25 May 2018

REVIEW: THE DOONA EXPERIENCE


I've been wanting to write this for so long but only now. I plan to write down as many parenting experiences as I can for my future reference and at the same time share with others who may want to know as well. Today's post is about Doona, a quite famous stroller that I bet most mothers and also fathers may know about. The speciality about the Doona stroller is that it's 2 in 1! It's a stroller and also a car seat which makes it the ultimate stroller in the market. I've been using the Doona stroller for almost 6 months already, so if you're reading this to know if the stroller is worth the investment, well this post is for you. Keep on reading to read my thought on it.



Doona aims for a simple parenting to all parents out there, hence this stroller is supposed to help parents have the best with a stroller and portable car seat to bring around especially for mothers which are mostly with their baby 24/7. I came to know about Doona during the Baby Expo we have mostly here in Malaysia, but to twist the plot of the story, it wasn't me who fell in love with the stroller, it was my mother-in-law (MIL). The first reason why my husband and I went to the Expo was just to survey strollers and car seats, we didn't plan on buying but to only survey brands and prices. We're first-time parents so it's kinda hard to trust everything online since we don't have experience with baby stuff, so the best step was to go down and survey for ourselves. Since the Expo was so packed with people, my MIL felt suffocated I think so she didn't want to walk till the end, we just managed to stop at the stroller section quite near the entrance. I went a bit at the back to look at the options they had, but my MIL was glued at the front looking at a clear box with the Doona stroller displayed in action, changing from a car seat into a stroller.

She called me to have a look and of course as interesting as it looks, I knew this was something we couldn't afford, so I didn't pay much attention to it and went back to look at other options but my MIL didn't seem to want to give up either. LOL... She called the sale assistant and asked all the questions needed while my husband and I just watched and kept silent, LOL... we didn't seem to have the voice to speak out but it was a good thing too. My MIL was so interested in the stroller that she said, 'Okaylah saya nak' and my husband instantly gave out a worried laugh. Haha... And then she said, 'Tak pe, ibu tambah', and my husband laughed again but still looked worried. My husband's budget was only RM500 though and we didn't really expect to buy it so soon since I was still in my 2nd trimester, there was still a lot of time. But my MIL seems attached to the brand and kept saying she wants it since our baby would also be her first grandchild so we both understand that she's excited.
At the end we bought it since it was on a good deal anyway, it came with a few accessories as well for the price of the stroller. And if you're wondering how much it retails, it's RM1800+ in the market.

Review begins here:


The first thing I was eager to try out when I ended my confinement was indeed the stroller, it's been stored for so long and I've been longing to try it out and the day finally came when we went back to Seremban to my MIL's house. Maliq was still small that time and the car seat seemed too big for him too, even with Doona's newborn extension cushion. When I first tried to put him in, it seems like he was uncomfortable so I put a different headpiece on top of Doona's headpiece as you see in the picture and tried to put the belt on but it was difficult. I tried twisting the heads together so many ways but didn't get to attach it either. Only when my husband came to have a look only did we manage the get the belt on him, it's actually easy but it could be tricky also.


The first time we used it was only for the car seat and it seemed so uncomfortable for him especially with the headrest. I had to change the headrest to another one as the Doona one doesn't seem to support the baby's head. Even the belts were seemed uncomfortable at that time but I tried my best to make it as comfortable for him as I could as it was a long ride. Thank goodness he was still able to sleep in the car seat but still got a bit cranky along the way, probably got tired sitting in one position. After that, I didn't really use the Doona much until Maliq was 3 months, only then I was sure enough that he's okay to explore the outside world. So below is my list of how I feel about the Doona.

PROS
1. It's 2 in 1
- A portable car seat which turns into a stroller. 
2. Easy to use
- Yes, with just some strength and a click of a button it changes from one item to another.
3. Beautiful Design
- Have to admit that the design is cute since it's small compared to other strollers.
4. Changing cars is easy
- Since it's a portable stroller as well, carrying a baby with different cars are easy.
5. Considered cheap as it's 2 items in 1
- It may be pricey at first but if you think again, the price is included for 2 items, which is cheap for a good quality product.
6. Easily changes into a carrier
- It's also a carrier, so you can easily use the stairs and escalators and skip the hassle with ramps and lifts.

CONS
1. Heavy
-It weighs 8kg, imagine adding another 8kg with the baby.
2. Consume space
-Unlike other strollers that could be folded, this one only changes into a car seat.
3. Not suitable once the baby grows
- My boy is only 6 months and he's already outgrowing it.
4. Does not have space to put other bags
- You can only use Doona bags if you wanna put a bag on the stroller.
5. Seat cannot be reclined
- This is the downside of it actually, reclining seats are actually very important to me. If the baby sits too long in the stroller they tend to get uncomfortable, especially when they wanna sleep.



So these are my opinions on the Doona stroller. For me, it was a real help when my son was around 3 months old and I finally started to bring him here and there, most of the time without my husband. Every week I usually go back to my mums for the weekend and take her grocery shopping and sometimes out to the shopping mall. With the Doona stroller it makes things easier for me because it's a car seat as well, so we don't have to keep on attaching and detaching car seats from my husbands' car to my dads' car. My husband works over the weekend so it'll usually be me and my son back at my mums. My dads' car is a Myvi and if we had separate car seats and stroller, we wouldn't have enough space for grocery shopping. You know how small a Myvi trunk is and the car seat already takes space.

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Another thing I love about Doona is that since its also a car seat carrier, we don't really have to take the lift at malls. Escalators are much easier compared to lifts in malls, why? Because some people are just too selfish to let those in need use them, which makes it time-consuming just to get to another floor. With just a flip of the wheels, its safe enough to use the escalator and also the stairs.



Besides that, this stroller was a major help when my son and I have a day out. Usually, I'll go out with either my husband or my mum along but there were a few times it was only me and him. When it's just us, public transportation is our way of commuting. Since my house is nearby the MRT and also reachable to the LRT, these 2 transportation is how we roll. I haven't tried taking the bus with him yet since my husband usually drops and picks us up at the station when I bring him out. (Lebih sayang anak) Anyways, the first time I bought him out I was kinda nervous, just scared that he might get cranky along the way and I don't know what to do. But everything went well, my son loves going out. He's, even more, friendlier than me. So the great part is that after we take the train and kinda need a ride to a location, I'll use grab. Instead of having to fold the stroller I get to use it as a car seat easily and also make sure my baby is safe as well. My husband doesn't allow my baby to be carried while the car is moving so having this saves me. I bet if our stroller wasn't a car seat he wouldn't let me go out with our baby.

Other than that, since the Doona stroller is quite small compared to other strollers, there's no problem to take it out anywhere. If I have to go to banks or other places that require me to wait for a while, I could still bring it out because sometimes my baby may already asleep in it from the car. Without having to wake him up, I could just lift the car seat up and use it as a stroller. There was once I even brought it out to the market because I had too and a lot of people seemed to be interested in it as well. 


The downside of it is that it's already heavy and it gets heavier when the baby grows. I used to be okay lifting my baby in and out of the car for car seat to stroller and stroller to car seat. But now, it's getting too heavy, and I'm unable to support the weight anymore. The weigh of Doona is already 8kg, and my baby now is 8kg+, which equals to a weight even my husband has a hard time to lift. Besides the weight, it seems that once your baby grows and progresses into sitting, they don't really feel comfortable as the seat is neither in a sitting straight position or even laying down. It's a static position which could be tiring after a while and this causes me to frequently pick up my baby and carry him if we're using for quite some time.

Overall it served me well these past 6 months, it's quite sad that I can't use any longer. Actually, I still can but it seems my baby doesn't want to anymore, he want's to sit so we've found him another stroller which I hope is the right one for him and me. Anyways, to me, the Doona stroller has been super helpful and it's such a great stroller to use for the early months of the baby, so if you have the budget for strollers you can get the Doona first then change to another stroller once it reaches time. But if you're looking for something that could use the whole way, well it may not be the stroller for you. As I described above, it has it's pro's and con's so it's up to you to decide which is best for you.

Till then peeps!

P/s: I fell in love with Doona's stroller bag! Why? Stay tuned.

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