How to Pick Out a Travel System for Your Baby
Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

By Nina Spears

The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®

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Nina Spears is the Co-Founder & CEO of Baby Chick, an online go-to resource for all things motherhood and the Founder & CEO of Bassett Baby Planning, the premier doula agency and resource center in Houston, TX for expecting and new mothers. Read More

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All photos taken by Creative Clicks Photography.

When getting your baby registry together, something that you may want to look into and consider is getting a travel system for baby. What is a travel system? A travel system is a compatible stroller and infant car seat that can be used together. You are able to unclip the car seat from the car seat base and easily clip it into the compatible stroller. It allows you to transfer baby from your car to your stroller with ease. Parents love it! If you’re wondering what you need to look for when choosing the right travel system, we’ve got you covered. This is what you need to take into consideration . . .

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Do You Need a Travel System?

Not everyone may need or want a travel system. Some parents may prefer wearing their babies instead of using a stroller. That is certainly a good option.

Another thing parents need to remember is that young babies aren’t able to ride in the majority of strollers until they have full head and neck control. This doesn’t usually happen until the child is about six months old. This is why some people wait to get a stroller (sans travel system) and either baby wear, hold the car seat with baby inside, or hold their babies when leaving the car. You will obviously have to take baby out of the car seat to wear your baby or hold your baby, which can wake your child if they are asleep. (Some parents don’t like that.) Because of this inconvenience, more and more families are choosing a travel system.

Choosing a travel system saves families the hassle of researching which stroller fits with which car seat. Instead, all you have to do is select the system that you prefer then clip your car seat into the stroller when you are on foot and on the go. But, again, some families don’t see it as a necessity. This is up to you. Just FYI, not all strollers can be used as travel systems.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

When Do You Need a Travel System?

If you have decided that a travel system is right for you and your family, you will want to register for a travel system before you have baby. You want to have it before baby arrives so you can use it as soon as you bring your baby home. This will then be the only stroller that you will need since it accommodates your little one from infancy to toddlerhood. Again, you will need to make sure that you register for the compatible car seat and stroller. If you don’t, you will have to do your own research to determine which car seat fits which stroller as well as purchase any additional adapters to make it work.

Once your baby gains head and neck control–around six months of age–you will then be able to use the stroller’s regular seat for baby. But until then, you will be glad that you have all of the pieces for each stage of baby’s life so you can easily and conveniently transition from car seat to bassinet (if you have one) to full-size stroller seat.

What to Look for in a Travel System

There are several things to look for when choosing a travel system. Here are the questions that you should be asking:

Does the stroller have a bassinet?

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

I highly recommend selecting a stroller that also comes with a bassinet. Again, your baby won’t be able to sit in a regular stroller seat until they are older, so having a bassinet as an option is an additional bonus. With the UPPAbaby Vista you do receive a bassinet with your stroller purchase so the system really does grow with your child.

Is there a sunshade?

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

I like to make sure that all of our babies are protected from the sun. Whether you are going for a stroll around the block or exploring Disney World, long days in the stroller can expose your little one to a lot of sunlight. Sun protection is very important, so look to see if this is included in your travel system. I love that both the Vista stroller and their bassinet have extendable UV50+ sunshades. This is also great when your baby wants a little more privacy for a nap.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick
The bassinet canopy isn’t fully extended in this picture. We want our readers to know that you can pull it out further and you should hear an audible click letting you know that it is fully extended.

Can I change baby’s view?

Some strollers only allow you to have a rear-facing baby. Others allow you to have a forward-facing and/or a rear-facing baby. I personally like to have both as options. You can see below that I can change the position for the bassinet, and this also applies for the positioning of the car seat and stroller seat.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Is it compact? Is it easy to fold? Is it easy to unfold? Does it stand on its own when folded?

When you have a baby with you and you need to get a stroller in and out of your car, you need something that will be easy and quick. You also don’t want it to take a ton of room in your backseat or trunk, and you don’t want something that is difficult to fold and unfold. This is why I recommend going to a local baby store and testing out a few of the travel systems to see which is best for you.

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I loved that the UPPAbaby Vista stroller is very easy to fold and unfold and doesn’t take a lot of space in the trunk of my car. I’m already excited to use it! I also like how it can stand on its own when folded up. I’m a huge fan and love this new Blue Marl (Henry) color. It’s going to be perfect for our baby boy.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

When it comes to unfolding, all I have to do is press the side latch when it is folded up and it pops open. It’s easy and quick which is exactly what I need.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Can the travel system convert to a double stroller?

Travel systems can be pretty pricey, so I would see if your stroller can also convert into a double stroller. I would want something that can not only grow with my child, but a stroller that can grow with my family. We chose the Vista stroller because you can make it a double stroller! You have several conversion options: two car seats, one car seat one bassinet, one car seat one regular stroller seat, etc. Less for you to have to juggle and way easier for you to keep your little ones in one place.

What are the safety features?

Safety is everything. Make sure that your travel system has locking wheels, a bumper bar, and an adjustable harness. An added bonus with this stroller is that it also has shock-absorbing front wheels & rear suspension. You can read all about the technical specs here for our stroller.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick
Easy locking and unlocking wheels. Green when unlocked and red when locked.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

What extra benefits or accessories does it have?

Since it’s a big purchase, look into what all the benefits are. Ask these questions:

  • Are the fabrics removable and washable?
  • Does it have a large, easy access basket?
  • Is there an adjustable canopy?
  • Can it recline? If so does it have multiple positions?
  • Does it come with a rain shield or bug shield?
  • Is the handlebar adjustable?
  • Is it lightweight?
  • Does it have a peek-a-boo view for you to see baby?

These are just a few things to consider.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

I also really loved that this travel system from UPPAbaby had gorgeous 100% natural leather accents. Motherhood doesn’t have to look boring. Just like a pretty diaper bag, I can still take full advantage of an amazing, top of the line travel system while still feeling like myself and looking stylish.

What about the Car Seat?

We’ve covered a lot when it comes to the stroller. Now we need to talk about the car seat. Choosing the right car seat is a whole other post, but here are some things that you need to look for before you make your pick:

  • How easy is it to use? Easy to install?
  • Is it easy to adjust as your child grows?
  • Does it use the LATCH system?
  • Does it have side impact protection?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Easy to clean?

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

There are so many reasons why I chose the MESA car seat from UPPAbaby. First it receieved a 5-star rating from NHTSA for ease of use. It literally installs in seconds. Secondly, it super safe and has side-impact protection, and thirdly it has soft, breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics which will keep my baby cool and comfortable in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s also the first naturally fire retardant car seat on the market! It’s so great to know that they didn’t have to use any chemical flame retardants when creating it, but that it still meets federal flammability requirements. Goodbye, chemicals! These are just a few of the many reasons why we chose MESA.

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

Picking Out a Travel System for Your Baby | Uppababy | Baby Chick

I think you can see why we chose this travel system from UPPAbaby as our own and as our Product of the Month. We can’t recommend it enough!

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