If you’re a mama or a mama-to-be, you’re surely familiar with the never-ending list of car seat and stroller options out there. No matter who you are or how many babes you have, choosing a new one is super overwhelming. Which is safest? Which is most durable? Which is the best value, and which one works best for a growing family?
I couldn’t even begin to cover all the options out there, so instead, I’ll write about what I know! Below I’ve compiled my thoughts on the strollers and car seats we actually own and let y’all know if they’re worth the buy.
Doona Infant Car Seat + Stroller
First let’s start with the Doona, aka the best baby invention EVER in my opinion. I’m basically a living, breathing commercial for this product – I’m that obsessed! Funny enough, this car seat/stroller combo wasn’t originally on my list (and y’all know I did my research when putting my registry together), but I’m so glad I ended up buying it! For those who aren’t familiar with the Doona, check out this YouTube video for more info, or head to my IG highlight “Car Seats & Strollers” for my own demo.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to connect the Doona to a two-child stroller for when that second baby comes, which is why I didn’t originally register for it. I opted for the Uppa Baby Mesa car seat + Uppa Vista Stroller instead (more on those below), and it wasn’t until Temple was about 4-months-old that we decided to splurge on the Doona. We were heading to San Diego for our first trip with Temple and knew it was the ultimate travel car seat/stroller combo. After that trip we were OBSESSED – it makes life so much easier. You just pop out the legs and BOOM, your car seat goes straight into stroller mode. Bonus, you can travel without a base and just connect it using a car seat belt, while still feeling super secure and safe. In fact, the Doona has amazing safety ratings and is a huge hit in big cities where lots of people don’t own cars and use Ubers and taxis to get around. After that trip, we continued using the Doona over our Uppa Mesa back in Dallas. At home, we connected the car seat to the (optional) base in our car, and it worked like any other seat. Temple used this one until she grew out of it at around 1 year.
The only real con I can think of when it comes to this product is that you’d probably need to buy a separate stroller for when you’re out and about for an extended period of time, especially as Baby gets bigger and is sitting up on his/her own.
Example: You’re shopping at the mall for a few hours and want Baby to have a normal seat + under-stroller storage. That’s when we used our Uppa Vista Stroller instead (more info below) over the Doona.
Other possible con: When you have baby #2, you may want a car seat that can easily latch to your current stroller, so both little ones can ride together in those early months. Like I said, that’s why we originally opted for the Uppa Baby Mesa car seat + Vista stroller (here is an image of what that would look like). The Vista can easily hold two babies for when your family grows, but although I don’t have a second baby yet, I would still recommend buying the Doona regardless. When baby #2 comes, I plan to buy a second Uppa Vista rumble seat. so that once he/she is big enough, they can both sit together. They also make an infant insert for the Uppa Vista rumble seat so that smaller babies can fit into the seat comfortably that I will 100% purchase for baby #2!
Overall though, I am the BIGGEST FAN of the Doona. If convenience and safety are your top priorities, then this is for you. Before I had the Doona and was using the Uppa Mesa, I rarely connected the car seat to the Vista stroller because it took too much effort to drag it out of the trunk and assemble when I was alone. I would just hold the Mesa car seat and my arms would be killing me by the end of the day. Once I switched to the Doona, I would just pop the legs down and off we’d go! It’s truly a game-changer, ladies! Hey Doona, how bout we collaborate?! Did I mention I was a fan (wink wink)?!
Doona Car Seat Accessories
- If you plan on switching from car to car fairly frequently, then having an extra base is always helpful. Just something to consider if you, hubby, a nanny, or even Grandma will be driving with Baby often.
- Travel bag
- Car Mirror
- Doona Strap-On Storage– I didn’t purchase this since I tend to just throw everything in my backpack, but kind of wish I would have! When is extra storage NOT a good thing?? Let’s be honest, we all have too much stuff!
- Toy bar- I think this one would work on the Doona, but if you buy a more traditional car seat, then buy this toy bar. We had it when we were using the Mesa car seat and Temple loved it!
- They also make rain covers, insect covers, etc, but I personally don’t think those are necessary 🙂
Uppa Baby Mesa Car Seat
I’ve already mentioned this car seat, but want to go into a bit more detail. Like I said, we started with the Uppa Mesa Car seat and had no issues. It worked just fine, but I found I was never taking the Vista stroller out of my trunk and attaching the Mesa car seat, because it took too much effort and time for quick errands. Instead, I would just tote the car seat around on my arm (ouch), which is why I personally prefer the Doona all-in-one car seat/stroller over the Mesa.
Uppa Baby Vista Stroller
IMO, the Uppa Vista Stroller is worth registering for even if you get the Doona, too. Once Baby gets bigger, you can put him/her in the Uppa Vista rumble seat when you are out and about (it comes with one rumble seat!), and then use the Doona car seat for the car and quick errands. If you don’t purchase the Vista stroller, then I highly recommend finding a stroller that works for two babies. For example, the Uppa Cruz stroller only works for one baby, so plan ahead and get a stroller that can accommodate two kiddos if that’s in your family plan!
I personally plan to use my Doona for baby #2 and the Uppa Vista Stroller (I have the Henry color) for both Temple and baby #2. Obviously, the first few months baby #2 won’t fit in the rumble seat very well, but once he/she can sit up on their own, it will be the perfect two-baby stroller. Again, they make an infant insert that I will purchase for the rumble seat so baby can fit in the seat sooner. Also, the Vista comes with a bassinet which you can attach while your first child is in a rumble seat. This is a great option for errands in those early months when baby #2 is sleeping a ton. I also saw that you can also buy the bassinet stand for naps at friends or to use in those early months when baby sleeps in your room. We didn’t have this but it would be a great option for those wanting to save space and not buy a separate bassinet. Bonus, after baby outgrows the bassinet then you can purchase the hamper inserts and your bassinet stand now works as your clothes hamper! Pretty random but not a bad idea! haha. Anyway, I already have one rumble seat that came with the stroller, but I plan to order an extra seat and infant insert for baby #2.
Uppa Vista Stroller Accessories
- Cup Holder
- Bassinet Stand
- Snack and Drink Tray
- Storage Organizer
- Infant Insert– this is for when babies are younger. You connect it into the seat so they can comfortably fit!
- Piggy Back Ride Along Board– this is great for when you have three kiddos or if your older one likes to stand instead of sit in the seat.
- Travel Bag
A jogging stroller is something that may or may not be necessary for you. We leave our jogging stroller at home and use it for walks and runs around the neighborhood with Temple. I could use my Uppa Vista for walks, but the tires aren’t really made for running around on those sometimes bumpy sidewalks. If you plan on doing lots of walks/runs at home, or if you go on more rugged terrain, then a jogging stroller would be a smart addition to your registry or a good purchase to make once Baby gets a little older.
I have the B.O.B. Revolution Flex jogger (seen in the photos), and we love it. It’s easy to turn and doesn’t feel heavy when pushing it on a run. If you plan to have two kids, then you’d obviously want to consider the duo jogger, but I figured I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it. I can always sell my current jogger and then go for the B.O.B Double.
Jogging stroller Accessories I Use
Nuna Rava Convertible Carseat
A convertible car seat isn’t something you’d necessarily register for, but when baby grows out of his/her infant car seat, you’ll need one. For Temple’s first birthday we bought the Nuna Rava and we absolutely love it! It’s sleek, easy to install, and she can rear face up to 50 lbs which is super safe! Most importantly, it has great safety ratings.
Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat
This is a great car seat for those on a budget, perfect for those with smaller cars (it’s a bit slimmer), and has awesome ratings, too! We bought this for our part-time nanny to keep in her car for Temple’s music class once a week (and of course, in case of an emergency). This is also the car seat I suggested my Mother-In-Law and Mom purchase for when they watch Temple. When we travel, we will take this and check it. That way, I’m not risking my Nuna Rava getting banged up on the flight.
Also not a completely necessary purchase, but you can easily buy a cheap one for quick errands when you don’t want to pack your big stroller in the car. An umbrella stroller is also great for travel. We have the GB Pocket and it seriously folds up so small! The GB Pocket is ideal for traveling since it can fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane. It also folds into a backpack so you can easily carry it through the airport. The seat reclines and it is SPF+50 with a sun canopy. Again, ideal for traveling or quick errands.
If it were a trip where I knew Temple would be in her stroller a lot (ex: Disneyland) then I would check my Uppa Vista Stroller so that she had more space and I have storage underneath. But, for trips where we won’t be walking a ton, an umbrella stroller is perfect!
Hope this guide helps you guys navigate that crazy stroller/car seat-buying puzzle! Comment if you have questions!