The news of the pending arrival of a new baby is invariably accompanied by a flurry of excitement heaped on both the expecting parents as well as family and friends. It usually isn't long after the word is out that mom & dad start to look for the "stuff" that will be needed once baby arrives.
This applies not only to first-time parents who will have to plan for a baby shower, but to those who have a child or two already. After all, not everything can be carried over and in most cases some serious shopping is in order.
One of the major purchases that is always under consideration is what type of stroller to buy. Things considered range from colors and trim, to safety and functional features and most parents find themselves overlooking a cheap umbrella stroller and instead focus on the comfy "travel system" style strollers which often come complete with an infant car seat.
While these feature-rich stroller designs are all the rage, many parents report that their appeal quickly wanes once baby reaches the age of nine to twelve months. This is due mostly to the fact that these strollers tend to be large and take up a lot of space, even when collapsed for storage, and not because the little one has outgrown it. Large strollers often make it difficult to fit anything else in a car's trunk if it is present and large strollers, if stowed in the back seat, normally dominate all the space available.
This is why many parents begin looking for a lightweight stroller that is both functional and convenient at the same time and soon find themselves seeking out a classic Umbrella Stroller that is better suited to meeting their family's overall travel needs.
While the basic design of the Umbrella Stroller has been around for almost 40 years, baby equipment manufacturers like Maclaren, Chicco, Combi, and Cosco have introduced lightweight strollers that are feature rich but still offer the convenience and storage options of the original.
You can now find umbrella strollers equipped with reclining seats, thermo-insulated handles, handbrakes, and more. For those who have more than one young child manufacturers have introduced a double umbrella stroller design and even a triple stroller that, while larger, still adheres to the spirit of the original.
Once folded down, the umbrella stroller takes up very little trunk space. It also settles nicely on the floor of most rear passenger seats or even under the rear bench of a crew-cab style pickup truck. Most are super-simple to setup and can be taken from the trunk and be ready to go in under 15 seconds.
Over the years, the looks of the umbrella stroller has evolved as well. Well chosen colors and patterns are better matched to the aluminum frame components making the entire package safer, stronger, and more trendy than the models of yester-year.
All of these facts combined mean that most parents are quick to make their umbrella stroller their primary means of couriering baby soon after getting one and as it often stays in use well after a child is two years old, it can get quite a bite more mileage that it's fancier travel system cousin.
While many moms and dads choose to wait until baby has grown a bet before switching to an umbrella stroller, it often makes sense to plan a little further out in the future and get one early on.
This is doubly true if you are going to be having a baby shower as many moms forget to add an umbrella stroller to the baby registry from the get-go. Most veteran parents will agree that having an umbrella stroller on hand is more important than a humidifier or a bottle warmer, yet they fail to tell the newly expecting mother this important little fact.
While this lack of foresight causes many new parents to miss out on the chance to add this essential piece of baby gear into the mix early on, it also deprives family and friends of the opportunity to give mom, dad, and baby a gift that will get real use over the coming years.
So if you are going to be a new parent, a new grandparent, aunt or uncle, make sure that you take a second look at the handy and fashionable umbrella stroll...even if someone forgot to add it to the registry.