Today is all about the IT product for expecting moms, the Doona. Launched in 2015, this carseat/stroller answered the three decades long question of how carseat and stroller use could become easier and more manageable. Why only 30 years? This is because carseats weren’t even required until 1985! (Yes, if you are pushing forty and above you were likely put in a box on the floor, but hopefully at least in the back ;) Now, the event of arriving at a store, lugging the huge stroller out of the trunk, opening it all up, transferring either your baby from the carseat into the stroller, or unlatching the car seat from the car and into the stroller with the use of adaptors becomes an arduous task when you are performing it numerous times a day. The Doona solves this problem with an extremely safe carseat that morphs into a stroller with the click of a button. No need to wake a sleeping baby or lug out a heavy stroller form the trunk of your car. Quite the ingenious innovation in the consumer baby world that seems to be obsessed with honing in on just what moms need to make life more efficient, and perhaps even more enjoyable in the day to day.
However, while the Doona certainly seems to be quite flawlessly designed in regards to what it has set out to do, it doesn’t in fact meet the traveling needs of all moms. If you have multiples who need to utilize a stroller, this product is unfortunately not going to do you a lot of good. There are actually some articles and YouTube videos online that show moms of twins actually tying or anchoring two Doonas together in the stroller position. And while I’m sure there’s a way to make this work, it seems a little janky to me for such an expensive product, and perhaps an extra step that may just make a conventional double stroller equal in most ways to the Doona.
But you don’t have to have twins for the Doona to be less than what you need. If you have a toddler that needs to be in a stroller when you are out running errands you will have to rethink how often you will really be able to use the Doona as a stroller. And if this is the case, then you also need to know that the Doona carseat does not click into any other conventional strollers. So you will have to remove the baby from the carseat and put them in a stroller seat, assuming you are not buying an additional infant carseat to use in these situations. Phew! The logistics of baby products might just make your head spin, right!
So how can you know if the Doona is right for YOU!?!?!
1. If this is your first baby and conveniency is key to you right now and your lifestyle has you hopping around to lots of places around town, I say go for it! I definitely don’t think you’ll regret it.
2. If you plan on traveling by airplane regularly then this is definitely the way to go, as the carseat is FAA approved by all major airlines and fits down the aisle of most aircrafts.
3. If this is not your first baby but your other children are mostly to completely walking sufficient then the Doona makes sense.
4. If you live in a city where you plan to regularly take taxis or Ubers, not having the extra hassle of a stroller and knowing your baby is protected while driving makes this an amazing product. We had a one year old when living in NYC and this was a regular problem we encountered.
Perhaps the Doona isn’t for YOU if…..
1. You are a working mom and a homebody and love to order in and have your groceries delivered, then perhaps you will not get a lot of use out of a product like this.
2. If you are not ok with owning multiple stroller products. The Doona is not ideal for jogging, it is not compatible with multiple children and it is only good up to 35 lbs, although I would imagine that pushes the size of the carseat a bit since 35 lbs is about the size of a 3 year old. You will outgrow this carseat before you out grow the need for a stroller.
3. If you are on a tight budget then the Doona might be the thing to ultimately let go of. Maybe splurge for the stroller that is going to get you through the next 6 years in one fell swoop and just resort yourself to having to click that carseat into the stroller you just lugged out of your trunk.
Overall, the Doona is a fantastic product that solves an important mom need, but it is not for everyone and it will not last you all that long, in my personal opinion. But if convenience in those first six to twelve months means everything to you and you have the budget to allow it, I certainly do not think you will regret getting it. Just be aware that you may end up buying something different for your second. And having a backup, less expensive infant or convertible carseat that can click into a jogger stroller available for your spouse’s car, may just be the key to making it all work in any situation.