The Endurance of the Bugaboo Frog

Deliberate Consumption, Motherhood
Bugaboo Frog Instruction thumbnail
Bugaboo Frog instructions

(Original post: Bugaboo Frog Stroller Manual)

I’m not a blogger these days, as I’m too busy doing a thousand other things between caring for kids and having a million other distractions. However, I’m impressed that over all the years, my posting of the manual for the Bugaboo Frog has endured as the most read post this site has ever seen.

This is a testament to the ubiquity and sturdiness, but also the absurdity of time and money new parents (including myself) put into items for our newborns only to have them endure long past the stage where they are necessary. I ended up with these instructions, not for myself, but for a friend. I had actually bought a new Bugaboo Bee that, now my kids are mostly bipedal, is with another family. That one didn’t seem to have the endurance of the Frog, for whatever reason, and I actually changed the wheels twice due to a recall. Such recalls are what prompted me to buy new for so many things, but hindsight reminds me how much of that was to placate anxiety.

That being said, if I had advice to give to a parent looking for the gear that you will use a maximum of 3 years per child, but maybe just even 6 months, it would be to utilize neighborhood and community resale, gear exchange and freecycle groups, and splurge on the little extras that make things easier.

Heres’ an example of some things that didn’t break the bank, and were great accessories for the first few years:

Bottle Bag

Bottle bag – A bottle bag was indispensable , even after we were done with bottles. It’s good for breast milk if pumping away from home, it’s good for bottles on the go, for sitters and childcare, and of course it can be used as a snack/lunch bag when you’re done with bottles. I like the quality of SkipHop stuff in general, and you can often use other cool packs to keep it chill. Find the Skip Hop Insulated Breastmilk Cooler and Baby Bottle Bag here.

Stroller Organizer

Stroller Organizer and Cupholder – I found that so many strollers did not have helpful caddies for going around town, so I ended up with a couple organizers and cupholders. There are many to choose from, all around the same price point. This one has the features I like, including many pockets, places for beverages, and easy off and on to the stroller. Find the Stroller Organizer as here.

Diaper Bag

Diaper Bag – Everyone has their idea of the perfect diaper bag, but for me you can’t go wrong with LeSportSac. They’re so easy to wash, so lightweight, and so cute, that with their ripstop fabric, these things endure like crazy! I used mine for both kids, and now it’s on to another family. I can’t recommend the LeSportSac Classic Ryan Baby Bag enough. Find it here.

Diaper Wallet

Diaper Wallet – I really don’t know how I got around without a diaper wallet. It was a good thing to have stashed around just in case you needed to make a quick change, light enough and small enough to throw in a bag, even a re-usable grocery bag for a trip to the store. If you get one diaper changing item, the SkipHop Pronto is a classic in design and function. Find it here.

Bugaboo Frog Stroller Manual

Motherhood

Updated Post Found here.

The other day I scored a used Bugaboo Frog (probably 10 years old) for my friends who just had a tiny baby. The thing is, I wanted to give them the manual, since it’s a complicated stroller! I was surprised that I couldn’t find the manual easily online, but thanks to the Wayback Machine and a little googling, I was able to download the PDF. Other people have been searching for it, according to many forum sites. I thought I’d put it here in case someone else needed it.

Bugaboo Frog Instruction Manual

Where I am outed as negative, with difficulty trusting people

Deliberate Consumption, Motherhood

Just to follow-up on my post yesterday about a budding comment-spammer, I thought I’d share with you what happened.

I received an email back – however, Traci, the alleged originator of this product – asserted that she HAD been getting my blog (though she cut-and-pasted a Google news alert for “maternity products” of which, you’ll find, I’ve only written ONE blog entry) and that her intentions were not to mass market, but rather, be helpful. I could cut and paste all that, but I’m lazy and will spare you. To say the least, this made me rather sad and concerned about her and her company’s future on TEH INTARWEBS. For while her intentions were good (according to her) I saw other similarities – here’s part of what I wrote back to her:

I cannot fault you, as a business woman, for wanting to increase your business and the awareness of others to your product. However, the method you have chosen is one used by many spammers to sell pornography, pharmaceuticals, face creams and more – and I assure you all of these spammers have tried to use comments in my blog (often times, completely non-sensical or nrelated) to sell their product…

You have put yourself in the same ranks as people who run very shady businesses. As that you responded to me personally, I can only hope that you are NOT one of those people, but rather someone else that is just trying to get a start on Internet commerce. My unsolicited advice to you is to choose another avenue. There are many options, like banner ads on sites relevant to your product, partnering with other maternity Internet retailers, or Google ads – which is quite popular with many people getting started out.

I guess my first mistake was trying to be “helpful.” In her initial responses, she created a portrait of a small business woman, just setting out in a horrible economy (embellishment mine), with a product she needed to advertise, and not a lot of great ideas on how to get this product to a wider audience. Instead of coming off as an evil spammer, she came off as naive – so I took a chance that maybe I could share some of my Patented AdviceTM to be helpful.

I pout pitifully now, as I share with you her response.

I will tell you again that you are incorrect in your assessment, but believe as you will. You must have much more time on your hands to write than I. I do not need to explain how I was recieving your blog…you just want to see it your way…so be it. I hope your life fills with positive energy , you need it.

I’m incorrect, but you won’t tell me HOW. Oh, wait, you don’t need to explain it to me. Nevermind. Uh oh, is she saying that I’m filled with negative energy? Hm. Maybe I should get an exorcism. (Uh oh, no really, this DOES sound negative. I’m being sarcastic! OMG OMG OMG!) Ok, I’ll stop that.

All I can do at this point, as to not continue this discussion that seems to be one sided…is to hope that you find an outlet for you advice and negativity. I truly am sorry that I bothered you…and wish I hadn’t brought on all this negativity into my own life. You apparently must have difficulty trusting or believing in others. I know my intentions were good….that is all that matters.

Well, Traci of BellyPod, they say that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Even worse, I believe this is especially true for people who not just suspect, but KNOW that their intentions were good. Unfortunately (not to get too philisophical), even the concepts of good and bad are highly subjective. To reiterate, while I don’t fault a small business owner trying to get ahead in business, I do think that there are better ways than others to do that. I offered those suggestions to you – maybe so you wouldn’t make the same mistake of bothering another person who has “difficulty trusting” all the promises made on the Internet and uses their personal blog to dispense “advice.” As for the negativity – just as you see your intentions as good, I see my intentions as being at least helpful (though I wouldn’t say good.)

My simple point is this – to any legitimate business person on the Internet – don’t use the same method to sell your product as spammers who are trying to sell Viagra without a prescription. Unless you want your product to be thought of, and bought by, that same market, there are better ways to do it. Heck, I’m sure that even Amazon has some options for small businesses and their products. There are options, and I’m sorry if that seems negative – but you know, I have only good intentions.

A Note to those who wish to Advertise through Comments on Blogs

Deliberate Consumption, Motherhood

Good afternoon,

I have been receiving you blog info for a couple of weeks via Google news feeds and I wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy and the journey you are taking as an expectant mother. I thought since you had a considerable following that I would try and network with a mom and share a product I have spent several years developing for expectant moms…the [redacted].

Wow, NETWORKING WITH A MOM. Uh. Dude. Not a mom. Yet. Also, very much against the Baby Industrial Complex and the Cult of Motherhood. (More exciting blogging on that later, perhaps.)

(Clipped, a lovely little creation story on how she came up with this AMAZING product.)

I hope you will take a look at the ultimate in comfort for expectant moms and will share my enthusiasm for this amazing product. I have included the website and I look forward to your feedback.

Kind regards,

[Redacted]

OMG – ULTIMATE comfort?! OMG OMG OMG. How could I say no?! I mean, she’s like, been reading my feed for the past who-knows-how-long and is now GRACING me with this helpful tip!

Hey, here’s some feedback from me:

Dear [Redacted],

After receiving a comment on my blog, which was so obviously not-personalized, but meant to capitalize on my blog entry regarding a product that was related to pregnancy, yet totally different from the product you offer, I can only say that I will be deliberately avoiding your product during my pregnancy.

I believe that exploiting searches, and people’s blogs to hawk your wares is not only cheap and lazy, but also offensive. The way you are doing it fakes a personalization, “I have been receiving you blog info for a couple of weeks via Google news feeds and I wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy and the journey you are taking as an expectant mother.” I not believe you have been reading my blog all this time. Now, this is an assumption that I’m happy to be incorrect, so if you could tell me what it is about my blog that you came across that made you so interested as to add it to your reader, that would be fantastic.

Furthermore, I will be posting this response to you in a blog entry of my own, as a warning to other people who might choose to try to market their wares through comments on my blog. Sadly, I believe most of the comments are not done by human beings, but rather by robots, and that they could care less. Regardless of that, I figure it can’t hurt to let people know where I stand.

Any future comments made to my blog by your company, or any other, that are explicitly intended to redirect to another website for the sale of a product or service, will be either altered by me to obscure the site or the original poster, or be deleted entirely. None of these comments will even be seen publicly without my approval anyway. I have already altered such means to take care of other comments meant to sell other products.

I’m sure that advertising is expensive. My request is for you to stop using non-commercial blogs, unsolicited, as a way to gain more customers.

Thanks,

Laura