I live in New York City. We are a walking city. Thanks to my pedometer obsession, I know that on average I walk over 15,000 steps per day, and at least 6,000 of those are with my children. When they were little, I'd strap them into the stroller and we'd be off at the races, so I learned how to pack that baby to the gills to hold all we needed for the day. Now I'm basically a stroller-commuting expert and I'm here to show you all the stroller accessories you need in your mobile life to get you through the day.
The thing about stroller accessories is that they're so unique to the stroller. While some organizers and cup holders claim to be universal, that's hardly ever the case. That means you're going to have to spend some real time looking at the make and model of your stroller to determine the best fit for your needs and budget. However, while you may need a slightly different variation on your accessories, the type of accessory you need, and the variety are seldom changing. Plus, I've learned that there are a few stroller accessories, like an iPhone speaker, that are just really fun to have.
1. Double Organizer
You may be wondering why you need two cup holders — it's simple, one is for your drink, and one is for their drink or their Goldfish crackers. That way they're both within easy reach for you. This model is a click-on, and like most Thule goods, it's designed to take a beating (which it will). Your kids will bang it, your partner will leave it on while he shoves the stroller in the minivan, and your cat will try to sit on it. Thule can handle it.
2. Smartphone Holder
This model is for Bugaboo strollers, but pretty much every system has one available. It might seem frivolous, but trust me, it's easier than pushing a stroller and pulling it out of your pocket every six blocks to check your texts. Also, I'm not going to lie, it's really great for playing Pokémon Go. That little Aerodactyl that's been evading capture is so much easier to lure into your raspberry web as you battle team mystic when it's right in front of you.
Now all of you know my secret shame. My whole family loves Pokémon Go.
3. A Good Hook
This is great for trips to the grocery store, the beach, or just those days when you have more bags than you can shove comfortably beneath the stroller. It's also good for things like hanging your baby's jacket when they're too warm, and hooking on those little rolls of waste baggies when you're walking your dog and your baby at the same time. It keeps everything up off the ground and also out of your hands, so you can just push the stroller.
4. Rain Shield
This is like a pumped-up baby umbrella. It keeps your tiny one warm and dry, and when they get a little older, they'll love riding in the stroller on rainy days — even if you hate it — because they get to watch the water sheet off the clear plastic surface. Fair warning though, I've learned the hard way that kids also love to kick at this and splash the water every which way.
Itty bitty babies who can't wear bug repellant still need protection from the biting evil insects. Enter the mosquito net. Sure, it looks really weird — kind of like you're going to go beekeeping with a stroller — but it does its job and keeps the mosquitos and ticks away from your baby. It's also really cheap, so there's that.
6. Baby Safe Soft Fan
It's 10 million degrees outside, and this soft fan will provide some relief for you and your baby. The blades are made of foam, so no one will lose a finger, and the circulating air also helps keep the bugs away, which is especially nice for walks at twilight or around water.
7. Kick Board For Older Kids
If you have more than one child, and the second child is just a bit too old for a double stroller, this is a godsend. When your older one gets tired and cranky, they can stand on this as you push the stroller, giving both of you a much-needed break.
8. Cargo Net
This one will hold all of your crap and won't start to stink if something spills in it because you'll know right away. Only parents can know how important a feature like that is.