The baby industry sells many products based on eliciting fear from unknowing parents. Low IQ, SIDS, not enough vitamin D, too many fruits, flat heads, too hot, too cold, and on, and on. I try to avoid that sort of propaganda when I can. But, when I read on an airline website that my jogging stroller was too big and would have to be checked instead of milling around airport terminals with me, I threw my grilled cheese to the side and started up my baby gear research engines.
I had pretty firm requirements on what I needed since I also knew whatever I bought would need to compete with European streets and sidewalks which are often small, curvy and bumpy. I needed these six things: 1. Big wheels 2. High handle bar 3. Infant car seat compatible 4. Small 5. Affordable 6. Long lasting.
I ultimately selected the Contours Bliss. I honestly love it. It’s a 4-in-1 machine that does way more than I realized it would when I originally bought it.
- The seat/pram lays down flat which is awesome for 2 reasons: baby sleeps more comfortably longer and baby diaper changes are possible literally anywhere sans other babies’ grime and toilet flush air germs!!!
- Regardless of whether the pram was horizontal or the seat was up right, I could easily tuck Willow’s infant carseat in the storage basket below.
- The carseat adapter came with the Bliss and when it was attached on top, the stroller pram was able to ride down below in the storage basket. (This might sound a little weird to not just leave the pram at home for the week of travel. But Willow was wayyy more comfortable in it. After all, babies who can sit up basically hate the recline of a car seat when they are awake and needing to see everything that is going on around them.)
- The stroller seat, pram and carseat can face the mama or face foreword.
- The rear wheel locks are easy to use and the front wheels can be locked to eliminate the swivel feature.
- The handle bar grip feels nice. It was also high enough for my husband who is 6’3.
- The stroller also came with a snap-on weather guard for the legs.
- Gate checking the stroller was also easy. I just attached the pram to the frame and then collapsed it with the carseat adapter and front wheels buckled in the seat and tossed it all in an orange gate check bag.
- The pram doubled as an infant bed at the houseboat.
Honestly I have no complaints about this thing. The only after market purchases were the Skip Hop Grab & Go stroller organizer with a convenient zip away pouch and a rain shield designed to fit over either the pram or the carseat.
I found it interesting that in Europe nearly every mama was using a stroller like mine. The big wheels and lay down flat pram is pretty trendy and I can see why. My only give up was related to size. I had envisioned buying a little bit smaller. But what the heck, you only live once and I was willing to give up some size for a few bonus features.
(Title quote by Gloria Vanderbilt)