So recently I realised that there seems to be a parental fad. And that is baby-wearing or rather, the use of baby carriers to bring baby/toddle out (or in some cases even around the house). More specifically though, it seems this fad revolves largely around the Tula. I won’t go too much into the Tula, largely because I don’t have one and I’m entirely sold by the whole nice design/limited-edition design logic. When people ask if I have a Tula? Well yes, I have a baby carrier, it is not a Tula, but it fits my husband and I perfectly fine and the baby enjoys going out in it. But more on the carrier another time.
Today I thought I’d compare the use of a carrier to the use of a stroller for outings with the baby. Quick overview, for the carrier, we use the Chimparoo Trek Air-O which is well ventilated with the mesh backing so that baby doesn’t feel THAT warm. We got this at a babyfair for slightly less than the retail of $229.
As for the stroller, we use the Aprica Optia. We got the Apica Optia direct from the wholesalers – Aprisin – although I believe this can also be bought at major retailers like Robinsons and Takashimaya for $999 as well. This is what the Aprica Optia looks like:
There are several colour options, but I like the colour blue. (Sidenote, there is a flower design on the inside of the canopy, which for some reason, the baby really loves staring at, I think it intrigues him. So much for the need for a toy.)
So, what do we use when we go out? Well, it largely depends on whether or not I’m alone while bringing the baby out, or if we (meaning the husband and I) are going out together, usually with the car. Why is this so? Honestly, it’s probaby because the two of us are too lazy to bring the stroller out of the car and up to the house most of the time, and we just leave it in the car. Also, going out alone, without the car usually means I’m travelling either by taxi or by bus, and it’s just not that convenient to carry the stroller up and down while also carrying the baby. The baby carrier is very useful when i’m travelling alone because it means that I can wear the baby on me, leaving my hands free to do apparently simple things like lock the door or wear my shoes. And while it is NOT true that it is safe to travel with a baby in a baby carrier while in the car, it does provide slightly more peace of mind when I don’t have a choice in the taxi.
However, when we have the ability to, we usually prefer to use the stroller (particularly the husband, he loves the stroller). I think this is largely due to the ease that it provides when we are shopping or having a meal. The stroller is large and comfortable enough that the baby is quite happy lying down in it whilst we shop/eat. The Aprica Optia has a lie flat option, which means we’ve had baby in it since he was born with no problems what-so-ever. But now that he’s getting bigger and more curious about his surroundings, we’ve taken to raising it when he’s awake and he’s quite happy being able to take in his surroundings. The stroller gives us the ability to either face the parent or face out (by changing the direction of the handle bars) and this is useful just for us to be able to decide if we want to be able to see the baby or when he is awake and wants to look around more. *Pro-tip, in some situations I’ve found myself unable to reverse out of a place because there might be people around or something. I’ve resorted to simple changing the direction of the handlebars and pushing it straight out HAHAH.
I think what is truly useful about the stroller is that it has a huge basket at the bottom that we can just throw our shopping into which means we don’t have to lug everything around, and when it comes to outings with a baby, it can sometimes be A LOT of things to lug. Also, the husband really likes that the Aprica Optia has an impressive suspension system which means that going over bumps and humps (and it’s actually quite surprising how bumping walking around Singapore can be) doesn’t jar the baby too much. In fact, it is usually comfortable enough that he’ll fall asleep in it while we walk around. Throw in the fact that the canopy is HUGE and can cover the entire top of the stroller makes walking around sunny Singapore a breeze (not literally cos… HOT). We usually attach a small portable fan to the stroller just to keep baby cool on hot days, but the stroller doesn’t get too warm anyways. Its got some sort of mesh like material that forms the base that allows air to flow.
Which brings me to a very interesting observation/question I’ve been wondering about for a while. Notice how both the baby carrier we have and the stroller have mesh like materials so that the baby doesn’t get warm. This is Singapore after all. So, HOW IN THE WORLD DO PARENTS AND BABIES SURVIVE THIS THING CALLED AN INFANT INSERT?! Some strollers (like the Stokke) and most baby-carriers require the use of an infant insert till the baby is strong enough to hold up his/her neck which I guess is usually around 4 months. And while this might not be a problem when the temperature is a nice 15-25 degrees. How do people survive in Singapore? Most infant inserts I’ve seen are basically a thick additional layer of material (cotton I assume). Doesn’t this act like a comforter or quilt and retain heat? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll be able to survive much less the baby.
Back to the topic. In summary, I like both the carrier and stroller for outings. I like outings period (so does baby). Given the option? We’d probably choose the stroller over the baby carrier BUT it depends on the occasion. As for our stroller, would I recommend for people to get the same one? Well. Yes and no. I think it comes down to several considerations: cost, functionality and comfort. It is a bit on the expensive side although you can probably get it for less the retail at baby fairs and such. It can go from birth till about 3 years so it can last for quite a while, and is cheaper than popular European models like the Stokke and Bugaboo (no need to buy a base and various components as the kid grows). So it really comes down to how much you want to spend on a stroller I guess? As for comfort, well I can only guess, but I think the baby enjoys it. Haha. and functionality; it moves very well and isn’t a heavy stroller, at about 7kg . Which means I can lug it around when needed, but it also does not fold down to be THAT small ie. it takes up a fair amount of boot space in our regular sedan. That being said as with all baby items, it comes down to preference which means please go try everything before you buy it. Don’t buy into the hype of designer strollers or carriers simply because well celebrities use it or bloggers “love” it. Its about your lifestyle (which usually varies very greatly from celebrities sadly) and budget.
Okay I’m finally done with this super long post. Kthanksbye.