For most new parents, strollers are an essential piece of baby equipment. However, much like all the types of car seats, the array of stroller options can be overwhelming. New parents will need to do research before picking a stroller best suited to their unique situation.
This is a guest post written by Patricia Dimick. (The article contains affiliate links, which means your purchase helps support this blog without affecting the price you pay.)
Travel Systems are multipurpose and typically include an infant seat that snaps into a stroller frame. The infant seat often converts to a carseat by attaching it to a base in the car. Parents have to buy a second seat or base if they have two cars. However, these systems make it easier to travel with a sleeping newborn, although the infant carrier is bulky and very heavy.
Car seat stroller frames:
Car seat stroller frames are lightweight and work with specific car seats. The seat snaps in and out of the base. The frames are compact and easy to fold.
Standard & Full-Size Strollers:
These common strollers are available in many designs and sizes. They include padded and reclining seats. Most have built-in storage and removable sun shades. Some models allow the baby to face forward or backward. Putting your baby in so he or she can see you helps foster your relationship and communication. Select a model with metal wheels and that folds easily.
Jogging strollers have three wheels on a light aluminum frame. These are ideal for long walks and rough terrain, and offer the moms a perfect way to stay fit, while at the same time, closely watching their child. Some may accommodate two or more kids. Look for joggers with a stationary front wheel and a hand brake for added safety. Only babies who can sit up should be in a jogging stroller. The size of these strollers makes them hard to fold up or fit in tight spaces like elevators.
Compact and lightweight umbrella strollers:
Compact and lightweight umbrella strollers can be used once your baby is able to sit up. They are often inexpensive as their seats don’t recline and they don’t have cup holders or any of the other fancy accessories found on their fullsize counterparts. Look for study handles and models that can be steered with one hand, as these strollers don’t have storage. These no-frills strollers are ideal for travel and are often used as a backup stroller.
Double and Triple Strollers:
Double and triple strollers allow you to push your twins, triplets or baby and toddler all at once. There are tandem models where kids sit behind one another and side by side models that lets kids sit next to each other. Some have a platform where older kids can stand and hold onto the handles. Tandem models are easier to maneuver while the side by side models give kids more leg room. Some single strollers can be expanded into a double stroller. (Editor’s note: I reviewed the Combi Fold N Go Double Stroller & LOVED IT)
Crucial Things to Look for When Buying Strollers:
▪ Safety First
Always check out safety features such as locking seats, seat belts or a restraint system and brakes. Check out the frame for sharp edges and protrusions that could scratch your baby. Test the brakes out before you buy a stroller. Make sure the wheels lock when the brakes are applied.
You should be able to move the stroller in a line and turn around a corner with one hand. The wheels of the stroller should swivel in all directions so that it is easier to turn in tight spaces.
▪ Handle height
A stroller with handles that are adjustable can accommodate parents of different heights. What is comfortable for a petite parent may not be comfortable for a tall person. Handle extenders can be purchased for parents who are especially tall.
▪ Adjustable seat
Babies need seats that lay back to a nearly flat position. Once the child can sit up, the seat can be adjusted to a steeper pitch.
A removable and adjustable shade protects your baby from sunburn and the weather. It also keeps your child more comfortable and out of the way of bright glare.
A basket under the seat gives you space for baby wipes, diapers and other essentials while you’re out and about.
▪ Washable fabric
Babies make messes from spit-up and leaky diapers. Make sure the stroller’s fabric is washable for faster and easier cleaning.
Ask yourself these questions before buying a stroller:
1. Are the handlebars high enough?
Make sure you can comfortably push the stroller and adjust the handle height.
2. Is there enough storage?
Look for a stroller with a basket under the seat, where you can store water, pacifiers and diapers. Cup holders and side pockets are also helpful.
3. Is folding easy?
Test how easy it is to fold the stroller before you buy it. Make sure the stroller stays folded even if bumped. Choose a stroller that can be folded with one hand.
4. Can you steer it easily?
Do the push test around corners and tight spaces. Practice 180-degree turns.
5. Can it carry a car seat?
Make sure the frame can accommodate your infant’s car seat.
6. What’s your budget?
Create a stroller budget and prioritize the features you need the most.
With so many strollers, choices may seem overwhelming. Testing several models and doing some research can help you narrow the options. Consider what you need most based on your lifestyle, budget and family size. Look on eBay’s secure marketplace to find great prices on the stroller of your dreams.
Patricia Dimick previously shared awesome tips on How to Involve Your Child in Designing the Baby’s Nursery.
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BIO: Patricia Dimick is a mom from Denver, a freelancer and a passionate table tennis player. As a content creator who works from home, she is also a fan of nature and DIY jobs. She loooooves coffee. You can reach her @patricia_dimick.