If you’re expecting a second child, have two children under two or have a reluctant walker with a baby on the way, you may be deliberating over whether to invest in a double stroller/tandem buggy.
Whether you opt for a side-by-side double stroller, a tandem stroller, or a stroller that can quickly convert between a single and double, here are some things you may want to consider:
How old will your eldest be when the baby arrives?
To really get the most out of a double stroller, your oldest child should be between 2 and 3 years old. Any older, you may find they want to walk more, or that a stroller alternative is better suited to your lifestyle.
How much do you walk?
By their very nature, double strollers are larger and more bulky than single strollers, which means they take up a lot more space when storing or putting in the trunk of your car. If you have a smaller vehicle, you may even need to remove wheels in order to free up space for shopping and changing bags.
Whilst less suitable for public transport, if you are likely to spend most of your time navigating the city on foot, a double stroller may be a more convenient option. It also allows both children to nap on the go and your eldest to rest their legs if they get tired.
Would an alternative be better?
Depending on the age of your eldest child, it may also be worth considering alternatives to a double stroller. Options such as a buggy board or kick step that allow your toddler to stand can be a great option for toddlers who don’t like being restrained but are likely to tire quickly. Alternatively, using a baby carrier with your newborn can keep both hands free to push a single stroller or walk freely with your eldest child.
What are the pros of a double stroller?
- Convenience – Double strollers provide a safe and convenient way for a single parent to navigate commuting, walking or socialising with two children. They allow both children to sit, either side by side or one in front of the other, meaning the parent can easily see and attend to both children with ease.
- Longevity – In terms of value for money, most double strollers are suitable to be used till around 25 kg (roughly four years of age). That said, the seats do tend to be slimmer and more compact than single strollers, especially in side- by-side models. As such, if you have a larger or taller child, you may find that they outgrow sooner than this.
- Helpful for reluctant walkers – Whilst your toddler may enjoy the odd walk around the park, chances are they will quickly run out of enthusiasm with little legs. As such, heading out with your baby and a toddler on foot can quickly lead to meltdowns, tears and a very stressed out parent. A double stroller provides the flexibility of allowing your toddler to walk and then simply hopping on board when their legs get tired.
- Storage space – whilst baby carrying can allow freedom of movement, if you are heading out for the whole day you may end up with quite a lot to carry. From your changing bag to hand bag, or even a bag full of snacks for your toddler, the large baskets on a double stroller can certainly help manage the load.
- Comfort for parent – Whilst bulky, pushing a double stroller is simple and comfortable for the parent, with the ability to adjust handlebar heights and recline the seats depending on your preferences. In comparison, baby wearing with your newborn can be hot and uncomfortable on warm summer days. You may also find that as your child gets bigger, longer trips put unwelcome strain on your back.
What are the cons of a double stroller?
- Can be heavy – Pushing a double stroller, particularly up and down curves or on varied terrain can require some strength. If you are small framed or recovering from a cesarean, you may find a double stroller harder to push initially.
- Lack of manoeuvrability – It’s fair to say that double strollers are generally not as manoeuvrable as smaller slimmer buggies, particularly the side-by-side models. Due to their longer and wider frames, double strollers are less suitable for navigating around busy shopping malls and grocery outlets.
- Kids distract each other – As your baby gets older, you may find the two children can distract each other, with the eldest waking the baby or the baby disturbing a napping toddler. This is particularly risky in models where they can physically see each other or are sitting side by side.
- Over reliance on pushchair – Whilst convenient, a double stroller can encourage your toddler to rely upon the stroller longer than they usually should, which may make them more lazy or reluctant to walk when needed. Despite the obvious challenges, you may want to ditch the stroller and encourage your child to walk or incorporate options like a balance bike or scooter into your days out at the park.
Ultimately, a double stroller is a personal choice however they don’t come cheap. It’s worth considering all options before making a decision, considering what works best for you and your family. You may also want to consider buying one second hand, with many parents using them for a short period of time before passing on.