What does a chiropractor look for in a stroller? People often look at strollers from the perspective of size, safety, bag storage, ease of use, and colour. We looked for these things too, though our deal-breakers were ergonomics and orientation for our baby to be and for us.
Let me start by professing that I am a gear nerd. Ski equipment, bike equipment, surfing paraphernalia, tools, etc–I like gear. So naturally when it was time to research strollers, Sara passed the task of sorting the details on to me. Apparently I have become a bit of a baby accessory nerd too.
We received well-respected advice that the UppaBaby Vista was the “best stroller on the market” from a dear friend of ours, but we were on a mission to find something smaller. We went to every major baby shop in Vancouver and looked at the entire price spectrum. I parked in front of stores and carried strollers into our trunk, and used masking tape to mark the different dimensions of the strollers.
As it turns out, even when compared to the ‘smaller’ Cruz model, the strollers collapsed to about the same size. With the Vista, we have never had a problem with manoeuvrability in a grocery store or Home Depot aisle. The storage capacity was awesome when we delivered my new computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the office with our son!
For baby, Mom, and Dad, the Vista was by far the best stroller assessed comfort-wise in the infancy through toddler category. Without any changes to it, the plushness of the seat and the strength of the material used to support it was better than other strollers, even better than Uppa’s own Cruz. This is important because a stroller should provide support to the spine while being comfortable. If you add the easily removable and washable seat liner to the stroller, the comfort is even more impressive. Sara regularly walks 6-10km with Derek in the seat and he loves it! The seat angles available are great too and easy to change with one hand.
The handle of the stroller is extendable so you can avoid being hunched over by easily adjusting the length for parents, grandparents, friends, and family of a variety of heights as well as for going up and down steep hills. Also the ease of accessing the storage basket is great on your back too.
We chose to have our son sleep in a bassinet until he grew out of it, and as much as I tried to find an alternative, the Vista was the most comfortable of all of the bassinet mattresses I looked at. The bassinet also clips into the stroller rear facing so that your baby can lie flat and see you in a traditional pram design, and it comes with a mosquito net for when baby is with you and the bugs are out.
Price-wise the bassinet was more affordable than many standalone bassinets. Although you can buy a car seat adaptor for the Vista, as a chiropractor, I feel it is ideal to have your baby lying on their back in their stroller instead of in a sitting position that a portable car seat creates. We eventually realised that we would choose this bassinet as his bed, so it was a bonus that his bed clipped in to the stroller.
The Vista allows for rear-facing bassinet, rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat, and if you have an older child, a rumble seat or ‘skateboard-like’ platform off the back. For younger babies, I like rear facing bassinets and strollers for many of the same reasons as I discussed with carriers.
For infants, ideally use a rear facing pram/bassinet when not baby carrying and then progress that to a rear-facing seat. This allows the parent and baby to be in each other’s field of view.
When Derek was about four months old he had out-grown his bassinet and we were able to maintain that parent/baby field of view by using the seat rear-facing. This created a smooth transition to a seated-position and continued to allow for more interaction with his experiences, needs, and emotions.
It has been wonderful to be able to sing and talk to our little baby boy and see all of his facial expressions while walking from place to place.
The only thing I didn’t like initially about the stroller was that you needed to learn how to collapse it. Once you had the collapsing procedure down it was easy, but there was a learning curve. I have heard from a baby store that the new 2015 Vista bassinet and stroller has resolved this issue. For kicks I will probably go and assess that the integrity and comfort is still there.