Yesterday, we finally went to buy a new car seat for Lizzie, a Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (3.5-12 years 15-36 kg). Actually, Lizzie did not need a new seat. She still fit just fine in her Tobi, but Rosie was totally squished in her rear-facing CabrioFix which is only to 12 months anyway. We decided to buy a new one for Lizzie and bump Rosie up to the Tobi which is from about 9 months to 3.5 years.
Rosie finally able to face the front in her Tobi
Lizzie in her Rodi, 5 seconds after asking why we hadn’t bought a pink one
Our original choice of the CabrioFix infant car seat started with our choice of baby carriages before Lizzie was born. During my pregnancy, I read a lot of reviews, visited every shop and questioned my friends with kids in search of the perfect carriage. The advice was overwhelming. We had to consider if we wanted a “system” (car seat, carriage, stroller on one frame) or separate units. We had to decide if we wanted hard tires, pumped tires or the latest foam tires, and if we wanted a 4-tire traditional or a cosmic-looking, 3-tire model. In stroller mode, we had to consider if we wanted the option of the child facing out or facing us. There were of course safety issues, weight, ease of use, even width and let’s not forget fashion and price. Did I find the perfect stroller with the Quinny Freestyle? Well, no, but in all fairness my idea of the perfect stroller is one that can breastfeed for you and change your baby’s dirty diapers.
Why the Quinny Freestyle? First of all, I was interested in a 3-in-1 stroller. This includes one frame which can be used with a stroller, a carrycot and also an infant car seat. Most babies tend to be lulled to sleep in the car making it a great convenience to pop the car seat directly on the frame of the stroller without disturbing the sleeping baby. We did not however buy the EasyFix base which if I had to do again, I would. This is a base that is secured in your car and then you just click in the infant car seat. Without it, you need to install the car seat securely in the seat belt each time you travel which takes a bit of doing. Either way the CabrioFix has a good safety rating.
The next point of interest was the width of the stroller. One disadvantage of a wide stroller is that in most supermarkets, we can only go through the check-out for wheelchairs as we can’t fit through any other ones. One advantage of a wide stroller is wide-set tires ideal for walks when daddy is pushing baby. With other strollers, Misiu hit his toes on the tires with every step. This stroller, like other wide strollers, is marketed to ambitious parents who plan to jog with baby. Having a jogging stroller does not a jogging mommy make. I can tell you from personal experience, the last thing I wanted to do after having a baby was jog. The suspension is really good but for jogging you need smooth surface conditions and also some physical fitness, two things I am lacking. This stroller was one of the few that also had the option of the baby facing the front or the back. That was the final point that sold me on the Freestyle.
It didn’t hurt that the Freestyle was also one of the few 3-tire models on the market then and I admit that our black model looks cool. The front tire can be adjusted to stay in a straight line which is good in difficult conditions like snow or it can go around in a circle which allows for agile maneuvering in supermarkets. Pumped tires are much more comfortable than plastic ones unless you get a flat. I recommend having a bike puncture kit handy. The freestyle is a bit heavy and difficult to use at first but after 3 1/2 years I am an old pro. We, of course, bought all the extras, the rain cover, the sun parasol, the leather hand grip, the $100 snow muff. First time parents-they saw us coming.
It was a little pricey but definitely not the most expensive. In all, it cost about 3000 Polish złoty which is about a thousand bucks. When I say fab, y’all say life, fab life, fab life. Welcome to the fabulous life of Chris and Misiu. I was disappointed to find out on MTV’s Fabulous Life series that I have a more expensive stroller than Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow. Check out Salma and her Graco stroller below.
If you have just regained consciousness, yes, I said a thousand bucks. Ahh, those were the good old days before the global recession. Thank goodness for my becikowe (baby bonus) of a thousand złoty. Before you decide that I have totally lost it, please consider that the car seat was used for about 2 years and 8 months almost daily. The carriage was used for about 16 months daily. The stroller is still in use and will be used for another 2 years. We’ve had a couple of flats and made a hole in the hand grip but other than that no problems. If you are going to use your stroller as intensively as we do, then buy something like ours. If not, then buy a cheaper model and buy a new one if it breaks.
As you can gather, I’m pretty satisfied with my purchase although I do wish that it had been less expensive or even free ;) When it came time to switch from the infant car seat to something bigger, I honestly did not have time to research anything. I just bought the Tobi which is the next in the series. The same thing goes with the Rodi as now with two kids I almost did not even have time to go to the store to pick it out. How would the market analysts categorize me? A loyal customer or just plain lazy? Oh well, they had me at Cabrio and kept me all the way to Rodi.