When you're pregnant, it feels like you're on an impossible mission to find the perfect baby gear for your newborn. There's so much stuff you don't need (like a wipe warmer, trust me) and so many things you absolutely can not live without (like a swing with a plug-in option). But finding a stroller seems to be the hardest part of it all. It's a nightmare to find one that does everything you want and in your budget, but with a few stroller hacks, you can make any baby carriage work for you.
Although there are some things you can skimp on when it comes to baby gear, a stroller isn't one. You're going to use that thing forever and a day. Even when you think your kid is officially too big for a stroller, you realize you still need it when all of a sudden your 5-year-old's legs refuse to work at Disney World. A stroller is your child's main mode of transportation and it also quickly becomes the workhorse of your family. What other baby gear is responsible for holding your baby, holding all of the sippy cups and snacks and toys, toting all of your shopping from store to store, and is still expected to handle any terrain and turn on a dime?
Basically, you're asking a lot of your stroller, you dictator. So to make it work for you, try out these 11 stroller hacks so you're getting the most out of the ultimate co-worker.
1. Use A Carabiner To Hold Heavy Bags
If you've ever tried to stuff bags into the basket on your stroller, you know how much it sucks, especially if you need to get something out of there. Pick up a jumbo carabiner (or two) and turn your stroller into your own grocery cart. Clip them on to your stroller handle and hang shopping bags, purses, or even your kids' jackets for easy access.
2. Make An Extra Cup Holder
While a lot of strollers come with cup holders, many don't (like mine) and sometimes you just need more than one. You can follow this tutorial from Sew Can Do to make a fabric cup holder that straps to your stroller handle or you can take a tip from Merry Pad and turn an over-the-door fabric shoe organizer into the perfect cup holder.
3. Use Zip Ties On Stroller Tires For Better Grip
Zip ties are for more than just keeping things together, they can also give your stroller wheels better traction. No matter how rugged your stroller's tires are, they're going to become worn and can lose their grip on slick surfaces. This Mom Hacks video shows wrapping zip ties around the tires of your stroller and trimming the edge to help give them a better grip. Genius.
4. Strap A Reusable Tote To The Back For Extra Storage
You know those big, strong totes, like the IKEA bags? Because their handles are so wide, they are the perfect thing to slip over your stroller handles to give you extra storage. It won't swing too far in your way and it can hold a ton of things.
5. Use Clips To Keep Blankets From Blowing Away
There are some fancy stroller covers out there, but sometimes all you want is a light blanket to throw over yours for shade or warmth. Pick up some binder clips or even some clothespins to hold those blankets to the stroller canopy and keep them from blowing off of your stroller.
6. Use Bungee Cords To Stand It Upright In Your Car
For more room in your trunk, stand your stroller up and use a bungee cord to wrap it around the headrest. It keeps your stroller from taking up a lot of room in the back, and it also makes it easier to pull out when you're ready to unload.
7. Make A Pouch For Your Cell Phone
Even if your stroller comes with a storage tray, you've probably watched your cellphone bounce right out of its plastic resting place when you hit a curb or need to maneuver quickly around people. A quick DIY from Made to be a Momma is to make a stroller pouch for your cell phone. It slips easily over your stroller handle and gives you easy access to your phone.
8. Use Ankle Weights To Keep Stroller Weight Distributed
Is there anything worse than pulling your kid out of the stroller and watching the whole thing topple over from the weight of the rest of your cargo? Stay-at-home parent Leigh Ann Hartwell Preston gave a great stroller tip to Romper for times just like that. "Ankle weights above the front wheels of the stroller to keep it from falling backwards when the back is weighed down with shopping/grocery bags." Who would've thought?
9. Keep A Hat For Rainy Days
Any mom who's pushed a stroller in the rain knows how much of a pain it is, but so is trying to hold an umbrella at the same time. "I personally cannot wheel a stroller and carry an umbrella at the same time," freelance reporter Rachel Sokol Slavin from Forest Hills, NY tells Romper. "So, in rain, I put my hair in a low pony and just wear a baseball cap; I buy a few semi-cute ones from street vendors (really) so I don't care if they get drenched, and off we go." Stash a few in the bottom of your own stroller for those wet walks.
10. Get Crafty To Help Your Stroller Stand Out
Taking your stroller to the zoo, Disney World, or the airport is an obvious necessity, but it can be hard to locate your own kid's transportation in a sea of similar strollers. Find some brightly colored or patterned duct tape or yarn to wrap around the handle of your stroller so you can spot it in a pinch, or go a step farther and make your own family sign so others don't mistake it for their stroller.
11. Make Your Own Double Stroller
If you're using umbrella strollers for two kids, there's a quick and easy way to make it into a double stroller you can push with ease. Sometimes those big, hulking transportation systems just won't do in a pinch, and this hack also means you can undo it to give you the freedom of pushing one stroller at a time. According to Dad's Guide To Twins, you can purchase stroller connectors to clip the two strollers together, securing them at different points for ease when pushing. Neither stroller will hit the other and they will move together in one motion. Genius!