When you’re travelling with your baby, the most important items are a car seat, so that they arrive safely, and a stroller, so you can easily move them around when you get where you’re going. Travel system strollers, which come with car seat and stroller, are the ultimate, all-in-one solution for safe, convenient travel, letting you and baby get out in public with ease.
A travel system is an integrated system that includes a car seat, stroller and car seat base. The car seat, or infant carrier, clips into the car seat base and stroller quickly and securely. If your child falls asleep in the car, you can transfer them to the stroller without waking them, which can mean a more peaceful shopping trip.
Newborns can't use normal strollers as they can’t hold themselves up. A travel system allows you to use the car seat in a stroller until they’re old enough to sit up. Then you can use the regular stroller seat with no need to transfer the car seat.
Travel system strollers are convenient and economical. You can buy one package rather than a car seat, stroller and possibly a pram to transport your baby before they can sit up. Although you’ll need to buy a new car seat when they’re ready to graduate to a front-facing model or booster, a travel system stroller accommodates your child until they’re ready to walk at your side.
Travel system strollers can be heavier than a dedicated stroller, as they have both stroller seat and car seat. This can lose you some maneuverability, although most parents find the convenience more than makes up for this. Lighter models are available, so you can find one that’s right for you.
Despite this, some parents prefer to buy a separate stroller and car seat, often because their favourites are from different brands. Stroller frames are another option for the first six months. They’re lightweight and allow you to clip in almost any car seat. Another option for the early months is a sling or carrier, allowing you to snuggle baby close while they’re still light enough to carry.
If you’ve decided on a travel system stroller, the first thing to do is decide on the car seat. Find a few that have the safety features and comfort level you’re looking for. Remember to always buy your car seat in Canada to ensure it meets the country’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Once you have a few car seat options, look at the included strollers. Car seat strollers come in all shapes and sizes, including standard strollers and jogging strollers, so choose one that fits your lifestyle. Make sure it fits into your car and that it’s easy to clip the car seat to it. Make sure you love both the stroller and the car seat, as you’ll be using them often.
Pediatricians recommend that newborns don’t spend too much time in car seats, so remember to take breaks, especially on long road trips. You may also consider a head support like Babymoov’s Head and Body Support Pillow, which can distribute pressure evenly over baby’s skull, helping them develop proper head shape even if they’re lying down regularly.
Practice clipping the carrier into the base and stroller while the baby isn’t in it so that you can confidently do it when baby is on board. Although travel systems are an all-in-one solution, accessories can add to baby’s comfort and your own. Think about a weather cover to keep rain and wind out and a sunshade to protect delicate skin from the sun. These strollers can accommodate caddies, phone holders and cup holders so that you have everything you need on hand. Lastly, consider some toys to keep baby entertained when they’re not busy sleeping.