I've been dreading having to choose a stroller. For one, I've never been much of a fan. I realize they're much more practical and convenient than carrying a heavy kid all day long, but strollers have always always looked like a bulky pain in the butt to me. Not to mention than once you start actually looking at strollers, the choices are staggering and you quickly get information overload.
A while back I wrote about falling in love with Bugaboo strollers, but not being able to quite justify the cost. We settled on a tentative plan of waiting till our trip back to the US in June to buy a stroller (much much cheaper) and either relying on baby slings or having my parents bring out my step-sister's used stroller for those first few months. However that used stroller is still in my parents' attic, I have yet to ever get any description on it or its condition, it probably would be a pain for Mom to lug it out here on the plane, and Zach and I also realized that our housing allowance will be renewed in March (once we'll have been here a whole year) and that we should be able to use that extra money to buy a stroller.
So the stroller search, which had been on hold until further notice, is now back on. And the funny thing is that as outrageously expensive as Bugaboos are in the US ($500-$800 compared to many many models that are under $200), they actually are fairly par for the course price-wise for Europe and thus not terribly unreasonable.
I was tempted at first, once again, by the Bugaboo Chameleon, since it's a lightweight, compact stroller for in-city use, that also has the rugged wheels that can be used on rougher terrain like hiking trails. However I think I'll want something even more compact and lightweight for using in town. And thus, I have fallen under the spell of the new Bugaboo Bee-- cute, compact, weighs all of 17lbs and is 20in wide. I played with one today in a store and it was so easy to maneuver, and felt so small and light, as opposed to most other strollers that felt like behemoths in comparison. It costs about 800chf, which painfully enough is about average here for strollers. Checking online reviews, it's gotten pretty high marks, other than a few questions about how long a child can use it for-- it claims to be good up to a 37lb kid (~4yrs), but being as compact as it is many reviewers thought their child would outgrow the stroller long before that benchmark. I'm not sure this bothers me that much, as having something that's small is such a big concern to me when thinking of using a stroller inside the cramped stores and other indoor spaces in Geneva.
However... Probably the biggest negative is that we already bought our car seat, and it's not one of the few that's compatible with the Bee. So if we want to have a stroller that we can snap the car seat into, we have to go with the Bebe Confort brand, which has some decent strollers available that are up to 100-200chf cheaper, but they're wider and heavier. And so the debate is, do you trade the convenience of size for the convenience of being able to use the car seat in the stroller? I don't know.
The next step is for Zach and I to go to a baby store and test out the strollers together, test out all the features, do some laps around the store, and then see what we think. As for any of you mommies reading this, I would love to hear any words of wisdom you might have to share on this issue.