Buying the right stroller can be tricky as there are strollers available to match any lifestyle. Before selecting the stroller for your family, think about your lifestyle, budget, and space restrictions, and then find a model and brand that best fits your needs.
Your child’s safety should always be your number one concern. Before purchasing a stroller, check for stability (be sure it won’t tip if you put your diaper bag on the handles – or figure out where you can put your diaper bag!), as well as the harness.
Also, check the convenience of the stroller – does it have a basket underneath? An organization tray? A toy bar, snack or drink holders? A rain hood? Many of these accessories are also available separately from the stroller, so don’t let the lack of any of these items keep you away from a stroller that you otherwise may be happy with.
- Standard Size Strollers: These strollers perform well, pushing with ease and offering a comfortable ride. They are sometimes heavy, however they can be full of features that your child may enjoy – such as roomier seats, built-in toy bars, and snack trays. Standard size strollers do fold, many times with one-hand mechanisms, but they take up a significant amount of trunk space and may be heavy to lift in and out.
- Lightweight Strollers: The new generation of lightweight strollers have come a long way from the original umbrella stroller. These strollers are usually under 20 pounds and have many of the same features as standard strollers including baskets and reclining seats. These strollers are great for those who travel a lot – and are perfect for quick trips to the mall or other errands. Generally easy to fold and designed for easy storage, they offer convenience that other strollers do not, however they may not be as comfortable for your child. Inexpensive umbrella strollers are still an option to be placed in the trunk as a spare, but generally cannot be used for infants as they do not recline.
- Multi-Children Strollers: If you’re lucky enough to have more than one child, there are strollers available with extra capacity that can make outings easier. Dependant on your children’s ages, you will need to determine what best suits your family. Some double strollers have an area for a child to stand and ride, however, this doesn’t allow for in-stroller naps. Other models have seats for multiple riders – some of which will accommodate baby carriers as well.
- Jogging Strollers: If you are someone who enjoys the great outdoors, goes on many walks or jogs, then a jogging stroller may be the perfect fit for you. These jogging strollers usually offer most of the same features as a standard stroller, but usually have three all-terrain wheels with high performance parts and are easily foldable and portable. With hand-grip brakes and all-terrain suspension systems, they perform well on almost any surface. You may choose to have a jogging stroller as a backup to your standard stroller as they may not fold as easily or as flat.
- Travel Systems and Frames: A travel system offers significant convenience to new parents. The system starts with the standard stroller, but also includes an infant car seat (carrier) that snaps onto the stroller, allowing you to move your infant (many times, your sleeping infant) from the car to the stroller. Travel systems generally come with a car seat base that stays in the car so that you can snap the infant carrier back into the base rather than having to re-buckle your child in the seat. Once your child has outgrown the infant carrier, the stroller will perform the same way as a standard stroller. Additionally, smaller, easier to fold frames are available that can hold the infant carrier rather than having to use the more bulky standard stroller during the first few months of your newborn’s life.
A stroller is one of the most regular and essential used items that you will ever want as a parent. Be sure to make an informed decision on a stroller that will suit both you and your child’s needs.