When having a baby there are so many things to get which is quite overwhelming. I figured out that splitting all items in two groups worked the best for me. There was the important gear that was (or at least it seemed) absolutely essential and the things that were “nice to have” but which could wait. For instance, as our son was born in December additional sunshade for the stroller was one of the items that was not immediately needed so I didn’t shop it.
Around May when the sun came out, I started to feel its necessity. For certain angles in addition to the stroller canopy I had to find a way to protect my son’s face. Like a lot of other moms I used my aden + anais cotton blankets and put these over the top of the stroller, fixed with a clothes-spin when I did not forget them at home (which was almost always the case by the way). This was a quick and easy way to solve the problem, in particular when my baby was sleeping as it created a real cocoon that kept noise from the outside. However, living in Amsterdam we are close to the sea so on windy days, which are quite frequent, my construction did not last long. On hot summer days, when I wanted to protect my baby’s legs from the sun, the solution was not perfect either as I couldn’t fix the blankets properly against the handle bars. It was just not stable and looked very bad. Hence, I could only leave the blankets hanging which did not allow my baby to have an open space with air circulating. You already see that this whole story started to become quite a hassle 😉
I had already seen mothers using a special product to fix the situation. It was called The original Dooky. I always thought that this was just another baby product that cost money and just did not want to jump on this train. However, now I understood its sense and decided to buy one. The price (15-19 EUR depending on where you buy it) seemed rather high looking at the product itself which consist of a single piece of cotton with strips, hook-and-loop-fasteners and very basic plastic rings to clip on the stroller top. If I was a DIY mom I may have thought about making this myself but not having any sewing skills and given the time, frustration and pityful result my attempt would have generated, the price seemed more reasonable to me.
After using the Dooky for a couple of months I can say that it is a useful product. It is made of 100 % cotton, washable (30 degrees) and provides UPF 40+ sun protection. It is easy to clip on the canopy and has an adjustable size. For instance, rolling and using the hook-and-loop fasteners makes it smaller whereas unrolling and fixing the straps on the handlebars extends the size. For the latter, this means that my baby can lay or sit in the stroller, be protected from the sun and benefit from fresh air. When my son wants to see me or I want to check up on things, it is easy to create eye contact with my baby as I only have to slide the clips or lower my position.
I really like this product but unfortunately the metal rings around the clip holder holes got loose after only 2 weeks of usage. However, I have seen moms using the Dooky and their product is still in shape. Maybe I am the only who is jinxed?
By now, I have also purchased the compatible sun parasol for our stroller, a product of which I had also thought that it was just “nice to have” but – SURPRISE – it makes a lot of sense. I got it now. When it comes to baby equipment I will never stop to learn…