Diapers and Strollers and Wipes, Oh my!
February 20, 2012 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I need to buy a double stroller and some diapers for my out-of-state niece and her two kids, aged 1 yr and 2 weeks old. I know nothing of such things and I feel a little overwhelmed. Help please!

I read this but there's not too much about double strollers. Can I assume the same advice applies? If not, what doesn't? I've read enough to know I don't think a side-by-side model will work. Am I misguided? Assume a budget of sub-$300.

I'd also like to keep her stocked with diapers. She doesn't have a preference, but my God, there are like a million types of diapers. What's good? Also, should I get like wipes and other stuff? What would the "other stuff" be?

Potentially relevant info: Both babies are girls. They live in the desert Southwest.

Thanks so much for your help.
posted by SoulOnIce to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It can be overwhelming!
Regarding the diapers, most parents I know, myself included, have a favourite brand they use and a particular size suited for their kids. The best bet would be to find out what brand and sizes your niece uses and just get those. Same goes for baby wipes (my daughter gets a rash if we use certain brands but is fine with others).
As for the double stroller, your budget is a big factor. We only use a single stroller but have found MacLaren to be an affordable and reliable brand. Bugaboo is a great brand too but can be quite expensive.
Good luck.
posted by Artaud at 10:00 AM on February 20, 2012

What's good? Also, should I get like wipes and other stuff?

It's relative, but we've been happy with the (comparatively expensive, but unscented and chlorine/latex-free) Seventh Generation diapers. Definitely, definitely get her some wipes as well.

Depending on where she is, and whether she has any interest in cloth diapers, membership in a diaper service is another option.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:01 AM on February 20, 2012

Disposable diapers, right? Different bottoms fit different brands best. My babies wore Huggies, and when I tried other brands they leaked or smelled weird. (All disposable diapers smell weird -- I'm talking about the diapers themselves, not what they're holding -- but you get used to a certain weirdness.)

Yes to wipes.

Nah to other stuff. Diapers, wipes, you're set. She might need diaper rash ointment, but she might not and you might as well wait.

MacLaren has a good side-by-side twin stroller that can fit through standard doorframes and down supermarket aisles. They're pricey but worth it, and you might be able to find one on craigslist or the like.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:02 AM on February 20, 2012

I would strongly recommend giving her money. A stroller is a really personal purchase. The height, flexibility and features really depend on the parent's lifestyle. She could probably get a great double Mountain Buggy on Craigslist with your budget. Honestly, it's also worth buying used because her needs may change as her kids get older.

If she has laundry, you might consider purchasing some good quality cloth diapers for her. Even if she just used two per day per kid, she would cut her diaper costs by about 25%, without adding much to her laundry.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sign up for Amazon Mom (you don't have to be a mom) and use subscribe and save for diapers and wipes.

Baby Goodbuys and Baby Cheapskate websites do weekly diaper and wipe deal round ups, so start there.

For wipes any of the unscented should do. Diapers - find out the kids' sizes and buy the best deal. The little one will be growing fast, so don't buy too many in 1 size.

As far as a stroller, most won't work for the little one until she is 6 months old or so, so you'll want to find out what brand and model carseat they use and make sure that it can snap into the stroller.

For lightweightness and size, the MacClaren twin techno is the easiest choice... But that's more for putting in the car.

If they actually use the stroller for regular transportation (like walking to the store), you'll want to do either a side-by-side (a BOB Duallie or City Mini Double) or a front-to-back (We do a Phil and Ted's). They are not cheap, you'll notice.

Most people do 2 strollers - a lightweight and a larger one...

You might be better off looking on your niece's local Craiglist or consignment stores for a stroller. It will be much cheaper.
posted by k8t at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

As someone who is stroller shopping myself....can you ask her what stroller she wants?

She may be clueless (as I am), but she may already have something in mind?

just a thought. There are TOO MANY OPTIONS.
posted by tristeza at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2012

Okay, I only read the intro and not your whole post.

If you have a Costco membership, the wipes they sell in bulk there are pretty good and non-scented (less chance of rash from my experience).

Diapers. Personally we stay away from Huggies because they give our daughter a rash. We use a brand called Luvs - cheap and effective. I think you can find them at Wallgreens or Ralphs. The newborn will be Newborn size and the 1 year old will likely be a 2 or 3 (depends on weight.
posted by Artaud at 10:04 AM on February 20, 2012

I'd go with a double stroller than allows for a carseat to be clipped in, because a baby can't go into a regular upright-seated stroller until it's old enough to hold its head up (something like this, although I cannot vouch for that model in particular).

In terms of disposable diapers, we've really liked Pampers Swaddlers because they have a little stripe on the outside that turns blue when the baby is wet. That means if she's wearing a white onesie, we don't have to strip her mostly-naked to check; we can just shift her pants or unbutton a snap or two, check to see if there's a blue stripe (visible through the onesie), and button her back up as needed.

Re: wipes and "other stuff", we got a huge box of sensitive skin generic wipes at Sam's Club for way cheaper than store brand elsewhere. I think they'd be great to send because we use approximately a million a day. A few pacifiers might be nice, as they make lots of different kinds and it might take some experimenting to find out what the baby prefers.
posted by SeedStitch at 10:04 AM on February 20, 2012

One thing to check into is what kind of infant car seat she has. Some companies that make both design their strollers so that you can just "lock" in the car seat, like you do to the base in the car. Which is VERY convenient with sleeping baby. Both our (Graco) double and single strollers have that option, or can be set up so that the kid's sitting up when they're too big for the infant seat. Both strollers are well built, and not too big.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2012

Definitely talk to your niece before purchasing a stroller, to find out how she plans to use it. A side-by-side may be just fine. Some double strollers accomodate an infant carseat bucket, many don't. She should definitely check out buying used on Craig's List or on a local parenting group website.

If your niece doesn't have something to wear the baby, consider that- when our second was itty bitty, we often skipped the double stroller and used a moby/ergo/bjorn for the babe and the single stroller for our older child.

I am also a big fan of the Amazon subscribe & save thing, especially for wipes, but it's also good for diapers, formula, and other stuff.
posted by ambrosia at 10:25 AM on February 20, 2012

How long are they staying, for what purpose arethey coming, etc? Like if this is a family vacation visit than will be repeated and grandma will have other grandkids, its probably worth the money and space for a comfortable set up. If his is a one-time visit lousy with walking through museums, that's different.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:09 AM on February 20, 2012

We have twins and prefer using a side-by-side stroller. We had an inline stroller (the Joovy Big Caboose) and using it felt like steering a freight train. Most side-by-side strollers are sized so they can fit through any ADA compliant doorway (32 inches).

An inline option that we did like, though, was Snap-N-Go Double when they were in their infant bucket seats. I wouldn't buy one new, though; since they're not used for very long there are usually a lot on Craigslist and at resale shops.
posted by zsazsa at 11:11 AM on February 20, 2012

Seconding Eyebrows McGee: the circumstances will make all the difference here. How long and how often will you be using the stroller? What kind of weather will you be using it in? What kind of use? (shopping, will it have to fit into the trunk?).

I don't think the Snap-N-Go Double will work for the two year old.

We have a side-by-side Easywalker that we love (it's less than 30 inches wide so it fits through most doors) and that I would highly recommend if you can find it within your budget, but it would certainly depend on the circumstances.
posted by Ms. Next at 11:19 AM on February 20, 2012

Whoops, I was thinking twins. Yes, the Snap-N-Go is definitely not an option.
posted by zsazsa at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2012

IANAP (parent), but I have seen people buy a new car on the excuse that they needed one big enough to fit the pram in. I am not sure whether this is true, although my sister's double stroller is still pretty big when it is folded up. So if she is in and out of a car a lot, this could be a consideration. Could you give her a gift card for however much you are prepared to spend for a baby equipment shop, so she can pick her own?
posted by AnnaRat at 1:00 PM on February 20, 2012

IMO Huggies brand wipes are the best. They are nice and thick so you don't accidentally rip through and end up with nasty on your hands.

We also used Huggies brand diapers. They were the best compromise between what worked best and what didn't cost an arm and a leg.

As far as strollers go, there were two things that were most important to me when I was looking for a double.

First was that both kids would be able to see what was going on. That way there was no fighting about who got to sit in front.

Second was that at least one of the seats had to lay all the way down. Especially with a baby this part is really, really important.
posted by TooFewShoes at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2012

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for the awesome advice, I really, REALLY, appreciate it! Just got off work, so I'll answer some of the questions and provide clarification.

They live 1500+ miles away, otherwise I would have just taken her shopping myself. They live in the desert, it maybe rains once a month. It will soon be oppressively hot, but I do not think, right now, they are leaving the house every day, however when she goes back to work, I presume she'll be taking the girls to day care or something.

I do have the sizes. Newborn is size 1. One year old is size 5.

Re: giving her money. Uhm...I'm hesitant to give her cash, I'd rather get the babies stuff I know they need that way I know they'll have it....I'll just leave it at that.

I don't think she knows too much about what works for her to be honest. She is a young, young mother.

She did mention that she was needed one where the car seat snapped(?) into the stroller.

Thanks again!
posted by SoulOnIce at 3:41 PM on February 20, 2012

hmmm, if the carseat needs to snap in (it has a little spot on the bottom left and right that snaps into spots on the stroller so you don't have the get the baby in and out of the carseat) then that's going to limit your choices quite a bit which is good! because there are way too many choices.

I second the Amazon Mom thing. You can start off with a large box of diapers delivered once per month. The baby diaper size is going to change frequently so check in with her often to see how that's doing. With two in diapers, probably a box of wipes per month would be good as well (like this).
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:56 PM on February 20, 2012

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