When choosing a stroller and car seat for your baby there are so many different options out there.
I have found that a travel system is great for the first few months then I like to get another stroller that faces me but still lies flat – I have 4 children now and have done this with each of them.
The travel system generally consists of a stroller and a car seat and the stroller normally comes with an insert to turn it into a pram/bassinet so the newborn can lie flat and is all nice an cosy snuggled in with hard sides to protect them for the weather, or the siblings who want to ‘help’ look after the new baby.
Then when you want to go out the stroller folds up nice and small, and not one of these complicated ones where you have to take the seat out first. Though the bassinet does need taking out to fold it down.
You pop your baby into the car seat, which has a removable neck support for tiny newborns, and strap the seat into the car with a 3 point harness or a car seat base (that you can buy to fit your seat) then once you get where you’re going chances are the baby is nicely asleep so you don’t want to wake him/her and this is where the genius of the travel system comes in…
You put the stroller up and unbuckle the car seat to remove it from the car, with the sleeping baby still in it… then you can slide the car seat into the stroller and go shopping/walking etc…. voila! The baby is not disturbed so you can focus on what you need to do.
Once you have finished you just do everything in reverse…..and as a bonus the way the car seat fits into the stroller means the baby is higher up and facing you so you can check on them all the time so if your baby wakes up while you are out then you will know straight away.
The car seat also normally comes with a hood so you can pull that up for added protection from the sun or wind which is always good.
The only drawback I find with the travel systems is that the baby can be in the same position for long periods of time and I feel that this is not good for them or their posture so you just need to make sure that after an hour or 2 you try to change their position. But if your newborn is anything like mine then they will most likely want to be stuck to a boob every 30 minutes anyway!!
Once the baby reaches about 6 months old and is starting to sit up on their own these systems don’t work as well, plus its really heavy to carry your baby in the car seat, this is about the time I like to get a second stroller that still faces me (parent facing) but has the option to lay flat – they do this by either the back going down or the whole seat tilting back. This means that once baby is asleep you can lay them flat to stop the strain on their necks.
I still keep the travel system because if I know she’ll fall asleep in the car and I don’t want to disturb her then I still have the option to just pop the car seat into the stroller.
With the price of the Graco Alano Travel System being so good it means you can justify having 2 strollers… it’s worth the extra storage space to know you will have a nice comfy sleeping baby so you can shop for longer.