* I did not receive any compensation, free, or discounted products in exchange for my review. I have personally used everything recommended below and all opinions are my own.
With my son’s 6th birthday rapidly approaching, my husband and I are preparing to lament the imminent loss of our favorite workhorse, the stroller.
It seems like just yesterday I was pouring over reviews and consumer studies of strollers before we made the (significant) investment in our pick…the Baby Jogger City Mini. While my husband and I will gladly sing the praises of Baby Jogger to anyone who asks, we also understand that the choice of a stroller is a deeply personal decision (ranking right up there with political party affiliation and religion) so I won’t push that point here.
Instead, I’d like to share with you the benefits of totally pimping out your baby’s ride. Far from being satisfied with just a couple stroller accouterments, we added nets, hooks, bags, covers, and cup holders for the ultimate in stroller luxury and convenience. Here are a few of our favorites…
First up, a couple accessories we’ve outgrown, but remember fondly…
Baby Jogger Child Tray ($19.95) –
From the time our son was big enough to use the City Mini (about 8 months old) until he was three and a half, or so, everywhere the stroller went, the child tray attachment was along for the ride. Not only did it provide a place for us to place the Cheerios, grapes, or whatever sugary confection he’d convince us to buy at the Main Street Bakery, it also served as a barrier to him hopping out of the stroller at random times. When touring Walt Disney World Resort, we’d pull him out of the stroller regularly enough that buckling the 5-point harness each time became more of a guideline than a code. Once our son realized he was mobile, he’d randomly attempt to escape the stroller whenever the desire struck. Using the tray to bar his passage dimmed most of that desire, or at least bought us the time to come to a full stop when it didn’t. You may not have a Baby Jogger, but odds are, your stroller brand offers a similar attachment. Find the Baby Jogger brand here.
Diono Stroller Fan ($11.69) –
Honestly, I could probably count on both hands the number of times we actually used the stroller fan. But, I promise, when we did it was desperately needed. Regularly, during visits to central Florida in May & September, heat indices topped 100 degrees. My son and I are both fair-skinned redheads. We and the sun do not get along. Waiting for parades and shows I would keep him in the stroller to benefit from the protection of the stroller’s extra large canopy. But keeping him there also, effectively, eliminated any cross breeze he might enjoy. Diono Stroller Fan to the rescue! Bonus: Soft foam blades on the fan won’t injure a child’s curious fingers. Find it here.
Now, onto those accessories I’ll miss so desperately when we retire the stroller.
A. Baby Jogger Liquid Holster ($19.95) –
Although designed to work with Baby Jogger strollers, the clamp fits round and square tubing on most strollers. Self-leveling and easy removal of the holster from the clamp, make this a family favorite. We learned the hard way how important easy removal is. A trip through the x-ray machine at our local airport ripped its predecessor from the stroller, breaking it in the process. This version is much easier to take off without being too easy to take off. Bonus: There’s a lot of give in the body of the holster, so it snugly accommodates large and small cups. Find it here.
B. BRICA Drink Pod ($12.97) –
The BRICA Drink Pod is excellent for fitting into otherwise limiting spaces. The open clamp and self-leveling features allow it to be placed almost anywhere. Our little dude uses this cup holder, attached to the side of the stroller, for all his beverage needs. If using more than one cup holder (like us), I recommend attaching both to the same side of the stroller. When navigating doorways and tight spaces it’s nice to only have to closely monitor one side. Bonus: If you fail at expertly navigating spaces, this cup holder can be fairly easily ripped from it’s mooring. However, the clamp and large adjustment knob ensure 1. It’s not damaged and 2. It’s super easy to reattach. Find it here.
C. Comfy Baby! Universal Single Jogging Stroller Waterproof Rain Cover/Wind Shield ($15.99) –
Yes, it is possible to shield your stroller from the weather using just about anything – Garbage bags, ponchos, multiple park maps taped together… But, I cannot stress how much easier keeping the stroller dry became when we bought a proper fitting rain cover. If there is ANY likelihood of showers, we keep it peeled back across the canopy, ready to just drop down and over the seat in an instant. While enjoying a show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last year, a rather violent storm blew through the park. Returning to the stroller corral, I was so thankful I’d placed the heavy cooler bag in the seat and that we had a securely fitting rain cover. Where other strollers were knocked around and soaked, our pram remained upright and dry as a bone. Bonus: While touring the parks on a particularly cold and windy day, our little monkey was warm and protected from the wind in his stroller under the rain cover while we were shivering our way around the World Showcase Lagoon. Find it here.
D. Think King Mighty Buggy Hook ($13.86 per two pack) –
We love that you get one of these for each side of the stroller in a pack, although the adjustable Velcro strap allows them to be attached in a variety of places if that doesn’t suit your needs. Placing a heavy bag on the handle of a stroller risks tipping it backwards, which isn’t ideal unless you are attempting to launch your child out of his/her seat. To avoid this, we use one of the side hooks to hold our heaviest item, the cooler bag. We have to be aware of how long the handles of the cooler bag are to avoid it dragging the ground, but if you can find a shorter bag, these hooks are brilliant at keeping heavier items readily available and upright at all times. Find it here.
E. OXO Tot Non Slip Handy Stroller Hook and Handle ($7.99) –
Only one hook is included with purchase, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. This is a solid hook and the non-slip cover can keep multiple bags secure. This is where we keep our park bag. Not being terribly heavy, we don’t risk tipping the stroller and can easily access park necessities anytime. Find it here.
F. Jeep Mesh Netting Stroller Bag ($6.95) –
We also keep this accessory handy on the back of the stroller, though we keep it attached closer to the back of the seat instead of further back on the handle. This isn’t fancy, and it isn’t even particularly well made (seriously, at $6.95 it might as well be disposable). But we’ve had ours for more than 3 years, and it’s brilliant when you just need a quick open air-ish place to put something. Park maps, souvenirs, even damp ponchos have all been quickly stashed here. (Though, not all at once…then you’ve got a soggy park map.) Find it here.
G. J.L. Childress Side Sling Stroller Cargo Net ($9.99) –
I’ve saved my two favorite accessories for last! These side cargo nets are dirt cheap, don’t add any real weight, and are about the most convenient add-on I’ve ever found. Whether quickly stashing a lovey before leaving the stroller for an attraction or keeping our guy’s half eaten bag of pretzels easily accessible all afternoon, these pockets are easy to get into and out of and they don’t get in the way. Best of all, they are perfectly situated to allow our son to take things in and out, not requiring Mommy and Daddy to dig for the pretzels when he starts to get “hangry” (hungry+angry.) Find it here.
H. Battery Powered Rope Lights ($5.75) –
I don’t even remember where or how I got the idea, but this is always one of my top recommendations for families visiting Walt Disney World Resort with a stroller. Veteran stroller-wielding Guests have likely experienced that moment of panic when you exit an attraction at night (in the dark) and the stroller isn’t where you left it. In an effort to keep things tidy, Cast Members REGULARLY (read: almost always) move strollers around as others leave or arrive to the area. I get it, but it can be hard to find your stroller among the herd in the corral, especially in the dark. Well, Guests need not panic again. We wrap a few loops of battery powered lights around the handle of the stroller, set them set to flash, and head out to enjoy Fantasmic! (or any other attraction) confident in the knowledge our buggy will be easy to spot in the vast sea of strollers. Find them here.
Well, there it is…How to assemble a fully tricked-out stroller. I hope at least a few of my recommendations have sparked interest or ideas to help you use your family’s stroller to its full potential and make day-trip touring with little ones a bit more convenient. I would love to read your best stroller “tips and tricks” in the comments below.
*All prices quoted were researched and accurate at the time of publishing. Quoted prices are not guaranteed, and are only meant to serve as an estimate for interested consumers.
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