As many parents know, selecting a stroller from the thousands of options available is a major feat. But after you've made that decision, life with baby may still not be a walk in the park. That's because problems can crop up during real-world use, such as trying to stroll one handed while sipping a latte because there's no cup holder. And what do you do if your baby gets so bored he starts trying to escape every time you have to stand in line? Fortunately, baby gear gurus continue to think of everything. Here are the latest stroller accessories that may be worth shelling out for.
A Push to Organize
J.L. Childress Cups 'N Cargo Stroller Organizer (*Est. $25)
Believe it or not, some of the most expensive strollers on the market don't include a cup holder or parent tray. Instead these are often sold as optional accessories costing $50 or more. With the Cups 'N Cargo Stroller Organizer you can carry a bottle for baby, a large drink for you, cell phones, diapering necessities and more. There are two expandable cup holders, a zippered pocket, and a large mesh bag. Parents say it's a lifesaver for strollers with little storage space, and they particularly like the bigger cup holders.
Tech Your Baby’s Ride
Baby-Bee Haven See ‘n Store Multi-Media Stroller Organizer (*Est. $39)
When you’re rolling down the street, just looking around at the leaves or the dogs on the side walk can keep your baby content. But when you’re waiting in line and other low-stimulation situations, a screen can come in handy for beating baby boredom. With the Baby-Bee Haven See ‘n Stroll, which is a media carrying case for a tablet computer or a DVD player, infants and toddlers can watch their favorite apps or kiddie movies. The multi-media stroller organizer secures to stroller handles with elasticized straps and features a compartment for tablet or DVD viewing, which folds so the tablet faces you or your baby. In baby viewing mode, it’s designed for rear-facing strollers (your baby faces you as you stroll), such as the UPPAbaby Vista, Bumbleride Flyer, Mamas and Papas Sola and Bugaboo Cameleon. For a snug fit, a portfolio-style case (not included) is required for tablet computers.
Turn Your Stroller into a Shopping Cart
Jeep Universal Stroller Hook (*Est. $8 for 2)
Who doesn’t use their stroller as a shopping cart? Jeep Universal stroller hooks, which accommodate all stroller makes and models, attach to the stroller handle with Velcro straps. You can use them to hang shopping bags, your purse, your baby’s diaper bag, or anything you accumulate throughout the day that doesn’t fit in your stroller’s storage basket -- leaving your hands free to steer. Don’t get too heavy handed though; putting too much weight on the handles can be a tipping hazard, and online reviewers say these hooks function best when used for holding a pound or less, such as a light purse or diaper bag.
Clean Up Your Baby’s Act
Balboa Baby Stroller Liner (*Est. $35)
Babies are mess magnets. Gunk from snacks and leaky diapers can embed into stroller fabrics and be difficult to wipe clean. Enter the Balboa Baby Stroller Liner, a padded universal stroller liner that’s machine washable. The liner is designed to easily fit strollers with three- or five-point harness systems. In most cases, you just thread your stroller’s harness through the liner’s five slots. With some stroller models, you'll need to unthread the stroller’s harness to attach the stroller liner, which is an extra step. Note: The stroller liner doesn’t fit Bob, First Years or JJ Cole strollers because their harness straps are fixed. Cute fabrics, such as “Red Poppy” and “Khaki Berry” turn your stroller into a fashion statement. The liner is reversible for two fresh looks and is cushy for your baby’s comfort.
Protect Your Peace of Mind
Buggyguard Retractable Stroller Lock (*Est. $20)
With some strollers costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, they have become a popular target for bandits looking to make a quick buck by snatching high-end strollers and re-selling them. To protect yours from being stolen, you can use the Buggyguard Retractable Stroller lock to secure your stroller to a stationary object or make it impossible to push by looping it through the wheels. The Buggyguard features a universal attachment that fits all strollers, more than 4 feet of strong, stainless 2.4 mm cable, push-button retraction so you can coil the cable away until you’re ready to use it and a 3-digit resettable combination. It comes in a variety of designs, from trendy deco patterns to cute animal shapes.
Get a Grip
CityGrips Handle Bar Grip Covers (*Est. $10)
CityGrips universal handle covers protect your stroller’s standard-issue grips from wear and tear. They also prevent that sweaty, germ-build-up feeling you quickly can get while jogging with your baby or pushing the stroller on hot days. And because CityGrips are available in multiple colors and patterns, they can function like a luggage tag, giving you a quick way to identify your stroller among the pack. Toss CityGrips in the wash frequently to keep them clean. They’re available in single or double handlebar style. Users especially love them because they can make pushing a grip-free stroller, the kind with hard plastic handles--bearable.