Even though I’m a Babywearing consultant and aficionado, I can appreciate (and frequently use!) a good stroller. The best way to make a good stroller even better is by decking it out with pretty, functional accessories. This way you get the very most out of your stroller, whether baby’s taking in the world while you stroll or you’re wearing the baby and using the stroller to lug your coat and bags around the mall.
1. Stroller Organizer/Parent Console
An organizer gives you a place to put down your well-deserved latte, so you have two free hands to push your stroller, tend to your baby or browse the racks at your favourite store. I love this one from Skip Hop. It’s made from insulating neoprene, so it will keep your drink nice and hot or cold. It has room for two cups, a large centre pocket and a small removable clutch that’s perfect for storing valuables.
2. Stroller Hooks
No matter how much basket space your stroller is blessed with, when you have kids in tow, there’s always more stuff than storage space. Adding a hook (or two!) to your stroller gives you a lot more space, without adding any bulk to your stroller when it’s not in use. Hooks are perfect for holding your purse or light shopping bags, just make sure not to overload them, as this can make your stroller unstable and becomes a tipping hazard. The best hooks I’ve found are these ones from OXO. They grip so well that I put them just below the handles on my organizer, which keep it from sliding down.
3. Toddler Ride-On Board
If you have two (or more) children but don’t like the bulk of a double stroller for every day outings, a rider board is a must have for your toddler or preschool aged child. Both of my kids like to take turns being in my baby carrier and my toddler likes to walk, so I really don’t like shlepping around a double stroller that’s often empty anyways. Instead I use my lightweight single stroller of choice (the Bugaboo Bee5) with a compatible riding board. That way, if no one’s in the stroller, I can fold the board up and I’m not pushing a huge, empty double around. But I can still accommodate both kids if they’re game to stroll. It’s also a great option if you’re out with three kids, just add it to your double stroller. There are a number on the market, including universal boards and boards made by different companies to fit their own stroller. Bugaboo, Uppababy, BabyZen, Britax and Baby Jogger all make their own versions.
4. Winter Muff
If you live in Toronto and want to get outside with your kiddies at all in the winter, you’ll need something to keep them toasty in their stroller. There are some products on the market that work as both a stroller cover and a baby carrier cover, but I prefer using separate products for each, since this is one area where two-in-ones aren’t ideal for either purpose. For my stroller, I love my 7am Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution. It’s fluffy and cozy, snug enough for little babies and expandable to fit a preschooler. It’s rated for frigid -20°C weather, has a removable back, which makes it safe for use in carseats and it converts into a snuggly blanket for when your child outgrows it. Cozy, versatile and fits all strollers universally, what more could you ask for?
These four items are all you need to take any stroller from good to great! Don’t forget to add some diapers, wipes and you favourite baby carrier to your diaper bag and you’re ready to stroll!