The best baby stroller. No stroller. Talk about a devise for pansies!
Fine, go ahead a coddle that little sheet if you want. When I was a toddler, I walked 2 miles each way back and forth from the salt mine. I learned self-reliance when they cut the cord.
Want to know why we are surrounded by a bunch of whining woke college kids with their thumb up their ass? Exactly, mummy pushed them around in a Gucci Stroller.
This summer, send your pre-schooler to the Spritzler Lombardi Institute.
What’s the Best Baby Stroller? It’s a Touchy Subject
Parents are deluged with options—and strong opinions; ‘you really have to be careful when you’re talking to another parent.’
By Tarini Parti, WSJ
March 17, 2023 10:13 am ET
A few months before his son was born, Alex Margolis, 33, got in the habit of going up to strangers in Central Park and asking them a question: Why did they buy that stroller?
His wife, Pamela Margolis, 33, watched in embarrassment, though she was in on the impromptu interrogations. The New York City couple was in the market for a stroller. Everyone, it seemed, had an opinion, and everywhere, it seemed, they spotted a pricey brand.
For many expectant parents, buying a stroller has become anything but a walk in the park. A booming industry of baby products is built around new parents, and the stroller choices keep growing—as does the range of prices. Options include luxurious four-wheeled wagons with all-terrain wheels, canopies and room for four children. Fashionable types can try to soothe their parental anxiety with Fendi’s $3,200 stroller with a sheepskin handle or Dior’s bassinet-and-stroller combo for $7,700. A new crop of direct-to-consumer models promise high-end features at lower prices. And social media gives parents a platform to boast, bond over and bicker about their choices.
Friends of the Margolises raved about Uppababy, whose flagship model starts at $999. But the Margolises, who work in corporate strategy, decided they needed to conduct their own informal focus group. “Let’s call it direct market research,” Mr. Margolis says. Ultimately, the couple purchased a Mockingbird, a direct-to-consumer brand that costs less than half of the Uppababy.
Uppababy Chief Executive Bob Monahan said in a written statement that because parents have a growing number of choices at multiple price points, the company’s goal was to make families “feel the value long after their purchase.”
The Margolises are careful about who they pitch their own choice to, knowing that different brands have avid fans and lots of factors go into the decision-making process. Explains Mr. Margolis: “It’s a little bit like walking on eggshells.”
Strollers have cruised ahead as a touchy topic amid a raft of unsolicited advice and strong opinions on all kinds of parenting decisions—from choosing a name to getting kids to sleep to skipping school to go on vacation.
“Meeting people on baby groups or daycare or preschool drop-offs and pickups—there are only so many ways you can have this visual shorthand for who you are,” says Amanda Parrish Morgan, the author of the book “Stroller,” part of a series of short books that looks at the meaning behind everyday objects. When it comes to strollers, she adds, there are “worlds of judgment about everything.”
Evan Lukaske, a 34-year-old congressional staffer in Washington, D.C., narrowed his research to three top contenders and tested out his neighbor’s stroller before buying an Uppababy—a brand once featured in Vogue with the headline, “Uppababy is Winning the Stroller Wars.” He’s cautious about broaching the topic in public.
“You really have to be careful when you’re talking to another parent but don’t know what stroller they have,” he says. “It’s like if you meet a stranger in the airport, you gotta be careful about bringing up politics.”
Celebrities have been caught up in the stroller judgments—which can extend to how long they are even necessary. Actress Kate Hudson stirred arguments on social media last year about the appropriate age for stroller use when she posted an Instagram photo of her 3-year-old daughter in one. “Isn’t she a little old to be in a stroller ???” chided one of many people who weighed in. A representative for Ms. Hudson didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The range of choices—and opinions—led Gabriela Reyes, 36, a content creator from Miami with a 2.5-year-old son, to make a series of tongue-in-cheek TikTok videos that have garnered thousands of likes. Among her satirical labels for stroller buyers are the “coupon queen,” a parent who bought a cheaper model; the “insta bougie,” one with a stroller that looks expensive but isn’t actually; or the “real baddy,” a parent who went for a super-expensive option.
Before her son was born, Ms. Reyes bought a relatively basic jogging stroller and car seat system.
“I felt like there was a lot of pressure to purchase luxury items, like there’s a correlation between how much you love your child and how much you’re willing to spend,” she says. “When I told friends, family members, co-workers….I’m looking at this stroller, they’re like, ‘Are you sure?’ ”
Ealeal Ginott, 40, who works in content and marketing for a startup in New York, felt the backlash when she posted on social media about her Mockingbird stroller frame breaking while she was crossing the street. Her two children were in the stroller but weren’t hurt.
Some Mockingbird loyalists put the blame on her, she says, but apparent owners of higher-end stroller brands were even more critical. The general tone of those comments, recalls Ms. Ginott, was: “That’s what happens when you get a knockoff.”
Mockingbird said at the time it was aware of such “isolated incidents” and issued a voluntary recall. A spokeswoman said that the company’s current strollers aren’t affected by the recall and that its strollers were created to help simplify the decision-making process for overwhelmed parents.
Mackenzie Sandersius, 31, who lives in Phoenix and works in marketing, says when she got a Doona—a $550 car seat-stroller combination—as a gift, other parents were curious.
“It does feel in many ways like I have to justify to myself and to others why we have all the things that we do,” she adds.
Some parents cite the stroller’s convenience in the chaotic first few months with a baby. The Doona draws some criticism online and in parent groups, in part for the price tag on an item that can typically be used for only the first 12 to 15 months. The company notes its dual functionality and quick transformation capability factors into the cost.
“That’s motherhood and parenting in general, right?” says Ms. Sandersius. “Everyone wants to project their opinion, but it’s also—it is personal.”
Write to Tarini Parti at email@example.com