a “minimalist” approach! :) Keep the good posts coming, Rachel!

  • I couldn’t have survived without my double stroller. I bought it used and bought new covers. And ened up selling it for almost what I paid for it. My kids were 21 months apart and I had a car. Taking it on a bus would have been a handful!

  • Even though our kids are four years apart, we still bought a sit n’ stand stroller. Our older child can walk, but complains after about 20-30 mins. The sit n’ stand only takes up a bit more room than our single, so I don’t mind. Our sit n’ stand has been invaluable on trips. It helps us carry car seats through airports, and I wouldn’t be caught without one at places with lots of walking like Disneyland. I really don’t mind I people think our now five year old is too big for this “one and a half” stroller, it’s a tool that our family finds helpful.
    I used to be a stroller junkie, my biggest collection at one time was 5! Thank goodness I found this blog and have been able to pair down!

  • ‘Wait until you need it’ is awesome advice. After 8 years living in places where it was difficult to get what I needed, I’m quite the impulse-buyer. But now we’re in a small house in a big metro area and I need to remind myself that less clutter is more important!

  • I too, confess to loving my double stroller. Ours is a bike trailer with stroller attachments. I could put both kids in it, load it up with groceries for a week and bike home. We are a one car family, but I don’t drive at all, so it was a real life saver. Especially as my husband travels for work often. Actually we still use it – the kids are 6 and 4 now – for going to the beach, grocery shopping, and bike camping. I don’t think we are ever going to sell it :)

  • I wish I had heard the “wait till you need it” advice when I was shopping for my firstborn 4 years ago. So much stuff you “must have”, and I really only used my baby carrier. At any rate, the baby carrier is the only thing I kept for if there’s a next time.

  • Hey, one suggestion, if you like (or ignore if not)–a balance bike (also called a prebike or a running bike)–my 2 (now 3) year old LOVES it, and can get around pretty quickly. We have one by the brand strider–it looks just like a “real” bike, but with no pedals, and it’s quite a bit smaller. It rocks, and makes walking so much more fun.

    • If you wanted to take this idea one step further – our LBS suggested taking the pedals off a regular bike, so the kids can use it as a balance bike. Then put them back on when they are ready. I really want to try this with my youngest.

  • Yay! Thank you for this post. We only have one kid now, but I was worried when the time came if we’d have to “upgrade” the stroller. I do not want a bigger stroller to have to navigate the city with, the BOB is big enough! Glad to know there are options and you worked around it!

  • We don’t have a second yet, but I chose our stroller because it has an optional accessory where the older child can stand on a board.

  • We had two boys 20 months apart and didn’t need a double stroller. Of course, we live in a rural area and rarely walk long distances and rarely ever use the single umbrella stroller we do have. I could see one being a definite convenience for city living! I just put the baby in my Baby K’Tan and Boba once he outgrew the K’Tan. My toddler walked ,holding my hand and sometimes I would carry him, which was easy since little brother was in a carrier and my hands were free.

  • Hmmm… Have you considered a tricycle for your 3-year old? I’m a big fan of cycling in general. Of course, I’ve never done it with kids, but Melissa over at hergreenlife.com has some great suggestions for biking with babies. Anyhow, I know bikes and trikes are more “things” but they really open up a whole new world in terms of human powered transportation.

  • Super smart to wait and see if you needed it. I bought a used one before we had our second, I used it a lot, but could have gotten away without it. However when we went from 2 to 3 children all under 3 1/2, it was a lifesaver!! Still is actually. :)

  • I did not need a double stroller with 2 kids, but ended up needing it when I had my 3rd.
    With 2 it was easy to have one in a carrier and the other in the stroller. But with 3, I ended up getting a Mountain Buggy and eventually added a buggy board, so all 3 could use if needed. We used for a VERY long time as we could go for extra long walks (10km+) and if they got too tired they could just jump in for a bit. The bonus was we could load it up with groceries etc.

  • I bought an extra wide buggy on the advice of my midwife (essentially that if I wanted a 2nd child it would be wise) that I could attach a toddler seat behind when I needed to. That buggy was the biggest pain in the butt! It didn’t fit into shop doorways, was a pain to manouver – all because I was nervous that I might make a bad decision and might need one in the future! CRAZY!! I donated the buggy to the woman’s refuge, and bought a 2nd hand buggy that was very light and very easy to use and that had the bonus of being able to attach a kiddy board for my toddler to stand up on. She loved it (her own little skateboard) and she could hop on and off whenever she wanted. This is one of many such stories!!! Still looking for a ‘glad i didn’t buy it’ one :)

  • Ahhh! You’re way ahead of me, but I’m getting there. We trying to get down to 1 car. We’re expecting in September and I’m considering forgoing an expensive travel system for a simple carseat instead. I wore my first babe in a carrier everywhere we went. The stroller was hardly used at all. But that was 7 years ago. I question my decision everyday! Ugh.

  • Our kids are quite a bit older now, but we had our 4 children in only 5 and a half years. So yes, they are close super close in age! We never had more than a single stroller, only had one vehicle which my husband drove to work, and lived in a small town where we could walk to accomplish most of our errands. When the babes were sitting up well, we found a large wagon a better option than a multiple-seat stroller. We still use that wagon for various projects and adventures now that they are all older. But WARNING, some children prefer to pull up or climb out of moving wagons so use your best judgements with your own little ones.

  • I’m glad I didn’t buy newborn sized diapers or baby clothes. I discovered at my 36 week ultrasound that my next baby was already estimated at close to 9 pounds, and could gain two more by the time I give birth. Yikes!

  • I knew I wanted 2 kids fairly close together, so invested in a Phil & Ted stroller with removable inline second seat. Despite the expense (~$100 more than a single Bob), I feel that I definitely got my money’s worth out of it, even before #2 came along. I used it as a single stroller every day for the 22 months we were a 1 kid family, and it was the only stroller we owned (except a $20 umbrella we bought when he was around 1, when we went on vacation). We were a 1 car family & hubby took that car to work 4 days a week, so the stroller got some good miles. It was #1’s transportation, his changing table, his second bedroom,…. he practically lived in that stroller! We’d attach the second seat when we walked to the grocery store, for extra stirage space. When #2 came along it was great not having to make the decision to buy a double or not, and it worked great with the 2 of them right from day 1. After about 9 months it got converted back to a single for the most part, as #1 liked to ride his bike everywhere after that (but we often tucked the second seat underneath, just in case he got tired on longer (2+ miles) walks. This was the only item of baby gear that I bought brand new – everything else was second hand or lent to us by friends, which made me feel better about the large purchase. Hubby was skeptical when we bought it, but agrees now that we got our money’s worth.

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