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Guest Dad Blogger: Finding Gear for Four Under 4

Remember Pete? He’s the dad of a toddler -- and also expecting triplets. This week he talks about gear; What kind of car holds four car seats? Do they make strollers built for 4?

I have (had) a love affair with my Jeep Wrangler. It was the first car I bought new. At the time, my wife and I lived in Bronxville, a short commute from NYC, and found it to be the ideal car for young people who want to throw the top down and get away to the beach or the mountains. That changed when we found out we were going to have triplets.

“There’s no way to get four car seats in there.” she said. I knew this. I knew when my son was born we probably would not be using the Jeep for family jaunts anymore. We were using the sedan because it accommodated the baby seat better and my wife felt it was safer than the Jeep, and it was able to allow my NFL-sized frame to sit comfortably without my knees in my chest. But now, we need a car that can hold a car seat for my son, and then three other car seats for the babies on the way.

At the same time, my wife begins the search for car seats and strollers. “We have to make sure we get the car seats now, or you’ll have to do it later, closer to the delivery date.” I realize this is not something I want to go it alone on, and we start to look together. “And we have to look at strollers too.” My wife tells me. This is going to be interesting.

I’m online, and have Googled the entire car market looking for vehicles that can accommodate four baby seats at one time. It turns out there are a few. Feeling rather accomplished, I return with several printouts of my findings so we can talk about it.

“I’ve found the perfect stroller.” My wife tells me, and shows me the pictures. It looks like part Jamaican bobsled team and part chariot from Gladiator - - only less vulnerable. It has a platform on the back where my son can stand while the horses drag them through the mall. The cost of the stroller is only slightly less than the new car we need to get to carry it with us. “The seats just pop out and then you put them in the base in the car.” I have visions of how this is going to work, and it seems like a reasonable solution, but I realize that means we’re committed to a stroller/seat system, and that rules out several of the vehicles I’ve picked out.

Back online, I realize I need to go big. But now, the seats are only part of the problem. The new baby chariot we need for four children is going to take up room – lots of it. I end up picking a Chevy Suburban - - it’s three-quarters of a ton of Sovereign steel and holds up to 9 passengers, or four kids and their gear. Driving it home, I realize it’s going to be a blast to have everyone together for road trips and family vacations – I just wish I could jump in the back and watch movies.

My wife still hasn’t decided on a stroller. We want it to be the right one, and one that she can manage while I’m at work. It’s harder right now to pick the stroller than the car, but all we care about is being together, and I’m sure we’ll find a way regardless of whether the stroller is bigger than the car or not.