How to get home from the park?
June 5, 2006 3:57 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to transport my three-year-old and my baby home from the park?

I have a three-year-old child and a small baby. Our nearest playground is about a half-mile away, and the most pleasant route there involves a walk through the woods. If we walk there the three-year-old often is too tired to walk home. We could drive there, but that's sort of lame. I could get a Buggy Board or a red wagon, but the three-year-old has "special needs" and sometimes needs to have a seatbelt (or similar) to stop him from running away.

What should I use for transportation? I've heard good things about the Maclaren double strollers, but how good are they at going through the woods? Any other suggestions, either specific strollers or some other way of looking at the situation? I'm in the USA, as far as shopping goes.
posted by The corpse in the library to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
If you could fix something up with the Red Wagon that would get my vote. Maybe just baby reins held loosely in your hand?

The problem with strollers is that a determined three-year old can get out of them pretty quickly, unless you get the kind with a five point harness, like a jogging stroller.
posted by unSane at 4:06 PM on June 5, 2006

My sister and I bought our dad a red wagon for taking our littles to the park. It has fold down seats that have seat belts.
I think the small baby would need to wait until they could sit up on their own, though.
posted by Wolfie at 4:23 PM on June 5, 2006

What about the baby in a sling/Bjorn/carrier and the three-year-old in a stroller?
posted by mothershock at 4:25 PM on June 5, 2006

I would try something like this (wagon and accessories) plus a carrier. That particular carrier is great; although I found it too difficult to get the baby into by myself, apparently others can do it and with a small baby it would probably be a lot easier.

Or I would get a five-point stroller, depending on how rugged the path through the woods is. A jogging stroller might be better if it's a very rough walk.
posted by theredpen at 4:38 PM on June 5, 2006

Oops, sorry Wolfie, for not previewing your link.
posted by theredpen at 4:41 PM on June 5, 2006

If you want to try a double stroller out, the phil and ted's can do two kids and is pretty rugged. I've taken mine to the beach, to the woods, and it does great even in mud. (click on products/buggies to see them in action)
posted by mathowie at 5:14 PM on June 5, 2006

Best answer: I have a double stroller, an infant AND and a three-year old with special needs.

* The stroller is *great* in a city setting. It allows the three-year-old to walk along the side holding a hand rail, stand or sit down with a seat belt. For this purpose alone, I recommend it.

* That being said, I don't see it traversing the woods *at all.* It's a front-and-back stroller, not a side-by-side model, and because of it's length, it's difficult to maneuver in lateral turns. Small wheel height means it could be easy to bog down in soft ground.

* There are side-by-side jogging strollers. They have taller wheels and therefore might be better for traversing woods.
posted by frogan at 5:18 PM on June 5, 2006

When my son was small, my dad bought us a wagon similar to this one. We'd take his car seat out of the car, set it in the wagon and buckle him in. He was comfy, and up high enough to see and we had tons of extra room to haul coolers, toys, diapers etc. The large tires make it easy to pull over rough terrain. I think for a short jaunt to the park, you'd have room to add one of those "baby buckets" or the infant's car seat too.
Those wagons are expensive, and heavy and take up a lot of room. However, 16 years later, we still have ours and use it regularly.
posted by jvilter at 7:27 PM on June 5, 2006

We have an awesome Jane Powertwin three-wheeler that works really well off road. You can put a baby car seat in either (or both) of the seat positions, and it copes well with our baby and our two year old. You need to get the car seat(s) separately.

In construction it's like a mountain bike, so it'll cope with pretty much any terrain. Because it has proper bearings and inflated tires it rolls really well and is very easy to push.

Not cheap though. However, that said, the resale value on ebay is good, so it's not as bad as it first looks.
posted by winjer at 10:56 PM on June 5, 2006

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