The pros and cons of a stroller buggy board & which sibling rides are the best?
Some kind of a sibling rider or a kiddy board usually comes to mind rather quickly if a 2nd child is on the way. Many think that it will be a solution to pretty much the whole situation, but there are quite a few dangers of a sibling board, the main being the actual damage and loosening (or breaking) your stroller's frame.
There's, of course, the ultimate advantage, or so it seems - the older child being pushed so no whining about "I can't walk anymore." I absolutely get this - I have three sons, and I did try a sibling board as well as a buggypod - the universal second seat attachable to the side of the stroller. They both made my life easier and harder at the same time. I'll try to explain what negative can come out of a buggy board choice, and you'll then make a choice for yourself. If you absolutely need it, you'll get it, and it will serve you well.
A buggy board can hurt to destroy your stroller
No stroller was truly made with a kid board in mind. Just imagine, a board with a 20 to 30 kg (44 to 66 lbs) will literally hang on two rear bars, so all the weight will be put on two bars and only two points on them. The strain will make the chassis looser over time - I mean, it's held by rivets and plastic joints for the most part... Even those strollers that offer an original rider board as an extra are only meant for that on EASY SURFACES and only OCCASIONALLY - they were designed first and foremost to be what they are without it.
There's not much going back when your stroller gets wobbly or rattly.
Moreover, the extra weight on the rear bars will push the rear wheels a bit apart. This often results in wheels being askew - like lopsided or slated to a side. That also loosens up the joints in the wheels, and over time, the push will be less comfortable and, eventually, the stroller will become unusable.
This works in the way that the smaller and lighter your pram or pushchair is, the more the strain is going to internally damage it. Please, I beg you, NEVER buy a ultracompact or very lightweight stroller for regular use with a buggy board or harsh terrain. You'll simply destroy it, and the ride, even for your baby, will be uncomfortable.
A buggy board will be in your way
Like, really. Your normal steps will be halved or worse. A sibling ride in the back will take quite some space - plus the child taking the space where your push bar is. You need to count on the ride being much less comfortable and easy and you kicking the plate or bumping in your older kid regularly.
A buggy board will make the curb-popping difficult
Another thing that will get much more difficult is getting up a kerb. Honestly, my older child eventually learned to get off the sibling plate and walk up then getting back again, meaning a repetitive and sometimes annoying situation.
We, however, have MANY curbs around, so it may be your area is curb-less and much more buggy board friendly.
A cheap or old buggy board might get quite noisy
Always pick your buggy board that is well-reviews on platforms like Amazon (or elsewhere). Bear in mind that the board's wheels are SMALL, meaning they need to be of quality (or equipped with some kind of suspension) to not immediately rattle on bumpy surfaces. No-name or cheap sibling rides I could hear all over the streets if the mom picked with no luck. A sibling board - as well as a stroller's - quality comes at a price and sometimes a used model of a good brand is worth your time more than a cheap new one.
So which buggy boards to pick? Here's my best-of:
The brands I have the best experience with are Lascal (Buggy Board Maxi or buggy Board Mini) and Bumprider (Bumprider only offers one model). The Lascal Buggy Board Maxi and the Bumprider both fit VERY universally; it's rather easy to attach them on pretty much any chassis, even those with unusual rear shapes.
One more piece of advice here. If yourstroller brand has a dedicated, original sibling board fitting your stroller, it's always the best choice.
Not because of the quality, even if usually the better brands also make their dedicated rider boards... but because of the easy fit. The installation of a Cybex Priam's Kid Board or a Bugaboo Fox 3's Comfort Wheeled Board takes second, and it's worth the space-saving that the simplified attachment mechanism takes.
With or without the extra seat? That is the question.
Both of these - the Lascal Maxi or the Bumprider - and many more offer an extra seat option. You'll usually end up paying quite a lot of that, and - often - you won't use it as much as you'd think you would. If your child is one of those that simply can't stand at all for some reason, OK, it might work for you, otherwise, the standing is good for the kid, and the seat is, anyway, not too comfy. The child usually holds on to the handlebar for its life since the sitting space is narrow and not too supportive, so again, I would rather think of a double stroller if a regular sitting in the pram is what the older child needs or wants.
It's a no for the kiddy board seat from my point of view. I would rather opt for a middle ground like a Quinny Hubb's or a Baby Jogger City Select Lux's bench seat tandem option. So much more comfortable to use and push alike.
Some strollers have an integrated sibling stand or rider board, and it might be a better choice
Some strollers have their own sibling plates for the older child to stand on integrated. It's actually a great idea - the frame is MUCH sturdier and design for this kind of strain, the board is not in the way of your steps, and you don't put weight on only two points of the frame (As you do with an extra board). Multiple strollers have this feature if you feel like a sibling board is an absolute must for your situation:
- the Peg-Pérego Pliko P3 or Peg-Pérego Switch have a tiny board on the rear side of the chassis but as umbrella strollers they're not the best to be used like this (there's a danger of loosening the chassis over time)
- the Micralite Twofold features a built-in rider board that is ready to use after being tilted out with the rear wheels
- the GB Evoq features an integrated sibling board just behind the basket
This is it, the end, so... to get or not to get a sibling board?
Well, I ended up with not to get rather than to get (I mean, I sold my sibling board as well as the Buggypod). Your situation, surrounding terrain, and children might be a completely different story.
Do take into account that a buggy board might make your stroller damaged or harder to sell later on; the pushing will become inevitably less comfortable because of the lack of space for your feet; the ride could get rattly or noisy because of the small sibling board's wheels; and that there are other options like a Buggypod (similar problems, however) or a tandem stroller - OR a tandem with only a bench seat for the older one (I put a 6yo on a bench seat and it was totally fine).
If you know all this and still feel like it's a working stroller compromise, then there you go, a buggy board is just the thing for you. If your child, however, still pretty much needs a stroller still, good side-by-sides or tandems will be a more comfortable option in the end. Always think of what is the goal and what is the price to pay - not only in money but also in lack of features or possible damage... and then make your choice.