let the research begin

Remember how Nate and I are incredibly detail-oriented? And how we are Type A and over-analyze and research and all of that fun stuff? Yeah, well, those are all reasons that registering for our little baby bundle-o-joy will be both awesome and awful all at once. I'm rather overwhelmed about all of the baby paraphernalia out there because I just want to research the heck out of it all and make the best decision possible for us....after over-analyzing for way too long, of course. I know babies don't truly NEED a lot of stuff but I still want to look at all of our options.

For instance, The Stroller. How are you supposed to pick the perfect stroller for your first-born son when you really have no clue what is important? Sure, I can ask all of my new mommy friends out there (and have done it already, don't worry). I can look online and go to the stores and play with them (will probably do that, too). But let me tell you a little story about the big stroller theory in our house.

You see, when I was about 10 weeks pregnant Nate went to our favorite running store. The owner knows us and asked how our Chicago marathon training was going. Nate then informed her that he would be running solo because I am pregnant and, according to legend, the owner then squealed and said, 'Just wait until you meet BOB!!' Then she disappeared behind a curtain and reappeared with a brochure for Nate....containing 'the best running stroller in the world' named BOB.

Apparently this lady went on and on about her BOB and how it is the most fabulous jogging stroller ever. Nate said she talked to him about it for 30 minutes and even highlighted his take-home brochure for reference. And no, they don't tell BOBs at the running store so I don't think she got paid for her referral.

I thought it was really cute that Nate came home with his first 'must have' purchase for the baby and didn't really think anymore about it. But now that we are zooming along into the 23rd week of pregnancy, it's seriously time to think about these things. I figured we'd consider a jogger like the BOB for the distant future when our little man is a bit older and can train his butt off with me as I get back into marathon shape. You can't really run with a newborn baby anyway until they are 6 months or something because they can't hold their head up---this piece of information was devastating to me when I found out. I totally pictured me sprinting around with my little baby right when I got the release from my doc 6 weeks after delivery. Bummer! But as for the BOB: I don't know, I was just thinking that would be a good thing to get once he's a year old or something, and we'd get a standard stroller for the baby stages.

But Nate is really set on the BOB being our main stroller. It does have an infant car seat attachment so you can put a little tyke in there before they are older, and apparently most car seats fit in this adapter. It has a front swivel wheel that also locks, so it can be used for walking or running. It folds up so we can store it easily in our limited space. And yes, it does look pretty cool. We've seen one in person at REI and of course Nate fell even more madly in love with BOB. I liked it a lot, too, but I don't fully understand the whole concept.

Do people really use these as their primary strollers? Will it work out okay for an infant with the car seat adapter? Is it totally frivolous (don't even get me started on the price) and more geared towards a 'later in the baby's life' purchase? Will be regret not getting one of those standard travel system strollers that everyone seems to have? Maybe we should get one of each just to be ridiculous?

If anyone can help a sister out with these burning stroller questions, I'd love you for it. We might go play around with it again and ask the sales dudes very specific, annoying questions just to test their knowledge and ease my mind. And I also want to play around with the more standard strollers, too, just to be thorough of course.

And as a side note, Nate had the grand idea of using our annual REI dividend to buy a BOB next year. This year we had over $300 to spend because of our REI Visa card---which was no small feat, but Nate is obsessed with using the card for everything and then paying it off religiously each month. I swear, I really do hate credit cards but both our REI Visa and Discover card have such great perks I really can't complain. As long as we keep using them like a debit system, only buying items that we can pay for immediately while paying the monthly balance, I guess I'll live.

BOB opinions welcome!


  1. I am thrilled that your post is about the fabulous BOB stroller! My youngest sister had her first baby four months ago and, like Nate, fell in love with the BOB stroller during her pregnancy. She went back and forth about it for months, hearing so many moms raving about it. She finally caved and splurged on it and has NEVER regretted it for a moment! It is her primary stroller, and she uses the infant car seat attachment with no problems at all. That thing folds up in a snap and I’m continually amazed at how easily it folds up and fits in even the smallest car trunk. It maneuvers like nobody's business through tiny store aisles and has some fabulous storage space below that holds so much when we’re out. I can’t imagine needing an additional stroller. She has used it recently to start jogging again (I guess it’s ok for the baby. . he’s four months old now) and it is great-I can definitely see why everyone raves about it. The hilarious thing is that my husband is absolutely in love with the BOB stroller and we don’t have any children yet!! (Hopefully soon though!) Recently, he’s been excitedly pointing them out in public (sometimes loudly) when we see someone using one (I’m not kidding, it’s embarrassing sometimes), and has even contemplated buying one now with our REI dividend, despite the fact that our child doesn’t exist yet! So that’s my BOB opinion! Hope it helps! Congratulations!

  2. I'd get a snap and go frame for the infant seat. No need to lug around a huge stroller... plus the seat conversion frame... plus the seat... plus the baby... Save the BOB for when the baby can be vertical and go the practical route when he's still tiny.

  3. Nate is right.

    My daughter is 2 1/2. The Bob Revolution (with carseat attachment and drink attachment) is the best stroller in the world. It is the only stroller we own and it was hands down our best baby purchase. (Unanimous between me and my husband--and anyone who has ever pushed our stroller.) We actually act like "he's" another child. Is M buckled in? Is Bob in the back?
    I've test-driven almost every other stroller in the out there, including the $800+ variety. I ran (well, okay, jogged) with my daughter at 6 weeks post partum because when they are in their infant carseat, in the Bob, they are secure. So no worrying about that. I've run up to 12 miles pushing Bob (oh, yeah and the kid was in there too), so I pooh pooh the people who say it's not a "hardcore" jogger stroller. I still use it 5x a week when the weather is good enough. Great in the mall too, truly handles awesome.
    Wheels mean it is the perfect stroller for the sidewalk, and the park, and the beach, and the snow covered parking lots.
    It steers one-handed better than any stroller I've ever tried (and not-yet-moms have no idea how important this is until after they have the baby). Trust me.

    The singular downside is that it doesn't collapse into the size of a loaf of bread. However, it does collapse easily and has a short learning curve. My husband like opening it with a flourish. It's a guy thing.

    After having a Bob, I kind of shake my head at all those "travel system" nuts who are just happy that their stroller matches their packnplay and the swing and the high chair and the bouncer. Really? Because they are so often lined up together for the family portrait? From a functionality standpoint, I hate all the big name baby brand strollers.

    Buy it. Pay full price. (Said from another tightwad.) You won't regret it.

    --From a slightly-obsessed Bobinista

  4. I can't say I know very much about strollers, but being that my nephew lived with my family for the first three years of his life, I do have a couple of comments.

    I'd go with the jogging stroller. Personally, I think the "travel systems" are overrated. Your baby will only be in the pumpkin seat for a year or so and if the jogger is compatible, go for it!

    I will say though, with you being tall you might want to check out the handle height. I have long legs (34 inch inseam) and I remember using my nephews stroller and kicking it constantly. SO annoying. Some of the higher end strollers have adjustable handles and strategically placed crossbars. If you're going to be running with it, you definitely don't want to be tripping on it!

    Good luck, and I'm loving the pregnancy updates!

  5. I don't have children, so I cannot speak to the BOB stroller. But I do read a lot of blogs, and I remembered that one of my favorite mommy bloggers posted about this very topic a few months ago (and she and her husband run marathons). Not sure if you read this blog, but here is the link to her post: http://www.theamazingtrips.com/2009/04/favorite-thing-friday.html

    Hopefully this helps!

  6. Cant give any tips on the stroller choice im afraid - my sis just had a baby and got the bugaboo chameleon which she loves.

    I also left you a blog award thingy - http://ourdaybydesign.blogspot.com/2009/11/your-blog-is-super-cute.html

  7. I have no children (clearly), but as someone who worked retail for EVER, but those travel systems are massive. You can't take them a lot of places because they just don't fit. Something smaller like this that has multiple uses is definitely what I'll be looking for!

  8. I'm all about using a credit card for the points and paying it off monthly. We do that too. :) It's gotten us lots of great free stuff!

    We registered for the Baby Trend Expedition. The car seat does lock into the stroller and the stroller is a jogging stroller. $200 for the set. The thing I hate about travel systems is how ridiculously bulky and ugly most are. What I loved about the Baby Trend is that it's a three wheel and it's not ugly, LOL. Plus, we rolled it all around Target and it's pretty much the easiest stroller I've ever used.

    The BOB is awesome, but I just can't fathom spending that much on a stroller. However, I don't think I'd get as much of it's intended use out of it as you guys would, so that's definitely something to consider.

    Oh, and I know tons of girls that use the adapter with no problem, so I honestly don't think that part should be a big deal.

  9. Hi Julia. Long time reader, first time poster! Just want to say that my husband and I had the same dilemma with what to buy. We ended up getting the BOB. LOVE. IT. We could not be happier. We also got it at REI. Our little guy was due mid-February and we purchased it about a week before his due date. REI ended up having a 20% off sale on all BOBs at that time, too, so if you can hold out, until early 2010, you might be able to save some buck if they run the same sale.

    We ended up getting it in the chocolate/blue color. They didn't have it in stock, but ordered it for us at no charge. LOVE REI!

    Good luck and congrats on the little boy! (Little boys are the BEST!)

  10. I have absolutely no advise other than I have two friends that bought BOB's and I believe it's their primary stroller. They both love those things.

  11. I don't know anything about BOB but I did a 5K the other day and this man had a baby in a stroller with him (maybe a month or two old). Well at about .2 miles the baby started crying and the man ended up carrying the baby, pushing the stroller, and trying to run the whole rest of the way. It did not look fun at all.

  12. Hi, I'm Jaime.

    I covet BOB. My in-laws bought our stroller and wouldn't consider the price, so we settled for a normal jogger.
    i love it. i love that it works for everyday life and for things a bit more ruff. it is actually very sensible. it will last much longer and is much more user friendly than the whole big stroller dealio.

    i say yes to BOB and never look back, and remember that everywhere you go with it, people will be coveting your BOB.

  13. We were one of those ridiculous first time parents that purchased both the BOB and Chicco travel system. BIG mistake. The BOB is AMAZING. It's been through many, many, many airports, lots of stores, and many miles behind our running selves. We have a small sedan and a large Jeep and it fits great in both. We didn't intend for the BOB to be our main stroller, but it quickly became so. If we were to do it over again, I never would have registered for the travel system. BOB is awesome! :)

  14. I nanny for 3 different families and each one owns approximately 5,000 strollers. But nothing compares to their BOBs. They are so smooth and agile. As a quasi-runner myself, I can't imagine running with anything but a BOB (though I never have actually taken the kiddos that I watch for a run). Though the families have regular strollers, I usually just use the BOBs with the car seat attachment which is super easy to use. In fact, the BOB is so nice, that I will use the one families' double BOB even if I just have one baby with me (as opposed to opting for one of the many single strollers they have).

    As for reward credit cards. My husband and I do the same exact thing and it works beautifully. Unfortunately, some people don't have the discipline to pay it off in entirety each month.

  15. I know pretty much nothing about strollers, but right after I read your post I saw this in my google reader:


    Hope it helps!

  16. I have twins and we have a dual BOB stroller, had the travel system and have a regular stroller that we keep in the car and use when we are going to the store, outings, etc. I think the BOB is wonderful for walking/running, but the thing that prohibits us from using the BOB as our all around stroller is the weight. I am not sure how heavy the single BOB is, but there is no way I could lift the double one in and out of our car. As much as you might think weight of the stroller isn't that big of a deal (at least that is what I thought pre-babies), it really can be a pain lifting a big ole stroller into and out of the trunk of your car. So, I would just consider that when you are looking at strollers.

    As for the travel system, I think that is unnecessary if whatever stroller you get has the infant seat adapter. The main point of all of that stuff is that you don't have to take a little baby in and out of its carseat every time you get out of the car. So it is not necessary to buy a special stroller just for that purpose as long as your main stroller allows you to do that.

    Those are my two cents. I can't wait to see what other questions you have...I have done ALOT of research on baby gear (as I am sure most moms to be do) so I love to pass that along!

  17. Hi Julia,

    I have registered for the BoB amd I am not looking back! It is the one thing I will not give up, and if we do not receive it as a shower gift, I have told my hubbie to be prepared that we will be buying it. A friend of ours has a little guy and I have pushed him around in his BoB and I must say I love it.

    I also wasn't sure if we would need a second, smaller stroller, so I also registered for a Chicco Liteway stroller (in the fab Fuego color). I wanted to have an umbrella-like stroller but with a little more 'meat' to it than the plain old umbrella. We did receive an early gift and got our Chicco Liteway the other day. I really like it (because of course I have opened it and played with it like a crazy).

    I'm most excited for my BoB though...

    Make sure you research your car seat options b/c the Bob only fits Graco and Peg Peregos. The Peg car seats are not cheap. like 300 hundo not cheap. we personally liked the Chicco car seat the best, but sadly it does not adapt to the BoB. So I was at a crossroads.

    The Chicco Liteway stroller that I mentioned can be used with a newborn, no car seat adapter necessary, but it is not a jogger.

    Now I am sure I totally over-analyzed the whole situation, but ultimately I decided that I would have to hold off on jogging with my new baby until he could hold himself up safely in the BoB (BoB recommends around 2 or 4 months old, i cant remember which).

    **And maybe me being a soon-to-be mommy like yourself, I have totally missed something in my research, so if I have, please forgive me!

    Good luck!

    Amy in Wintersota

  18. My sister used a Jeep 3 wheel stroller with the adapter for both kids and had no problems. You'll use your stroller so much, I say buy it!

    Oh and my vote is for the orange color...so cute!

  19. We just got our BOB in the mail yesterday. We got the Stroller Strides version. Haven't even used it yet.

    My cousin has the same stroller and says it works great with the carseat adapter but her only issue is that it's a little wide for maneuvering the mall or stores with small aisles.

    So maybe that answers your question about using it as a primary stroller.... :)

  20. I basically got the knock off because I could never justify the cost . . . but with your rewards, I would totally do it Julia. We love have the 3 wheeled stroller that we do and it definitely meets our needs, but I think that the BOB is amazing. Do it.

    Also, we were jogging with Isaac in the stroller, with him in the infant seat, at around 3 1/2 months. Just add a little additional weight . . . he didn't move at all!

  21. My DH was set on having a jogging stroller as well. Neither of us run but he wanted the big wheels to make it easier to push. With that in mind I began research (about a year before even getting pregnant!) all about strollers. I found Baby Jogger and fell in love with the Classic but the price was very prohibitive. About a month ago I found it online for more than 50% off so we purchased it. I am a few weeks behind you pregnancy wise but we plan to get the car seat attachment and use it as our only stroller. We decided the cost was worth it because we could use it for the entire time instead of having to purchase a second stroller later on. I hate the travel systems. They are the same size if not bigger than my Baby Jogger, with a more bumpy ride, less features not to mention the cheap plasticky baby look. I know the stroller is something we will use for many many years to come so I wanted it to be something I loved. Good luck making your decision to buy the BOB or not. But I would say definitely go for it!

  22. I have no advice, but I have really enjoyed reading this post and all the comments.

    And I love credit cards with rewards too!

  23. We're all chanting it "Go with the BOB!"

    I have no children, but always end up pushing an empty stroller while my sister carries my nephew. Her Chicco travel system was used briefly while he was in an infant seat, but it was mammoth and hard to navigate.

  24. I have heard wonderful things about the Bob. I went the travel system route, and if I had it to do over again, I would have gotten something like the Bob with a car seat attachment. We never use our travel system stroller anymore. We bought a Maclaren umbrella stroller, and we now use that all the time. We have a jogger that we got at a garage sale that we use for jogging.
    Have you considered the Phil & Ted's? I know the Phil and Ted's has a jumper seat that you can purchase so that the stroller converts into a double stroller (front-back) so that you don't have to buy another stroller whenever you have a second kid. I've heard good things about the Phil & Ted's jogger too--might be something to consider.

  25. you guys rule. These comments are seriously the most helpful comments ever...thanks for all the advice and links. Nate is gloating now that he was right:) But I'm thinking the REI dividend in Feb/early March might be our ticket to the BOB for basically free. And yes, Lynsey...we are thinking the orange color:)

  26. I am late to the party here, but I say go for the BOB. I really am not a fan of our stroller/travel system (we have a Graco). So, when you pick a car seat, I would go for Chicco. But, that's another post I'm sure.

    Since you seem like you are already going that direction, okay! YAY for rewards! :)

    I am waiting for the day when we get to the paying off the CC monthly. It's a long, painful road.

  27. After listening to many moms not use their joggers because they went with a less expensive model, I just got a BOB and never looked back. It is great and we LOVE it. We also had the travel system thing, but were wearing off the wheels with all our walks. Just go with BOB, right from the start.
    We thoroughly enjoyed the Baby Bargains book. It "grades" all the baby stuff out there. The authors use parental input, consumers, and safety info to make their recommendations. Definitely worth the money, just as the BOB!

  28. Here is what I know about strollers: . Having said that, I hear the BOB is AMAZING. Were it me, I would get it and not think twice. Especially if I had the REI dividend that you accumulate.

  29. I haven't had kids yet, but since I'm planning to start trying sometime in 2010, I've been bookmarking posts from blogs I read anyway that happen to have advice about baby products. I saved one from Maggie at Mighty Girl which is a great guide and has a rave review of the Bob here:


    Hope it's as good as everyone says it is!

  30. Did you happen to look at the Phil and Ted stroller? It gets many great reviews as well, and I LOVE the fact that you can add a jumpseat below for the second kid without having to buy another stroller. My friend has 4 strollers in her garage, and this is the only one she uses now. To me, if you are planning on having more than one child, finding a stroller that easily converts to a double makes SO much more sense, esp if you are going to buy an expensive one to begin with. Just a thought before you buy the BOB!!


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