No single stroller gives you everything you want and need for both you and your baby. Sometimes you have to buy an accessory or two for extra functionality and bring your buggy as close to perfection as possible.
In my years of writing stroller reviews, I’ve come across repeated sales for certain accessories that come up again and again. I want to share these products with you so that if a stroller you’re shopping for comes up short on a feature you need, you’ll now know that you can get an accessory for that!
And now, let me reveal the five most popular stroller accessories that parents swear by.
Car Seat Adapter
Some of the most popular and sophisticated stroller brands do not come as a travel system set with a matching car seat. Think BOB, Joovy or Baby Jogger. Instead, these brands offer either a universal car seat adapter or ones specialized for certain brands that attach to the stroller differently. Graco and Chicco usually have different car seat adapter designs.
When shopping for your stroller, make sure that you pay attention to the car seat brands it will accommodate, then plan accordingly.
Brands such as Britax and Peg Perego usually come with a car seat adapter as part of the purchase, but the adapter will only fit their particular brand. What if you have a different brand car seat? It’s important to determine if the stroller you want will accommodate the car seat you already have. Many stroller brands make adapters specific for different car seat manufacturers.
This accessory has enjoyed huge sales for a couple of reasons. The first has to do with the popularity of umbrella strollers. Counted on for its light weight, convenience for around town errands and compact fold, the one thing this kind of stroller lacks is a large basket and cupholders. This is dearly missed by the adult pushing it around!
To solve this problem several universal organizers are offered that fit most umbrella strollers by velcro tying the ends around the handle bars for easy on and off when folding. Check out JL Childress, Munchkin or Sunshine Kids. The first and last are the most popular. Each has a big net bag that hangs down the middle to hold your child’s toys, diapers, etc. Then there are two cup holders on each end. More storage between the cup holders such as zippered pockets keep your cell phone and keys in a handy spot.
Famous umbrella stroller manufacturer Maclaren has its own universal organizer.
The second reason for such a high demand for organizers is that some strollers don’t come with a parent console. Again BOB and Baby Jogger come to mind. Britax, Joovy and some Graco models don’t have cup holders for parents, not to mention a place to put their keys.
It’s a great, streamlined look, but once parents take their strollers out, they realize that they sorely miss having this bit of extra storage and so they opt for a console.
Many brands make their own console accessories for both single and double strollers. Think Joovy, Baby Jogger, Britax and Stroll-Air. If you prefer to have a universal console, then Jolly Jumper is highly rated and under $20.
With so many families with babies and young children taking to the air, bringing the stroller along has become necessary. But strollers cost a lot of money and we don’t want to greet them at our destination all damaged and broken. To protect our investment, purchasing a travel bag for your stroller is a good idea.
Some of these travel bags are quite simple, like the universal JL Childress Gate Check bags, for umbrella, double and regular strollers. You can get one for your car seat too.
Other brands such as BOB and Britax are custom fitted for their strollers and have extra touches like deluxe padding and rollers at the bottom for easy transport.
UPPAbaby has a unique program called TravelSafe, an insurance policy for your stroller. After buying the stroller bag, you register the bag and stroller on their website. If your stroller arrives at the destination with damage, then UPPAbaby will cover the cost. Worry free travel, courtesy of UPPAbaby!
Child’s Cup Holder and Snack Tray
Some jogging, all-terrain and umbrella stroller models do not have any bumper bars or child trays. Some have only bumper bars, which is nice for baby to hang on to, but we quickly miss having a place for their snacks and drinks.
Strollers like Baby Jogger, Britax and BOB have universal mounts where you can buy their snack tray and click it right in. Again Jolly Jumper has a nice canvas one with pockets for drinks. Snacks do better in a plastic container nestled inside the pocket. Carry You Siena Stroller Snack Tray has slightly better ratings and is the same price.
Another option is the Fisher Price Travel Care Snack Pod, featuring two cup holders, one for snacks, one for sippy cup. It has four star reviews and is the simplest of the three.
Head & Body Support Pillow
I remember when my son would fall asleep in his stroller and his little head would lean on the metal frame. I’d always have a towel or burp cloth to fold up and cushion his head. I didn’t know about head and body supports back then!
But for parents who have stopped using a car seat with their stroller, or who opt out of using a car seat with their stroller, baby still needs lots of soft, cushiony support for their heads and bodies. This is where these special pillows come into play.
By far the most popular is the Kiddopotamus Snuzzler Complete Head and Body Support. It has hundreds of reviews and is a 4.5-star rated product. Summer Infant Snuzzler is also a good choice and costs about the same. You might also check JJ Cole, as it is very well rated, too. If you just want some head support for use with the swing or bouncer as well as the stroller, then the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support is recommended.
What is YOUR favorite stroller accessory?
These are the top five accessories that make your stroller as reliable as possible. There are lots of accessories out there that I didn’t get to mention. What is your favorite, can’t live without product you’ve added to your buggy? Share it in your comments.
Amy Tanathorn researches the best baby strollers at Stroller Envy, where you can read in-depth reviews for all the most brands and models including video demonstrations, product specs, photos and detailed descriptions.